If you follow along with astrology, even in a basic way, then you are bound to have come across Mercury Retrograde and all the hilarious memes that come along with it. There can be a fair bit of anxiety in the lead up to Mercury Retrograde and it's beauty is often overlooked and a lot of this is to do with that fact that this is a time for slowing down, letting go of our reliance on technology and for getting our affairs in order - in our fast paced, productive world, these are not always things that we want to do.
Mercury Retrograde is when it appears that the planet Mercury is travelling backwards. Though this is simply an optical illusion and Mercury isn't in fact moving backwards, it has an energetic effect of reversing what this planet rules. Mercury rules communication, travel and technology and is often referred to as the trickster. During the few weeks when Mercury goes retrograde we can expect the flow of this planet in reverse - delays, confusion, misunderstandings and technology to more than likely let us down. Mercury retrograde began on Monday 17th Feb and will end on Tuesday 10th March.
But it's not all bad, Mercury Retrograde can actually present us with an opportunity to slow down, resist the temptation to start anything new (projects started during a retrograde can be hard to get off the ground) and instead focus your energy on getting everything up to date. It's a great time to get on top of admin, catch up on your chores, re-organise your home or office and do some spring cleaning.
Mercury Retrograde also teaches us the value in being present and mindful, as it's easy to get into misunderstandings with people at this time, take special care when communicating with others - speak clearly, truthfully and from the heart, say what you mean. This is a great time to check-in with your throat chakra, if you find it hard to say what you mean, it's likely to create confusion and havoc during this time so ask yourself why you find it hard to be clear and honest with your speech? Being honest, direct and clear is a great habit to get into whether Mercury is retrograde or not.
Take a break from technology
If technology is likely to be slow or simply not work over the next few weeks then why not embrace this and choose to spend time on other things. Get out in nature, read books or simply just sit and be. Living without technology can help us see how much we rely on it and are attached to it's presence and how when it's taken away, we have all this space and time that we didn't realise was there. So many people these days complain that they don't have time for reading, for meditating or doing things like yoga, yet we can easily be scrolling on our phone for 10-20 minutes, that's enough time to read a chapter or two, or do some yogic breathing and a couple of down dogs or sit and meditate. Try it out, everytime you turn to your phone out of habit, choose something else to do, keep a journal of your experiences.
The Art of Slow Living
One thing you often find during Mercury Retrogrades is that travel plans can be scuppered or delayed and that everything just takes that little bit longer. Again, this can be a wonderful prompt to fall in love with the art of slow living. In a world of internet streaming, amazon prime next day delivery and the instant gratification of social media, we have forgotten what it means to live slowly and patiently. These days people get irate if you don't reply to them straight away or if they have to wait more than 24 hours for something to arrive! The world is getting less and less tolerant and more and more anxious. So, again, we can embrace this energy and slow down. Ask yourself about the demands that others place upon you and your time and how you can create new boundaries moving forward. If you run your own business and have fallen into habits of responding to people's messages past 6pm at night can you create some new habits whereby you turn your phone off when you're home from work. Or better yet get a work phone if you don't have one already. Unless your job involves other people's lives being in danger then it's likely that things can wait till the morning, or the next day...the world will continue to turn. Your phone is meant to work for you, not the other way round.
If you are delayed during travels, how could you utilise that time? Take a book with you when travelling so if you are delayed you can make the most of your time by reading, or if you love to draw, carry a small sketch book with you. Or strike up a conversation with someone you're travelling with, some of the most magical moments in life are the unplanned ones, the times when things didn't go according to plan, tap into your sense of adventure. Remember, Mercury is the trickster, left to our own devices sometimes we can become serious and bogged down in the day-to- day-grind, we need a little bit of mischief and mishap to help us remember not to takes things too seriously and to remind us that we're not in control and to surrender to the flow of life.
In conclusion, instead of surviving Mercury Retrograde you can thrive by:
- Slowing down
- Be mindful - check everything 3 or 4 times - especially important emails, documents and contracts etc (if possible avoid signing contracts until Mercury goes direct)
- Avoid starting anything new (again if possible)
- Speak clearly and say what you mean
- Don't rely on technology and enjoy taking a break from your phone and from social media
- Expect delays, give yourself plenty of time for traveling places.
- Get your affairs in order
- Let go of the need/pressure to be constantly productive
Honouring Mercury Retrograde as a time to recalibrate, slow down and be mindful can mean that you even end up looking forward to it. We mark it in our diary and are careful of what we plan during this time and schedule in plenty of down time and time at home to potter and get organised. It's a wonderful time to catch up on your journaling, or adding to your moodboards for the year. Dedicate this time for yourself, these last few weeks of winter before the busyness of Spring sets in.
Travel well dear ones, see you soon xx