Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back–in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.
—Frederick Buechner

Anger has come up a lot this week with myself and others. It’s an old reaction for many of us.  We are in Mercury Retrograde, that time when everything gets re-evaluated, re-assessed, old issues and patterns return for review and re-experiencing and reflection….and releasing. We get to see all of our resistance all over again. Think of everything beginning with “re” and you get the idea of Mercury Retrograde.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says:

Due to the way our own orbit interacts with those of the other planets, they might sometimes appear to be traveling backward through the night sky with respect to the zodiac. This is, in fact, an illusion, which we call apparent retrograde motion.

Several times a year, it appears as if Mercury is going backwards. These times in particular were traditionally associated with confusions, delay, and frustration.

Perhaps Mercury’s retrograde periods can cause our plans to go awry. However, this is an excellent time to reflect on the past. It’s said that intuition is high during these periods, and coincidences can be extraordinary.

The Roman god Mercury is commonly identified with the Greek Hermes, the fleet-footed messenger of the gods. Thus Mercury Retrograde is associated with problems with messages, such as communications, electronic glitches, misunderstandings. I’ve been having phone issues…the signals aren’t flowing or connecting smoothly.

And while I generally feel more flowing and smoother day to day at this point in my life, old ways of thinking or reacting definitely flare up at times. Old pools of unresolved energy are unexpectedly triggered, and I overreact to the present day situation.  And anger is an old way of reacting.  I notice the agitation to something minor, or the short answer or the sharp tone…all of which hurt me more than the person to which they are directed.

The more we practice Love, the more we notice when we depart from Love. We have less slack! And this is a good thing, because  when we notice how the anger cuts off our good feeling like a vise, and forgive ourself and return to our loving being as soon as we can, then anger is serving us, rather than we serving the anger.

I remember a student in one of my metaphysics classes once said, But it feels good to be angry! Sometimes we just need to be angry….until it doesn’t entertain us or feel good anymore. We’ll get there at the right time and let go of it, forgive ourself and return to our true loving nature.

Frederick Buechner speaks of anger chillingly.  But truly, even dealing with anger is all about Love. Remember and practice the Love you are, and don’t be the skeleton at the feast.