The Western Mind’s Hangup on Retrograde Goes Deep

“Plato also saw shape and geometry as one of the pure forms of knowledge and considered that there were only two forms of motion: the straight line and the curve. The curve, being the more perfect of motions because it could go on without end, was assigned to the divine imperishable element, the quintessence (5th element) which formed the unchanging celestial spheres and the stars. The straight line was assigned to the four elements and placed in the sub-lunar changing, imperfect world. Within Plato’s divine unchanging perfect world the planets orbited the world in perfect circles attached to perfect spheres.

However, there was one problem. The perfect planets would, from time to time, appear to travel backwards in the sky. Plato’s approach to the observed retrograde motion of the planets was destined to have a profound impact on future research methods, for he assumed that one day this motion would be understood and it would comply with the divine circular motion (Timaeus). He did not ponder why the planets moved in a retrograde matter, rather he assumed that the explanation would fit into the perfect model. In this way he laid down the philosophical foundation for all acceptable answers. From this point onwards truth could only be truth if it was ordered and regular.” – Bernadette Brady from Astrology: a place in chaos

Within the archetype of Mercury, we are organized or perfectionist — we have the ability to keep our appointments on schedule, for our car to work when we put the key in the ignition and for the car to get all the way over to our destination, and for our messages to go through without problem.

I realize now, with the concept of Carnival being a time in which the normal order is flipped – that maybe the popular practice of using Mercury retrograde as excuse is just the collective’s way of taking a vacation from being organized. That this is our time to be late for appointments, of for our technology not to work and for it not to mean it is “our fault” which is, from the Virgo side Mercury, a great fear for things to be one’s fault and whatever by association that implies.

I truly hold the wish out for the collective that we may reimagine our orientations to all retrogrades, such as instead of dreading them or thinking that everything’s going to go haywire, we would get enchanted by their mysteries. What are we going to learn? What synchronicities will appear? What themes will be highlighted in our consciousness to an accelerated degree? Why are we so attached to order actually, when a break in that order might actually be a natural moment to perceive reality and opportunity in a new way? Why not study the intelligence of the timing of a phone dying instead of making a call and something else coming up?


~Sabrina Monarch

(Top image: Mattia Preti)

Sabrina Monarch is a soul-centered Evolutionary Astrologer who publishes weekly astrological forecasts. She has been collecting astrological experience for over a decade. She also enjoys kundalini and ashtanga yoga, hiking and creative writing. You can subscribe to receive her weekly forecasts by email here.

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