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Mercury Retrograde has quickly become one of the most popular—and feared—events in astrology.
You’ve most likely heard one of your friends or co-workers mention it in conversation, blaming it for some technological breakdown. As one of the few astrological phenomena that affects everyone the same way, Mercury Retrograde attracts the attention of everyone from bankers on Wall Street to yoga teachers in Santa Monica. Where the Full Moon, for instance, may bring one person energy while making another feel like they can’t get out of bed, Mercury retrograde does the same number on all of us. No matter your Sun or Moon sign, whether you care about astrology or not, Mercury Retrograde treats everyone equally.
When Does Mercury Retrograde Happen?
Although it seems to always be occurring, Mercury Retrogrades take place three times a year for three weeks at a time. In 2019, Mercury will station retrograde from March 5th-March 28th, July 7th-July 31st, and October 13th-Nov 3rd.
The first step in understanding Mercury Retrograde is to know when it is happening. Mark your calendars and know that there are certain things you’ll want to avoid during this period, but there are also opportunities for growth.
What is a Retrograde?
When planets station retrograde, they appear to move backward in our sky. Mercury is not actually backpedaling though; it is just an optical illusion.
Mercury is the fastest moving planet in the Solar System, circling the Sun every 88 days. Retrogrades occur when Mercury passes Earth. Have you ever been on a train and another train passes you? For a moment it seems the faster moving train is going backward until it finally overtakes the slower one. This is the same effect which occurs in our sky when Mercury passes the Earth.
What Does Mercury rule?
Mercury rules our communication, including all of our technology and systems of information exchange. Mercury affects the part of us that absorbs information and transmits that information to others.
When mercury retrogrades, the normal flow of energy is reversed. Ideas and thoughts seem to get stuck within our mind instead of easily pouring outwards. The same occurs with our digital communication: e-mail servers go down, social media platforms show their bugs, and our normal connections fail to work as expected. It can be a frustrating time when information is lost or misconstrued. Communication seems to get stuck, then like a slingshot, it breaks through in an unorganized way, confusing everyone.
Tips for Mercury Retrograde
Below are a few simple practices that can help you navigate Mercury Retrograde without falling prey to its havoc or spending three weeks feeling frustrated over lost emails:
Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 1: Collect your words when speaking. Pause before you speak and take a few breaths to center your thoughts. Also, don’t rush yourself if you’re not ready. Silence is better than mixed messages.
Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 2: Give other people space. In conversation, encourage both parties to take a deep breath during moments of confusion or interruptions. Mercury Retrograde can cause our minds to move very fast, giving way to people talking over one another and not listening. Stay centered in yourself and your grounded energy will help everyone else.
Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 3: Check for typos. Mercury Retrograde is infamous for causing typos, grammar errors and hitting “send” before the message is complete. Again, our mind speeds up during this time, jumbling our thoughts and our fingers. Read your message a few times and even ask someone else to edit your important work during this period.
Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 4: Read the details of contracts. It’s technically best not to sign important agreements during Mercury Retrograde. If you must, read every line three times. Know that Mercury Retrograde “breaks” anything that is not perfectly aligned. So even if you do miss something in the terms, chances are it will fall apart naturally, if it isn’t the right fit for you.
Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 5: Confirm plans. This goes for your own plans, like travel itineraries, and your meetings with others. Double check those dinner plans, so you don’t find yourself eating alone. Also, try to have compassion and understanding for when people do miss calls and meetings.
Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 6: Connect with nature, especially when you are experiencing technological breakdowns. Time with Mother Earth will re-center your energy and get you out of your head for a moment. It will also give you, and your technology, time to reboot.
Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 7: Spend time journaling. One of the benefits of Mercury Retrograde is greater access to your thoughts and feelings. During this time, conversations with yourself are easier and answers effortlessly rise to the surface.
Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 8: Be open to redirection. If Mercury Retrograde breaks something in your world, consider it a good thing. If energies are perfectly aligned, Mercury won’t be able to affect them. See any “destruction” as an opportunity to build something stronger and more aligned with your internal energy.
How Can Yoga Help You Handle Mercury Retrogrades?
Yoga is very beneficial during Mercury Retrograde. The key to navigating this period with your sanity intact is to stay centered in your body. Your connection with your breath is vital during this period, as it will slow down your mind and clear away any frustration.
Here are a few poses that will help ground and center your energy. Practice them anytime you feel your nerves become rattled or you need to a reset:
This pose will leave you feeling strong, centered and capable of persevering any storm MercuryRetrograde may throw at you.
2. Goddess Pose
Feel your inner power with this pose, and then open your body to receive strength from the universe to conquer challenges in front of you.
3. Eagle Pose
It’s impossible to think about computer problems, much less anything else, in this pose. Find your focus, and your confidence, while having a bit of fun too.
When you need a moment to relax your nervous system, take a simple forward bend. You can do this anywhere and at any time. It’s also the perfect energetic reset as you wait for your computer to do the same.
5. Child’s Pose
When all else fails, connect your head to the ground and breath. There are times when you need a bit of comfort, and this pose is the perfect remedy for the anxiety Mercury Retrograde can bring.
The most important thing to remember during Mercury Retrograde is that it will pass. The problems this astrological phenomenon can cause are temporary. Stay centered in your breath and look for the silver linings. There are just as many opportunities during this period as there are frustrations. Keep a positive outlook—and when that’s not possible, give yourself space away from technology and others to re-center yourself.
About Our Author
Jill Wintersteen is the founder of Spirit Daughter, an LA-based brand dedicated to using astrology to help guide spiritual wellness. Jill writes the popular New Moon and Full Moon workbooks each month, where she explains the cycles of the Moon along with the associated collective astrology. Spirit Daughter offers tools to help people align with the current cosmic energies to set intentions and design their best life.
Jill comes from an expanisve background in Psychology, Yoga, Chinese Medicine, and Astrology. After observing a growing need for people to have practical information on current astrological events from a trusted source, she launched Spirit Daughter to help people attune to the moon and manifest their dreams. She weaves together her vast knowledge to guide people towards their soul’s truth and inspire them to live an intuitive life filled with magic.