wtf is mercury retrograde?…

Somewhere, some girl sipping on a latte is warning her friends about the dangers of Mercury Retrograde. What does this mean, and why is everyone freaking out about it? 


Us Earthlings, along with the other planets are moving at our own pace, on our merry way in orbit. Three or four times a year Mercury decides it is time for a break, and slows down. The same optical illusion we experience when speeding by a slow moving train happens, and the planet appears to be moving backwards. THUS, mercury is in retrograde (as oppose to moving west-to-east, or prograde). 

All planets go retrograde at one point or another, so why is it that Mercury is the one that gets all of the hoopla? Mercury, the smallest planet, was named after the Roman messenger god because it moved around the Sun the fastest. In astrology, Mercury is known as the planet of communication. It is said to have an impact on our energy that is exerted on our intellect, awareness, logic, reasoning, thinking, creativity, and of course: communication. So, naturally, when the planet that is responsible for all of these important life processes appears to be moving backwards… we freak out. 

When talking about the “dangers of mercury retrograde”, common advice is to avoid things such as signing contracts, major travel plans, starting new projects, or buying big-ticket items during this 3-week period. Personally, my approach to surviving Mercury Retrograde is extremely parallel to how I survive everyday life.

Don’t panic, just go with the flow. Yes, mercury is in retrograde. No, this is not a curse. It is just a naturally occurring scientific phenomenon. Rather than using Mercury Retrograde as an excuse, use it as a catalyst for change. While Mercury can have an impact on our communication skills, there are also hundreds of other factors to keep in mind. This 3-week period, as frustrating as many people see it, can be a wonderful teacher in the journey of self-reflection. If you are noticing patterns in your life that you are growing tired of, perhaps you are feeling stuck or unmotivated, write it down. Write what is making you feel this way, and why you believe it is so. Reflect on them now, and then again once the retrograde is over… see how your thoughts, feelings, and actions have changed. 

The number one tool to combat Mercury Retrograde (along with every other problem you will ever face)…. patience! It is in fact a virtue. Having patience will allow you to act rather than react. At a time when communication is said to go haywire, it is no surprise that problems arise. Take a deep breath before dealing with them. You know what they say— don’t shoot the messenger. Don’t take things personally, and give yourself enough time to accomplish the items of your to-do list. Practice these skills during Mercury Retrograde, when you will be faced with the most challenges. Then, when things are back in full swing, you can hit the ground running!

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