Volcanic Ash and Airplanes: and Yes, It’s Me...

Volcanic Ash and Airplanes: and Yes, It’s Mercury Retrograde’s Arrival!

As of around midnight tonight, April 17, EST, Mercury will change directions and appear to move backwards in the sky for the next three weeks until May 11th, when it will change direction again and moves forwards. But those of you who pay attention to how often wacky things happen a few days away from the station Retrograde and station Direct of Mercury will already have known of its impending change of direction simply by the cloud of ash that has been drifting for the past few days from Iceland over the airspace of Europe!

I have pointed out before how Retrogrades, especially of Mars and Mercury, can throw havoc into travel plans! Case in point the snowstorms a few days before Mars went Retrograde on the 20th of December, throwing thousands, including myself, into limbo trying to get a flight out of New York for the holidays when almost no extra spots were available. And now several days before Mercury goes retrograde Iceland’s unpronounceable volcano is spewing ash into the stratosphere where the airplanes fly grounding almost all of Europe indefinitely! I’d also like to point out that the Jet Blue Valentines Day Crisis of February 14th 2007 happened on the day that Mercury was going retrograde for three weeks!
Anyone find a pattern here? It’s don’t book your flight several days before to several days after Mercury (or Mars) goes Retrograde! Ironically, traveling right around when Mercury goes Direct might actually not be so bad. I was actually traveling back from Mexico in March 2007 at the end of that Mercury Retro that started off with the Jet Blue Crisis, and although my flight was cancelled, they put us up free of charge at a lovely hotel in Cancun! Of course, how often does that happen realistically–in general I would steer clear of the beginning and end of any Retro for travel.
Can’t say that I would want to be stuck across the pond right about now. . . getting all those people back on their flights could take weeks! Say, maybe three weeks? The exact span of Mercury’s travel retrograde? Well we’ll see won’t we! Of note is in fact how many people are traveling right about now. A good chunck of my friends are out of town this week, and one is currently in Morocco. She returns next week and hopefully all will be well with her flight, but given connections, there could be some delays.
What good are all of these delays and rebookings then? Retrograde times are traditionally a time to RE-flect and think about the time since the last Mercury retrograde, and especially since the Shadow date, which in this case is April the 4th. Think of it like a three week long siesta of sorts. New projects may find a bit of trouble getting off the ground, as will planes (sorry for the pun) but if you stay where you are and even think backwards you may find either something you lost from the past, or a new way to think about something that will help you when Mercury finally goes direct in May.
So whether your flights or your plans are grounded, sometimes the best thing to do is just go with the flow–in this case think back, reflect, and rethink what you thought you knew. . . maybe you’ll discover a hidden gem from the past!


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