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August 9th to August 14th 2004
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MONDAY August 9
Olympic Games and Mercury Retrograde email
The Ancient Greeks would surely have consulted the gods about the timing of their festivals. What would they have made of an Olympic Games under a retrograde Mercury? Will the marathon have to be re-run or run backwards?
I doubt the ancients would recognise this current trend to be so gloomy about retrograde Mercury. Interestingly, several recent Olympics took place under such a climate without difficulty. I think the heavenly messenger retracing its steps over the next few weeks will simply mean an exceptionally high number of world records are broken.
TUESDAY August 10
Mercury Retrograde on a birthday email
Is there any particular significance when Mercury goes retrograde on someone's birthday?
About twice a year, for a few weeks, Mercury appears to be move backwards. It's an optical illusion but astrologers see much significance in it although, if your birthday falls during this time, it doesn't necessarily signify a lot. There are points though, just at the start and the end of the 'retrograde' phase when Mercury 'stands still'. It is standing still now and we read a lot into this, as you can see from the birthday prediction in our On This Day section.
WEDNESDAY August 11
Mercury never goes retrograde email
A friend of mine who is an astronomer says that Mercury never goes retrograde, only the outer planets do that.
No planets ever actually travel backwards along their orbits. When you watch them from here, though, there will be times of year when they LOOK as if they are moving in reverse. Your friend, I think, is referring to the REASON why such an optical illiusion occurs. There's one technical explanation for the effect when it involves planets from Mars outward. There's a slightly different one when it happens with Venus and Mercury.
THURSDAY August 12
Relevance of Perseid meteor shower on forecasts email
What relevance do shooting stars, like those in last night Perseid meteor shower have on our forecasts? Do you take them into consideration?
These things definitely do have significance... but only if you can see them. As most of the UK is under a very thick blanket of cloud at the moment, few of us are getting a chance to see this particular annual display of natural fireworks. But there will be others, soon enough. Shooting stars all have one simple meaning. They are opportunities to make a wish and have it heard!
FRIDAY August 13
Friday the Thirteenth comment
It may be Friday the thirteenth but there are no awkward alignments taking place. The ancient astrological textbooks say not one word about problems with the number thirteen or a particular day of the week. Mind you, I often make the same point about February 14. This too, has nothing to do with the planets, but because so many people choose to believe it is a day for romance, that's what it becomes. It proves the power of free will. If you really want to see today as a time to worry, you can soon turn it into one!
SATURDAY August 14
No thought for the Day