With Mercury and Neptune having turned retrograde we find ourselves in a strong retrograde period. Four traditional planets plus Chiron are retrograde now and the pull is to go back and re-do things that have been left undone. I thought it might be timely to repost this article from last year:

Murphy’s Law states, basically, that if anything can go wrong it will. Evidently the same law has been around for many years before Murphy took credit for it; previously it was called “sod’s law,” because it could happen to “any old sod.”

Murphy’s Law has generated a whole series of similar laws such as:

  • Everything takes longer than you think.
  • Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
  • If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong. Corollary: If there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will happen then.
  • If anything simply cannot go wrong, it will anyway.
  • If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop.
  • Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

It’s easy to turn Murphy’s Law into a negative approach to life, but there is another way to look at it which is to witness and appreciate the mystery that life presents us with at every turn. As astrologers, both professional and amateur, we look at our charts and attempt to use our knowledge of the planetary cycles to buffer ourselves from possible pain and loss. I used to think that looking at previous Saturn events would provide a clue to future Saturn events because the events would happen in the same astrological house, but now I know that to be a false assumption. If we are prepared for relationship problems under a Saturn transit, we will have work problems. If we are prepared for family matters a tree will fall on our house. Because a challenging planetary cycle demands something from us that is difficult it will find a way to challenge us in one way or another.

This kind of thinking flies in the face of a more “rational” approach to life which assumes that events occur in a completely random fashion, but if you keep track of the planetary cycles in your life you will soon find that while we can predict when challenge will come, we cannot predict what will happen. This is why attempting to use astrology (or any other art) to predict the future is doomed to fail; we are not meant to know. We are meant to experience the mystery and learn to have faith in the process, but we are given so many tools: Pluto to guide us through the underworld, Jupiter to provide faith and reason, Saturn to develop discipline and strength, and Neptune to facilitate the journey beyond the veils.

The rationality of science has robbed us in many ways from our connection to the magic of the universe. An acceptance of Murphy’s Law brings back the wonder of discovery if we face it with humor and a sense of adventure!

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