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Feature: The Soothe – 14 Oct 2020

Mercury is in retrograde. So what?

Singapore astrologer May Sim explains what’s going on up there and whether this planetary period is as ominous as we think

Text: May Sim

Don’t buy a laptop during Mercury retrograde. Don’t buy a car during Mercury retrograde.  Don’t buy phones during Mercury retrograde. And while you’re at it, don’t go signing contracts during Mercury retrograde, either.

These are just some of the superstitious warnings that make the rounds on social media when the planet Mercury goes into retrograde motion, around three times every year. Indeed, this major astrological event was being written about in astrology circles as far back as the mid-18th century. The event was noted in British agricultural almanacs of the time, which farmers would read to sync their planting schedules to the patterns of the stars.

Seeing as it’s happening again on 14 October, and lasting unto 4 November 2020, we thought you might like to know just how legit these beliefs are, and what you can do to get through this spiritually significant and powerful period.

What actually is Mercury retrograde?

In a nutshell, as planets orbit the Sun in the solar system, there are specific planet positions that create an illusion that Mercury is moving backwards relative to Earth’s motion. This seemingly backward motion is termed ‘retrograde’. The effect of a retrograde tends to slow things down, sometimes even resulting in situations ‘going in the opposite direction’.

Despite all planets from Mercury all the way to Pluto (which, FYI, is most definitely a planet astrologically) are capable of going retrograde, interestingly it is Mercury retrograde that always seems to get itself in the limelight, bringing the most attention, and generally being a bit of a show-off.

Since the planet Mercury governs matters concerning communication, connections and paperwork, the backwards-and-forwards motion of the planet has some people associating this period as being bad for purchases involving communication and connectivity equipment such as phones and cars. Many people even go as far as to avoid signing important contracts.

While adopting this strategy can be a better-safe-than-sorry tactic, ideal for the nervy and apprehensive among us, there are practical issues to consider: each time Mercury goes into retrograde, it does so for three weeks.

What this means is that if we adhered to this avoidance strategy, given that Mercury goes retrograde at least three times a year, for nine out of 52 weeks we have to steer clear of the likes of technical buys, not to mention blocking important business transactions. If you’re in dire need of a laptop, waiting three weeks to pass in order to buy one is probably not the best situation.

Something that most of us aren’t aware of, is that a retrograde also has ‘shadow’ periods that occur directly before and after the actual retrograde. These essentially extend the effect of Mercury retrograde to about eight weeks rather than three weeks.

Shadow periods cause slow decisions due to a general feeling of uncertainty for up to one month before the retrograde begins. In the case of the current one, the shadow period already kicked in on 23 September 2020. While the official retrograde ends on 4 November 2020, the shadow period will extend its effects until up to 20 November 2020.

How does retrograde affect us personally?

While Mercury retrogrades happen frequently, I believe most — but not all — of these incidents will affect you directly. When applied to your personal astrology chart, the period will influence specific areas of your life, be it a career decision, or a delay in an application to a government body. The planetary shift may even be felt in a difficult conversation you want to have with a specific person in your life.

Since the retrograde motion curtails thinking and decision-making, one major positive result of the period is that when issues occur, we tend to consider more factors and do more research. We may also be more present to potential outcomes of our decisions, and yes, notice more problems.

When the shadow period first hits, your attention is likely to be drawn to an area of life in which a decision needs to be made, or a conversation or connection that must be established. Typically, as the actual retrograde period looms, the decision gets delayed. This is mainly because you want to think through a situation or just let an idea ‘sit’. Once the retrograde passes and Mercury goes direct, chances are you’ll have stronger confidence to proceed with a decision.

Despite its terrible reputation, in my years of practice I have seen very positive uses of Mercury retrograde: difficult business proposals push through; couples work out marital issues; individuals abandon ideas that they didn’t think through properly.

During this month’s Mercury retrograde, I urge you to allow yourself to slow down and be present to where you feel mentally stuck.

It’s likely that your instincts are telling you not to be impulsive, and that there are factors you haven’t fully thought through. My advice would be to explore alternative options. Just talking it through with somebody else will help clarify your mind.

Above all, don’t beat yourself up. Some things are important enough for you to devote time to allow the answer to come to you. And as a happily-married professional astrologer who signed her marriage contract during a Mercury retrograde, I can vouch that it is possible to ignore the stars every now and then without the world crashing down on you.

About the Author

May Sim is a professional astrologer with 16 years’ experience. She is the founder of Selfstrology Academy based in Singapore and a subject matter expert on psychological astrology.

