An Interview with Bernie Ashman

1. Your newest book focuses on how to survive periods of Mercury retrograde (as well as the retrograde periods of Venus and Mars). Why did you feel such a book was necessary?

I wanted to show that people can still be creative during retrograde cycles. Decisions can be based on clear mental thinking. It is true retrograde motion might require more patience and reflection, but this doesn't mean we can't be successful in launching a new plan of action toward a new goal. There has never been a book like the one I have just written on Mercury, Venus, and Mars retrogrades that guides a reader on how to successfully navigate these challenging cycles. I believe the book is needed to show that when planets are moving in retrograde motion they can be powerfully expressed. We don't have to let our fear of making a choice during a retrograde time period stop us from moving forward. Our intuition can get stronger when a planet is retrograde and inspire us to find the abundance we seek!

2. Is a Mercury retrograde period really something of which to be afraid?

My answer to this question is No. Mercury retrogrades occur three to four times a year and last for about three weeks. We can't bring our lives to a halt waiting for Mercury to turn direct. There is no reason to be afraid of a Mercury retrograde or any of the planets while they are in retrograde motion. Mercury retrograde is actually a good time to go back over the details and make sure you have your thinking straight. You can find it easier to make changes during this cycle that can turn out for the best. Be patient with yourself and others. If you need extra time to consider all of the options, then take it. If you don't try to make something too perfect you will be happier. Often your decisions will pay off that are made during a Mercury retrograde if you stay focused.

3. Are there things we should avoid doing during a retrograde period, or things that we should plan to do?

If you need to make a major purchase or make a critical decision and can afford to wait until Mercury or Venus turns direct, that is probably a good idea. If you must take advantage of an opportunity, just make sure you have thought the decision through carefully. Try to avoid being overly analytical during a Mercury retrograde to the point of making yourself feel miserable. Watch out that you don't become too critical of others or yourself. If you don't obsess over the little things and keep your eye on the big plan, your life will run more smoothly. Taking a short break from a project that is not going well allows for new insights and recharges your brain to think more creatively. Venus has a connection to money and possessions, so if you are trying to make a major financial decision during a Venus retrograde, be sure you have weighed all of the options. Avoid impulse spending. You can still move ahead with an investment or purchase, but do so with your mental clarity guiding you.

4. You've written books on a variety of topics, from astrology and intuition to astrology and past lives to astrology and relationships. What inspires you?

I started studying astrology in 1973, and it has been an amazing journey. I have a passion to share what I have learned. I think it is probably the fiery Sagittarius Sun sign in my chart along with other planets in Sagittarius that motivates me to want to write about a wide range of astrology areas. I have always been interested in intuition as well as relationships. Books by Carl Jung got me really interested in intuition. Edgar Cayce stimulated my astrology research into past lives. I have done thousands of chart readings in my astrology career for people. My clients have inspired me over the years. It is interesting to see how individuals explore their own unique journey through life and use their charts in creative ways. I have done much relationship counseling in astrology and have enjoyed helping individuals get insights into their partnerships.

5. What do you hope readers will take away from How to Survive Mercury Retrograde?

My hope is that the readers will realize much can be accomplished during retrograde cycles. The survival tips offered for Mercury, Venus, and Mars retrograde cycles are intended to make these time periods flow more smoothly with much less anxiety. Another key theme in my book is that being better prepared for these retrograde planets lessens the fear that things will go wrong. There are many more things that can go right during a retrograde visit by a planet if we think positively and don't panic!

About Bernie Ashman

Bernie Ashman is a highly respected professional astrologer who has been studying, practicing, and teaching for over thirty-five years. He is the author of several books and has contributed to the astrology magazines Dell ...