Mercury Retrograde Wednesdays: The Aquarius Edition

We are 5 days into the first Mercury retrograde for 2021 and it’s taken me this long to finally get this post completed. That’s my life as an Aquarius Sun/Mercury, with Gemini rising, when Mercury goes retrograde: plans go sideways, surprises pop up, technology can get wonky. How about you? How have you been forced to pivot lately?

Mercury retrograde, Mercury, Aquarius, Mercury in Aquarius, girl with moxie, astrology
While Mercury retrograde can be very challenging, it’s also our opportunity to slow things down and be open to changes. With Mercury retrograde in Aquarius, the sign of innovation and revolution, it might be more dramatic than usual. But we can channel this energy and make it work for us, not against us.

Mercury: The Basics

Because retrograde cycles ask us to review content, let’s review what we know about Mercury from mythology. Mercury (Hermes) is the messenger of the gods in Greek and Roman mythology. Zeus had a lot of affection for Mercury’s cleverness and entrusted him with several tasks. Mercury was the only god who could freely move into the underworld and was a psychopomp, guiding souls to the underworld. (To learn more about Mercury/Hermes, I highly recommend watching this episode of “Great Greek Myths.”)

Mercury is a trickster and shapeshifter. He loves a good joke or prank. While I’ve listed some of the things Mercury rules in a previous post, Mercury also rules:

      • Artisans & craftspeople
      • Bicycling
      • Butterflies
      • Carrots and celery
      • Clothing
      • Conversation
      • Dictionaries and encyclopedias
      • Dogs
      • Fingers, fingernails, hands and arms
      • Handwriting
      • Hygiene – personal and public
      • Imagination
      • Memory
      • Roller skates
      • Stories & storytelling

In astrology, the term retrograde refers to when a planet appears to move backward through the signs. Retrograde cycles for the planets vary – and Mercury’s retrograde cycles are among the shortest, logging in at approximately three weeks. If it feels longer, that’s due to the shadow period, an approximately two-week period when Mercury is moving along a path that it will revisit later. There’s a pre- and post-retrograde shadow period: typically the post-retrograde shadow is not as intense as the pre-retrograde shadow and is more of a final review of everything that occurred during Mercury retrograde.

The dates for Mercury retrograde in Aquarius are:

  • January 15, 2021 – Mercury enters shadow period
  • January 30, 2021 – Mercury stations retrograde at 26 degrees Aquarius
  • February 20, 2021 – Mercury stations direct at 11 degrees Aquarius
  • March 13, 2021 – Mercury leaves shadow period

As I’ve said before, Mercury has an excellent marketing/PR team because so many people are aware of Mercury retrograde cycles and how it affects travel, electronic devices, and communication. Those of us with Mercury predominant in our charts (Gemini and Virgo Sun/Rising, in particular) may struggle the most when Mercury is retrograde. The beauty of studying astrology, though, is learning how how planetary transits and retrograde cycles may affect our lives, and finding ways to work with those energies. Being aware of upcoming Mercury retrograde cycles can help you prepare for them. When Mercury is retrograde or about to go retrograde, regardless of your personal placements, it can help to:

      • Create contingency plans for events that will take place during Mercury retrograde
      • Work on communicating clearly with colleagues, clients, customers about projects and tasks
      • Focus on listening deeply to others
      • Accept that plans may go sideways and you will have to be flexible in your response

As you’ve read in my previous posts about Mercury retrograde, Venus retrograde, and Mars retrograde, you know that retrograde periods are a time to move inward. It’s an opportunity to slow down and be reflective on what that sign rules. And since Mercury rules Wednesday, I encourage you to celebrate Mercury Retrograde Wednesdays for the remainder of this current cycle – and perhaps during the shadow period as well. From now through February 17 (and, if you’re so inclined, through March 11) spend the next couple Wednesdays honoring this versatile, multitalented planet with some very mercurial activities.

Mercury retrograde in Aquarius, mercury retrograde, mercury, retrograde planets, aquarius, girl with moxie, astrology
Activities for Mercury Retrograde Wednesdays: Aquarius Edition

Break your own rules. Aquarius loves a good dose of shock and awe, and with Mercury in retrograde in this sign now’s the time to look at the rules you live by and see if it’s time to break them – especially if those rules are keeping you stuck in unhealthy habits, beliefs or mindsets. I am NOT encouraging you to be unsafe or break the law! To borrow a phrase from reformer & activist John Lewis, consider where you can make good trouble in your own life.

