Mercury Retrograde 2012 — Tips to Make the Most of It

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 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.]

36 responses to this post.

  1. Thank you for this post. I am new to your blog (since a couple of weeks) and I love what you do. I do not really take astrology very “serious” anymore, since I opened up/woke up. I believe that we can co-create and step out of the natal radix. But I always have a look to see atmospheres, general trends.. BUT there was always something with Mercury going retro-grade. I am a double virgo, so here you go. Also thanks for the solar flare posts.

    Have a lovely evening, I am sleepless due to Mercury or solar flares or whatsoever 😉 I accept my sleeping pattern changing regularly since one year, but I must try to get some sleep.. It is 1:33AM here and I don’t fall asleep before 3AM since last week.

    Much Peace,


  2. Posted by laurabruno on March 13, 2012 at 2:35 am

    You’re welcome! I have enjoyed your comments on Shift Frequency, too. Blessings, love and light!


  3. Posted by Francisca Martinez on March 26, 2012 at 7:16 am

    OMG this is hilarious my poor little computer is definitely feeling the Merc Ret effect which is why I looked up the end date for this cycle and it lead me to your site. As it happens the first page I open up for your blog was completely devoid of the up and down scrolling bar to the right so I couldn’t even read the second half!!! The IRONY lol I decided to open it again several times to no avail and then once more through one of the links to the side with success thank god : )

    Anywhos great post, thanks a bunch! Franni


  4. Posted by Francisca Martinez on March 26, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Forgot to tick the follow up comment box 😀


  5. Posted by laurabruno on March 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    LOL! I hope things ease up for you. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


  6. Posted by arwen070 on March 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Well…I didn’t pay attention to Mercury’s schedule for 2012 and I had to finalize and sign a contract last week (the negotiations actually started back in September 2012 and then continued in December 2010 and again in February this year)…needless to say, communications was topsy-turvy right up to signing the contract. Although I did get a legal review, there was one clause that I was unsure of as I signed. However, I did find out the next day that the clause should not cause a problem. We’ll see how it works out…


  7. Posted by laurabruno on March 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Good luck!


  8. Posted by Changeswillcome7 on March 27, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you ! Im grateful, because I can be prepared & rely on faith, hope, love & acceptance even now more. gratitute & positive attitute!
    5_24_1967 (redwood city california 18:16)
    Life Path #7 ! (i like)


  9. Posted by Changeswillcome7 on March 27, 2012 at 12:26 am

    (like how u stated not to get crazy in the head about zodiac) we have always the choice to chose. We pick our frequency to be on! (I am careful what I say to others about their charts) I always tell them all is their choice to live on feelings or logic. Zodiac is logical to me. Especially numbers in my life. I live positive by choice, moment by moment with logic. All I do is a choice & I believe that I always reap what I sow. Like attracts like. My opinion. But most of all I believe in faith & unconditional love & my hopes & my dreams !
    Thank you for pointing that out! I agree with you ! Mind over matter.
    There is a soultion to every issue or as in math terms a problem.
    There are no mistakes In my life, only experiences & choices !


  10. Posted by neverneverland on March 27, 2012 at 12:27 am

    And I think “penultimate” is the wrong word here.

    It means “second to last,” not “final” or even “largest.”

    Quit while you’re ahead, dude.


  11. Posted by laurabruno on March 27, 2012 at 12:59 am

    Well, it WAS second to last, since I added the comment afterwards. I checked. 🙂


  12. Posted by laurabruno on March 27, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Thanks for stopping by, and yes, experience and choices!


  13. Posted by Houston on March 27, 2012 at 4:59 am

    I am a Virgo with Gemini – THANK YOU! Needed to read this. Needed the perspective.


  14. Posted by laurabruno on March 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    You’re welcome. Happy to help!


  15. Posted by Lola on March 28, 2012 at 12:37 am

    How much does this mercury retrogade affect a Cancer? My ascendant is scorpio and my moon is in pisces. I must travel for work reasons so I am just wondering…


  16. Posted by laurabruno on March 28, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Lola, I wouldn’t plan your life around it. Maybe just pack some extra clothes and snacks, in other words, be prepared, but then focus on having a good trip. 🙂


  17. Interesting reading…..following advice on being prepared and keeping a sense of humor when things go awry.


  18. Posted by Joyce on March 28, 2012 at 3:50 am

    What a perfectly balanced description of Merc retrograde! I’ve focused on the “what can go wrong” aspect; Awareness of the “what can go right” is so appreciated. Thanks for your enlightenment. From a sun, mercury gemini/moon, pluto virgo…:-)


  19. intresting 🙂


  20. Posted by Leanne on March 29, 2012 at 4:21 am

    I heard about this from one of my clients. I told her a few things that has happened to me in the past few week, such as losing my wedding ring and getting in a lil car accident. Thanks for the tips! 🙂


  21. Posted by laurabruno on March 29, 2012 at 4:27 am

    Thank you all for stopping by and for sharing your stories. Blessings, ease and fun to you!


