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Of all the planetary aspects, Mercury in retrograde seems to get the most hype. But what is all this Mercury retrograde stuff? Why do some folks dread it? What does this mean for you? And more importantly, what can you do to not only survive, but thrive in a Mercury retrograde period?
What is Mercury Retrograde
Well, here’s the short (non-NASA) version: Mercury retrograde is when the planet Mercury gives the illusion of moving backwards in the sky. And during this period, the Universe becomes energetically clumsy.
Okay, let me back up here… pardon the pun! Mercury doesn’t actually travel backwards in the sky. With Mercury located closest to the sun, its orbit is shorter than that of the earth. So three to four times a year, as Mercury buzzes by the earth, we experience a Mercury retrograde period.
I like to use the example of two cyclist. If you were riding and another cyclist (that we’ll nickname “Mercury”) sprinted past you, then you could say that the other cyclist was traveling faster than you. But let’s say that the other cyclist slowed down and you passed him. In that instance, it could appear as if the other cyclist was traveling in reverse. Later, when the other cyclist (our buddy Mercury) decides to sprint by you again, he generates a bit of dust and dirt, creating a turbulent draft as he whizzes on by again.
Keep in mind that Mercury goes retrograde three to four times in a calendar year. Unlike your birthday or an anniversary that occurs on the same date each year, it retrogrades during different calendar days and in different astrological signs depending on the year.
How Mercury Retrograde Impacts You
Mercury, as with the moon and the other planets in our solar system, impacts our energy here on earth.
Mercury governs all that is communication from conversations themselves to the means for communicating. This includes technology like cell phones, and computers, as well as written communication from letters, manuscripts, term papers, deeds, contracts, leases, wills, and power of attorney documents. So it is no surprise that when Mercury retrogrades, there are more miscommunications and misunderstandings.
It also impacts timing. So it is not unusual to experience shipping or travel delays.
As I mentioned earlier, Mercury goes retrograde in three to four different zodiac signs per calendar year. If it happens to fall during your sign, the planet’s energy intensifies meaning more delays and more frustrations. I recommend extra care - double (and triple) checking contracts, plans, and emails to head off or at least minimize any miscommunications or mistaken assumptions that could occur. This is not a time to rush. Slow and steady comes out ahead in the long run.
I know what you’re thinking… but don’t fret! Mercury retrograde is not all about chaos and frustration.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel rushed with the pressures of daily to-do lists that realistically take more than one person to complete. Not only can this rush rob us of the miracles and gifts of the moment, but it increases the occurrences of miss steps: errors, accidents, words we can’t take back. Sound familiar? Most stories of miss steps where I was responsible began with the phrase “I was in a hurry”.
As I mentioned earlier, when Mercury retrogrades, the planet “appears” to slow down and move backwards. It reminds us to slow down to stop, look, and listen: to retreat from the rush, review our circumstances, reassess the details, and redirect our efforts.
Now the Universe will slow things down with little (or not so little) reminders that can seem like annoyances at the time, feeling like we are treading through or stuck in mud. It (shall we say) encourages us to look back to reevaluate our approaches and strategies of how things got the way they are from those I-was-in-a-hurry moments. But more importantly, it refocuses our attention to consider new possibilities. And in a pleasant irony, we can find ourselves accomplishing more in less time.
Looking back can actually be a forward motion. And when it comes to Mercury retrograde, the key to the “do’s” is found in the “re”: reevaluate, recollect, rewind, reconnect, revisit, repair, reassess, redesign, repeat. Even the word “retreat” reminds us to slow down and breathe into our decisions.
To Postpone... (& tips if you can't)
It is best to postpone any major moves and important decisions when Mercury is retrograde. Not only is it difficult for people to make decisions, but decision made are not as firmly grounded as usual.
If cannot postpone… Note and document any plans. Review and confirm before taking actions involving others. Allow for more flexibility with especially timing. And don’t forget to have a backup plan.
Launching Anything Involving Communication
Considering launching that marketing campaign, web site, movie, or book? People are more focused on their own frustrations, thus, not as receptive to your message during this time. This is also the season of miscommunications and misunderstandings.
If cannot postpone… Plan follow-up efforts or a tiered campaign extending beyond the Mercury retrograde period. I also want to mention that an exception to this could be a re-release of a movie or second edition of a book. However, optimally, I recommend waiting.
Contracts & Agreements
Just as people are a bit more flaky in their decisions and agreement, so too are the documents and contract representing them and their intentions. Sometime it’s a matter of typos. Other times it is different interpretations of an agreement.
