How to not Only Survive, but THRIVE this Mercury Retrograde
It’s that time again, kids. MERCURY RETROGRADE. It’s a time to look inward and finish up tasks. It’s a time to listen to Radiohead and contemplate who we think we are and where we’d like to go. But hold up, it isn’t time to go there (to our ultimate destinations) just yet!
Mercury retrograde gets a bad wrap because modern society isn’t very well-versed in the power of receptivity. Merc Rx isn’t intrinsically a bad thing, but… if you fight it… it will win. Reality forces us at this time to slow down and recap; if we can manage to embrace that, we harness the potent power available in vulnerability & surrender.
We live our lives in a balance between movement and stillness, doing and being, giving and accepting. There is a time to fire up your Yang energy and get things done. Now is a time to relish in your Yin energy and heal things undone.
For Spring-specific insight, check out my Spring Mindfulness post.
A Bit About Mercury Retrograde & Astrology in General
There’s a a bunch of info on the internet about communication mishaps and delays in travel (I have some stories, let me tell you) during Merc Rx, and there is also a plethora of opinions claiming astrology is *obviously* bullocks and deserves no credence. I won’t waste your time going back over these things or refuting them. (I personally give SERIOUS inner questioning about what we are being taught is ‘obviously’ fallacy). But I will recap that a retrograde draws us inwards and down, and astrology is an ancient science, being knowledgeable enough to go with this flow will be highly advantageous—(I’m reminding myself of a translation of the Tao Ti Ching rn, but) it’s true!
I also want to say that Mercury isn’t ‘doing’ anything to planet Earth. Astrology is an art of perceiving signs in the universe, and recognizing patterns within the story which ‘whatever powers that be’ are telling with the matter around us. Mercury isn’t doing anything. The energy is shifting and this is made apparent by seeing/predicting what Mercury does. We’ve entered a phase of energy the universe goes through, we can TELL this by watching what Mercury is doing. So how do we survive this transit, telling us to slow down and receive, in a society that is always pushing us to ‘go’?
Thrive this Mercury Retrograde!
Rule #1: Be Patient with Yourself
The theme of your mercury retrograde will show itself to you in the couple of weeks preceding a retrograde, the retrograde itself is when the ‘work’ starts. The work involved in this kind of transit is usually the giving-up-control/holding-space type of action (even though it’s kind of the opposite of an action). No matter what your personal tensions or aspirations are, be patient with them. Acknowledge thoughts & feelings then ruminate on them—they are formless at this point in time as they are meant to be. Let your reactions come and go, give yourself permission to feel and think whatever comes up to see if it sticks or goes. Hold space for yourself.
Rule #2: Be Patient with Others
In the same vein, everyone else’s inner dialogues and themes will also require a safe space. Others will be sorting through stuff too. They may mean exactly what they say, or their actions might be just a release of something old and unneeded. They are experiencing the same mercury retrograde. What they express may be something they’ve been holding in, or perhaps a release of something that no longer serves them (or both). These expressions can be both positive and negative. We have a tendency to latch onto the ‘positive’ in this day and age (our rudimentary understanding of the power our will has made this ‘positive thought’ cult craze, which is weird and gets deluded), but all expressions at this time require space. For better or worse, allow others the time to just simply be. They’ll need that from you.
Rule #3: Don’t Judge What Comes Up
This is a time of old hurts and, conversely, old dreams too! It’s a time for finishing things up in that it calls us to remember that pattern we almost healed, that dream we forgot to pursue to its entirety, that way we wished we would be but got distracted from the follow-through. People can get inspired during a mercury retrograde, start making big plans, or feel dejected and out of sorts—this is all normal. The important part is that you hold off on making big sweeping actions of any kind whatsoever. We won’t really know what is actually what until the retrograde is finished and mercury is moving forward again. It can be a really beautiful time to just watch and give space to thought and feelings coming from unexpected places. And it’s an excellent time to plan, plan, plan. Or finish that thing you’ve been really wanting to (whether internal or external).
Rule #4: Self Care Self Care Self Care
Take time to yourself. Self Care often means making good decisions for you longterm. You have to do you first. Regardless of what others may need from you, you’ll be better at giving it if you’re charged up and comfortable. Make sure your own energy is top priority, then go save the world with your openness. The rules of mercury retrograde are in and down. Take a bubble bath and listen to some tunes. Journal. Write down goals, feelings, remembrances, play instruments, have quiet nights with people you trust, Netflix binge. Act in ways that benefit you longterm. Forget today—think of the big game. Chill. Chill hard. Relax your facial muscles consciously, and don’t drink too much or do anything in excess. Partying can get weird. Just do you.
Rule #5: Lean into the Discomfort
This is a saying in social work. It’s a mainstay for those in the healing professions because… well… simply—this is how we heal. Point blank. “You have to feel it to heal it” is another mainstay of psychology. Basically, your mind to your spirit is like blood flow to your body—it will heal itself if it is given what it needs to do so. Leaning into the discomfort (or the wild inspiration) opens up the blood vessels of your spirit so it can be fed and healed with the flow of energy. The best part is that you don’t need to do anything but this. No special way of thinking, no mantra, no fancy meditation—just open acknowledgement without being scared off to distraction. Distracting is, most simply, directly cutting off the flow of energy. It’s going to be ok.
Rule #6: Just Do You
It’s all Ok. Everything is going to be amazing. If you simply tap into the flow, things happen seamlessly. Accept the chill. Invite inward and downward motion into your life. Take time before speaking and offer time to process after someone else speaks to you. Make plans, but don’t act. Talk to yourself, and listen—more importantly—to those who really matter to you (including your Self).
This can be an incredible time of growth and healing. This receptive reality is not one consciously supported or taught by society since the ancients… it is a different kind of work than we are used to. But our will is all that we need to harness. The rest is natural. Allow your instincts to show you how to do the right thing.
Take care, and so much LL