In astrology, retrograde periods are when a planet appears to move backwards from our earth-based perspective. Since we experience these events psychologically and emotionally on a symbolic level, these periods act as review periods for the functions in the psyche that each planet represents. Since Mercury is the planet of the mind and governs teaching and learning, the linking and transport of thoughts/ideas or goods and services, our Mercury Rx review work happens in the area of communications, transportation and travel, and in our day-to-day routines in general.
While many people curse Mercury Rx cycles up and down and lament about how they can't wait for it to be over, these periods really serve a wonderful purpose: they get us to slow down and tend to things that might need our attention in daily life. It may not go smoothly, since Mercury was known as a trickster in Greek mythology, but in its own seemingly backwards fashion, the chaos actually leads to better situational outcomes than we might have expected.
Although it can be maddening, there are some things I've learned from consciously weathering many a Mercury Rx cycle that help me maintain much more inner peace and stability.
- Go with the flow! I cannot stress this enough. People (myself included!) will habitually try to fight what's happening when things aren't to our liking in life, which only creates more resistance in the end. The resistance feeds the energies of what we don't want, rather than emphasizing what we do want. Oftentimes we will experience an energetic shift when we accept things as they are - no matter how much we dislike them - which puts us in a much more empowered position to address those issues appropriately. During Mercury Rx cycles, know that some things will go awry, and that this is totally normal (and usually working out in everyone's favor!)
- Expect last-minute schedule changes. Schedule changes, as frustrating as they might be, are very common during Mercury Rx. When you feel frustration creeping in, take a few deep breaths and go back to the first point!
- Allow for plenty of time to get to your destinations. Delays in travel of any kind are also very common at this time, so build in a few extra minutes (or fifteen-plus!) to get to where you're headed.
- Utilize this time for gathering information and research rather than making important decisions. Because the mental faculties and life circumstances tend to be "up in the air" during Mercury Rx, it's an excellent time to do research work and gather information about any upcoming plans or ventures you're involved in. Since important information may surface throughout this cycle or once Mercury has gone direct, it is not usually a supportive time for making significant life decisions or signing contracts; that is, unless you wish to be able to negotiate the particulars of that situation more easily later on. Keep in mind that projects we begin during Mercury Rx cycles have a way of coming back for review during future Mercury rx periods.
- Review your work carefully. Errors in our work or correspondence is likely to be magnified at this time, so do employ mindfulness when drafting emails, submitting reports, or anything work/communication-related. Also be sure to think things through and be as articulate as you can in your casual conversations, since miscommunications are common now.
- Avoid planning long trips during Mercury Rx periods. Schedule any long-distance trips when Mercury is direct to avoid potentially significant blocks and frustrations. If you must travel, be prepared for plans and schedules to change.
- Build in time for rest and relaxation. Since Mercury Rx cycles can have us chasing our tails for days on end, it's important to give your mind and body time to "check out" from the daily grind. Schedule a massage or energy session, meditate, take a soothing bath with epsom salts, exercise, or do whatever activities clear your mind and restore inner peace.
- Know that this, too, shall pass! Though frustrations can run high during Mercury Rx, know that it's only temporary, and that in the end, things will probably work out better for you than you had anticipated!