Mercury Retrograde

Sincerity Sunday: Mercury Retrograde is NOT an Excuse

How do you approach Mercury Retrograde?

Do you clear your schedule, cowering at home with a cup of hot tea until the cosmic weather clears? (See above.)

Do you become paranoid, afraid the vague email you received from your boss is a certain indicator that you'll be jobless within a week?

Or, do you go about business as usual, brazenly signing documents and making new travel plans despite the ubiquitous warnings?

For the record, I don't endorse any of these methods.

As a professional astrologer, I've had more than my share of queries regarding how to deal with Mercury's retrograde phase. After listening to this conversation for years, I've come to decide that on the whole, our community's relationship to this transit is unhealthy... even my own.

If you're not privy to the cosmic lingo yet, here's the skinny: when Mercury retrogrades, the planet appears to be moving backwards in its orbit.

Astrologically speaking, it's a total Communication Breakdown (couldn't resist a good Zeppelin reference!). Signals get crossed in conversations, computers and vehicles go haywire, travel plans fall through, and Murphy's law is the order of the day.

Best mystical practices say it's possible to circumvent the negative effects of Mercury Rx (shorthand for retrograde) by doing activities that start with the prefix re-. Revise, review, renew, replenish, you get the idea. Taking a spiritual approach is the best plan of attack with this transit, but that doesn't change the fact that Mercury has a reputation for being a Trickster. There's no real way to fully escape the awkward nature of this period.

As with most things in my life, I plan ahead as much possible. Mercury Rx is no exception. I created specific game plan with tasks that I could do during the transit to makeover my blog and refresh my brand. But when it came to day-to-day activities, I was still stuck in fear mode.

Would starting that big project during the retrograde lead to dissatisfaction with the finished product?

Would calling a new primary care physician lead to a bad relationship with that service provider in the future?

Would trying that new recipe during Mercury Rx mean I 'd end up hating it afterwards?

In an act of desperation, I turned to my ever-practical beloved for advice. He told me,

“You've got to live your life. Mercury retrograde is not an excuse.”

This made me think: how much of our fear of Mercury retrograde is rooted in personal insecurities and fear of failure? Starting a project, making a doctor's appointment, or even trying a new food are absolutely necessary, and we shouldn't consider putting them of due to some silly astrological transit. It's natural to be wary of the unknown and nervous about starting, but don't let Mercury Rx be an excuse for procrastination.

Instead of operating from fear, use your astrology know-how to your advantage! Start working on your big idea, but don't go public with it until after Mercury goes direct. Schedule that doctor's appointment, but make sure you put it in your Google calendar and keep copies of all the documents you might need. And try a fresh recipe if you want! Mercury Rx is a great time to think outside the box and try something outside your routine. Put a positive spin on things, and you'll get much better results, I promise.

Let me be clear: the astrological prescriptions are there for a reason. Doing something new during Mercury Rx, or any other tough transit for that matter, may make it more difficult, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do. Don't put it off. Trust in the infinite that your timing will be perfect, regardless of the cosmic weather.

If you need to do something, do it. The universe WILL support you.

Here's to a happy and productive Mercury Rx!

Let's Get Spiritual: Making Nice With Mercury Retrograde

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:


1. Recover.

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.


2. Reflect.

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.


3. Write.

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!


4. Release.

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).

The deadline to sign up is 2/13/2014, so hop to it!


Happy Mercury Retrograde and cosmic love!