How To Survive Mercury Retrograde
Mercury retrograde is like that irresistible ex-boyfriend who regularly shows back up in your life, knocking you off your orbit.
He leaves a random voicemail at 4AM telling you to check out a Spotify playlist he created to play along with today’s sunrise (when you haven’t spoken to each other in months). You suddenly notice him bartending at the exact moment your best friend screams & banishes you from her birthday party (what did she think you said?!). You think of this particular ex whenever you're taking stock of your life & wonder, When was the last time everything was this out of control?
And sometimes, if you’re teary from overwhelm & frustration, you’ll sleep with him again. (He won’t even act surprised.)
But--just like Mercury retrograde--no matter how perfectly timed his re-emergence in your life, you will inevitably remember why you broke up with him in the first place: he is absolutely unreliable, refusing to stay par for the course, even if veering into the weeds means shitting on other people’s carefully arranged lives.
Mercury retrograde is a kismet force of nature you will never shake. Its disruption can make you feel like you'll never actually be in control of your life.
But the detour can be so refreshing. Mercury retrograde brings an opportunity to measure self-growth; to re-evaluate your perspective & course-correct. Sure, Mercury retrograde may bring some frazzling scenarios, but in the grand scheme of things, you're glad to have an astrologically ordained respite from life's usual go-go-go pace.
And I want you to get really use this opportunity! Let me give you some astrology-hacks for making the most of Mercury retrograde & share my best tips for surviving--even thriving--during Mercury retrograde!
(And maybe you can translate it for dealing with ruinous exes.)
WHAT IS MERCURY RETROGRADE?
When planets go retrograde, they look like they’re scooting backwards across the sky. The planet isn’t technically going backwards, it’s just scootched closer to the sun, which looks like a backwards motion from here on earth.
Of all the planets, Mercury retrograde causes the most drama. Mercury rules communication, clear thinking, Truth, & travel--all the areas of life we have the least patience for when they go awry. When those areas are running smoothly, life is smoother.
So, preparation is key to surviving (& even thriving) during Mercury retrograde. You don’t want Mercury to enter retrograde with deadlines or expectations hanging over your head. You should avoid making big decisions while Mercury is retrograde & you definitely should put fail safes in place (& test them ahead of time). Mercury retrograde is the perfect time to ease your foot off the gas & take stock, but you've got to stay on top of Mercury's trajectory & get your house in order ahead of time.
Mercury retrograde lasts about 3 weeks & will occur 3x in 2018. Plug reminders into your phone a few days prior to when Mercury goes retrograde, so you have plenty of buffer.
When your Calendar reminder goes off, grab your daily planner along with your diary. What's going on in your life right now? What are you anticipating in the next few weeks? Highlight in bright ink all the projects, parties, date nights, class assignments, & travel plans slated during retrograde season, & begin taking cautionary measures. (I've got a list of survival & thrive-val tips at the bottom of this post!)
Mercury retrograde hits everybody a little different--worse for those among us who resist delays, who resent downtime, or who avoid spending time alone with themselves.
But I have a few insights to help you help you make the most of the switch-up in the skies!
WHAT TO EXPECT: HOROSCOPES FOR MERCURY RETROGRADE
Mercury retrograde is an astrological event, so you can guess how it will affect you by knowing a little about your sun sign. (Your sun sign = the sign you look for to read your horoscope.) Your sun sign speaks to how you interact with the world, which is exactly what Mercury retrograde scrambles.
So, until the planet goes direct, these are my tips for dealing with the static.
(Psst--check out How To Survive Mercury Retrograde for more thorough explanation of Mercury retrograde & to also learn about Venus & Mars retrograde!)
FIRE SIGNS (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)
For the fire signs, Mercury retrograde will feel as if your spark has flashed out. You’ll feel restrained, uninspired, a little self-doubtful. Quality alone time is highly recommended for fire signs during Mercury retrograde, but if you must press on, warn your friends: proceed with caution.
Mercury retrograde will pull the heat off your current projects & newly kindled passions, which you may confuse as disinterest. Don’t call it quits just yet—wait to see how you feel after Mercury goes direct. Press pause on the project if you’re getting fed up with your own lack of enthusiasm. Offer a rain check if you don't seem to be vibing with your date.
You’ll feel overly sensitive & even worried about your sudden droop in oomph. Your imagination will run haywire along with your emotions. Am I depressed? Do I have a vitamin B deficiency? Is someone I know a psychic vampire?!
Communication breakdowns are MAJOR during Mercury retrograde, so you’ll be pricklier than usual—and yes, probably assume your friends are either criticizing you or feeding off your usually abundant energy. Excuse yourself from the conversation before lashing out. If you do have a fight with your friends / lovers, don’t take it as a sign that the relationship has soured. (Kyle & Ruby are most likely not psychic vampires.)
Overall, fire signs should use retrograde as an opportunity to grab a few deep lungfuls of air & let the dust settle. This is the time to finally pick up a meditation practice, try that yinasa yoga DVD your friend loaned you, or revisit projects left to congeal on the back burner. Now’s the opportunity to finally tie them off or harvest them for parts.
