Sometimes when it’s Mercury retrograde, I just want to go into one of those Lascaux styled caves, or maybe a kiva up in the Taos Pueblo and just hang out with some clean water and bushel of fresh fruit, nuts and seeds, but since I’ve already been in a cave-like setting for the last two weeks, it doesn’t really play out that way. So here I am, fire walking across the pit of Mercury Retrograde. It’s already hit. My guest for tonight canceled. Oh well, that means I’ll be doing live mini-reading over on the BlogTalk side of things during MR. Should be interesting. Maybe I’ll go into the future and work backwards for people.
I’ve been thinking abut cinema and what films really portray MR in the truest light. I came up with three that really communicate the essence of MR and two of them are time travel films. Let’s start with the first.
GROUND HOG DAY
Can anyone think of a film that is more MR than the Bill Murray classic? The scene where he drives off the cliff with the stolen Phil has got to be one of the top ten comedic scenes of all time. When he punches Ned in the face, is a close second. Murray had had a string of minor hits, but nothing like Meatballs, Ghost Busters, Stripes or Caddy Shack. That was Bill Murray (Virgo) in his zone. He went off road to try some zen comedy in Somerset Maughm’s classic, “Razor’s Edge” but Murray and the quest for truth only made sense if you were up away too late in a hotel in Miami on acid, but that’s a whole-nuther-story. “What About Bob” was a minor Murray classic. It wasn’t until he was able to channel all that smarm and charm into the cynical feature correspondent, “Phil,” the same name of the celebrated ground hog from Punxatawny. The rumor is that Harold Ramis, The Director, modeled “Groundhog Day” after The Strange Life Of Ivan Osokin which is about a man that gets to live his life over and the same results happen, even though he supposedly makes different choices. The whole concept of “free will” is examined throughout Ouspensky’s novel and eventually gets a workout in Groundhog Day as well.
Ramis’ film is about a time loop that gets played over and over again, until Murray can master the art of letting go and serving. This is critical, because once he’s able to realize that he is stuck in a loop, he begins to manipulate reality based on his foreknowledge of events. It works until he tries to seduce the pretty producer played by Andie McDowell. Once he is in the realm of the heart, his manipulation of time and space fails. That’s when he has the epiphany of being in the moment and serving others instead of self. MR, especially MR in Virgo.
In addition to being a Virgo, Murray also has Mercury Retrograde in Virgo. While “Groundhog Day” is a bit extreme, the recycling of time and experiences are some of the awkward gifts of Mercury Retrograde. These are usually experiences that we have had in the past, that may or may not have been fully resolved that get reanimated so that we can refine our response-ability. It’s not easy, but I’m willing to bet that 90% of MR related events can be traced back to some other place and time. If you really want to master MR, do your best to not get caught in reactive mode. Stay away from blame. Respond. Oh yeah. Rent “Groundhog Day” to witness Bill Murray master the moment.
You might know this film by it’s more modern name, “12 Monkeys.” While Terry Gilliam’s version adds his unique, surreal sheen, to the original, “La Jetee” is stunning in it’s simplicity. Directed by Chris Marker, it’s essentially a montage of slides that tells the story of a man travels back in time from a dystopian future, where the forces of darkness are trying to right the wrongs they had inflicted on the world (theoretically). Any time you get into time travel, there’s always the chance that the continuum can be screwed up in theory, but in reality, it wouldn’t because no one would ever really know, since “reality” would conform to the series of actions/choices/outcomes. This is at the core of “La Jetee.” The thing that I love about the original is that instead of Gilliam’s filmic rendition, it’s slides, and they represent the beauty and horror of the moment. Now, unlike “Groundhog Day” there is no mastery or epiphany of time in “La Jetee” but as far as MR goes, it reinforces the moment. The love scenes that take place in the museum are stunning in their ability to convey the moment and be a bride through time as the man from the future, falls in love with the woman from the present in the cathedral of the past. That brief, monochromatic montage communicates the “moment” better than just about any film I’ve ever seen.
Where do I start? Is it the skewed time and looping narrative? Is it a bullet going off in a brain driving down the LA streets by accident? Is it a boxer that refused to lay down in the ring based on a bet and killed a man in the process, then runs over the man he crossed? Or how about the bad luck of robbing a diner with the angel of death eating fries at table 20? Or how about the dead actors, actresses and singers, resurrected, posing as waiters and waitresses? Finally, it could be the moll of gang lord, snorting White China smack, thinking it’s coke and having to be resurrected by a spike of adrenalin to the heart? See what I mean?
Tarantino’s classic is literally an homage to Mercury Retrograde. Everything that can possibly go wrong, does. Strange attractions and even stranger syncs. Even Jules has a shot at redemption on a day where he accidentally killed a man and purposefully killed a few more. At gun point, bullets miraculously fly past them. A bad MR moment for the kid hanging out in the bathroom and then jumping Vincent and Jules to no avail. Tarantino (Aries) has Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, all retrograde in his chart. Neptune the planet of film is perhaps the most meaningful of the three in terms of how retrograde style gets played out. In the precursor to “Pulp,” “Reservoir Dogs” also has a similar elliptical or looped narrative. Is there any astrological wisdom we can derive from “Pulp Fiction”? Likely, not. It’s just an extreme example of how MR can get played out and the wicked twists and turns it can take.
STRATEGIES FOR THIS MR
It’s in Virgo so there is bound to be a lot of nervous energy jumping off the rails. First things first. Meditate. Essential for MR and even more for these times. I found out recently that the economist, Gerald Celente meditates. You can sit down cross legged or, find some activity, to quiet and still your mind. That’s essential. Take stock of things that are deeply Virgoan like first aid kits, batteries, candles, fresh water, some extra food, you get the idea. Look at your health and resurrect some exercise program or modality of eating that will keep you grounded, clearer and healthier. Take time out to review how you serve others and self. In fact, if you have the time, take time out period. If you’re unemployed, like many are, then this is a very good time to figure out what you can do to make money or at the very least, barter talents, goods and exchange them for services or other goods. On a global front, I see this MR coinciding with more negative news surfacing around the global economy. The results of the Greek bailout and the attendant austerity measures are not good. The economy in Greece is grinding as the unemployment rate has gone from 8.5% to 12.1% and up to 60-70% in some places, like Perama. The ugly truth about austerity measures will emerge during this MR and it will have a powerful effect on the overall economic picture. MR in Virgo begets more belt tightening.
Over the next few days, I’ll continue to plumb Mercury Retrograde and look back on key moments in history that have helped bring us to this precarious precipice.