1 November 2013, 12:11
Mercury goes retrograde about four times a year — which, if you ask me, is four times too many! My old guide on How To Survive Mercury Retrograde is one of my most popular articles for a reason!
Well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Mercury is way retrograde… and I thought you might like to read about it from a different perspective.
There is a silver lining to every cloud, of course, and Mercury retrograde gets a bad rap. It’s not all terrible! I read somewhere recently that Mercury retrograde is a great time to take part in anything that starts with the prefix re-... Well, except “react”! This is the perfect time to refresh, revive, review, reboot, rebound, recall, reconcile, recover, reflect, recycle, reelect (oh yeah!), research, refinish, refocus, reformulate… You get the idea!
Here are some ideas to keep you out of trouble, and on Mercury’s good side!
Photo by Chris Craymer.
1. Renew your vows.
You lovebirds! If you’re already in a committed relationship, marriage or partnership, this is the perfect time to renew your promises to one another. You could have an elaborate ceremony or you could keep it simple: go to the restaurant where you had your first date, look at old photos, talk about how far you’ve come since you met. Bless!
2. Clean out your closet.
I did this last Tuesday and it was a bit of a life-changer! The energy of Mercury retrograde is fantastic for trimming the fat, so to speak, so you’ll have lots of astrological help as you go through your wardrobe and cull it mercilessly! If you need a bit of help doing it, check out my Wardrobe Taming series! (Blast from the past, baby!)
3. Look up an old love or your ex-best friend.
This is an excellent time to revisit those old relationships and see where the land lies. You don’t need to resuscitate them, of course, and often things we try to start during Mercury retrograde end up being short-lived anyway, but there can be a lot to learn from reuniting. You could find that the closure is exactly what you needed.
4. Forgive and forget.
Mercury retrograde encourages us to tie up loose ends, and the ultimate loose end is sourness or bitterness towards someone else. Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die! It’s time to move on, and if you can’t forget, do your best to forgive.
5. Take a fabulous holiday.
Even though we’re usually not encouraged to travel during Mercury retrograde — simply because it’s something that is easily affected by the natural miscommunications of this period — if you can get away, you should! Honour any hankerings you might have for a bit of downtime. Go to a tropical island and lie on the beach for a week, or simply have a staycation at home. You’ll feel so much better for it!
6. Relax and take care of yourself.
The classic old checklist of getting enough sleep, staying hydrated and doing a lot of stretching absolutely applies during Mercury retrograde. If you’ve fallen off the H2O wagon, buy yourself a cute drink bottle and keep it on your desk! (I have a vampire drink bottle. I love it.) Make an extra effort to relax before bed, maybe by turning off the television and having a bath, and get your solid 8 hours. Stretch and move your body as much as you can.
7. Rejuvenate your living space!
If your house isn’t looking its best, now is the time to start dreaming about it! Your home should be a reflection of your most fabulous self: a place that you’re excited to return to. While it’s not the best idea to make big purchases during Mercury retrograde, it is a truly excellent time to do any research. Start investigating: look at Pinterest for interior decorating ideas, scope out websites for the best prices, and make a list of the things you’ll need. Once Mercury goes direct on the 10th of November, you can start to put your plans into action! (Funnily enough, I started doing this yesterday, without even thinking about it!)
8. Work on your CV or personal mission statement.
Mercury retrograde favours rewriting, revising or editing any documents. Why not put that energy to good use and rework your CV or personal mission statement? You could spice up your blog’s bio page or make some long overdue changes to your business plans. Mercury’s magic will help you out as you do it, and you might be astounded by what comes out when you sit down to start writing!
9. Read old journals.
If you go back to your old journals or notebooks during this time, you’ll be amazed by the things you read and the revelations that occur. It will be incredible to you to see how far you’ve come and how much growth has happened! (Plus, it’s usually pretty good for a laugh!)
10. Get a bit nostalgic!
Mercury retrograde is the best time ever to listen to old albums that you loved when you were a teenager, to watch movies that used to mean so much to you, and to revisit activities you have given up. Last night I went on a trip down memory lane listening to Tool, and as I write this, I’m playing Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness: still a fantastic album! Why not jump back into that sport or activity you loved when you were 19 years old?
