The Hubble telescope was launched into space on April 24, 1990. Little did astronomers know that the first images that would be transmitted to Earth by the reflective mirror would be blurred. That flaw in the mirror’s curvature was caused by a faulty instrument that had initially fashioned its surface. Astrologically, tools are ruled by the 3rd house of taken-for-granted utilities. The tool or instrument that fashioned the mirror left a small amount of paint missing from its surface, and this missing segment was just enough to create a problem of over-flattening its surface area. That oversight would cost NASA millions and was a great embarrassment. It needed several years of research to fix the billion dollar space telescope.
Looking at an ephemeris for the date of the Hubble’s launch, one can see that Transiting Mercury was Stationary going retrograde at that time. The public is getting used to hearing, “Mercury is Retrograde, stop the presses!” But why is it that Mercury Retrograde is a time of difficulties? Why is Mercury known for all things flawed, and a time to refrain from important purchases and new undertakings? It is because of two basic factors. One, because Mercury rules the mind, and planetary retrogrades turn the focus of attention inward, leaving the outer world of activity on “back burner” for a time. It’s a period of either mindlessness or a time for extra mindfulness. And second, Mercury is the natural ruler of the 3rd house of CONVENIENCE. The 3rd house rules everything taken-for-granted in the function of daily living. Tools, appliances and anything that makes life easy to navigate is under the rulership of the 3rd house of routine conveniences of the environment. That means that when you walk out your door to get into your car, the car is there for your convenience. And when you start up the engine, it turns over and you are on your way without a hitch. Unless there is a part about to malfunction, which can often be detected on a Mercury Retrograde. Issues in need of repair surface at these times, or items with high ticket prices can have hidden problems that will reveal themselves in the future. A myriad of daily activities that are relegated to doing things without obstacles to successful fulfillment are a 3rd house Mercury ruled circumstance. We may never be in a situation to invest billions or even millions of dollars in our projects, but it is wise to watch for potential malfunctions when the ephemeris shows a Retrograde on the way.
When Mercury is Retrograde, expect that if there is a problem that you are unaware of, under the radar of your conscious knowledge, you most likely will be confronted with it at the Station of Mercury and into the time of its apparent backward motion. Retrogrades are times of opportunity to fix problems of inconvenience, including health issues, and anything that indicates that we are not ready for smooth and unencumbered activity.
What actually happens when Mercury appears to have a backward movement from the earth’s point of view is virtually unknown. We cannot say that there is a change in the electro-magnetic field or gravitational pull emanating from the planet, because we know that Mercury is not actually stopping for a time to move in a backward direction. It only looks like it is standing still, which is called Stationing, and it is only an illusion caused by the relative speeds of the earth and planets we see that effects our visual perception. This gives us the clue that the source of the issue of Retrograde planets lies in the mind itself, and normally subconscious factors and flaws in the actually world of people and things become apparent during this time. Direct motion of the planets focus our attention on the outside world in a manner of getting things done without unnecessary concerns or blocks in expected accomplishments. That is convenience of the 3rd house in the horoscopic wheel.
It is important to note that discovery is part of the Mercury Retrograde phenomena. Retrogrades are a perfect time to uncover causes and cures for illnesses. If you are suffering from some bodily concern, try researching the symptoms you are experiencing at the start of the retrograde. By the time Mercury begins to Station to turn Direct once again, you may find that elusive solution to the problem you have longed to know and acquire.
If you are moving to a new location or abode on a Mercury Retrograde, it is likely that you will be staying in that place a shorter time than you expect. Remember that Mercury is ruled by the 3rd house of location, convenience and immediate environment. There will be something in the rental contract or deed that may need to be followed without neglect, or there may be several internal malfunctions in the building itself that need to be addressed at some point in the future.
It is important to keep living a normal life during Retrograde periods, but always be aware of the tendency to be seeing only a portion of what is going on before your eyes. Observe and be ready for unexpected changes, and bend to them as there is no way to avoid the message and lessons of Mercury; that it is important to correct problems that inevitably present themselves during these unavoidable shifting times.