For the original article, see: https://www.thesoothe.co/connect/astrology/mercury-in-retrograde-so-what

Aquarius, Aries, Articles, Cancer, Capricorn, Consultations & Readings, Gemini, Houses, Jupiter, Leo, Libra, Lifestyle, Mars, Media Features, Mercury, Moon, Neptune, Pisces, Planets, Pluto, Sagittarius, Saturn, Scorpio, Signs, Taurus, Uranus, Venus, Virgo, Work & Career

Feature: The Soothe – 1 Oct 2020

‘The planets told me 2020 would be a rubbish year’

Local astrologer May Sim reveals why planetary power isn’t just woo-woo business

Text: Charissa G

Co-star. The Pattern. Sanctuary. They may not have the most creative names, but these astrology apps have received millions of downloads and even more in VC funding in the last few years, so does that mean the stars are finally aligned for astrometry’s reputation?

Back in the 90’s and 00’s, astrometry was reduced to the back pages of women’s magazines where you’d find the (Western) horoscope pages. Here, you’d discover who you were going to ‘snog’ that weekend, and why wearing blue eyeshadow would bring you luck on the basis of your birth month. Today, modern apps like the ones above are trying to counter this rudimentary understanding of astrology by proliferating the knowledge of birth charts that broaden your ‘personality’ to a sun sign, moon sign, and rising sign. But is this causing more harm than good? And can the information be trusted?

May Sim, Asia’s premier astrologer and owner of Selfstrology Academy in Singapore, discusses how astrology has had “very bad PR for a few hundred years” and why the millennial and Gen-Z generations seem inclined towards what some have dubbed a ‘psuedoscience’.

May Sim is Singapore’s premier astrologer

Seeking an explanation

“Having grown up in Singapore with a strict education system, we’ve seen generations of ‘cookie cutter’ success — if you got an A, you were good, and anything else meant that you were subpar.

People are drawn to astrology because it’s a way of understanding the actual person. It’s a system that respects individuals, energy of the universe. You’re not defined by where you studied and what type of family you come from. Many start to realise that what they’re doing with their lives does not vibrate with who they are on the inside. When someone downloads an app like Co-star or The Pattern, it’s like a desperation to find this incongruence that they feel. They’re trying to seek an explanation.

As an astrologer, I’ve seen professionals for the last 16 years. I used to be a business manager and dabbled in astrometry as a personal interest, and eventually was fascinated enough by the field that I decided to pursue it full-time.

Many of my clientele, both male and female, are between 28–29 years old which suggests a ‘coming of age’ life stage, and coincides with the Saturn Return. There are certain life stages that can attract people at any specific time, like the ‘career switch age’ of early to mid-30’s or the so-called ‘mid-life crisis age’ of 40–45. It’s very common to have outwardly successful people — lawyers, doctors, accountants — whose CVs look great. But inside there’s a lost child. They work for big companies and have a slew of accolades, but they feel stuck when they don’t feel they can present an alternative view.   

Astrometry allows people to find some level of relief: to give them a ‘sign’ that the decision they want to make is okay. But I find it’s the nature of astrology itself, which tends to draw people when they have problems. So, there’s some logic to it and it’s not entirely astrological.

Astrology for confidence

Most people who object to astrology know nothing about it. For a long time, a large part of society was about conformity, but now we’re in a funny spot where we seem to have been given a new level of freedom. People are looking for answers from other sources.

Take one of my clients who was a doctor in a hospital focused on research. She couldn’t shake the feeling that her work could have more meaning. She wanted to go to a less privileged country and do humanitarian work, but everyone told her she was crazy. Astrology gave her the confirmation that she was a humanitarian inside. This the confidence boost she needed, because the rest of the world was telling her not to be her authentic self.

Seeing an astrologer is like seeing a doctor — but if there’s nothing wrong, can you still go? Consider it a check-up, but don’t expect a ground-breaking discovery.

It’s similar to psychology. You can hop online and you can do a personality profile test, but other than satisfying a curiosity, it’s not really useful. You need your therapist to dig deep and impart tools for understanding yourself and managing behaviour.

Predictive work is what we do

Traditionally, astrologers have always been associated with prediction. To an extent, a lot have tried to distance themselves from it, because the general consensus is that if other astrologers see you as prominently utilising predictive techniques, your credibility dips immediately, since it perpetuates the bad PR we get as fortune-tellers. For me, predictive work is part of what we do.

Popular astrologers have had a lot of courage to draw attention to themselves. Many famous ones have built their career on generic ‘horoscopes’ *, but I think that leads you into many problems; you can’t divide the human population into 12 different star signs and say that ‘November will be romantic’. That makes no sense to me.

For more ‘serious’ astrologers, there are reasons we don’t often make our predictions widely known. Chiefly because we can’t prevent situations from happening. Just like with Covid-19, I personally knew from reading the planets about 4–5 years ago that 2020 was going to be a rubbish year. Yet, up to December 2019 when I was publicly saying next year wouldn’t be great, I got hate mail.

The thing is, as an astrologer, do I necessarily know exactly what’s going to happen? I did not predict a pandemic. The chart doesn’t have a planet that says ‘Covid-19’ so I couldn’t know exactly what was coming. I did know, however, that the industries were going to fail. During a live event, I specifically named a few industries such as the mining, fuel, aviation and construction industries that were going to suffer. Even as I explained this to the audience, they were saying, ‘How can it be? This is a multi-billion-dollar industry.’

