Once I heard a talk by a spiritual teacher who mentioned the Middle East.  I think most of us think of that area as irrevocably stuck in animosity.  His message was “If you could see this from our perspective you would see that this area of the planet is continuously in a direct beam of energy from Mars.  This play performs a special role on the planet—  it shows everyone the effect of holding Mars energy, the energy of strife, the energy of making the other wrong.”

I was amazed.  I’d never even considered something like that as a basis for what is going on there.  But if you lived there, directly in a beam of energy from Mars, you would want to be aware of the influence and live beyond it.  It’s the same  with all the powerful magnetic energies we experience from the planetary system we live in– the moon, the sun and it’s flares, or the planets.

Though it is not something we regularly take into consideration, the influence of planetary bodies on our bodies is real.  As a yogi you want to feel it, recognize it, and be able to live beyond it.

You need only ask a mariner about the influence of the moon on the tides, or a scientist about the moon’s influence on the water in our bodies.  The earth has a magnetic field, and so do we.  And these you can ask a quantum physicist who can measure that magnetic field.

Yogi Bhajan talked about all these things.

Three times a year the orbiting path of Mercury in relationship to Earth causes a pattern that is described as “retrograde”.  These periods last about 3 weeks each.

The yogis understood these as periods of challenge in the subtlety of communication and connection.   Think of it this way:  long before we open our mouths our magnetic fields have come into contact with the other person.  If the magnetic field is subject to a special pull during these periods then the magnetic fields that are interacting are different.  We’re different.  Instruments of communication that rely on these magnetic fields are also subject to the changes in them from planetary influence.

Yogi Bhajan, who was asked about this, said  “If we didn’t have these three periods a year the human would go crazy from the upward spiraling energy of communication and connection.  A  time of rest is absolutely essential.”  When Mercury goes into the retrograde pattern and there may not be as much energy for connection outwardly, the yogis counseled to use that time to go inward.

As a yogi who works in the world—I work for the Yogi Tea Co—I can schedule some of my own meetings and communication, and I’m also subject to the schedules of others.  I try not to schedule important meetings or meetings where the communication or issue is delicate during Mercury retrograde times, but I also have to be able to function effectively at any time.

That means being careful with communication, making doubly sure the other understands, that points of agreement are written and understood, and being patient if connection seems fractured or hard to establish.  I’ve learned to wait if communication is not working out.

Some interpret this energy fanatically—they’d advise not to sign a contract during Mercury retrograde, not to have any important conversation, not to schedule any big event where communication is key.

I’ve found as a Kundalini Yoga teacher that advising students of this near the beginning of a retrograde period comes with lots of gratitude to be “tipped off” to being attuned to the energy.  And teaching a kriya or two for effective communication makes it a great class.