All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this.
~ Miyamoto Musashi

As my years on earth increase, I am more and more alert to the “rising and falling timing” of things and realize how important knowing the best timing is to the success in my life and business.

Sometimes I can execute a plan with ease and the outcome surprises me with satisfaction. At other times, it feels like pushing a noodle uphill that produces only disappointment.

Naturally, life flows between times of expansion and times when things contract. The real challenge is to anticipate which you are moving through so you don’t over-commit when you should be pulling back and vice versa.

What would you say if I told you that one significant clue to understanding the flow of life is found in knowing the cycles of the planet Mercury? Before you certify me as loony, hear me out.

As a professional astrologer with over 16 years of experience, I have paid close attention to the movement of Mercury as it goes from direct motion to retrograde motion and back. Mercury goes retrograde 3-4 times a year for approximately three weeks at a time. Of course, when I say it goes retrograde, I do not mean the planet actually backs up, but rather it appears so. It is an optical illusion from our perspective on earth looking out at the planet.

Mercury symbolically rules communications, computers, transportation and business activities. When it is moving freely forward, it facilitates the negotiations of contracts, the scheduling of travel, productivity of computers, the clarity of interactions with others, and much more.

However, during its apparent retrograde period, miscommunications easily occur, computers crash, trains are late, and the potential to overlook important details in contracts increases. It is not a good time to sign contracts that last, initiate new programs that succeed, purchase large items such as computers, appliances, and especially cars that function as desired. I once bought a car while Mercury was retrograde. It was a “lemon” from day one.

The breakdowns and glitches that become more frequent during Mercury retrograde periods can be uproariously humorous, but most often they leave us disappointed, confused or feeling devastated.

Recently I signed up for a teleclass to improve my business. The two presenters were excellent and the information was quite valuable, but the number of participants was disappointing. Why? The presenters unknowingly chose to hold their class when Mercury was retrograde. If only they had known, they might have been able to attract a much larger audience.

Now, don’t think that I am suggesting you should pull the covers over your head and hibernate for three weeks because Mercury is looking backward. Actually, during a retrograde period, it is a perfect time to revisit old friends or review, revise and finish up projects and activities you didn’t have the time for when you were expanding and creating previously. It is also a wonderful time to research and conceptualize possibilities, but not for initiating those ideas.

Knowing when Mercury is retrograde (3-4 times a year for three weeks) will allow you to clean up loose ends and set your house in order so you will be ready when Mercury turns to direct motion. That is a signal that new opportunities for growth may arise to increase your potential for success. Knowing this, you avoid “bad timing” for your new initiatives.

Incidentally, the cycle of the Moon also gives us clues for timing of successful ventures. But that is a topic for another day.

Here is a list of coming Mercury retrograde periods for 2012:

March 12 to April 4, 2012
July 13 to August 8, 2012
November 6 – 26, 2012

Note that each person will experience retrograde periods differently based on the details of their own birth chart.

Author's Bio: 

Dianne Eppler Adams [] is a spiritual mentor, intuitive astrologer and bestselling author of “Conscious Footsteps: Finding Spirit in Everyday Matters.” She provides spiritually-oriented, mission-driven individuals personalized astrological roadmaps that give them 20/20 vision ahead, deepening self-awareness and helping them step confidently forward. Subscribe to her popular New Moon/Full Moon newsletter on her website [] and receive an ebook titled “How to Use Astrology as a Roadmap.”