  22. Hi! I really liked this article. I’m a double Virgo- moon in Gemini… Merc’s retros are always crazy for me.

    People I don’t talk to anymore ALWAYS come back into my life.

    This retro has put me into this crazy rut- I’m hyperfocused and a bit depressed about projects I want to start… I realize this is all evaluation!!

    A love interest I’ve been talking to (he’s also Virgo- not sure about his other lineup); we’ve been texting- I had the impression he was being weird and flaky- but then three days later I got 15 texts from him that got lost in text message limbo all at once…

    Communication has been haywire- I always notice that when Merc is retro that when I talk to my customers (I bartend) they don’t seem to get my sense of humor or just ignore me outright. Makes me feel invisible.

    Today my mom called and apologized for birthing me at a time when Merc ruled a huge chunk of my chart…

    Thanks, mom… hah


  23. […] Today’s post comes in response to a reader question about Mercury Retrograde. […]


  24. Posted by laurabruno on April 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    LOL on your mom apologizing for birth timing! That’s a new one. 🙂 Also LOL on the texting, as your comment itself got delayed for 24 hours, and right when I received it, a text came in from my friend. The catch? She didn’t send a text to me or anyone. Her phone just decided to say hi and that she’d text me on her way over. Fun times. 😉 Hang in there!


  25. Thank you very much for this blog entry. I am finding that none of the employers I am seeking out are seeking me out as well, or ones that seem even the most promising are clouded. However, I am following the feeling of retrograde and spending more time with old loves (some of my favorite movies or reading a good self-help/psych/spiritual book) and being creative and getting old projects done. It’s really amazing; I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t experience it myself!

    I’ve got plan B and C for the next few months in line. Thank you!


  26. Posted by Lisa Thrash on April 6, 2012 at 3:43 am

    lol…just this today! when I was checking to see if we were still in it, as I got wind of it, and am wanting to take a trip on Saturday. Being that we are in the shadow still, is it Ok to travel now? Really want to make it to a spiritual event that is really important to me. Thanks, In Love and Light, Lisa


  27. Posted by laurabruno on April 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Yes, it’s always ok to travel during Merc Ret or the Shadow Period. Just maybe pack an extra change of clothes and some extra snacks. 🙂 Blessings, Love and Light, Laura


  28. Found you by Googling merc retro to find how long the shadow side lingered. This one was a doozy for this triple Leo. Love your clarity of thought and grateful for the synchronicity of finding you.


  29. Hi Laura, I found you by the beauty of synchronicity trying to find more on merc retro shadow period. Many thanks. This triple Leo with Venus in Virgo had a doozy this time around. Just subscribed.


  30. Posted by mt73 on March 1, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    So, what do you do when you cannot avoid important contracts/negotiations during this time? We’ve already had the bank lose our tax refund today into the ether. We’re also right at the stage of making an offer on a house and just realized where we are in the sky. I often deal with Mercury in Retrograde with a heavy dose of humor since I feel like I’m living in crazytown during these times of the year. If you can’t avoid the contracts and negotians — what’s been everyone’s experience?


  31. […] Just a little reminder that Mercury went Retrograde on June 26, 2013 and will remain Rx until July 20th. With all the intense astrological alignments in the past year, Merc Rx seems to pale in comparison; however, those of you struggling with communications, delays, mix-ups and technological snafu’s might want to read a little refresher here. […]


  32. […] I encourage people to read or reread my earlier general tips for surviving and even thriving in Mercury Retrograde, but due to the requests for more clarity and guidance about this particular one, I will share some […]


  33. […] find ways to thrive during a Mercury Retrograde. For those who could use some refresher tips, here’s a 2012 article with all sorts of explanations and […]


  34. […] Mercury all over my natal chart and long ago learned to harness and enjoy the energies of Merc Rx. This link is an old post, with different planetary alignments, but it goes into detail about ways to thrive […]


  35. […] planets in Retrograde right now, including Mercury. You can find ways of dealing with Merc Rx by clicking here. Since April 9, Saturn, the cosmic task master, is moving Retrograde at the Galactic Center until […]


  36. […] Mercury Retrograde 2012 — Tips to Make the Most of It […]


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