Read about activists, revolutionaries, reformers, and innovators. Aquarius is the sign of revolution, reformation and innovation, and Mercury rules reading, so read books and essays written by or about folks such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malala Yousafzai, Mahatma Gandhi, Gloria Steinem, Harvey Milk, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Emma Tenayuca, Cesar Chavez, and Luisa Moreno. Online searches on activists will pull up even more names, so have fun with it!

Contact your local leaders. Advocate for your community by sending an email or postcard to your local, regional or national leaders about issues that matter to you.

Get outside. If it’s safe enough for you to do so, go for a bike ride or strap on some roller skates. Take a short trip by car to a place you’ve never been before. No matter your mode of transportation, make sure everything’s in good shape before you start: check tires & wheels, fill up the gas tank, have a paper map handy, bring a phone charger. And don’t forget your keys!

Write often, especially by hand. Get some paper and pen/pencil and write down what’s on your mind. Give it all to the page – it can handle what you have to rant or rave about. Read my post about daily writing rituals if you need some suggestions on how to start.

May this Mercury retrograde period bring you fresh insights into what is in need of change and upheaval in your life, and what changes you wish to bring about, whether it’s personally, professionally, regionally or globally.

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Moxie’s Gilmore Girls Review, Part 3: The Good – Plus Netflix Revival Wishes and Predictions

ICYMI: Read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.

And now, the things I really liked about Gilmore Girls – including how a scene in the final episode allowed me to forgive many of the show’s missteps over its seven-season run – and what I hope we’ll see in the Netflix reboot, which will be four seasonally themed episodes of 90 minutes each.

Secondary Characters

These are the characters I loved watching. They took the clever dialogue and ran with it, making the character their own.

Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy). Photo courtesy Fanpop.com

Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy) – She steals every scene she is in, from her banter with Lorelei to her kitchen mishaps. The courtship of Sookie and Jackson is fun to watch, as they are both so inept and clueless at dating, which I can relate to more than I’d like to admit.

 

Kirk Gleason (Sean Gunn). Photo courtesy BuddyTV.com

Kirk Gleason (Sean Gunn) – Kirk’s deadpan delivery and full on commitment to everything he gets involved with, whether it’s Taylor’s latest scheme to improve life in Stars Hollow or an entrepreneurial venture, won me over. In some ways he’s a small town Cosmo Kramer on sedatives.

Taylor Doose (Michael Winters). Photo courtesy theodysseyonline.com

Taylor Doose (Michael Winters) – While Taylor was often annoying, his commitment to Stars Hollow and his ongoing battles with Luke and other townspeople about the most ridiculous things was truly amusing.

Gil, Gilmore Girls, Hep Alien, Sebastian Bach, Keiko Agena, Lane Kim, rock and roll, drama, comedy, television, Amy Sherman-Palladino
Gil (Sebastian Bach) with Lane Kim (Keiko Agena).

 

Gil (Sebastian Bach) – Who would have thought that the lead singer of Skid Row would make such an awesome character on GG? As soon as he showed up to audition for Hep Alien and brought the band sandwiches, I knew he was a keeper.

Richard Gilmore (Edward Herrmann) – Richard was a stuffed shirt with a soft underbelly, as could be seen in his interactions with granddaughter Rory. He was erudite without apology and witty beyond measure. I can’t imagine anyone else having played this role so well.

Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop) – Emily’s ongoing battles with her maids and her commitment to keeping up appearances often had me laughing. I also appreciate characters who love a good martini. The chemistry and banter between her and Richard (Edward Herrmann) was fantastic.

Edward Herrmann, Kelly Bishop, Gilmore Girls, Richard Gilmore, Emily Gilmore, Amy Sherman-Palladino, television, comedy, drama
Richard and Emily Gilmore in a classic scene. Photo courtesy Buzzfeed.com

A special shout out to GG for explaining the significance of owning a Birkin bag. Regular readers of GWM know how upset I got over Mindy Kaling’s use of Birkins on her show, so when I got to the episode in which Logan gives Rory a Birkin, and Emily’s reaction to hearing that Rory got a Birkin, I was very pleased.

As an aficionado of pop culture, I enjoyed all the clever pop culture references. There were many I missed or didn’t understand, but they added a lot of brevity to the show. According to a December 2015 article on Vulture.com, there were 284 references to movies, 339 references to books Rory has read or is reading, and 396 songs heard on the show. Amy Sherman-Palladino has said that she wanted the show to be something everyone could enjoy, and I think the references added a little something extra to students of pop culture, without alienating those who aren’t.