See?! It’s not all bad. Mercury retrograde lasts until the 10th of November, so you have plenty of time to get all of this done! Okay… Ready, set, go!
(Still counting down the days…)
21 October 2013, 12:11
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 and 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, and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and other electronic equipment is more likely to go on the fritz. You could experience travel delays, too. Double-check your flights and 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 and 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 and anything to do with transport, like airlines, the post office and cabs! This means it can be particularly rough for Gemini train conductors and 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 and frustrated and 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 and 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 and for all. Having said that, this is also a time where it’s very common for old lovers, friends and acquaintances to get in touch! If you hear from someone from your past, get together with them and 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 and the people around you, now more than ever!
surviving Mercury retrograde!
(Print it off and 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 and 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, and make sure you have a warranty!
Take things with a grain of salt. Everyone is a bit confused, and 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 and file things away forever.
Get together with old friends, reminisce and 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 and 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, and best of luck to you!
Love and sanity,
9 August 2013, 16:05
Email used to be fun. That little ding used to be a celebrated event. These days, it feels like your inbox fills up with a bunch of garbage overnight. Well, it’s time to bring the thrill back. In addition to unsubscribing from all the junk you don’t read, why not sign on for some emails that bring you joy?
Today, I’m going to tell you about something that makes my mornings better: daily emails from Mystic Medusa, a truly transcendental babe from Australia.
Confession time: I’m not terribly captivated by most blogs. I get bored quickly. I browse a lot, and I’m always looking for something brilliant, but there are about five blogs that I check into regularly. Mystic Medusa is one of them.
Why? Her writing is hilarious and affable, she is immensely knowledgable, and best of all, the content she creates helps other people. It allows them to learn something more about themselves, and encourages them to examine their own patterns and behaviour.
And her advice is awesome, uplifting and practical. This is an excerpt from the email I got this morning…
Friday – no matter where you are in the world is a go-go-go efficiency vibing sexy strong Virgo Moon. Plus there is Venus & Mars in LOVE basically so raise your personal mojo via a little bit of power-flirting – even if it is only for ‘practice’ or to make the peeps around you feel fantastic/adore you…
I mean, who couldn’t use a little more power-flirting? She’s not a doom merchant, and that makes me love her even more.
So, most people think Mystic’s thing is her blog and her daily emails for subscribers. But that’s not the half of it.
Mystic does daily and weekly and monthly horoscopes for every sign. How does she find the time?! I don’t know. It is a mystical mystery! But one of my favourite features on her site is the Scheduler. (I use it constantly!)
As she says,
The idea is to quickly scan it and schedule your seductions, dating, biz negotiations and power-plays accordingly. If there is a truly crap day, you’ll be able to work around it. It’s the savvy way to plan the month ahead. The Monthly Horoscopes page is also where you will find the current Mercury Retrograde dates and some advice on how to kill it. Let other peeps be stuffed around by this infuriating transit – you will know how to work it for maximum moxy.
She also has an Oracle, which gets so much action she had to purchase extra server space! You get still, select a question, then click to spin. It whizzes around hypnotically, then presents you with an answer. As Mystic says, this is an easy and chic way of checking your fortune “without having to consult an expensive psychic with bad hair who patronises you”. I’m obsessed!
Bliss Mystic gives you access to the monthly and weekly horoscopes on her site, plus the Daily Mystic email, and you get to use the Oracle whenever you like. Mega Mystic is the same but with daily horoscopes on the site, too. I’ve had my Mega Mystic subscription for YEARS now and never, ever plan on giving it up.
People ask me all the time where I learned about astrology, and the answer is — in its entirety — Mystic Medusa. She doesn’t just tell you what’s happening in the sky, she tells you what each piece of the puzzle means… And encourages you to do your own celestial detective work.
If you enjoy tripping out on an arcane astrological vibe, this is, without question, where you need to be.
I love her… And I know you will too.
Kisses from this Virgo,
5 August 2013, 11:50
Happy Monday! This week, let magic guide you. Allow your intuition to whisper and lead you in new and wonderful directions. Give yourself permission to explore and experiment.
