20100823

☿℞, ♄▢♇, and other identity crises

So i'm not really too big on astrology.  Most of it is kinda silly.

But i think there's some of it that's fairly legitimate that gets overlooked by "rational" people because it's lumped in with a lot of other superstitious foolishness.  If you believe we're not affected by things like the phases of the moon, you don't deserve to believe in tides, and don't blame me if you get sucked out to sea by a superstition.  And if you think the moon doesn't mess with people's heads, go to a hospital or a police station during a full moon.  Or tell those various sea creatures that only spawn during the full moon that they are evolutionarily out-of-touch, and they should just go extinct.

I think there are a lot of things that affect us very subtlely, sometimes subconsciously, and my rational brain says that should end with the moon, since that's the only thing that really has much of a "pull" on us, literally and figuratively.  But for several years now, i've been keeping track of other subtler astrological happenings that most definitely impact us, even though i can't find a logical explanation for them.  Two of the most profound of them just kicked our collective asses this weekend.

☿℞

Mercury went retrograde on Friday, and will remain in retrograde for another three weeks.  And experience tells me that it'll be yet another three weeks after that before all the things that go wrong in the meantime get put right again, when Mercury again passes the point where it "stationed" on Friday.


Mercury retrograde is an imaginary phenomenon whereby, due to our perspective in the solar system, Mercury, moving faster than us, appears to stop in the sky and move backwards about three times a year.  What this means in practical terms for us is that "the Messenger planet" basically takes a vacation.  Emails bounce.  Shipments get delayed or go missing.  Mail gets lost.  Computers break down.  404 File not Found errors abound.

I'm waiting to see how this plays out in this year's 1L orientation.  I can already tell you that our 4GB flashdrives that we plan on passing out at orientation are indefinitely backordered, and it now looks like they're not going to be here in time.  Worse yet, the incoming class size has increased and i'm getting worried that we are not going to have enough laptops for everyone.  I've placed an order for more (significantly before Mercury went awol), but no word on them yet.

♄▢♇

On a more personal note, we just completed our third run-through this year of Saturn square Pluto on Saturday, and the last for another twenty-some years.   Now, i can buy that the inner planets affect us.  Even Saturn and Jupiter have a gravitational affect on the Earth, cosmically speaking.  Jupiter is even in a 12:1 synchronous orbit with us.  But Pluto?  As far as i'm been able to tell, Uranus and Neptune don't really have much affect on us at all.  But that icy, rocky little former planet has the ability to mess things up on a grand scale.  I don't know why.  It has a particularly nasty affect on my life personally, and on select others i know, though some don't seem affected at all.  It's almost like an allergy of sorts.

Saturn square Pluto is all about conflicts between control issues, money, and secrets.  The traditional astrological definition calls for corruption in high places coming to light, governments and corporations failing, and general lack of compromise causing ruin and downfall.  Sneakiness and greed getting exposed all over the place.  Shady-Ass Behavior revealed.  It'll be interesting to see what, if anything, that means in the world at large.

Anyway, this is just some meaningless rambling at the moment, but it'll be interesting to look back at this in a month or two and see if anyone says, "Oh yeah, that's when blah-blah-blah happened."

So, good luck out there, stay safe, back up your computers, back up your backups, don't trust the mail, don't trust anyone, back up your computers again, and try to have fun.

On a particular note for IT folks - this is not the time to start working on your Disaster Recovery Plan: it's time to use one if you have it, and if you don't, you're just plain screwed.  (Creating one now, you're going to miss something fundamental, and you won't discover it doesn't work until it's too late.  Thanks Mercury.)