Mercury Goes Retrograde October 4… and We Lose Half Our Brain

“Mercury goes retrograde” is the Chicken Little chant of astrologers. Don’t sign contracts, don’t buy a phone, don’t move, don’t get married, don’t plan travel BECAUSE MERCURY IS RETROGRADE YOU FOOL!

Ah, but maybe we should be less like Chicken Little (aka, Henny Penny) and more like Foxy Woxy. Mercury is indeed going retrograde this month but perhaps the sky is not falling (well, at least not for all the three weeks that Mercury appears to be going backwards!).

While conventional astrological wisdom advises that important decisions should not be made while Mercury is retrograde (in this case, October 4th-26th), if we understand what’s going on within our brains during this retrograde period, we can take appropriate actions.

When Mercury goes retrograde, or appears to travel backward through the sky, there occurs a corresponding effect in our thinking abilities (remember that Mercury is the astrological indicator for the thinking mind).

When Mercury is moving forward, or projecting itself through space and time, our left hemisphere of the brain, the analytical projective “moving forward” mind functions as usual, allowing us to analyze and make appropriate decisions (like buying a computer or signing a lease).

However, when Mercury moves “backward” we lose much of that left brain function as we turn inward, or move into, the right hemisphere of the brain. While the right brain is great for delving into the hidden areas of life (think meditation), it is not the best part of the brain for making analytical decisions, like what airline should we book our trip.

With the left brain on a Mercury retrograde hiatus, we often completely second-guess ourselves, overlook or forget something, and then have to re-do something or re-visit our actions. The left side of the brain also controls speech, and so we may experience frustration in communicating effectively when Mercury is in retrograde (just watch how often people mispronounce words or incorrectly type a phone number during that time!).

What to do with half a brain while Mercury is retrograding? Answer: Yoga. Actually, not only yoga, but all practices that activate and re-balance the left side of the brain.

Yoga, however, does a great job of that with a breath practice called Surya Bhedana Pranayam (Sun Piercing Breath). It is simply inhaling through the right nostril and exhaling through the left nostril. Seven minutes daily is a minimum to help ameliorate Mercury retrograde brain farts.

However, on the two days that Mercury starts and ends its retrograde period (October 4 and 26 in this case), the brain confusion is most severe and does typically cause the infamous Mercury retrograde mix-ups.

While you can make these starting and ending days of retrograde better by practicing Alternate Nostril Breathing (inhale left, exhale right; inhale right, exhale left) to aid the transition from whole to half brain activity, you may want to take Chicken Little’s advice for October 4 and 26 and pull the covers over your head. And don’t buy a phone from a guy called Foxy Woxy.

Otherwise for most of this month: Inhale Right Nostril, Exhale Left Nostril.


Lunar Eclipse October 8th

A total Lunar Eclipse occurs in the Vedic sign of Pisces (5:51 AM Central) on Wednesday 8th. Tuesday night and before dawn on Wednesday promises to be an especially rich time for dreams and ventures into the world of fantasy and imagination. And perhaps ill-advised escapism into the realm of drink and drugs.

With a beautiful aspect from an exalted Jupiter in Cancer, however, I see this as an amazing time for a breakthrough in any spiritual blocks. The eclipse is also occurring in the Vedic Nakshatra of Revati which is wonderful for healing, rest, and all creative (sexual) activities, as well as bringing things to an end (which is also in keeping with the full moon energy).

Solar Eclipse October 23rd

A partial solar eclipse occurs Thursday October 23rd in the Vedic sign of Libra. People with birthdays around this date may see a significant life change in the year ahead. Venus gets sandwiched right into the middle of this eclipse as well as it conjuncts both Sun and Moon at the same time the eclipse occurs.

This combustion of Venus by the Sun in Libra can produce several effects. First, it can bring a deep spiritualizing influence to relationships. On the other hand, it may also create a power struggle within a relationship. Regardless, there is a needed heightened sensitivity around all relationships, particularly relationships with women.

The best advice for this situation is the same as it usually is on the day of an eclipse: Relax, meditate, start nothing new of importance today, and recharge yourself for the two weeks ahead.

Sun Enters Libra October 17th

The Sun enters the Vedic sign of Libra on October 17th and brings a focus on peace, harmony, artistic creativity and relationships. A great month to create a beautiful home altar or yoga space, or buy that pretty yoga mala for meditation!


The Libra Sun Person

If you were born between October 16 to November 15, you are a Libra Sun according to Vedic Astrology. People with the Sun in Libra love balance, harmony and beauty. They are fair-minded and may rend to be indecisive because they can see both sides of any situation. Although good in business, they are better suited working with other people and not independently. They are usually straightforward, fair and honest in their opinions and dealings. They care and will do things for others. They can be generous but are often misunderstood. These people are sensually inclined and like beautiful things. They abhor violence and like life to be full of peace and love. However, they aren’t always very moralistic and should beware of associating with others that may drag them down.


The Libra Yogi

The Libra Sun Yogi enjoys a balanced yoga practice in all areas that allows for a sense of relationship to other students, teacher and themselves. They are very social and may want to go out after class for something good to eat or just to connect and talk. They need to pull in their desire to be overly pleasing to the teacher, vacillating in their practice, and an inability to commit to one course of action or practice. They will always have the most tasteful yoga clothes and be well presented. A Libra yogini is well accessorized and looks smashing in white. They have a natural sense of grace and balance and are popular in their circle of yoga friends.


Next Month:

One of the most significant astrological events over the next 21⁄2 years occurs when Saturn enters the Vedic sign of Scorpio on November 2nd. Find out how life will change for you and everyone else!