6 Ways to Survive Mercury Retrograde
If Mercury Retrograde makes you want to run and take cover, read on for tips on making this planetary slow-down work for, not against you.
Unnecessary delays? Computer glitches? Challenges in communication? You don’t have to be an amateur astrologer or new age hippie to know that Mercury just might be in retrograde.
What is Mercury Retrograde? It’s a time when Mercury passes the Earth during its rotation around the sun. From a human perspective, it looks like Mercury is moving backward. While this is only an illusion, Mercury retrograde’s effects are anything but.
In Roman lore and in astrology, Mercury is the messenger planet, directing the way we think, communicate and share information. As the smallest planet in our solar system and the one closest to the Sun, it orbits the Sun in a mere 88 days. While the Sun governs our self-expression, Mercury helps put our solar “vibes” into actual words. Language—both written and verbal—are this planet’s main domain. The way we organize, synthesize and transfer data also falls to Mercury, which governs our mobile devices, scheduling and transportation.
Though the type of specific influence you will feel under these times of year will depend on your zodiac sign, and which of the 12 zodiac signs planet Earth is in at the time, we’re all affected when Mercury goes reverse. Though other planets go retrograde, too, Mercury is the one that comes up the most. This phenomenon happens three or four times a year, and it’s known to affect everything from technology to communication to travel.
When Mercury goes retrograde, expect computer glitches, communication issues, cancelled flights, broken contracts, paperwork snafus and pretty much anything else that could leave you—and everyone around you—a little cranky. If you’re one of countless people who want to run and take cover during retrogrades, this one’s for you. Read on for tips on making this astrological shift work for, not against you.
What to Do When Mercury is Retrograde
1. Slow down and expect delays. Mercury’s retrograde periods can cause our plans to go awry with delays, especially when it comes to transportation. Expect the unexpected. If you have to go somewhere, slow down to avoid unforeseen accidents, and schedule extra backup time for travel – including more traffic, detours and possible flight cancellations.
2. Go within. With things in the cosmos slowing down, Mercury Retrograde can be an excellent time to take a giant step back and turn inward. You may get more done by streamlining your to-do list. Less is more. Prioritize self-care. Do what makes you happy. Make time to reconnect with people you love. Meditate, practice yoga, journal or plan a stay-cation at home to rest, renew and recharge your batteries.
3. Be Flexible. With challenges in communication, travel and technology, Mercury Retrograde can stir up tremendous confusion and uncertainty. Instead of resisting what is or holding tight to your personal agendas, go with the flow. Be flexible. Practice being more compassionate, patient and understanding of yourself and others. Embrace the chaos.
4. Reinvent Yourself. Don’t play the victim for bad things that happen during Mercury retrograde. Instead, empower yourself! Use this time to take an honest inventory of your life, then take 100% responsibility for anything that’s not working. Where in your life might you clean things up a bit? Where in your life could you rewrite your story? Whether it’s that junk drawer in the kitchen, an incomplete work project or a relationship that’s run its course, repurpose, retool and let go of anything that no longer serves you.
5. Avoid starting new projects. Without the help of Mercury’s clear communication, plans made during retrograde are often subject to revision. Instead of having to duplicate your efforts, avoid signing contracts or beginning any new projects at this time. It’s fine to review old plans, but wait until Mercury is direct again to make any drastic changes or final decisions.
6. Trust Your Intuition. During uncertain retrograde times, trusting in yourself may be more important than ever to stay on course. Intuition may be stronger than normal, and coincidences can be extraordinary. Surrender to the wisdom of your own truth, even if you’re the only one who understands it.
Whatever you do, don’t freak out during Mercury Retrograde. It’ll only make things worse! Consider the next three weeks a welcome time to clean up and put away unfinished projects from the past before moving on to bigger and better things. Now isn’t that something we can all get excited about?