What got me to forgive all the show’s missteps with plots and characters? The final episode, which demonstrated what GG was really about: the relationships between the townspeople. The Gilmore Girls may have been the focus and the pitch, but the true star of the show was the town of Stars Hollow. This collection of quirky characters was a true community, loving and fighting and coming together to support each other when it was really important. It was a scene in the final episode, “Bon Voyage,” when Babette, Miss Patty, and several other characters were gathered under the tent, looking at Rory with love and pride, that got me all choked up and saying, in true Gilmore referential fashion, “That’ll do, pig, that’ll do.”

Still from the “Bon Voyage” episode, the series finale. Photo courtesy lovelace-media.imgix.net

The Netflix Reboot: My Wish List

The four-part reboot of Gilmore Girls is currently in production. According to TV.com, each 90-minute segment focuses on a different season of the year, and the first segment will be “Winter.” While the roll call for casting is pretty well known at this point, the plot lines are sketchy at best. Here’s a few plot lines/scenes on my wish list:

Kirk is married with kids and one of his kids is just like him. This has the potential to be very funny and charming, with the right child actor in the role. 

Lane & Zach are managing a Christian rock band with their twins as members. Maybe one of Kirk’s kids keeps trying to convince them to let him/her into the band. 

A Mr. Kim appearance, even if it’s a visit to his grave (in the same cemetery as Richard Gilmore, perhaps). GG viewers never saw Mr. Kim, and nothing was ever said to indicate if he was alive, dead, or if he had left the family. We want to know! 

Luke has completed the boat. After all that fussing over the damn boat for so long, let’s see it out on the water, Luke at the helm, with Lorelai pretending she’s Rose from Titanic on the boat’s bow and falling overboard.

Jess and Rory reconnect as lovers. He’s matured enough by now to be a good partner to Rory, even if just for a short time, and after all this time away, she may need someone who knows her back story as well as her passion for good music and books to show her some affection.

The Final 4 Words: My Fearless Prediction

There’s been a lot of talk about the four final words Amy Sherman-Palladino had in mind for the end of the series. Lauren Graham revealed in a recent interview that it’s actually an exchange between characters. In light of this revelation, here’s my prediction on what the script looks like for those final four words:

INT. LUKE’S DINER – NIGHT

LUKE is behind the counter, wiping down equipment. The diner is deserted except for LORELAI sitting at the counter.

LUKE

More coffee?

He holds the carafe above LORELAI’s mug, waiting for her answer. She looks up at him, waits a beat. Their eyes are locked on each other.

LORELAI

Yes, please.

She lifts the mug with her left hand. An engagement ring is on her finger. Luke pours the coffee into her mug and smiles coyly at her. Lorelai smiles coyly in return. The camera pulls back to show the couple talking and laughing through the window of the diner.

FADE OUT


Mindy, We Are So Over

Turns out most of my blog traffic lately has been due to my post on Mindy Kaling and the Hermès Birkin bag sighting on her show. I find it rather amusing, but also interesting that people are trying to find out more about the bag.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen my rants about the second Birkin bag Mindy was carting around. (I’ve posted the tweets below, since it’s been a while.)

 

The second Birkin was a lovely shade of geranium pink (not a true red, as it were) and it goes for 16,999 here.

Then there were three.

The third Hermès Birkin bag, according to the folks over at Createurs de Luxe, is valued at over $22,750.

Photo courtesy Hermes Purse Forum

It was after this third bag that I decided to stop watching this show. I couldn’t even make it to the season finale this past week, which according to a couple TV pundits & bloggers was quite good.

But I have tapped out. All because of three expensive handbags.

Now, to be clear, I don’t have a problem with Hermès, or the Birkin bag. I think they are gorgeous and lovely, and if I had the income that allowed me to purchase one without having to live in my car for a year three years, I would totally do it. My problem is with the production team for “The Mindy Project” and Mindy herself for having this character lug around $56,748 (according to my math) in purses. It requires a major suspension of disbelief that I’m unwilling to do.

If you watched “Sex and the City” you may remember the Season 4 episode “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” where Samantha (Kim Cattrall) uses client Lucy Liu’s name as a way to get herself bumped up on the waiting list at Hermès for a Birkin. That was believable. And I’m willing to give Mindy the luxury of one Birkin bag – the initial Bleu Jean Leather Birkin, to be exact. I can find it believable that a female OB-GYN in Manhattan would have one mega-expensive handbag in her accessory repertoire. But for a character to lug around three different Birkin bags in the course of one season, without any other female character making a comment or wisecrack about the purses, is highly suspect to me.

What’s interesting is that the folks over at Hermès Purse Forum don’t know if the bags belong to Mindy or if they are on loan from a production company. Not sure if the company would tell them, or anyone else for that matter, if the bags belong to Mindy. And if they do belong to Ms. Kaling, it’s time to keep the bags off the show and on her arm in tabloid photos, where they belong. From what I’ve read, Dr. Mindy Lahiri, her character on the show, is supposedly going to Haiti, where, for the cost of just one Birkin bag, you could feed the entire country for a month.

