Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide


You may have heard wind of Mercury Retrograde and the supposed chaos it can cause, or maybe you’ve been clenching your fists in anticipation. About three or four times a year, Mercury becomes retrograde for about three weeks, bookended by a two-week “shadow period.” The planet Mercury rules communication, technology, and travel, and sometimes these aspects of our lives can get a little tangled during this period. 

Take a few deep breaths, don’t forget to meditate, and let this guide help you sail through the next three weeks.

Some examples of some previous Mercury Rx mischief: My phone broke the day before a Mercury Retrograde. A flight was delayed by five hours. A commitment to a new boo did not last longer than a couple of months. A breakup with a new boo did not last, and, as it turns out wasn’t REALLY the end, because he reached out to make amends a couple of Mercury Retrogrades later. I’ve received texts from ex’s saying all the things I wished they would (and wouldn’t!) say, and dealt with  plenty of misunderstandings with friends, family, and coworkers. 

Communication can get out of whack- from gossip getting the best of us, to people taking jokes the wrong way. Left unchecked, this period can bring misunderstandings to boot. It’s important to take that extra breath and think before we speak, refrain from gossip, and maybe even repeat ourselves more than usual.

Proceed with caution in booking flights, making commitments, or rekindling with an old flame. Sometimes, though, you just have to play with fire knowing full well the risks.

Give yourself plenty of travel time, as delayed flights and traffic jams are not unusual during Mercury Retrogrades.

We can set ourselves up for trouble if we anticipate too much drama, however, as confirmation bias means we will will find what we are looking for.

Mercury Retrogrades are a good time to slow down, review the last few months, and take inventory of what’s working and what’s not. This is a time to go inward, take responsibility for your mindset and actions, and take some precious time to process everything that’s been going on. It’s all about the “re” right now, which brings me to my first point:

Reframe, Reflect, Reassess

Mercury Retrograde is a time for all things “re,” namely, reframing old stories from, “God, he doesn’t care about me. He just wants to play games. I am cutting him out of my life for good,” to, “He is doing the best he can with the information he has. Maybe he needs me to speak up, be direct, and ask for what I need?” 

It’s easy to look outward and point the finger at what everyone else is doing wrong, but use this time look inward and get really honest with yourself about what you’re bringing to the table. People often reflect back at us what we are putting out.  

Use this period as a chance to slow down, reflect on the past few months, what you’ve learned, gained, lost, and where you’re going. Reassess your goals, your plan to get there, and if they are aligned with your highest good, and how you might adjust accordingly.

Pump the Brakes

Mercury retrograde is definitely a time to slow down and dare I say, refrain from generally making major moves. Classic wisdom tells us to avoid buying plane tickets, signing leases or contracts, or making commitments. The one caveat to these major life events is that it is safe to proceed if they’re a long time coming. Big, spontaneous moves should probably be put on hold for a few weeks. Use your best judgement. So, hold off on making things official with your new squeeze, at least for a little while. 

Back it Up

Technology can certainly spaz out during this time. Use this time to back up your files and photos, and be prepared for a little mischief from Mercury in this department when work computers start glitching.

Triple Check Details

Since Mercury rules communication, it is imperative that we double and triple check the fine print on everything from the emails we send to the terms of service we click right through.

Re-read your emails and texts before hitting send.

Be Crystal Clear

Make clarity your goal, as misunderstandings are no surprise in the next few weeks. You may have to repeat yourself to be sure you’re making yourself clear.

Try to refrain from especially cutting jokes, as they could be misunderstood and lead to hurt feelings.

Expect Visits from the Past

During this three week period, texts from exs or blasts from the past can come up. It’s best not to jump back into the arms of any former flame without careful consideration, however. They say commitments made during mercury retrograde don’t last, so it could be better to slow down, review those lists of qualities you’re looking for in a partner, and enjoy the unknown until Mercury stations direct.

Renew Old Commitments

This is the time to renew the commitments you’ve made to yourself and others, instead of jumping into new ones. Don’t sign up for a brand new booty bootcamp if you haven’t even gone to all the yoga classes you already paid for. Don’t start looking for a new job until you ask yourself if you’re showing up as your best self, and being grateful and making the best of what you currently have.

Dive Into Your Past

I’m not always one for lingering in the past too long, but this is definitely a good time to get a little nostalgic, remember where you came from, and bust out the old journals and photos and see what’s changed, and what’s stayed the same.

Use this as a time to look at your patterns, habits, relationships, and see if the same mishaps keep coming up.

Relinquish Control

That’s right. Don’t grip the steering wheel so hard your knuckles hurt. There may be a few blips in communication, and some unsettling surprises over the next few weeks. It’s ok.

Remember that we are all going through it. Mercury retrograde is really a “take stock” period and instead of jumping from one thing to the next, it gives us an opportunity to re-evaluate and come out the other side smarter, stronger, and oh-so-grateful for the clear skies when it’s through.

Tell me, how do you prepare for Mercury Retrograde?


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