On Tuesday, it’s a new moon in Leo. New moons are a fantastic time to write down a list of things you want to achieve, and the best time to do it is as close to the new moon as possible. (It happens at 1.51pm on the West Coast and 4.51pm on the East Coast.) Set yourself an alarm on your phone 10 minutes beforehand and when it goes off, stop what you’re doing and start to write a list of things you’d like to come to fruition this month.
A moon in Leo has some very particular characteristics. Think of your favourite Leo: odds are that they are bold and love the limelight, they have great hair and they thrive on the adrenaline rush they get from taking a big risk. This moon is just like that. Creativity is favoured, risk-taking is to be encouraged, and anything that involves you getting recognition will receive a big boost.
It’s going to be a damn good week!
Image from Sephora.
8 October 2012, 13:56
If you’re almost 30 & your life feels like it’s hitting the skids, there is a perfectly rational — & astrologically sound! — reason.
That reason is that you’re experiencing your first Saturn return. Oh yes, indeed!
I know many of you are turning your heads to the side & wiggling your eyebrows in a confused manner, so let me make it simple for you. Your first Saturn return is when the planet Saturn — which takes approximately 29 years to rotate around the Sun — comes back to the position it was in at your birth.
If you were born between 1983 & 1985, the odds are good that your Saturn return started on Saturday October 6th 2012. Yeah… That’s last Saturday! You can work out exactly when your Saturn return will begin — & end — by using this calculator.
For the record, you will have three Saturn returns in your life. Whoah, Nelly! But the first one is typically the most difficult.
Essentially, your Saturn return is a test. What is it testing? Maybe a better question is, what is is NOT testing?! Saturn is a hard taskmaster, & Saturn wants you to learn the difficult lessons so that you can move forward with your life. During your Saturn return, you will be asked repeatedly to prove that you have learned from the challenges you’ve faced over the last 29 years.
In Western culture, society has increasingly unrealistic expectations of us. In our twenties we’re out there exploring, finding ourselves. We have new hairstyles, crazy nails, & a new boyfriend every week. We party, we shop, we don’t take work too seriously, & in the words of The Flintstones, have a gay old time. In fact, society encourages this. This is “normal”. But when we turn 30, you better hold onto your hat, because we’re somehow also expected to have our career figured out, be ready to have a baby, & definitely have a big shiny rock on our left hand. I mean, how are we supposed to manage all of that & not have some kind of mental breakdown?!
You know, young whippersnapper, in the olden days, people were lucky to live to 30. These days hitting 30 is not an achievement, but is pretty much expected. Even so, it’s definitely a time where we begin to reflect on our mortality & evaluate our life choices.
Standing on the cusp of 30 years old can feel like staring into a huge cavern; it’s a natural time to do some self-assessment. Have we done the right thing? Are we in love with or married to someone who is going to love us, challenge us & support us no matter what? Do we have a job that brings meaning to our lives? Are we living to our fullest potential? These are all questions that Saturn demands we answer.
During your Saturn return, it might feel like everything is thrown into turmoil, from your relationships to your career, even down to your family situation & where you live.
I sometimes think of Saturn as a kind of loving bully — the cruel-to-be-kind type. He picks us up, turns us upside down & shakes everything out of our pockets. The stuff that stays is the stuff that is working. Everything else gets shaken loose.
Saturn asks a lot of us, & forewarned is forearmed! I wrote a survival guide below, so print it out & stick it on your fridge!
Photo by Made U Look.
Never compare yourself to anyone else. No matter what stage you’re at right now, that is the exact place you should be. We all move, grow & mature at different times, but that doesn’t make any of us better or worse than one another. Someone may have their career all figured out but their relationships are a mess, while you might have your spirituality on lock but haven’t learned to save any money yet. It’s okay. You’ll get there. Take it one day at a time.
Take responsibility for your thoughts & actions. I say this over & over & over, but now is REALLY the time to put it into action! You will never be in control of your life or your emotions until you start to own up to everything you think & everything you do.
Choose your place in the world carefully. If where you are at — either mentally, emotionally, spiritually or physically — is not working for you, & if you know deep down in your gut that it is wrong, then change it. The only person with the power to change your life is YOU.