If cannot postpone… Definitely employ professional counsel or at least another set of trustworthy and reliable eyes to review documents. But don’t stop there! It’s important for you to walk through contracts by line item and by the letter weeding out any typos that could change the integrity of the agreement.
Changing Relationship Status
With communication being a focal point of the faux pas during Mercury retrograde, misunderstandings through miscommunications and poor choices of words can have couples arguing over something they are actually in agreement on. Other times, a partner can make an of-the-moment decision to break up, only to later trying to return with regret. And if considering furthering your commitments, again, it is energetically more favorable to avoid this period as details with the ceremony or the relationship itself can go awry.
If cannot postpone… Make sure a change of relationship has been under consideration for a while (prior to Mercury retrograde). If revelations within the relationship surface during Mercury retrograde, use the remainder of this phase to review your options (and if applicable plan your exit strategy). Note: Obviously, if you’re in danger, you don’t wait.
Whether you are the buyer or the seller, expect delays, changes, revisions, and even reversals in decisions leading to frustrations and disappointments.
If cannot postpone… If you are the buyer, it is definitely worth doing your homework in terms of researching reviews or hiring a professional to perform an inspection. And as a seller, make sure you are compensated for decision changes by the buyer. Both parties need to take extra care with reviewing contracts, as well as creating a paper trail accounting the steps in the transaction.
Boy, I can attest to this one. I took my computer to a tech specialist to load some additional memory (when Mercury was retrograding) only to discover the refurbished component was defective. I also ran into difficulties with a new bluetooth that I bought during a Mercury retrograde that I had to return for a different model.
If cannot postpone… Unless it’s broken, hang in there until after this retrograde passes. And if the item is broken, do a little more research (than usual) before heading to the store or ordering online. Pay special attention to return policies, as well as save your receipt and the product’s original packaging to ensure you are not stuck with a defective product.
This one involves a bit more detail. Within Mercury retrograde, travel to your destination tends to hit more snags than the return trip home. Business travel to revisit existing or former clients (as I talked about with reconnecting) is favorable. However, travel to a potential client or a new territory is best after this phase.
Although this time is more favorable for personal travel such as family reunions or returning to that favorite vacation spot, pack extra snacks and upload some fun reading material to your e-reader to aid your patience during delays. And make sure to bring your GPS and printed maps and directions for sightseeing in case that GPS feels the effects of Mercury retrograde.
If cannot postpone… Print out your plane ticket, travel directions, and confirmations for accommodations along with the phone numbers to call if (let’s just say) things don’t go as planned. As with technology, carry that printed backup with you. I even recommend taking the backup a step further by making 2 copies of your credit cards, passport, driver’s license, and other important id items. Carry one copy with you in a safe yet different place than your wallet. The other copy is in a safe yet accessible place for a trusted family member or friend to access and provide for you, again, in the event these items are lost or stolen during your travels. Again, have an idea of a plan B if things do not go as planned.
Clumsiness & Forgetfulness
Okay, this is not a “don’t” as much as a public service announcement to slow down and exercise more patience with others, as well as with yourself. Personally, I find consistently placing my wallet and keys in the same glass bowl on the kitchen counter reduces the frustration of wasted time from unwanted scavenger hunts.
Again, because people are less focused, exercise additional care when driving or working out at the gym as preventable accidents are more prevalent during a Mercury retrograde period. Clumsiness can also include the words we deliver and receive. Making more of a conscious effort with listening reduces the likelihood or at least the severity of miscommunications.
Now I realize much of this seems like strategies to live by year round. After all, we should take the time to prepare for our travels. We should do our diligence in reviewing any contracts we sign. But again, life happens and we get busy. As with the change of weather with the seasons, the Universe provides us with these Mercury retrograde seasons as a reminder to slow down (to stop, look, and listen) and be more conscious of our choices and actions.
As with the subtle onset of Mercury retrograde, there is a residual affect lingering for about a week after its three-plus week phase. From personal experience, I’ve found this post phase less intense than the pre-retrograde period. Nevertheless, I recommend holding off on any big decisions, commitments, or major purchases for 1 to 2 weeks following the end of retrograde.
The revisions and redirections revealed during Mercury retrograde begin to make more sense in the realities of life. However, it’s important to ease into activating those plans as you slowly resume your acceleration forward.
Moving forward, don’t forget to carry the lessons of patience and preparation into the post-Mercury retrograde period. However, as the months pass and we get caught up in the rush of our lives, Mercury will come around again to remind us to slow down, reassess, and be in the moment.
For more information on how to successfully navigate Mercury in retrograde periods throughout the year, click here.
#mercuryretrograde #mercuryretrograderituals #mercuryretrogradeprep
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Psychic, Numerologist, & Psychic Development Instructor