And yet, here we are in a rubbish year. Did I make it all up? That’s for you to decide.”

* The word ‘horoscope’ has actually been misused by popular media for decades. A horoscope is actually the entire round ‘wheel’ that astrologers read, and all the symbols and planets within it, what is commonly known as a ‘chart’.

For the original article, see: https://www.thesoothe.co/connect/astrology/the-planets-predicted-a-rubbish-year

Aquarius, Aries, Articles, Cancer, Capricorn, Consultations & Readings, Gemini, Houses, Jupiter, Leo, Libra, Lifestyle, Mars, Media Features, Mercury, Moon, Neptune, Pisces, Planets, Pluto, Sagittarius, Saturn, Scorpio, Signs, Taurus, Uranus, Venus, Virgo, Work & Career

Feature: The Asian Entrepreneur – 31 Aug 2020

May Empowers People to Create & Embrace the Life They Are Meant to Live

 

What’s your story?
I knew I wanted to make astrology my career so I searched the world for mentors and good educational institutions. I ended up enrolling in and being the first Asian to graduate from the International Academy of Astrology in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2014, I began Selfstrology Academy, a western astrology consultancy and academy — one of very few in Asia. The existence of Selfstrology means others in the region will have the education and guidance I didn’t have.

What excites you most about your industry?
Being classified as an “unusual” industry, we have a lot of room to achieve success by exploring themes outside the boundaries of other similar industries such as MBTI, DISC profiling, traditional, Chinese, and Indian astrology, psychology, counselling, and coaching. Our courses are never about learning astrology, but about personal transformation. It goes way beyond just extracting information about people, it’s about empowerment and creating a life of meaning and purpose.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Singapore. I believe my Asian background allows me to bring a new perspective to western astrology that’s unique from those of my peers in the west. Given that the nature of Psychological Astrology produces an astrology chart assessed on its own merits rather than on conventional biases, such as education level, nationality, or age, I like to think I am an ambassador for genuine global individualism: respecting people for who they are, without bias.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Kuala Lumpur. There are many cultural similarities between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, but Malaysians have resilience and hunger that few Singaporeans can boast.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Stop trying to get there. The day you arrive, it goes downhill thereafter.” As a young entrepreneur desperate for success, I was highly self-critical about not being “there.” The realisation that the process of “each step leads to the next” was ground-breaking for me when I realised that our achievements are only truly assessed at the end of our lives, and we do best by simply planning for the next step rather than for what is only a superficial and temporary definition of “success.”

Who inspires you?
Lee Kuan Yew. He is already known for his immense resilience, dedication and foresight that he has contributed to Singapore, but what impressed me most about him was that he always had a wry smile and often acknowledged that he could never rest on his laurels. I think it requires a massive character to maintain humility when you have achieved so much.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I have learned that true entrepreneurship is about solving the world’s problems. It takes a big heart and decades of effort to get anywhere close to tackling many underlying issues in the human world. The potential outcome has to be big enough to justify a lifelong dedication to a cause.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have learnt kindness sooner. I was always very results focussed, so I have been guilty of bull-dozing people in my quest to get things done quickly. I think it will be a lifelong learning lesson for me, but I do wish I had learnt to appreciate people sooner.

How do you unwind?
I really like mobile games, especially those adapted from board games. It allows me to switch off from being in a constant “on” mode, and, as in my work, I am always learning from the endless strategies in each game. I also really like chatting with my husband. I think a good conversation with a spouse is severely underrated in society.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I really liked Bohol, Philippines when I was there more than 10 years ago. As a city-born Singaporean, I really appreciated their small-town hospitality and genuine eagerness to show me the best of what their homeland had to offer. It’s a pity that Southeast Asian charm is sometimes ruined by tourism and commercialism.

Everyone in business should read this book:
“Ender’s Game,” by Orson Scott Card. It might be unusual to recommend a work of fiction, but I think this book explores out-of-the-box thinking, as well as deeper themes of the consequences of leadership decisions, in ways that non-fiction cannot accomplish.

Shameless plug for your business:
Astrology is no longer mindless horoscopes and ridiculous “sun sign compatibility.” Reaching far beyond conventional profiling techniques to uncover crucial information about behaviour, mindset and life purpose, our programmes are never about astrology but about living your life to fulfil a meaningful purpose. Our students and clients include judges, C-level executives, engineers, architects, and participants from many other professions who have called our programmes “transformative,” “insightful,” and even “life-changing.”

How can people connect with you?
For insightful astrological analysis on economies, psychology and behaviour, check out my Youtube channel and our Psychological Astrology programmes can be accessed at www.selfstrology.com.

To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects’ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.

Connect with Callum on Twitter and LinkedIn
Download free copies of his books at www.callumlaing.com

For the original article, see: https://www.asianentrepreneur.org/may-sim-founder-of-selfstrology-academy/

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