Start journalling, if you’re not already. My Saturn return started on Saturday (!!!) & I have literally been waking up in the middle of the night with profound thoughts & realisations about my own patterns & psychology. Take notes of all of these things! It is one of the best ways to work through them.
Look at your issues around men. This is relevant for women particularly. Saturn represents the father, & it is extremely common for our “daddy issues” to rear their heads during our Saturn return. Examine the kinds of men you attract into your life & your relationships to them.
Start to schedule your time. The return of Saturn is telling you — in no uncertain terms — that it’s time to grow up. The days of being late, disorganised or forgetful are over! I started using Google Calendar last year & it has changed my life, no joke! Be sure to schedule in things you want to do, too, like a yoga class or a workshop. It’ll make it even more likely to actually happen!
Recognise that your life is your own, & no one can tell you who or what to be or do. If your lover is controlling, tell him or her to back off! If your family is pressuring you to follow a certain path, explain to them that you are going to follow your passions & dreams no matter what! Start to create boundaries around your life. Otherwise, people will bulldoze right over you.
Get on top of the little things: pay your bills on time, set up automatic payments to go into a savings account, go to the doctor & the dentist, go through all your mail & make sure you are 100% on top of it. I know this might seem like an overwhelming task, but it’s not! Just break it down into little pieces & tick them off, day by day.
Start saying no. I would bet $100 that you have more on your plate than is necessary. I would bet another $500 that these things are causing you stress, anxiety & the occasional pimple! Review the things you do, & start crossing some of them out of your life permanently. Your time & energy are valuable. Better to do a few things well, than a hundred things sub-par…
Process Saturn’s lessons… because if you don’t, you’ll be doomed to repeat them further down the line. Take time for yourself. Meditate on the changes & give yourself the space you need to work through them.
Learn to view change as a positive thing. During your Saturn return, you might get divorced, lose your job, or realise your friends weren’t ever really there for you at all. All of these things HURT, but they only hurt as much as you allow them to. Recognise that getting divorced creates space in your life for someone who truly loves you. Losing your job frees you to follow your passions & do something meaningful. Discovering the truth about your faux-friends will allow real, true, deep friendships to emerge.
Let go of your grudges & bitterness. A lot happens in the lead-up to 29. We are not the same as we were when we were 17 or 23 (thankfully!), & maybe we are a little less enthusiastic, or a little more cautious these days. Don’t be. Learn from your mistakes, learn from the people around you, but still strive onward with positivity. Don’t allow your past disappointments to shape your future.
Take chances, & work hard. Saturn rewards hard-workers & risk-takers. This is not the time to play it safe or play small. Take action & recognise that your inclinations towards procrastination or idle time-wasting are over!
“It is at the point of the Saturn return to say to these infants: do not. Sell yourself short. Do not. Settle for the house and the baby in a year and a half. Do not. Believe the only thing available to you is more work at the steno pool. Do not. Look in the mirror and notice any wrinkles because there is not a single one on your face.
Tell them, kiddo. Tell them that the problem with Saturn is he wants to make ends to the world when there aren’t any. Every Saturn return client you have, ask them for the most outrageous vision for their future and tell them to decide how to get that. At Saturn return, the very worst strategy is compromise.
At Saturn return, the very best strategy is to look right at that goatsphynx and tell it look here, you don’t scare me. I am going to get old anyway and I am going all the way up.”
By the way, there is plenty to look forward to once your Saturn return is over. It’s true! You can look forward to caring much less about what other people say or think, having a stronger sense of self, better self-esteem & much more confidence.
As Virginia says, “It is Saturn who teaches us self discipline, self control, good boundaries & a strong work ethic. Not exciting or sexy qualities but absolutely necessary if we want to create anything of lasting value.”
If you want to get a better idea of what might happen during your first Saturn return, read these comments about how it feels pre- & post-Saturn return. You could also pick up a copy of Surviving Saturn’s Return, or eyeball this article: Facing 30 & Freaking Out?
Going through your Saturn return is like undergoing a trial by fire. When you come through the other side, you will be stronger, braver & more sure of yourself. You’ll still be you: just bigger, bolder & more fabulous!
Mega-watt love always,
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