I’ve written on Mercury Retrograde before, but given the intensity of this week’s alignments and residual effects from last week’s solar flares, it feels like a good time for some empowering reminders. Please remember, Astrology indicates influence, not destiny! If you convince yourself that all of your electronics will go haywire and prepare yourself for fights galore and travel mishaps, you can certainly bring such things into your reality. This is not that kind of article.
It’s actually a re-post of some earlier articles explaining the Mercury Retrograde phenomenon and how you can work with that energy instead of fighting it or wondering what the heck just happened “to” you. Information allows us to respond and embrace instead of reacting. You don’t need to chase symptoms or play whack-a-mole with unwelcome “gifts” from the Universe. I’ve got Mercury, Virgo and Gemini (both ruled by Mercury) all over my natal chart, and I’ve reached the point where Merc Ret periods have become some of my most productive, restorative and jubilant times. That recognition came after a steep learning curve, which I hope this article eases for you. If you’ve been following my blog for a few years, you’ve seen this post before. People continue to thank me for the reminders, so here goes:
It’s that TIME again! Mercury retrograde begins in Aries and runs from March 12 thru April 4, 2012, with a “Shadow Period” on either side (February 27-April 16). If your electronics, communication and travel plans go a little wonky, here’s what may be influencing things. Mercury Retrograde is an astrological term describing something that occurs three or four times per year (four in 2009 and 2010). For approximately three weeks at a time, the planet Mercury appears to move backwards relative to Earth. Mercury Retrograde is perhaps the best known astrological phenomenon –even by people who don’t normally “follow” astrology.
Why? Because Mercury rules communication, and when communication moves backwards all sorts of things become chaotic. I didn’t really believe in this phenomenon until I started coaching people. I noticed that during certain three week periods, all or most of my clients experienced major misunderstandings with spouses, friends, family and/or co-workers, and that emails had a tendency to bounce back for no known reason. Checks would get lost in the mail, and oftentimes intensities would arise that no one truly cared about, but somehow everyone felt s/he needed to do battle over them anyway. In my own life, I found that PayPal transfers often went haywire, and my (now ex-) husband’s computer would crash like clockwork three times per year.
I finally started paying attention to Mercury Retrograde and found that I could prepare myself and my clients for these time periods. We do create our own realities, but the more in tune we are, oftentimes the more we feel the effects of various planets. Astrologers suggest some general guidelines:
1) If at all possible avoid signing contracts or negotiating details during a Mercury Retrograde.
2) Back up your computer before Mercury goes Retrograde, and avoid downloading new software until Mercury goes Direct.
3) Allow extra time for financial transactions as they may get delayed. The check that always arrives “just in time,” might arrive late during a Mercury Retrograde. Have a Plan B or C, just in case.
4) Try to avoid discussions about heated issues, unless you don’t mind risking a full-on fight. Mercury rules communication, and oftentimes Mercury Retrograde results in people hearing false accusations even though none were intended.
5) Have patience with your electronics. They’re trying their best. If your phones, computer, email, cell phone or internet act up, take a deep breath and ask yourself if you really need to push things right now. Pushing usually makes things worse, especially during a Mercury Retrograde. Having a sense of humor about how much we’ve come to rely on our communication tools can help shift your energy from total frustration bordering on insanity to an appreciation of the natural ebb and flow of life.
6) Don’t get upset if someone doesn’t respond to your emails or phone calls during this time. It may not be personal at all. Cyberspace has a way of gobbling up undelivered messages during Mercury Retrograde. See if you can wait until it goes Direct.
7) Try to avoid travel or anything related to travel during these times. Flights have a tendency to get delayed, reservations lost, and baggage misplaced. If you must fly, pack an extra set of clothes in your carryon and make sure you have what you’d need if you spent more time in the airport than initially planned. If you must drive somewhere, bring a good book on tape in case you spend extra hours in traffic. Preparation does not mean you will cause yourself delays; it just means you’ll enjoy your time should an unavoidable delay occur.
Ways to thrive in Mercury Retrograde. The last list focused on survival, but Mercury Retrograde does support some special actions:
1) Finish up any old, lingering projects. You might not want to submit, release, or publish them during this time, but old projects can benefit from a fresh look. Mercury also helps with creativity, making Mercury Retrograde an ideal time to edit or revise.
2) Clean out your closet, file drawer or office. Again, that Retrograde energy amplifies your ability to process through old things.
3) Evaluate how well you’ve achieved your goals and what things you’d still love to bring into your life. Mercury is also the messenger to the gods, similar to an angel. Mercury Retrograde marks a period of Mercury “slowing down,” which means our requests and longings can find more potent expression into the universe. This is a terrific time to ponder intentions.
4) Enjoy some solitude or time away. Read a book, take a walk in nature, or practice mindfulness with a sense of humor.
5) I’ll say it again: have a sense of humor. Mercury, or quicksilver, in alchemy is also known as a trickster god. Mercury changes forms fast and especially influences those born under the sign of Gemini. In fact, people with lots of Mercury in their astrological charts tend to feel Mercury Retrograde more strongly than others. If you can get in touch with that laughing trickster side, you’ll find that Mercury Retrograde stirs the pot in mischievous yet potentially healing ways. A little giggle goes a long way.
6) If you’d like to try something but want to make sure you have some kind of loophole, Mercury Retrograde offers the perfect chance for that. Things almost always go awry with commitments made during this time, so if you feel commitment-shy, you can ensure yourself some wiggle-room during these times. It doesn’t mean a contract or agreement will end; it just means things may happen that would render it null and void if one or both parties decided they wanted out.
7) Realize that you do have influence. You are not a slave to astrology, and you can maximize any events that come your way. Attitude makes a huge difference. If you can practice acceptance with curiosity, you will find Mercury Retrogrades can offer potent transformations in your life. As a Gemini who feels these shifts both in my own life and in the lives of those I coach, I have come to love Mercury Retrogrades! They feel like cosmically sanctioned vacations and I take them as such. I ease up on communication and turn inside, enjoying the still point within swirling chaos. It provides excellent practice for the rest of life, too, because life has a funny way of surprising us sometimes. With Mercury Retrograde as training ground, we can learn to meet anything and everything with Grace.
[LOL! I've got to chuckle here, as this was such a perfect example of Mercury's fun. I decided to replace my old website address with my blog link at the bottom of this article, even though my website http://internationalrenaissancecoaching.com redirects automatically to the blog. I did it at the last moment, and the post went out to my email subscribers with wordpress misspelled! Nothing serious, but quite a penultimate wink.]