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Mercury is in Retrograde again. But WTF does that actually mean?
You’ve seen the memes, every 3-4 months, Mercury’s backward spin through the sky becomes a convenient scapegoat for crashed computers, missed flights, relationships being on the rocks and your neighbour changing their damn Netflix password again. If you’re the kind of person who subscribes to this stuff, you’ve probably already warned your loved ones to expect all this chaos (and more!) when Mercury starts retrograding, but if you have no idea WTF is going on – we’re here to help.
Understanding the meaning of Mercury retrograde, knowing its upcoming dates and how long it lasts can help you deal with astrology's most nerve-wracking event.
So, what exactly is the science behind Mercury retrograde?
Because Mercury is the planet situated closest to the Sun, its orbit is much shorter than Earth’s. So, three or four times a year, Mercury speeds past Earth and THAT is when we experience a retrograde period. But also, the name is deceptive. It's not as if the planet actually starts orbiting backwards – it’s more of an… optical illusion.
Put it this way… if you were in a car and another car passed you, you would obviously know that it was going faster than you. But if it then slowed down and you passed it, it can almost, kinda look like the other car is going backwards. Know what we mean? Then, when the driver of the other car puts the pedal to the metal and speeds past you, it kicks up all the dust and shrapnel on the road. As Mercury speeds by us, it’s like this car – creating a turbulent gust of wind, shrapnel and shitty luck in its wake.
Areas of life where Mercury Rules
Mercury is associated with communication, information, electronics, travel, and even clear thinking, so when it's in retrograde we have to be ready for a slowdown (or breakdown!) in all of those areas. Shit will break. Projects will stall. We will lose things. Breakups will happen. Schedules will be thrown out the window and we will get frustrated, then we will have a tanty, lash out and more breakdown in communications will follow.
The effects of Mercury retrograde aren't all in your imagination - but it isn't all bad news either, because here’s our handy Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide.
So How Should You Ride This Out?
Be kind to yourself. Let your vibe during Mercury retrograde be “flow over friction.” If you feel like you are holding on to ideas, outcomes and relationships too strongly, let it go and see how Mercury is helping you out. If you are noticing resistance come up for you, that is Mercury holding your hand and guiding you to your truth. Take a step back and look — this is a sign. All this retrograde mess doesn't have to be negative, it could be a gift in disguise!
Get really clear and assess your boundaries and standards for yourself and others around you. What are you willing to work with and what is simply unacceptable? How do you want to move forward?
And, as always, back up your hard drive, take care of yourself, learn some breathing techniques in case anxiety comes up (mercury rules the nervous system), have patience for yourself and those you're surrounded by, and really learn how to embrace yourself and your intuition.
Mercury retrograde is a time to own yourself. You have nothing to worry about, simply make sure your thoughts, words, and acts come from a place of integrity and love. So, breathe deeply and don’t buy into the drama around this time. Let it be a helping hand to being fully you.
Our Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide
Do spend time being mindful. Go deep into your thoughts and feels and be sure to actively listen to others with an open mind.
Do keep plans flexible.
Do be careful about what you consume – and not only food-wise. This is a great time for a social media “cleanse”. There’s so much crap floating around on SM, and communication breakdown during retrograde can make it that much harder to deal with. Have a break and reevaluate what’s really important and worth “sharing”.
Do back up all your files and buy a portable charger.
Do give yourself plenty of room for error when travelling! Especially if you live in a city that relies on PT or if you’re travelling anywhere by air.
Do check your junk folder and re-read EVERY text and email before hitting send.
Do give yourself a break. Shit happens. Especially when Mercury is retrograding.
Don’t cut people off mid-sentence because you assume you know what they’re going to say.
Don’t sign any contracts, unless you’ve double, triple crossed every t and dotted every i. If you can hold off until retrograde is over – do it.
Don’t rely too heavily on technology. Mercury rules tech, so expect the unexpected when it comes to your devices during this period
Don’t re-decorate or try a new haircut! Now is a fine time to plan your next bold move, but step away from the sledgehammer and don’t make a salon appointment until the retrograde clears.
Don’t do anything life altering, or that you can’t take back. Please think twice before getting that Tweety Bird tattoo.
And finally – do keep track of when the next retrograde is due and plan for it.