Mercury Retrogrades are given a bad rap. Yes, technology does tend to go more awry and communication breakdowns of all sorts increase in frequency. However, in a world hell bent on always moving forward, having time to go back over what you’ve done already and catching any mistakes or incorporating new ideas into a project or work objective can make the difference between something being ok and reflecting excellence.
People who pay attention to Mercury retros but are not astrologers can sometimes make the mistake in thinking you only need to avoid making long term commitments from the day it officially begins and the day it officially ends. Not so. Case in point: I sent a book proposal to a publishing house that arrived 4 days before the retrograde began and when I followed up at the end of the retro (giving them time to peruse it), somehow it had gotten put in the wrong person’s office and was on a desk no one was using. If the project or agreement is really important, I recommend keeping track of all three Mercury retrogrades for the year and getting things agreed upon two weeks prior and waiting until two weeks after, if possible.
Something else that can happen during a Mercury retrograde is the appearance of people from your past or an opportunity from the past that you thought was long dead. This is not to be discounted. I wouldn’t make any decisions about them until Mercury is moving full speed ahead, but pay attention to what comes back from the past to be reckoned with.
Because Mercury retrogrades are meant to be used for reflection, they are a good time to start a meditation practice. Focus on listening for messages on your vocation of destiny if you are in a major life transition. Discovering your life purpose or finding your soul’s true purpose can best be revealed when we are not in action mode of launching or maintaining the work we’ve always done. I recommend resting more during them and if possible, taking a nap every day.
Here’s something else no one ever talks about with Mercury retrogrades that meditation can help enhance: becoming a better communicator. So much emphasis is put on the breakdowns in communication that occur. If you know that your text or email might be misinterpreted, don’t treat it as fate. Take the time to pick up the phone and call the person or at least give it some thought and another draft with the right emoji to set the tone you want. ☺️
If someone pressures you to make a decision during a retro and you feel uneasy about it, promise to get back to them the next day or in a few days and take it into your inner counsel during meditation. Mindfulness practices really come in handy when the “winged messenger” is dancing backwards.
Keeping a dream journal during Mercury retrogrades can also be helpful to receiving information or creative ideas. Sometimes, if one is in a big career transition and at a loss for the next step, the dark night of the soul that can descend can take you much deeper into your psyche and avail you to spiritual helpers that come through your dreams. When we are ensconced in our career identity, dreams can often be filled with, well, the work day. If a Mercury retrograde is happening and you are unsure about your next step professionally, keep a dream journal next to your bed and write the date of the next morning with the affirmation: “I am remembering my dreams as I awaken in the morning. “ When you wake up, don’t move your head. Go back through the dream and note the emotional tone of the scenes and the characters. Then write it down. If you meditate in the morning, bring your dream to your meditation and ask, “what do I need to know right now? When do I need to take action?”
One last tip for using Mercury retrogrades to achieve success is to begin a practice every evening of scanning back through the entire day emotionally. What were you feeling when you woke up? Did that change after your meditation? Note how you were being throughout the day. Were there any synchronicities or divine coincidences during the day? What messages might you have ignored? If you keep a waking journal during retrogrades as well, when you re-read the entries, it may provide a written record that makes connecting the dots to what to do next much clearer.
Although Mercury retrogrades are not a time to take new action on things you cannot get out of, if you follow these tips, you will have a “medicine basket of data” to use when the planet of communication is moving full speed ahead. Living in balance means knowing when to be yin ( inner direction) and when to be yang ( outer directed) and Mercury retrogrades, if we are following the flow of the energy, can give us an abundance of opportunities from yin to fuel yang when it goes direct. Just remember to wait at least a week after it goes into direct motion, when it has its full mojo.