Retrograde Mercury and Comet Hale - Bopp
by Felissa Rose

On April 14, 1997 at 7:56 PM EDT, Mercury will go retrograde at nine degrees and 36 minutes of Taurus. This will last until May 8, 2:02 PM EDT when Mercury goes direct at 29 degrees 29 minutes of Aries. Most of the time Mercury will be moving through Taurus, sign of much that is tangible -- whether money, possessions or land.

Since Mercury rules information, it would be best not to enter into new investments, acquire property or purchase major goodies such as a car or computer while this planet is retrograde. What you see may not be what you get, as pertinent facts are either withheld or overlooked during the Mercury retrograde period.

Effects of Mars Retrograde

Taurus rules and is ruled by the Earth. When planets are retrograde there are frequent delays in the areas they govern. With Mars also retrograde in another earth sign Virgo until April 27, sign of the harvest, planting a garden could entail a great deal of frustration. The weather might not be too cooperative and it could be difficult finding the things you want to plant. Purchase your seeds before or after the Mercury retrograde, particularly if itís something youíre planting for the very first time. There is a good chance you wonít find it or the quality of the seedlings or plants could be inferior.

Comet Hale - Bopp

We are presently being visited by a comet of intense magnitude -- Comet Hale - Bopp. Present scientific belief is that comets originated at the same time as our solar system was formed about 4.5 billion years ago. When the planets were created, debris was left over from their formation. The debris consisting of rock and metal became asteroids. The rest of the rubble was made up of frozen ice containing water and other liquids and gases, and these are the comets. These comets are usually situated far from the Sun in the outer reaches of our solar system. If they get too close to the Sun they would melt and dissolve. Once in a while the gravity of a passing stellar object will come by and dislodge the comet propelling it towards the Sun.

Usually comets arenít very large -- about 8 miles or so in mass. This mass is referred to as the nucleus. As the comet moves towards the Sun and its warmth, it ceases to be solid and becomes gaseous, merging with the dust drifting off it to create a hazy cloud thousands of miles over the nucleus giving it a blurry appearance. As it nears the Sun, the comet develops a tail taking on a characteristic comet-like appearance.

Comet Hale-Bopp came into the earthly sphere of influence on February 28, 1996 when it crossed the ecliptic, the path the Earth orbits around the Sun. It came nearest to the Earth on January 1, 1997 and will be closest to the Sun on April 1, 1997.

Comet Lore

Throughout history leaders have been wary of comets, and for good reason. They usually herald great changes in worldly and spiritual developments. In December 1973 the Comet Khoutek was at itís nearest position to the Sun. Khoutek wasnít particularly visible in the sky and as a result was considered to be insignificant by many in the astronomical community.

But Khoutek was nearest to the Sun in the sign of Capricorn, ruler of governmental leaders and presidents. Within one year almost every head of state of the major world powers was no longer in office including our own president, Richard Nixon. The magnitude of this leadership change was so noticeable that even Walter Cronkite commented about it on the evening news.

Comets frequently propel individuals to behave in ways that are atypical for them -- breaking up routines, setting them into new directions. During the last visit of Haleyís Comet in February 1986 one woman I know suddenly surprised everyone by getting married. As an Aquarian she was enjoying her life of single bliss, doing what she wanted and not having to explain herself to anyone else. A few months earlier when Comet Haley came closest to the earth she met a man through a chance meeting. This fellow being an Aries was in hot pursuit and was determined to have her marry him. This Aquarian lady fell into an unstoppable momentum and married on her birthday in February, 1986, the day Haleyís comet came closest to the Sun. The wedding cake was even decorated with comets. A few months later when the comet moved away she realized that she had made a mistake and got a divorce with the realization that she did want to share her life but with a harmonious partner, which this one wasnít. The Aquarian subsequently married again after a longer courtship and is now living contentedly in a most congenial partnership.

Comet Hale-Boppís Effects

Comet Hale-Boppís momentum started about January 1, 1997 when it was at itís nearest point to the earth. Thatís when it influence began to strengthen. Many of you might feel like the aforementioned Aquarian woman, being pushed into taking risks or altering parts of your life and that thereís no way of stopping it. On April 1, 1997 at Hale-Boppís conjunction or closest placement to the Sun itís intensity will be at peak. Like the Aquarian lady who suddenly entered into an incompatible relationship, you could lose the battle. But you could also win the war as she did when she realized that sharing her life with a partner was the right way to live and now is in a loving and harmonious relationship.

This conjunction or uniting of the Sun and Hale-Bopp on April 1, is in the constellation of Aries, sign of beginnings. This could usher in a new start for the world as we are about to enter a new millennium. Fresh starts in our personal lives are a reflection of this beginning. "As above so below" certainly would apply here. On May 6, 1997 the comet crosses the ecliptic away from us and itís effect will continue to weaken. After that we can reassess the events and actions ushered in by Comet Hale-Bopp.

Copyright 1997 by Felissa Rose. Felissa Rose

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