Category Archives: mercury

The Daily Sky: Mercury Square Pluto

And now, a handy English-Lithuanian Translation Guide For Native English Speakers On Vacation::


“Excuse me, but can you tell me which way to the train station?”


“Can you please direct me to an affordable restaurant?”


“Does anyone here speak English?”


“Please help me. I require assistance.”



Today’s lesson: if your message isn’t getting through, maybe turning the volume up isn’t really going to help.

Astrology For Life On Earth

Conquer The Universe With Astrology: Romance, Seduction, And Aches And Pains

On the next “Conquer The Universe With Astrology,” (Thursday at 10 PM Eastern, 7 PM Pacific) we’ll be covering a lot of ground, and it’s all worth the trip:

HOUR ONE: Listen to my interview with novelist Sara Humpries. The first volume of her “Amoveo” series, Unleashed, is about to hit the shelves, and is the first of a multi-part series. Does writing ability show in a birth chart? A tendency to write romantic fantasy novels? How about that childhood crush on Captain Kirk? And are bigger things coming in the next few months? Have a look at the chart below, listen to the interview, and play along!

THEN: Carrying on with the romance theme, I will be beginning a new twelve-part series…


This episode: How to seduce an Aries… man or woman… by Sun, Venus and Mars sign. Listen to this show (and the next eleven), and you’ll be The Most Dangerous Dater on your block.

HOUR TWO: I interview medical astrologer Eileen Nauman about the role of Mercury in the birth chart as it relates specifically to your physical condition. It’s informative, it’s entertaining, and it’s more proof that Astrology is probably even more awesome than you realized.

Here’s Sara’s chart… click it, it gets bigger:

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Astro-Singalong: Mercury In Cancer Drunk Dials The Ex And Leaves A Message

Tricky time never slows 

that moment walked me by without bothering to say–

Lucky time never stops 
that moment knocked me down without bothering to

…say hello 
say hello 
say hello…
-Deep Dish, “Say Hello”

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The Mercury Retrograde Festival (Day 3.14159265): Science Marches Backwards!

Mercury continues its backwards march through Taurus, bringing with it cluttered thinking and a tendency to grasp at the wrong solution to difficult issues. Don’t feel too bad if the process has made you make unwise decisions with your personal life, though: times like these can mess with the best of minds.
Like, for example, that time the Indiana State Legislatiure tried to re-write how The Universe works.
Politicians love simple, straightforward facts. Unfortunately, life is too often filled with messy details that don’t fit into a soundbite or a poster. Politicians sometimes respond to this by rounding the uneven corners off of The Truth. And, in one rather famous case, they decided to tell the Universe how to do its job.
You’ll probably recall the concept of “pi” from High School: it’s the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. In other words, if a circle is 1 meter across, it is π meters around. π itself is what’s called an “irrational number” like √2, for example. Most kids sitting in a classroom get a little nervous at the concept of a “number” that is, in fact, a long string of numbers (3.1415926535897932… and on and on for billions of decimal places with no distinct end).
So, on January 18th, 1897… with Mercury retrograde in “don’t tell me what to do” Aquarius… and with Saturn (the traditional ruler of Aquarius… “laying down the law”) conjunct Uranus (the modern ruler of Aquarius… “the weirder the better!”)… the Indiana State Legislature began debate on a bill which defined pi as 3.2. That’s all: just plain old 3.2. Finally, a government makes things simpler and easier to use! Too bad that the bill contradicted the Known Universe actually works. Other than that small problem.. great idea guys!
The original mind behind the bill was a Dr. Edwin J. Goodman, an amateur mathematical enthusiast and physician who had claimed to have discovered the true value of pi… right down to patenting the idea, so that anyone attempting to use the “more accurate” version of the mathematical constant would owe the good Doctor a user’s fee.
The bill passed the House unanimously, and moved on to the State Senate. Fortunately for Indiana engineers (and the people who rely on their vehicles and elevators) the Bill died in the Senate… once an actual Professor of Mathematics explained to the Senators how utterly ridiculous the concept was. So, once Mercury was no longer retrograde… the bill died.
So you see: don’t feel too badly about any bad decisions you’ve made lately, any drunk dialling to exes you may regret, or any recent bad decisions. You may have misinterpreted what The Universe wanted you to do… but at least you didn’t tell The Universe how to do its job…
Astrology For Life On Earth

The Mercury Retrograde Festival (Day Nine): Pesky Foreigners Invade Your Browser

Mercury rules things like logic, math, and algorithms…. for most of us, the boring, behind the scenes details that actually make the Internet work. If you’ve spent much time on The Series Of Tubes over the last few years, you’ve probably noticed that not only are there as many ads as ever cluttering cyberspace, they’ve gotten a little more personalized. You see… I don’t pretend to understand how it all works, but apparently Google knows all and sees all, and is able to base the ads it shows you based on what you’re seeing or what you’ve looked at in the recent past, or whatever. Something like that.
Of course it’s easy enough to write a program that reads the same words you read, and comes up with ads based on those words. That’s why your online shopping for Egyptian Cotton bed sheets will get you ads for tours of the pyramids, or looking for items about “unemployment” will recommend more Facebook games. Anyone who has a GMail account knows the phenomenon.
Mercury is retrograde right now, and it seems to me that the whole Google Ads process may be a little wonkier than usual. It wasn’t until yesterday that I was convinced of the effects of the retrograde on even simple software algorithms.
You see, ever since I moved to my new neighborhood, I’ve developed a fondness for (and fascination with) Mexican culture. And specifically, I’ve developed a fondness for this song:

