Every blue moon or so, Mercury retrograde looms as a triple seasonal menace – this year, a holiday hangover of unpaid credit card bills, a political circus, and more terrorists in the news than you can shake a Bible at. Times like this, you need to get away, as deep into the soft underbelly of your wounded psyche as a hibernating bear in a boreal snow bank.
But forget about going south, because fun in the sun will only distract you from the mindfulness necessary to understand your sorry existence. To contemplate your navel fuzz in total isolation, please consider our Mercury Retrograde Winter Retreat, nestled deep in the Canadian hinterland, accessible only by a torturous train ride from Toronto.
Our igloo village hermitage is an oasis of self-imposed exile, buffered from the world by a 10-foot wall of pristine sub-Arctic snow pack. Here you can ride out the astrological affective disorder known as Mercury Retrograde Syndrome, a psychological malaise that recurs three times a year, bringing much of western society’s rational thinking to a grinding halt.
Each guest igloo is constructed in the form of a geodesic dome with tempered thermo-pane glass. Our trademarked design provides superlative shielding from high-intensity northern lights, harmful radiation of Mercury Retrograde, and frequent assaults by marauding polar bears foraging for tourists.
Not only the upper atmosphere gets excited by solar flares at high latitudes. Thanks to the ambient room temperature of 40F (4C) maintained in all guest igloos, you and your retreat companion will have little choice but to share your body heat. Many couples report having more sex during Mercury Retrograde winter retreats than they actually even wanted. You’re welcome!
For those who come to the hermitage alone, room service will provide hot water bottles filled with your choice of mulled wines, grog, hot toddies or high-proof cider. For a small extra fee, our qualified staff can set you up with an IV drip or a therapeutic enema.
Our lakeside spa offers crystal-clear water chilled to within a few degrees of hypothermia. After emerging from near-death immersion, you’ll be gratefully reborn as attendants whip circulation back into your body, using birch branches blessed by a local shaman. Brandy, cognac, schnapps and other anti-coagulants are available from the patio bar.
Since Mercury Retrograde already provides adequate food for thought, we’re not into the whole culinary thing. But our cafeteria is open 24/7, with a limited range of tasty fast food. Try our Polar Pizza (wolverine salami with seal cheese), Boreal Burgers (minced caribou with a heart-smart spread of lichens) and our perennial dessert favorite – Eskimo Pie.
Although the Mercury Retrograde Hermitage is designed to insulate guests from both the world and their fellow refugees, we offer evening leg wrestling and snuggle sessions in our communal lounge. Every sign in the zodiac (even Virgo and Scorpio) is welcome to enjoy the ambiance of our coal-fired braziers. And for those who neglected to pack adequate clothing, complimentary leg warmers, hand-woven by Inuit artisans from hypo-allergenic muskrat hides, are available in a limited range of hair densities.
Our guest igloos have no phone, TV, radio, WiFi or cellular reception to distract you from your introspective sojourn. So just lie back on your mattress of organic cedar boughs and enjoy an unobstructed view of the northern stars, the contemplation of which will remind you of your insignificance in the face of the cosmos.
Mercury Retrograde – when you just need an excuse to do absolutely nothing for three weeks.
Alan Annand is an astrologer and writer of crime fiction. His New Age Noir mystery series (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) features astrologer Axel Crowe, a criminal profiler whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”