So that’s it for us, Mindy. We’re over. Maybe, in time, we’ll look back on this period in our lives and laugh about how silly it was for me to get hung up on some expensive purse. But for now, it’s best we part. And when I sell my novel and can buy a Birkin of my very own, I promise to consult you first.

 

You Can’t Fool Me, Mindy Kaling

Last week I was catching up on my stories, by which I mean going through the shows in my Hulu queue and watching them. One of those stories shows is “The Mindy Project”, starring the fabulously funny Mindy Kaling. I was the one person in America who did not watch “The Office” (TV is supposed to be an escape from reality and “The Office” was never that for me), but I liked her. I may be biased because my cousin Susie* looks like her. So much like Mindy, in fact, that people have called her Mindy on the street and had their picture taken with her and asked for her autograph. I could be making that last part up. But I think she told me that once. In any event it’s a good story. (Update: Susie confirms this has actually happened on several occasions.)

Back to my point. I was watching Episode 2, titled “Hiring and Firing.” It starts with Mindy riding the New York subway with her colleague. She’s carrying a beautiful blue handbag, which in and of itself wouldn’t have been a problem if I hadn’t known what kind of bag it was.

It was a Hermes Birkin bag.

Some of you savvy fashionista types will not need to read the next two paragraphs, because you know all about this handbag. For those of you who are unaware of the value or significance of this bag, please continue.

Now I’ve only seen a Birkin once before in the wild, and it was a long time ago. (Oddly enough, it’s been almost exactly 7 years.) You don’t see these bags on the arm of just anyone, mind you. That’s because they are expensive. And when I say expensive, I mean you could buy a 2012 Honda Civic LX with a few nice options for just about the same price. I know this because I just went on Honda’s website and priced a 2012 Honda Civic Coupe LX.

Honda, Civic, car
The car I could buy for the same price as Mindy Kaling’s handbag. Nice, isn’t it?

The same bag Mindy’s carrying on the show is sold here for $19,999.00.

I’ll give you a minute to pick up your jaw, which should have dropped at least twice by now. The fashionistas can keep sipping their lattes while they wait for us to catch up.

The character Mindy plays on the show is a OB/GYN. And she’s based in New York. Okay, based on those two facts alone, it’s conceivable that the character could afford a Birkin. Or that she’d have a gang of wealthy friends who all chipped in to buy her a Birkin once she graduated from med school. It’s possible.

But where my disbelief refused to be suspended, and where the title of this blog post comes from, is the fact that she is carrying a $20,000 handbag on the subway.

 

This, my friends, is a Hermes Birkin bag. Photo courtesy Hermes Purse Forum and mindy-kaling.com

Sorry, Mindy. You can’t fool me into thinking this character is willing to carry her Birkin on the subway. Not just because of the possibility of theft. But also because someone might breathe on it, or touch it without wearing cotton gloves. That is how I would be if I had a Birkin. Maybe I’m weird like that.

Because I have nothing else to do except avoid deadlines, I presented this inconsistency to Giles and Ms. Chick for their feedback. Giles was understanding but does not have the Expensive Handbag gene which tells you taxis are the only way to travel if you are carrying a handbag that could be traded for a kidney on the black market. Ms. Chick was unaware of the Hermes Birkin’s significance, but once I educated her, she was just as horrified as I was.

Since I figure I can’t get access to Mindy Kaling to question her on the handbag choice for her character on “The Mindy Project”, I called my cousin Susie, the one who looks like Mindy Kaling, to ask her what she had to say about all of this.

“I would definitely not take it on the subway,” said Susie. “She may have not even known what it was, as the character.”

“Oh, I think she knows,” I said.

“I could see her character thinking ‘Oh it’s so cool!’ but not have any idea how much the purse is. So she just carries it everywhere. I do that. One time I got a Coach purse as a gift and I was blown away at how much it cost,” said Susie.

“Did they get it from the Coach Outlet?” I asked.

“I have no idea.”

“Okay, well, the point is, you wouldn’t take a $20,000 bag on the subway,” I said.

“Right. Love you!” she said, and hung up. Susie is a very busy woman and does not have time for long rambling phone interviews with bloggers who only blog when they are avoiding deadlines.

So Mindy, you can’t fool me and you can’t fool your doppelganger, either. We are on to your Birkin-loving ways.

*Name changed to protect her identity, though if you see a woman who looks a LOT like Mindy Kaling it’s either Mindy or my cousin.