Stop Blaming Mercury

We can fight racism while discouraging victim mentality.

Jeffrey Kass
Published in
4 min readNov 30, 2023


View of planet Mercury from space. Space, nebula and planet Mercury. This image elements furnished by NASA.
Image: Shutterstock/Buradaki

Ever since I moved to Colorado in 2011, I’ve heard an uninterrupted chorus of people who claim that they experience more conflict when the planet Mercury is in what’s called retrograde.

This year, Mercury is in retrograde for a month starting December 2, 2023.

It’s when the planet closest to the sun appears to move backward in its orbit.

Scientifically, though, it doesn’t. Mercury just looks like it’s retrograde because of its position relative to Earth. Spoiler Alert: It isn’t moving backward.

On a date in Boulder, Colorado in 2013, a woman explained that Neptune, which doesn’t get the same popular press as Mercury, can impact our mood. I googled it. She wasn’t making it up.

I’ve even heard someone say that Saturn, along with the moon, can cause depression.

I’m no expert on astrology or planet alignment.

Whether there’s truth to any of it is above my pay grade, but what I’ve noticed over the past 20 years is we’ve increasingly moved our individual and collective mindsets into one of victim instead of personal responsibility, perseverance, and choice. It’s affected all of us.

It’s commonplace that it’s someone or something else’s fault when something goes south.

Today, it’s Mercury. Tomorrow, it’s the weather. The next day, it’s another thing.

Here’s how all that relates to confronting racism.

Many are working tirelessly to fight racism and the structures and systems that facilitate it.

Sadly, though, some fighting it are unintentionally promoting a victim mentality.

Many solutions are couched in terms of helping the helpless. Some set low expectations starting at an early age.

Other efforts are so hyper-focused on the injustices of the world that they forget to celebrate innate…



Jeffrey Kass
Writer for

A Medium Top Writer on Racism, Diversity, Education, History and Parenting | Speaker | Award-Winning Author | Latest Book: Black Batwoman V. White Jesus | Dad