It’s that time again, friends. Mercury is in retrograde from April 29th through May 22nd (2016). (Moon Wishers can refer to their Quick Reference Guide Moon Calendar for all the Mercury Retrograde dates this year). We have come to know this as a time when communications and electronics go haywire. Computers and electronics quit working for seemingly no reason and nobody understands what you meant to say. (That’s what they tell us anyway)
It’s the time when we’ve been told:
- we shouldn’t travel (because travel plans can go awry, planes are late, connecting flights missed, reservations don’t show up, rental cars break down, luggage gets lost and all that)
- we shouldn’t enter into any legal agreement — business deals, loans, marriages, legal agreements — because contracts don’t say what we think they did, and we don’t realize it until we’ve already signed on the dotted line.
- we should be very careful about conversations we have because what we say may be misunderstood or misheard and cause problems.
And we’re also advised to back up everything — computers & data, our smart phones, emails & other communications — just in case.
While these things may be true, all of these warnings have instilled fear into us about the dreaded Mercury Retrograde, like it’s doomsday or something. At least that’s the feeling I get about it.
But here are 2 things I’ve learned:
- Where your attention goes, grows.
- There’s nothing to fear about Mercury Retrograde.
Where your attention goes, grows.
As to point #1 – where your attention goes, grows. It’s the law of attraction, right? When you focus your attention on something, you attune to it. You match your vibration to it. Then you send that vibration out into the Universe where the Universe says ‘oh, that’s what you want? you got it!’ and sends it right back.
For a while, it seemed the more I learned about Mercury Retrograde, the more I paid attention to when it was here and what it could do, the more it affected me (ignorance really is bliss!) until I just decided to quit focusing on what could go wrong, laugh when it did, and work with its energy in a new way.
After that, IF my computer went wonky, my car battery died, or the washing machine threw an error code, I would roll my eyes and (sarcastically) say ’thanks Mercury’ and then go on about my business as if nothing was wrong.
There is nothing to fear about Mercury Retrograde.
That brings me to point #2 – there really is nothing to fear about Mercury Retrograde. It’s a normal part of life and it can be very helpful if you understand that side of it.
So, I want to help you today learn how to work with Mercury when it’s in retrograde and use it to your advantage. Then, maybe someday, you’ll actually look forward to the regular gifts of retrograde every year!
Mercury’s job during retrograde
All of the planets can go retrograde, (in fact, there are 5 planets in retrograde right now) but Mercury does it most often. Retrograde happens when the planet in question appears to be traveling backward in the sky. In fact, it is not traveling backward, but Earth and the retrograde planet are orbiting around the sun in differing speeds that make it appear so.
Astronomically this doesn’t affect us, but astrologically, well, yes, it does.
But keep this in mind: retrograde planets are not bad. Their energy is just different so we need to work with it in a different way.
Mercury is the winged messenger of communication. He rules over how we communicate with each other, how we think, and how we express our ideas and feelings to the world around us.
There are 2 directions in which to work with the energy of Mercury Retrograde: (1) the actions, expressions, and behaviors of other people. This is what you are receiving from others. (2) The actions, expressions, and behaviors of ourselves. This is what you are giving to others.
There’s not much we can do about how other people communicate, behave, and express themselves except to be aware of how Mercury Retrograde can cause confusion in communications, allow others some slack when communication seems wonky, and ask for clarifications.
But working on ourselves during Mercury Retrograde? That’s a whole different story. Mercury gifts us with about 3 weeks of beautiful opportunities to engage in self-development three to four times per year.
How you should really use Mercury Retrograde
The blessing of Mercury when he goes retrograde is that he offers you the opportunity to shift your focus from the outside world to your own personal inside world.
Mercury Retrograde allows us a chance to slow down and go inward to tune into how we really want to feel, how we really want to think, and how we really want to express ourselves in the world.
When Mercury is direct — moving forward — this is when it’s best for us to express ourselves out loud and make connections with other people. When Mercury is retrograde — appearing to travel backward — it’s best for us to go inward and feel into our own thoughts and feelings to figure out who we are — our Soul’s truth.
You can use Mercury Retrograde to get real with yourself and welcome your inner thoughts, feelings, and emotions — the shadows within that we so often ignore. These buried cobwebs need to be exposed and cleaned out every so often, and Mercury gives us the chance to do just that.
The beauty of this is that you don’t have to go around speaking your truth to everyone you meet in order to heal. This is a private healing time meant for you to tap into your intuition — your innate inner knowing — to let your truth arise through the usual noise of the Soul.
Knowing your truth helps you to know who you are and express yourself in an authentic way. The more Soul “truth” you embody, the clearer your path in this lifetime becomes.
So, the lesson here? If you want to know your purpose, your path, your truth… If you want to unearth your strongest intuition… If you want to know who you truly are… work with Mercury Retrograde in the glorious ways he offers for self-development.
How to Work With Mercury Retrograde
I’ve created some worksheets for you to use throughout the year to work with Mercury Retrograde.
The first worksheet is a simple journal page that you can use for your inner journeying when you go in to evaluate your truths. Just use it to write down your thoughts — your truths — about the emotions you feel and what you really believe about yourself and your life. This is the first step in uncovering your truth and healing what needs to be healed. This alone is a powerful process.
The annoyances and inconveniences you experience during Mercury Retrograde are often mirrors asking you to evaluate something about yourself. So, the second worksheet helps you identify what Mercury is trying to help you see, feel, or define.
Print these worksheets as much as you need for each Mercury Retrograde during the year and use the questions and prompts to help you with your self-discovery work.
Remember that Mercury Retrograde lasts about 3 weeks each time, and it also contains a pre-shadow phase and a post-shadow phase. The pre- and post-shadow phases each last about 2 weeks in their entirety, but they are strongest about 4-5 days before retrograde and 4-5 days after Mercury goes direct again so you may feel its lingering effects during those times as well.
That’s ok. Use the gifts of Mercury Retrograde (and its shadows) to slow down and dive into the YOU that wants to be unearthed, discovered, untangled, and set free.
You’ll be much clearer and happier when you work with the flow of the Universe rather than fight against it.
How will you work in harmony with Mercury Retrograde this time? Have you worked with it in the past to your benefit? Share your methods of personal development during Mercury Retrograde in the comments below. Inquiring minds want to know!
Peace + Love,