Dark Ages

Sometimes an ordinary term for an era is indicative of one or more truths. I learned last week that in the month of May, 1110 AD, classified as part of the Dark Ages, no Moon shone at night.

Can you imagine the consternation of the peasants and indeed of the landed lords and other nobility when the Moon neither rose nor set, at least to anyone’s knowledge? Did they set watchers, tasked with a nightly vigil and ordered to summon an official when the planet once again appeared? And did they wonder, in their heart of hearts, if the familiar Moon would ever shine in the night sky once again?

In this enlightened age, we know the reason for the shuttering of the Moon’s light, because in that year, violent volcanic eruptions had plagued many nations and groups of humans clustered together in villages or towns. These resulted in such a thick layer of ash, the very Sun itself had had its light dimmed. And since the Moon depends upon the Sun for its illumination, simply reflecting the light from the Sun, it could not be discerned in the murky darkness.

Dark Ages, indeed. And no, I was not practicing astrology in that long-ago era, but it certainly would have been a fascinating occurrence to observe. While I do consider myself to be your favorite ancient astrologer, dear reader, I still reckon my age within human limits. (If only I had had that astronomy observation tower outside of Lepcis Magna, mentioned in “Three Wise Cats” I surely would have charted many more movements of the stars and planets than I have to date.)

And speaking of movements of the planets, be advised that the bane of schedules and ordinary routine, a Retrograde Mercury, begins tomorrow, May 10, and continues through June 2, assuming its normal forward motion on June 3, 2022. Regular readers could likely recite the possible oddities of a Retrograde Mercury by heart or even in their sleep, so I won’t burden all of you with monotonous repetition. Just do be cautious when signing new contracts and check several times with your counterparts when agreeing to meeting times or transportation arrivals and departures.

No, you cannot use a Retrograde Mercury as an excuse to take vacation time or call in ill to your employer. You may, however, use the planet’s retreat as an excuse to avoid persons you’d rather not party, communicate or travel with – tell them Madame Zombra advises against such actions. There. You are now off the hook with the creep from IT or your always critical Great Aunt Grizelda.  – MZ