"WHAT IS MERCURY
RETROGRADE?"

    Mercury Retrograde happens three times per year and lasts for three weeks each time.  
    From our perspective here on Earth, the planet Mercury appears to move backward in the
    sky at these times.  Technically, it doesn't move backward at all, it's just our perception.  It is
    due to Mercury's position and movement in relation to the Earth that gives us this perception
    of backwards motion.

    When measured against the backdrop of the fixed stars, from the perspective of an observer
    on the Earth, it actually does slow down, stop, and move backward.  Actually, Mercury does
    not move backwards any more than a car travelling at thirty miles per hour appears to be
    moving backwards from the perspective of an observer in another car passing by at anything
    over thirty miles per hour.  All of the planetary factors above us, except the Sun and the
    Moon, will partake of this phenomena.

    It tends to be a problematic time for many, however, with a few precautions, can be dealt
    with effectively.

    The Difficulties Of This Time Are As Follows:
    1.)  It is not a good time to buy mechanical or electronic devices which includes
    everything from can openers to cars, and computers to cell phones.  They
    will tend to break down, not perform as anticipated or needed, or they may
    become obsolete much sooner than expected.

    2.)  It is a bad time to make commitments or to try to make commitments.  It will be
    difficult to get all parties to agree.  New information will be revealed after the         
    agreements are signed that will change the nature and meaning of the
    commitments.  Not necessarily bad things, just different things.

    3.)  Changes in plans, meetings postponed, people being late, things lost in the
    mail, mis-communications, misspellings, and decimal points not being in the
    right place all will happen more often than usual.  Just take your time and
    double-check everything; and then prepare to be flexible.

    4.)  Test taking, as well as the application of any subjects that require precise
    measurements and specific facts to be memorized, will prove to be more
    problematic than usual.

    In These Cases:
    Do not plan for specific activities to work out as planned.  Expecting specific outcomes is the
    problem.  The delays and problems are, in the grand cosmic scheme, quite normal.  Things
    get lost in the mail, mis-communications happen, appointments are missed, airplanes are
    late, these are just days that are bad to take tests, when cars can be lemons, and plans get
    changed.  The trick is to plan your activities at these times so that there is some leeway for
    these very normal occurrences, at these times.

    Some Mercury Retrograde time-periods are more intense or stronger than others and some
    individuals experience them more intensely than others.  Much depends upon personal
    expectations and what is trying to be accomplished.  It is difficult to know which will be which
    and what will be what for each individual, so plan ahead.

    There Are Many Activities That Are Favored:
    1.)  It is a good time to study, gather information, and for researching.

    2.)  Brain-storming and open-ended discussions are favored.

    3.)  Meditation, in all forms, spiritual and intellectual, are very beneficial.

    4.)  Vacations, in the true spirit of getting away from it all, and exploring some
    unusual and unfamiliar territory are favored, but only if there are no
    schedules or deadlines.

    In These Cases:
    Expect no specific results.  The mind does not always work in a linear, logical, or mechanical
    fashion, so getting away from it all, relaxing, and doing something 'mindless', or radically
    different will allow the imaginative part of the mind to function more easily.

    Also:
    The dates that follow are universal.  This means that no matter what other influences are
    occurring, all people will experience them.  Of course, not everyone will experience the same
    events.  Some individuals will experience more difficulties than others.

    All of the possible problems and all of the beneficial effects, while very normal regardless of
    Astrology, will just happen with a greater frequency than at other, non-Mercury Retrograde
    times.

    Upcoming Dates For Mercury Retrograde:
    I allow a few days to a week after Mercury goes direct.  
    Plans made during this time, no matter when the actual planned activities are set to occur,
    will be affected.

    For 2016:  January 5 through January 25th
                    April 28 through May 22
                    August 30 through September 22
                    December 19 through January 8 2017

    For 2017:  April 9th through May 3rd
                   August 13th through September 5th
                   December 3 through December 24th

This dramatic image offers a peek inside a cavern of roiling dust and gas where thousands of stars are forming.  
More than 3,000 stars of various sizes appear in this sharpest image ever taken of the Orion Nebula M42, also
known as NGC 1976.  Some of them have never been seen in visible light.  These stars reside in a dramatic
dust-and-gas landscape of plateaus, mountains, and valleys that are reminiscent of the Grand Canyon.  The
Orion Nebula is a picture book of star formation, from the massive, young stars that are shaping the nebula to
the pillars of dense gas that may be the homes of budding stars.  The bright central region is the home of the
four heftiest stars in the nebula.  The stars are called the Trapezium because they are arranged in a trapezoid
pattern.  Ultraviolet light unleashed by these stars are carving a cavity in the nebula and disrupting the growth of
hundreds of smaller stars.  The bright glow at upper left is M43, a small region being shaped by a massive,
young star's ultraviolet light.  Astronomers call the region a miniature Orion Nebula because only one star is
sculpting the landscape.  The Orion Nebula has four such stars.  Next to M43 are dense, dark pillars of dust and
gas that point towards the Trapezium.  These pillars are resisting erosion from the Trapezium's intense
ultraviolet light.  The glowing region on the right reveals arcs and bubbles formed when stellar winds - streams
of charged particles ejected by the Trapezium star - collide with material.  The Orion Nebula is the nearest
star-forming region to Earth and is 1,500 light-years away.

          One light-year = traveling @ 186,000 miles per second,
                     x 60 seconds per minute, x 60 minutes per hour,
                         x 24 hours in one day, x 365 days per year!
                    Multiplied By 1,500 To Reach The Orion Nebula!