…So, given where you can already imagine my sympathies lie with the current Immigration Reform debate, and the “show us your papers” law in Arizona, imagine my surprise to get THIS ad on Youtube, which I did a screen capture of and am positing here, largely as proof to myself that I wasn’t really hallucinating…an ad for Steve Poizner, who is a candidate for California Governor, and who I hadn’t heard of until this ad cropped up… giving me the opportunity to do some research and find out just how not-my-kinda-guy he is.

Anyone who knows me, or has read my blog for long, can guess where I stand on the Big Immigration Debate. And Google Ads is, apparently, just smart enough to get it completely wrong, thus wasting my time and the advertiser’s money
Most of these ads don’t cost the advertiser that much, but cost the advertiser much more if you click on them. So from now on, whenever something like this comes up now, I open it a new windows. Lots of them. Then I clear my cache and complain.
Next Mercury Retrograde project? Trying to convince Facebook Ads that just because Mitt Romney is a fan of torturing his dog, I’m not a fan of his.


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The Mercury Retrograde Festival (Day Twelve): Michelangelo And The Case Of The Undersized Penis

Mercury Retrograde is notorious for all sorts of miscommunication and misunderstandings. We’re familiar with people misspeaking when they are angry or upset. Sometimes we mishear, for various reasons, what others say. Things can be taken out of context. And then there’s always the bloggers favorite form of miscommunication… the typo.

Of course there are lots of ways to communicate. Art is a form of communication. And, as it turns out, one of the world’s most famous works of art has been fundamentally misunderstood for the last five centuries. Since Michelangelo’s sculpture of David, a marble wonder of anatomy, was completed in 1504, it has moved and inspired people with its profound emotional understatement and presence. In many ways, it approaches true perfection. And yet, for all the work Michelangelo put into it, perhaps its most famous feature is its… um, shortcoming:
David hasn’t got a very heroic penis.
David’s package has been the subject of snickers for centuries. Why is the physically perfect David lacking in the John Thomas department?
It turns out that the answer was dangling in front of everyones faces the whole time. The long and the short of it is this: there nothing wrong with the size of this sculpture’s drumstick.. It is in fact as uncannily accurate as the rest of it’s anatomy. To explain…
Two physiologists have performed a detailed computerized study (no word on whether or not the computer in question was a Wang) and it turns out that David is a remarkably perfect specimen. Not just his body, mind you… but his character as well. His stance, and the way his muscles are tensed, are perfect for someone who is ready for battle, and yet is attempting to keep it together. 
Given the perspective most viewers view the sculpture at, it’s natural that whatever size David’s old boy is, it’s going to appear foreshortened from ground level. Now, if you were a little over five meters tall, and were able to look David in the eye, you would see, quite clearly, that David is worried:
Heroic, but worried. After all, he’s about to do battle with the enormous and terrifying Goliath. And… if you are the owner of a penis yourself, or have spent a great deal of time around them, you know that it changes size. Regularly. And being tense or afraid makes even a non-erect longfellow reduce to a haiku, relative to its full form. This makes perfect evolutionary sense. If you are confronted with a predatory, the last thing you want to do is waste precious circulation on a reproductive organ, And you don’t want to offer up a bonus  hors d’oeuvre to that predator either. Other things, like being cold, can cause temporary penile shrinkage too.
(Believe me, I know. I have one, and I’ve experienced fear. In Canada. In the winter.)
Had we met David under, um, different circumstances, David’s dong would be much more impressive… perhaps not a Goliath itself, but certainly not a piker. So, in fact, David is amazingly accurate, not just in form but in character as well. Michelangelo captured him in a Moment Of Truth… and we do not always look our best when Moments Of Truth hit. And yet it took five centuries, two scientists, laser measurements, and a computer to uncover what should have been fairly obvious to everyone.
Miscommunication isn’t something reserved for an exclusive, members-only club. Any Tom, Dick, or Harry can get things wrong once in a while. So, when that sort of thing happens to you… don’t be a stiff about it it. Relax, use your head, and don’t be a wiener about things. 
So: now that we’ve cleared that up… here’s the real unresolved manhood mystery posed by this masterpiece: why isn’t David, future King of the Jews, circumsized?
Astrology For Life On Earth

The Mercury Retrograde Festival (Day Zero): Mitt Romney Loves His Wife, And Loves Torturing His Dog

Between now and May 11th, I will be presenting classic examples of things screwing up during Mercury Retrogrades. Here’s the first entry, presented (in true Mercury Rx fashion) a day late.
(First, a warning: I really try to keep my own political prejudices out of the astrology, so forgive me if you are upset by the following. I’ve made sure that it’s based entirely on objective verifiable statements.)

