One of the many seemingly mysterious events in our universe is planets going retrograde. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s when a planet’s rotation appears to be moving backward from our earthly point of view (which it doesn’t actually do, by the way.) For Mercury, which is currently in retrograde, it happens about three times a year, which is why you’ve heard of it so much. So let’s look at how we can work with them and not fear them right now!
Everybody Hates Mercury (in Retrograde)
There’s a lot of commotion around retrogrades, where there are posts like, “Surviving Mercury retrograde,” or “Oh no! Here it comes!” and all that fear around it. I was the same way, especially when noticing the things that would happen, like the technical glitches occurring during Mercury retrograde. It makes us feel like, “Ah man, you know, we have to really step up our game!” during that period. But the thing is that all planets go retrograde, not just Mercury.
A Golden Opportunity
So, think of it this way: We are the planet. We embody those planet archetypes. When a planet appears to be going backward, we must do the same. Said another way: It’s the perfect time to slow down and re-evaluate things related to the planet in retrograde and what it represents. While you’re mostly going to hear about the doom and gloom all over social media during Mercury retrograde, I want you to also look at where this planet is landing in your chart.
Understanding Your Natal Chart
What we do in astrology is map out your chart, determining the placement of the planets at the moment of your first breath. That’s your natal chart, and that’s not going to change in this lifetime. Then we map it to what’s happening in the sky right now so you can see where that planet is highlighting the areas or fields of life experience in your personal chart. That’s going to help you see how it may be affecting you this time, which means every Mercury retrograde will be different. It’s going to land in a different spot, and people will be handling it differently, since we’re all unique. It’s vital not only to understand your natal chart but also to see the connection it shares with your subconscious mind, inner thoughts and emotions expressed in your dreams.
Retrograde Hits Different
You may read articles online giving you the gist of what Mercury retrograde is and how to survive it, what tips to follow during this time, etc. However, that’s only a partial picture because, as I said, everyone’s different. So you’re going to be expressing it differently from how each article describes it each time retrograde comes around. So keep that in mind as you read on. Even though all planets go retrograde and have their lessons, people specifically don’t like when Mercury does because it causes computer glitches, travel delays, and miscommunications. And even though we can prepare as much as we want by mapping it out and knowing when it’s happening, there will be unforeseen things.
How DO You Prepare?
Now, depending on when you’re reading this, you can check online to see when it’s happening. But as of this writing, Mercury IS in retrograde, so here’s how you can prepare:
- Back up your computer before glitches happen
Pick up a removable hard drive, or purchase cloud space and back up everything necessary. Whether day-to-day or business-related, you want to have that backup ready if a glitch occurs.
- Leave ahead of time if you’re planning to travel
Give yourself extra wiggle room to show up ahead of schedule and hopefully circumvent any delays. Also, cancellation insurance wouldn’t be a bad idea should you need to make a last-minute change. I’m really not one to change plans based on the planets but I do prepare, so you can do as I do and get anything crucial done ahead of time, so there are fewer opportunities for delay.
- Be extra conscious about your words in conversations
Stay more aware of yourself in interactions, and take moments internally or physically to kind of step back and think through what you’re going to say. If you have enough time, maybe journal it to either nail down your thoughts or at least determine if it needs to be said in the first place. Or avoid it altogether for now and have those deeper conversations when the energies aren’t so chaotic!
Another thing that I’ve learned, especially dealing with relationships and other people, is acknowledging that we all handle things differently. By understanding how a person acts when they need some space, feel hurt, or are in the midst of a challenge or a conflict, you can better navigate one another. You can avoid the back and forth that can happen if they’re not expressing or handling situations as you would. So, if like me, you need to handle issues in the moment, it’s better to understand that some people need to pause. It can only improve a relationship when you make an effort to understand how they act.
We can’t always go off of the astrological calendar alone, as we can’t control everything. But if we’re aware of the retrograde and prepare ourselves for it, we can reduce any unforeseen consequences.
Mercury Doesn’t Need to Become Your Whole World
What I like about astrology and how it can help is with that awareness; not only can you prepare, but also, it offers a sense of relief and some control. If you back up your computer, go ahead of time to work, are mindful in conversations, and “things” happen, knowing that it’s a possibility because Mercury is going retrograde, you’ll be like, “No big deal!” It’s a much different energy than when you’re like, “Oh my goodness, why is everything happening to me!? I missed my plane.
My computer crashed. I’m having all these conflicts with people. Why me!?” Instead of thinking that way, you will understand that the planets are doing their thing, and you’re doing your best to do your thing. When you need extra help, some tools can support you and your mood during these frustrating times, like essential oils, crystals, and Yoga, to name a few, allowing you to work with that energy better.
Retrograde: Showing Us the Signs
As I said, we hear a lot about Mercury retrograde, but all the other planets go retrograde as well! Only the frequency depends on how far they are from Earth. Each has its way of affecting us, which will present in life and permeate our dreams. For example, Venus retrograde is not an ideal time to start a new relationship, but it’s great to revisit what you’re looking for in a partner. Keep in mind you may see your exes come back into the picture. That’s not inviting you to go back and be with them (unless that’s what you really want to do!), but there will be energy pulling you to go back to it in some way. Also, Venus relates to finances and abundance, so it’s a good time to review income, your job, investments, and that sort of thing. So, it’s important to be mindful of ALL the planets, not just Mercury in retrograde, to make the most of what astrology is trying to tell us at that time through our life and dreams. And once you know that, you can work through those dreams and, hopefully, make them less confusing. That way, you can see they’re really showing you what you’re looking for in life at this time. You can take stock of what situations no longer serve you. Ensure you’re not being a “Yes Person” and review boundaries that you have and why particular jobs, relationships or circumstances and the like didn’t work in the first place. Then you can have a clear idea of what you want moving forward, or at least notice some patterns and work them out.
All Is Right in the World(s)
Once a planet goes direct, it gives us the momentum to use whatever we learned during retrograde to move forward. A lot can come from that seeming period of “doom, gloom, and confusion,” and I find the most helpful thing during that time is knowing exactly where it’s impacting you. Because when you understand it, you see the lessons the Universe is trying to teach you, allowing you a much clearer idea when the planet goes direct. That’s the beauty of astrology: Knowing what’s coming, planning for the worst, and applying your knowledge to move life forward.
By comparing your natal chart with your current transits, you have the power to regain some control during Mercury retrograde (and any other.) If you need help figuring out your chart, we go in depth inside my course Cosmic Dream Alchemy, and I also have an intro to the subject in my workshop. I hope everything I have to share can help you use astrology to really live out that dream life you want this year. When you can push past your fear of how the cosmos affects us, everything opens up to you. If you have any questions about my courses or astrology work in general, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and don’t hesitate to reach out on social media.