23 February 2013, 10:32
Photo by Laura Burlton.
Oh, Mercury retrograde.
You are here, AGAIN. You have arrived on our collective doorsteps in all your messy glory. You are our dreaded but regular house-guest. You stagger in the door, kick over our furniture, leave crumbs all over the couch & hog the bathroom. Then, as quickly as you appeared, you disappear again, leaving us slightly stunned but much better equipped to continue with our own lives!
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here we go. The planets are swinging around at all times, & their movements affect us all in different ways. All planets go retrograde, but Mercury’s journey seems to impact people much more than any other. (Even people who “don’t believe in astrology” often “believe” in the crazy aftershocks of Mercury retrograde!)
Why is that? It’s because Mercury rules communication, clear thinking, truth & travel, so when the planet goes retrograde — which means that it looks like it’s going backwards in the sky — all those things go backwards. They start to get ugly & tangle up. Mercury isn’t really going backwards, it’s just hanging out by the sun, but from Earth, that makes it look like it’s in reverse. It typically runs for a couple of weeks, a few times a year.
Check out these dates below & put them in your calendar!
In 2013, Mercury is retrograde from…
February 23rd to March 17th
June 26th to July 20th
October 21st to November 10th
Note: We sometimes start to feel the effects of Mercury retrograde a few days early. It’s nice to give yourself a bit of leeway on either side of the prescribed dates!
What happens when Mercury goes retrograde?
All sorts of things! It’s like everyone you know has suddenly gone mad! You might find yourself getting into bizarre arguments about nothing at all, being unable to finish sentences or barely even able to form a coherent thought. Your computer & other electronic equipment is more likely to go on the fritz. You could experience travel delays, too. Double-check your flights & take a book with you to keep you occupied while you wait for the train! We don’t tend to get all the information we need at this time, so it can be hard to make big decisions & it’s not always the best time to sign a contract, either.
Expect to hear super-loud complaining from your friends who are Gemini or Virgo, since both are ruled by Mercury! Mercury also rules a lot of industries like publishing, writing, editing, advertising, sales, public relations & anything to do with transport, like airlines, the post office & cabs! This means it can be particularly rough for Gemini train conductors & Virgo magazine editors, so be kind to any you know!
I often find that Mercury retrograde makes me want to go into hermit mode. I feel like half my brain is missing so I’m really not that interested in interacting with anyone, plus every conversation seems to go in an unusual, confusing direction. I feel much more irritable & frustrated & things just don’t seem to go how I want them to.
So that’s the bad news. Mercury retrograde can be a total kick in the teeth for those of us who normally pride ourselves on having our karmic shit together! The GOOD news is that Mercury retrograde provides us with lots of beautiful opportunities if we can just tilt our head & squint.
Mercury retrograde wants us to move back spiritually. It is providing us with a chance to re-examine various areas of our life which may need a little more work, so that we can move forward to a bright new dawn. Now, more than ever, the time is right to look at things with clear eyes. Delicious, fresh perspectives are revealed. We often have major breakthroughs — intellectual, emotional or spiritual — during this time.
It’s also a terrific period in which to tie up loose ends. So many of us have unfinished projects… Maybe that door just needs another lick of paint, or you’ll decide to put away your ex-boyfriend’s love letters once & for all. Having said that, this is also a time where it’s very common for old lovers, friends & acquaintances to get in touch! If you hear from someone from your past, get together with them & see what eventuates!
One of the best ways to cope with it — as with anything, really — is to just “go with the flow”. When you fight Mercury retrograde, that’s when life gets really ugly. Just take some time, go slowly, be careful, don’t freak yourself out by expecting to be uber-productive-perfect right now. Be good to yourself & the people around you, now more than ever!
surviving Mercury retrograde!
(Print it off & stick it in your diary or on your wall!)
Be sure not to take things too personally. People will often say offensive things they didn’t mean around this time, because their thinking is clouded & their communication skills are on pause! If your best friend suddenly became the most insensitive person in the world, give her the benefit of the doubt.
Back up your data!
Don’t purchase any big ticket items, because they will often have flaws or issues that you weren’t aware of! Of course, life doesn’t stop just because of wacky planetary movement, so if you absolutely have to get that car, computer or iPhone, TRIPLE-check all the paperwork, & make sure you have a warranty!
Take things with a grain of salt. Everyone is a bit confused, & people are much more inclined to change their mind once Mercury goes direct. Mercury can be a bit of a trickster — could it be that the next few weeks are a big karmic joke?!
Read the small print on any contracts. Ask lots of questions. Again, you can’t put your life on hold just because of some silly planet, but adapt your lifestyle a bit so that things run more smoothly. Communication can be a mess right now, but do your best to get as much information as you can.
Finish things you started a while ago. Home improvement projects? Wardrobe re-organisations? Short stories? Love affairs?! This is an excellent time to tie up loose ends & file things away forever.
Get together with old friends, reminisce & laugh!
Double-check any information you’re given, especially as relates to travel arrangements! During one particularly formidable Mercury retrograde, I actually caught a cab to the wrong airport! Check times, delays, baggage allowances, reservations… everything!
Allow Mercury to nudge you in unusual directions. If you seem to find yourself “back to the future”, don’t just try to wriggle out of it — look at what the universe is trying to show you. What can you learn from this situation? This is a fantastic time to re-examine, accept & move on.
Use the things you’ve discovered in the past to create a dazzling new vision so that you’re ready to blast ahead when Mercury goes direct!
If you want more tips, read 10 Magical Ways To Make The Most Of Mercury Retrograde!
Fingers crossed for the next few weeks, & best of luck to you!
Love & sanity,