The Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide


So, is it that time of year again?

Is social media awash with cries of, “Hide the women and children! Abandon ship! Stockpile weapons! It’s Mercury Retrograde!”?

Despite the self-fulling prophecy of suckiness that generally follows for the next few weeks where people blame poor little Mercury for everything they screw up, it really doesn’t have to be awful.


So, first, understand that the planets don’t control you. Not even a little. So, no matter what they are doing up in the sky, you have free will to do whatever you dang well please. Well, as long as it is within the law. Or common sense.

Astrology concerns itself with patterns and cycles, and the chart of transiting planets for the day and your personal placements from birth can show us lessons and is a reflection of what happens here on Earth. Think of it more as synchronicity and less as a force or influence. You choose what you’re going to do with those cycles… always.

So, what the Heck is Mercury Retrograde anyway?

So, remember that astrology isn’t really what the planets are doing. Astrology is what the planets appear to be doing from our vantage point here on Earth. Mercury absolutely does not take a turn and move backwards. However, two to three times a year for about three weeks, it looks like it is moving backwards from here on Earth.

Wait, Mercury Does What?

Now, let’s pretend you are driving down the highway. In a car, truck or motorcycle. This won’t work on a horse. Or a bicycle.

There is a car going more slowly than you (because you’re probably an impatient demon, hell bent on getting to Dairy Queen before it closes). You pass the car, and as you are next to it, despite the fact that both of you are travelling in the same direction, the car going at a reasonable level of speed (as you fly past on your way for an Oreo Blizzard and some fries) looks like it is going backwards.

That is retrograde motion. It is an optical illusion — nothing more.

However, it does have astrological significance.

How to Own Mercury Retrograde and Survive Like the Boss You Are

Mercury is the planet of communication, thought, messages, simple technology (especially the kind used to communicate), memory, logic, self-expression, rationality, truth and lies, and similar mental functions.

So, when it seems to be moving backwards through the sky, these things seem to go on the fritz, causing mayhem and destruction. After all, communication is indeed at the base of all we do — work, family, friends… those things we care about all rely on some kind of communication.

The thing is, humans need this cycle to reflect and finish up old projects or we would lose our minds and always try to push forward obsessively. Mercury Retrograde is a signal to slow the heck down.

If you have noticed, sometimes things do go haywire during the big MR. Missed appointments, miscommunications, broken cars, phones not holding a charge and other random things like that. It isn’t your imagination… but

If you spend those three weeks every few months focused on clearing out the old and useless off your plate, you may find it goes far more smoothly than you anticipated. If you really want to start something new, then return to something you started and flaked out on or an idea you had that you let slip.

Reflect. Look at your direction. Your happiness. Are you pursuing your passions? What do you have to do to be able to pursue them?

No, you don’t have to wade through and punish yourself with every stupid mistake you’ve made since the 4th grade. That’s just inviting nonsense you don’t need into your life.

Rather, take stock in your strengths and look at how what you have done in your past might apply to your future. Look at your weaknesses (yeah, we all have them. Even you.) and either how you can improve in those areas or how to minimize having to rely on them going forward.

Focus on you, your thoughts, your blind spots, your biases. Work through unresolved feelings, opinions and work on your mental health.

When you do that, you’re not focusing on what could go wrong during MR and therefore drawing those things subconsciously into your life like a self-fulfilling prophesy, or become victim to what is called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. That’s a mental trick where we start noticing things that would happen under normal circumstances but seem more frequent or obvious because we are unconsciously looking for them when we weren’t before.

I’m not saying the Mercury Retrograde communication blunders are an illusion. But, when we know it is MR, we may attribute our normal blunders to it and make it bigger than it really is.

Now, get on out there and use this information to make this the best Mercury retrograde ever!

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