It was supposed to be a friendly puff piece about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s personal life… but thanks to Mercury Retrograde, it turned into a damaging revelation. The Boston Globe interviewed Mitt and his sons about Romney family life: the wife, the kids, and the dog. Unfortunately, it was the dog who ended up getting most of the press, as Romney’s son Tagg let this anecdote about Life With Father slip, while transiting Mercury was retrograde in Cancer:

To quote the Time article on the matter:

The incident: dog excrement found on the roof and windows of the Romney station wagon. How it got there: Romney strapped a dog carrier — with the family dog Seamus, an Irish Setter, in it — to the roof of the family station wagon for a twelve hour drive from Boston to Ontario, which the family apparently completed, despite Seamus’s rather visceral protest.

Regardless of Romney’s various political stances, this did not win him a whole lot of votes from PETA. Or even conservative pundits.
…and given that Romney is considered by many to be the front-runner for Republican Presidential candidate, you can count on hearing about this again.
NEXT TIME: The mystery of Michelangelo’s David and and his teeny wiener, resolved at last!

Astrology For Life On Earth

Mercury Retrograde: Don’t Just Take It, Fight Back! (Also: Free Bacon!)

Yes, it’s true: on April 18th Mercury turns retrograde. It’s traditionally a time when things tend to go wrong… specifically, with things like making plans, delivering lectures, and signing books. That’s why I’ve boldly planned to deliver a lecture and sign my book on April 24th…

THIS LECTURE SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING: A Practical Guide To Mercury Retrograde

-Practical Advice!
-A Book Signing!
-$20 in freebies via e-mail!
Free Bacon!

7 PM, April 24th 2010, Tedda Hughes Gallery, 1623 Polk Street, San Francisco.

Now, why would an astrologer plan a Mercury Retrograde lecture during a Mercury Retrograde? Easy: if anything goes wrong, it just illustrates my point. Besides, we’re gonna have a good time, so why not?

Also, did I mention the bacon?

See you there!
Astrology For Life On Earth

Say Nice Things About Mercury Before The Debate

Although I am still laid low with the Mercury Retrograde flu, I wanted to briefly mention that I am really looking forward to the Biden-Palin debate tonight. Given that transiting Mars is squaring Sarah Palin’s natal Mercury (and possibly her Moon) and is quincunxing Biden’s Uranus (which rules his Third House… speaking, among other things), we could be in for a wild one, even more so than Biden’s reputation for running his mouth and Palin’s reputation for sounding like a dumbass would indicate. So far there doesn’t seem to be a huge consensus on how the election is shaping up, except that Obama appears to be holding a slight lead.

Yes. I admit it. I will be watching the debate for the same reason that many watch auto racing: just to see if there are any terrible crashes.

And, based on recent events in the US regarding voters lists, I am more convinced than ever that my prediction of mayhem, with this Election Day being a massive screw-up is going to come true.

Mostly though, this blog entry is one last attempt to appease the Angry Retrograde God before anything else goes haywire in my life. Doctors still get sick, lawyers get sued, and astrologers have difficult transits.

So, today’s assignment? Say nice things about Mercury. Please. You know Biden and Palin didn’t…

Astrology For Life On Earth

An Open Letter To Mercury Retrograde

Dear Mercury:
I’d like to start out by quoting a previous blog entry of mine on the subject of your retrogrades:
“At most, I’ve found that Mercury going retrograde is just a matter of the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Or the wrong word that sets off the brawl that had been building for months. Or the cheque being lost in the mail that should have paid the power bill three months ago. Or, in my case… waiting until today to install the new Vedic software I bought months ago that now, mysteriously, doesn’t speak either English or Windows.”
As you may recall, that retrograde of yours turned out to be… well, kind of crappy for Mercury-ruled matters for me. I found myself wondering about your possible role as a Trickster. After all, your placement in a birth chart is (forgive me) easy to ignore. You don’t really have the sex, drugs, and rock and roll reputations that, say, Mars, Neptune, or Uranus have. Since you’re never more than one sign away from the Sun, you tend to get drowned out. And I apologize for that. Especially given that perhaps the most important part of my job isn’t to empathize or to espouse a point of view, so much as it is to communicate those things.
I think this is where your role in relationships is vastly underestimated. If you meet someone attractive in a bar where you can barely hear each other, that’s one thing. It’s the next morning when your ears are still ringing and you suddly can’t quite remember the name of the person snoring next to you is that the real challenge kicks in.
That’s metaphorically speaking, of course. I’m certain nothing like that has really happened to me or any of my fine, morally-upright readers.
So please, old friend… this time around I’m paying special attention to you. Don’t screw up my software and my e-mail like you did last time. Besides… the Moon is also opposing Neptune right now, so I’m taking precautions. Rather than try to figure out this maddening business about Sarah Palin’s time of birth, I’m going to do the astrologically sound thing… and take a nap.
Don’t do anything crazy while I’m away. Please?
Your bestest best pal,
Matthew The Astrologer

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