Negative progress: Is there such a thing?

by | October 6, 2008

There may be times when you feel like you are spinning your wheels and not making any progress – similar to a retrograde; moving or tending backward. Even though this is frustrating, there is value in the experience – really.

Astrologically we are around the mid-point of the retrograde of the planet Mercury (September 24 to October 15) where it appears to be moving backward through the zodiac but the illusion is actually caused by the Earth’s rotation in relationship to the other planet.

How does this relate to your doctoral program?

Mercury generally rules thinking and perception, processing and disseminating information, and all means of communication, commerce, education and transportation. By extension, Mercury rules people who work in these areas, especially people who work with their minds or their wits, like yourself.

Mercury retrograde gives rise to personal misunderstandings: flawed, disrupted, or delayed communications and negotiations; glitches and breakdowns with phones, computers, and transportation. And all of these problems usually arise because some crucial piece of information or component, has gone astray or awry. Mercury is all about mental clarity and the power of the mind, so when Mercury is retrograde these intellectual characteristics tend to be less acute than usual, as the critical faculties are dimmed. Hence the connection to negative progress or a staled feeling.

The key issue here is one of focus. Mercury’s retro phase tends to bring unforeseen changes and blockages, but the aggravation and frustration that many of us experience during these periods is often due to our own inability to roll with the punches as they never seem to come at a convenient time – do they? Mercury sets out to restructure our thinking processes and for many of us this is painful and frustrating. Moreover, these experiences reveal flaws in our internal organization as well as our external planning, which can make us feel foolish and inadequate.

Your doctoral program can be view as a rollercoaster of a journey. What tare the incidences or elements in your life that throw you off track? How do you deal with them when they appear? It is healthy to reflect and learn from the difficult times.