FOOD FOR THOUGHT - Chit U. Juan - The Philippine Star

Did you ever hear of planets in retrograde? I was introduced to this concept of Mercury retrograde when a business partner told me to check dates and times before signing contracts or having meetings needing major decisions. So I read up about it and found out Mercury is the planet of communications. And when it takes a backward spin, three times a year for about three weeks, things go awry in the communications department.

Being a communicator, a speaker and a writer has made me more conscious of the times Mercury goes retrograde. After all, if you cannot communicate or put across what you really want to say, what is the point? I remember my Speech 1 class in UP where the professor challenged you to communicate your thought to the class. It is not just the use of the right words, but to choose the delivery of the message as well. Half the job is the delivery, I believe. This is why we use timing, too. Timing on when to say things, how to say them, retrograde notwithstanding.

But, hear this. Last Nov. 10, Mars went retrograde, too. The planet Mars is for war, adversity, aggression, desire, passion, competitive energy, determination, etc. And it will stay in retrograde until January, the experts say. With Mars that way and Mercury going retrograde (Dec. 28 to Jan. 21), again late December, we better stay quiet and reflective instead. Let us not get into any debates or arguments this season.

I shared this with my sisters at a gathering for a college reunion. I shared that we must avoid arguments and debates, as no one will win but instead we may break relationships, partnerships and even close family ties. Maybe this is also the reason why the world seems to be in perfect disharmony.

The planets have always been there and it is not against any religion or faith. It is a guide to how energies are affected by what happens in the Universe. If you wish to know about my experiences when I choose to do things anyway despite retrograde, it is a long list of failed negotiations and even bad purchases. I advise people not to buy gadgets like phones during retrograde because phones are also used for communication, right?

You will always meet non-believers so just let them be. Some people think it is a sin to be aware of these things and choose to just pray about decision-making. There is absolutely nothing wrong about praying and making choices. But if things go the other way, we can always say God wants us to think again, and refresh or renew such decisions gone wrong. Each to his or her own. Prayer is always part of anyone’s reflections and daily life – no matter who he or she prays to or for.

I had a lawyer friend who first heard of this idea and was amused by it. After having his court cases deferred for three weeks or so, he asked me if retrograde was over. When I said yes, he heaved a sigh of relief as his cases finally went in his favor because retrograde was over.

Jeannie (my business partner in ECHOstore) and I bought airline tickets at a promotion knowing fully well it was Mercury retrograde. We ended up not being able to use all the tickets and paid dearly for the experience. Is it a conscious effort to try the planets? We just thought the offer was too good to pass up and took it, despite knowing it was not in tune with the Universe. Well, we paid for it.

So, what do we do now that it is Christmas and we need to buy gifts and meet family and have reunions?

Buy gifts that have nothing to do with communication.

Be pleasant and do not get into debates as no one will win.

Avoid any chance to get into an argument with friends and family.

Use this holiday season to be reconnected with friends.

The best gift, after all, is the gift of time. Spend time with friends and family. The tricky part is being conscious of what subjects you bring up during reunions. How many families have broken up because of wrong topics at the dining table – politics, religion, for example. Or saying tactless remarks about one’s weight, physical appearance, manner of dressing, etc.

If everyone knew about this retrograde period, do you think the world will be a better place? Would we be able to avoid debates and arguments? These discussions can be stressful not just for the speakers but to their audience as well. I remember a senator arguing with another senator and they were speaking at the same time – nobody won. They just got stressed and everyone who listened felt the tension, too.

With so many other problems in the world – rising prices, inflation, food insecurity and more, why would we add stress about communications? We should also be careful about what we write, not just what we say. So let us think twice about messages sent via Messenger, Viber and What’s App for we may not mean what we write. And the receiver may perceive it differently.

Communication is key in any relationship. We must be aware of how we sound to others. We must choose the right words. We must also be conscious of the timing of delivery of our statements – is she or he a morning person? Is he or she tired after 5 p.m.? It may sound so contrived if we did this but think about the arguments you could avoid by being mindful. After all, you can count who you can talk to without having second thoughts about your opinion. The rest of the world, however, needs to be talked to in a conscious and mindful manner.

Tact is needed. Make that your gift to everyone this holiday season.


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