It's that time again! For three weeks, three times a year, Mercury appears to the naked eye to be moving backwards in his orbit... and chaos ensues.
If you believed all the internet hype about this transit, you might think that's the case. And while Mercury Retrograde is certainly a time of delays, frustrations, irritations, and general communication breakdown, there's no need to panic.
Just like his Roman namesake, Mercury rules communication, travel, technology, and trade. So when he's backtracking in the sky, things related to his realms go a bit haywire. Common examples are car crashes or breakdowns, computers on the fritz, signing on to the job from hell, and putting your foot in your mouth more times than you'd prefer. Mercury was known as The Trickster, and during this transit you're likely to feel like life is playing one big (and mean) trick on you. It's definitely not a time to sign contracts or start anything new, but the good news is there are many positive sides of Mercury Retrograde as well!
When a planet goes retrograde, the energy of that planet shifts from affecting you externally and turns inward. While there are plenty of practical applications of Mercury retro, I've found that I get the best results when I use it to do a bit of spiritual house cleaning. This time around that's especially true, since Mercury is stationing in Pisces, the sign of spirituality, and is right on top of psychic planet Neptune!
Here are my four favorite ways to work this:
Now is the time to integrate any difficult experiences that you've dealt with while Mercury was direct. This transit can help us make peace with what's transpired. Have you been burning the candle at both ends? Make time for physical healing too.
Last summer, I recovered from surgery during Mercury retro in Cancer, and the experience was profound. So often we push ourselves to the brink of burnout, and the universe forces us to stop and rest. Mercury retrograde is your invitation to stop, rest, and replenish your reserves for any projects you want to start later in the year. Let these three weeks be your cosmic savasana.
Now's the time to step back and take stock of what you've got going on. What dreams, hopes, and wishes do you want to come to fruition? Is there an ambition you've been chasing that no longer excites you? Mercury retrograde wants to you look within and revise your life. Everything from business planning to dream journaling will pay off now.
Write a poem, a novel, or a song. Whatever it is, just write and let the creative juices flow! Turn your communicative impulse inward and embrace catharsis. Many famous poets and artists, like Lady Gaga, have Mercury retro in their natal charts, and I've found that this can be a prolific time for creatives. Just wait until Mercury turns direct to publish your magnum opus!
Mercury retrograde can bring up things from our past that we thought we were over. Feelings that were once dead are revived and it can be a shock to the system. This is an opportunity to process it and leave it behind once and for all. Declare your intent to the universe by creating a ritual for whatever you want to release.
For more information on how to combine astrology and ritual, check out Bri Saussy's Star Magic course! I'm honored to be guest teaching alongside Tarot gangsta and kindness hustler, Theresa Reed (a.k.a The Tarot Lady).
Happy Mercury Retrograde and cosmic love!