EARTH SIGNS (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)
Earth signs can expect to feel jolted during Mercury retrograde. But against all your typical earth-sign instincts, don’t push. Flexibility is key to staying sane during Mercury retrograde.
By flexibility, I mean willingness to change course on a dime & not getting attached to outcomes. Mercury retrograde is not the time for perfectionism! If you’ve gotta stick to a schedule, allot extra time for thinking up creative solutions. (Hint, hint… Because you’ll definitely be thrown some curve balls—an unexpected bill, a project ending up in the weeds, etc.) Assume you’ll make a few mistakes & that you’ll be able to correct them later.
For the earth signs, Mercury retrograde’s a good time to realize that loosening your grip isn’t the same as losing control. If you start feeling pigheaded, break routine. In fact, put aside your daily planner. (You've known Mercury retrograde was coming, so you've already scheduled auto-pay & phone alerts for your important tasks, right? And also double-checked them? 'Course you did.)
You might actually feel like going into hermit-mode, & that’s okay. Turn off your phone notifications, stay indoors, & try getting creative. What's been catching your eye on Pinterest lately? Making homemade pasta, redecorating the bathroom, or designing your own stationary? Now's a good time to play & experiment.
Virgo is ruled by Mercury & in some ways, you’ll land better on your feet than the other signs. Be advised, though: your most self-destructive traits will be amplified during this time. Plan for small interruptions--like setting an alarm to remind you to move onto a different task, so you don't become consumed by minutiae.
AIR SIGNS (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius)
Air signs suffer hard during Mercury retrograde. Something feels missing—your sharp wit & quick references are no longer top-of-mind. All during Mercury retrograde, you'll feel like you’re missing a crucial piece of information--as if there’s something unintelligible right in front of you. You’ll want to worry at it like a new cavity, but try leaving it alone. Instead, try being more present.
For air signs, this is a perfect time for a mental detox & reboot! Feed your mind with fresh new experiences. When spaciness overwhelms you, take a stroll or plan a trip to a new part of the city. Take yourself to the museum.
This might sound left-field, but try to avoid caffeine, or at least substitute your morning cuppa with a milder stimulant, like Yerba Mate. If you find yourself sniping at grocery cashiers (what a moron!) or correcting your friends' grammar in a text message, it's time to unplug. Go for that walk or make headway in your reading list.
Gemini is also ruled by Mercury, which will give you a certain advantage: you'll detect a change in the air days before your phone reminder will alert you that Mercury retrograde is approaching. When signs of Mercury going retrograde come up (mental static! breakdowns in communication!), take a deep breath & let your thoughts settle. Let the static move through you. Stay in the mo'.
WATER SIGNS (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)
During Mercury retrograde, water signs tend to feel muddled. You’ll feel slower on the uptake & get flustered easily. This can lead into a nasty downward spiral of negative thinking. Mercury retrograde is a perfect time for introspection, but you’ll need to put some precautions in place to keep you off the spiral.
Let your creative instincts roam. Read as much fiction as you can, diary everyday, & give yourself a Tarot card reading. Prioritize activities that make you feel happy. If you've never done it before, try Desire Mapping. Spend Mercury retrograde figuring out how you want to feel & start planning how you'll make yourself feel that way 24/7 once Mercury goes direct.
Most importantly, feed yourself plenty of nourishing high, positive vibes! Find something personal & meaningful to focus on these next 3 weeks. Avoid people & activities that make you feel pressured to perform in a certain way—you’ll wind up disoriented, pissed off, & hurt. Protect your feelings & your time.
MERCURY RETROGRADE SURVIVAL & THRIVE-VAL TIPS
Here's some general suggestions for gliding through Mercury Retrograde:
- Anticipate communication breakdowns! Don’t take any weird or mean-spirited words to heart. You meant to say it differently & s/he didn’t meant what s/he said, so let it go.
- Be wary of sparking up an affair during or slightly before retrograde—Mercury is the trickster planet & minds are prone to changing once the planet goes direct!
- Avoid big ticket purchases. If you’ve gotta have it, get a warranty!
- Back up your data. Back up your data. Back up your data.
- Enjoy a little nostalgia-a-go-go. Remember the movies you used to quote all the time? What was the soundtrack of your life as a teenager? Watch your fav films & create playlists for different periods of your life.
- Mercury retrograde is allllll about coming full circle. Reread your girlhood diaries & old love notes. Have a laugh, a revelation, then tuck them back away.
- Make reconciliations. Got someone on your mind? Old flames, old friends, old colleagues? You might serendipitously cross paths!
- Get clarity. Since you're not focusing on any launches or deadlines right now, take the time to update your resume, LinkedIn profile, or mission statement.
- Don’t sign on the dotted line! Get second opinions or extra time to anything you’re committing to—especially if it’s legally binding.
- Tie up loose ends & put a bow on it. Finish your short story collection, your half-finished DIY craft project, or any other little upstarts you got too busy to see through.
Think of Mercury retrograde as the perfect opportunity to coast a little. It's an opportunity, not a pain!
Any other tips for taking advantage of Mercury retrograde? Holla at me on Twitter!