If you’ve recently felt like you’re head is full of porridge, like all your motivation has buggered off to pick daisies, or like speaking requires conscious effort, then you Dear Unicorn, may be feeling the effects of Mercury retrograde.
What is Mercury Retrograde?
Mercury retrograde occurs when the planet mercury appears to be moving backwards or away from the earth, (hence the term retrograde). But it’s not actually moving away from us, it’s just an illusion. It’s kind of like when you’re sitting on a train waiting for it to leave the station and when the train next to it starts moving it feels, for a split second, as if it’s your train that’s moving instead. And much like mercury retrograde it is jolting and a little un-nerving.
Mercury: The God
The Roman God Mercury, also known as Hermes by the Greeks, was known as the messenger of the Gods. With his winged helmet and speedy sandals he flitted around delivering messages. Mercury also governs commerce, eloquence, luck, travel and absolutely everything communication including technology and even divination – yes fellow voyants, that means you might need to give your crystal ball and extra good polish!
Mercury: The Planet
Thus the planet Mercury is said to govern communications. This is why all things related to communications can become very clouded during Mercury Retrograde. Emails don’t get sent somehow, letters get lost in the post, writers get writer’s block, people misunderstand each other and get into fights, directions and instructions get muddled and some people even feel mercury’s effects so bad that they struggle to even communicate simple thoughts in their heads. It can get ugly!
“People with strong and erratic personalities are often described as “mercurial” — described as unpredictable, quick, and even a bit restless, by those who know them. A mercurial person is a person who is hard to predict.” – YourTango.com
Mercury Retrograde and the Throat Chakra
Not surprisingly, I feel Mercury’s effects very strongly in my throat chakra. I feel like there’s mud in my brain and every time I try to speak the words simply won’t flow. It’s as if I have to consciously form each word and will my brain to recall it. This probably explains why I prefer to stay in during M R and paint, garden, perform spells and plan projects.
Mercury: The Trickster
The whole thing is made worse due to the fact that Mercury, the little blighter, is known as The Trickster. He is said to be witty and humorous and to like a good gag. All of these wonderful attributes come out to frolic during the fabulous three weeks of Mercury Retrograde! So while we’re booking the wrong flights, he is laughing.
Mercury Retrograde and the Zodiac
For some reason, not all retrogrades are created equal. Some pass by generally unnoticed and others are a real punch in the tit. This depends on where mercury hits in your astrological chart and what tasks you are required to perform in this time – If they’re super stressful and involve organising lots of people; may the force be with you.
My Mercury Retrograde Mayhem
One year I swear M.C almost ruined me. I was a mess. Everything I wrote was garbled and clumsy – or at least I thought so, which is creative suicide for us writers and artists. It took me hours to put together simple articles. This filled me with a thick black cloud of self doubt for at least 20 days. I questioned everything I thought I knew about myself. I Do I even enjoy writing? Am I even any good at it? Probably not. Maybe I should just get a normal job and try to blend in a little.
Mercury Retrograde Thoughts
Interestingly, all of these thoughts were retrograde thoughts. These are all old beliefs that I used to struggle with but have since spent a lot of time and hard work releasing. I had no idea it was Mercury Retrograde at the time so I could not understand why I was going backwards.
On top of all this mental and emotional mayhem, there was the technical/communications side too. My computer was on the fritz – I discovered a whole bunch of emails I had sent the week before had not been sent. And as replying to emails swiftly is a point of purpose for me, this drove me pretty crazy. I had multiple disagreements with all aspects of technology – Blue Screen of Death et al – and also struggled to string a sentence together when speaking to people.
Funnily enough as soon as Mercury went direct again, the cloud of misery and confusion lifted as quickly as it had arrived. The change was so sudden and obvious, it was like a veil had literally been lifted off of my face.
Mercury Retrograde Survival
So how do we survive the next Mercury Retrograde? Personally, my best advice for surviving Mercury Retrograde is A) be aware of it and B) Don’t fight it.
If you know mercury is in retrograde then you’ll understand why you’re having trouble thinking and unlike me you won’t think you’re having a midlife crisis.
So things are going haywire and nothing can get done? Don’t panic. Sit with it. Just have a break. So your office computer crashed again and you can’t do any work until the tech guy arrives? Meh. Go grab a coffee. Stop fighting against the river and just go with the flow of the current.
Finish Old Projects – Don’t Start New Ones
If you have terrible writer’s block and can’t seem to move forward in an article or story take some time out from the writing side of things and instead maybe do some research, do some editing or simply list some ideas for articles to write in the future.
Mercury retrograde is not a great time to begin creative projects. But it is a great time to plan, gather ideas, and go over old project that you never managed to finish. The latter makes the most of the retrograde aspect. You may even find that old things you never finished simply jump into your mind – that’s a cue from the Universe to go back and settle old scores.
Due to the back-glancing nature of M.R, you may find that you bump into old friends and reminisce over the good times. So too ex-lovers. This can be a great time to get closure on faded friendships, but it’s not a great time to try and talk out old annoyances as things are highly likely to get miss-interpreted and cause great arguments.
Over the years I’ve learned to use Mercury Retrograde to my advantage. I love pulling out old projects, organising my drawers – in true Kondo fashion. I also Meditate, read, go for walks, bake and paint. Basically, I try to take the pressure to “hit targets” and “achieve goals” off my shoulders. I try to allow myself to wander and meander.
Truth? Mercury Retrograde is a Bitch
If it sounds like I am trying to portray Mercury retrograde through rose tinted glasses, then, you got me! When it really comes down to it, Mercury retrograde is a total See You Next Tuesday. If you’re used to crossing things off your To Do list with gusto, think again. For these three weeks, you’re gonna feel slow and groggy. It will suck.
Things to Avoid During Mercury Retrograde
It’s not a good time to publish books or magazines (unless you’ve proof-read like a boss), close big deals, travel or sign contracts, as important details are likely to get muddled. If you can’t avoid it, take your time to check you’re aware of what you’re booking/buying/signing/publishing.
Ditto with communicating with friends over email or text. If your messages don’t get lost in the void and manage to get through to the recipient, they are very likely to be misinterpreted during M.C and cause a fight. It is best to talk over the phone, or better yet, in person over a nice cup of tea and some pie!
Mercury Retrograde: A Cosmic Holiday
I like to think of Mercury Retrograde as a compulsory cosmic holiday. It is astrology’s way of saying “slow down, have a break, take some time to recharge”.
Of course in this day and age it is not always an option for us to go AWOL from life for three weeks at a time. If this is the case, then just knowing it is Mercury Retrograde can help. Instead of getting down and annoyed at the madness, try to laugh. Try to wink at that pesky Mercury when he manages to muddle with your emails or lose your thesis. Just laugh!