If you’ve heard of Mercury retrogrades, you’re probably aware that they have a reputation for causing broken equipment, delays, bad deals, and other problems. This book will help you sort out three important things: when Mercury retrogrades will occur, what energies each Mercury retrograde will emphasize, and most importantly, how to get through them with your sanity intact.

Blaze has organized the material in a sensible, easy-to-use way. She covers the variety of problems that might be encountered and discusses the overall nature of Mercury. She proceeds to examine how Mercury changes as it travels through different zodiac signs, and discusses the specific problems and issues that tend to arise as Mercury retrogrades in each sign. Then the author looks at Mercury retrogrades in the twelve houses, which adds another layer of meaning (and potential irritations). In each section, Blaze includes real-life examples that help the reader get a grip on just how these retrogrades can play out in peoples’ lives.

The second half of the book presents a Mercury retrograde survival guide. This is a list of strategies and methods of harnessing the energy of a Mercury retrograde period in a positive, productive way. Some of these tips are fairly basic, like don’t sign contracts and don’t buy new gizmos. There are specific suggestions about how to shift one’s focus to renewing and restoring one’s self, relationships, and things in the environment. The final 75 pages of the book contain a list of Mercury retrograde dates from 1920 to 2050.

Blaze makes this information very accessible to non-astrologers. She keeps it simple, avoids unnecessary astrological jargon, and writes in a friendly conversational tone that’s easy to digest. She covers her topic a very human, non-technical level so almost anyone can benefit from the text.

Since Mercury retrogrades have the potential to be a huge pain in the butt, this is a great book for those who want to get through these thrice-yearly periods with a minimum of distress and irritation. Practicing astrologers will benefit from the author’s many good ideas of information to offer clients and from the huge list of coping skills that will help clients get through these retrogrades with hardly a hair out of place.

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Author: Chrissie Blaze
O Books, 2008
pp. 214, $19.95