So, what’s the deal with Mercury Retrograde?

If you’re a student of astrology, or you hang around in any even slightly esoteric/occult/magickal circles, you’ve probably heard this phrase before: Mercury Retrograde. It usually always carries a sense of dread and tension, and conjures mental images of arguments, delays, and mistakes.

That’s only partly true. The external errors and frustrations can be a very real part of this time when the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards along its orbit around the sun. The other component is what happens to you internally, and that can be navigated to bring you varying degrees of success, depending on how you decide to chart your course (badumbum chhhh).

Mercury Rx Basics

Mercury rules all forms of communication (including transportation and electronic devices). So, during this time when the shadow side of life is highlighted, you may encounter or notice issues with communication, particularly in how you relate to others, and possibly in your living space (home, community) and modes of travel. Internally, you may have a hard time facing up to parts of you that you’d rather not deal with (Did anyone order a side of Shame and Regret?), which can lead to internal miscommunication. Your personal and professional relationships may seem to suffer as you and other people seem to constantly bicker and mis-understand one another, jumping to premature conclusions and reacting from feelings based on personal Help perceptions  (instead of responding with thoughts based on reality irrespective of said feelings).

How You Can Deal

You don’t have to be a helpless victim of the throes of energetic chaos, however. There some things you can do to cope with Mercury’s retrograde effectively. The following list is by no means exhaustive, but it is definitely a good place to start.

  1. Listen, then speak.
  2. Be honest with yourself.
  3. Be honest with others.
  4. Trust your intuition.
  5. Use common sense.
  6. Back up your electronically stored data.
  7. Balance, center, and ground yourself regularly.
  8. Meditate. Meditate. Meditate.
  9. Whatever it is, just let it be.
  10. Double check your messages and work for errors.
  11. Drink plenty of water, and get lots of fresh air.
  12. Have a back-up plan.
  13. If all else fails, WINE will never let you down.


Mercury Rx Tech Specs

Mercury retrograde happens when the planet Mercury passes between the Earth and the Sun. Because Mercury’s orbit is about 84 days, this happens three, sometimes four times a year. While the retrograde typically last about 22 days, there is a margin of two to three weeks on either side where the influences can be felt.

Right now, we are about halfway through this third Mercury retrograde period of 2016. We are actually less than 30 days out from the end of the of whole thing, until the last one of the year in December 2016. Does that surprise you? Mercury retrograde does not just involve when the planet appears to be moving backwards. This potentially tumultuous time-frame also includes a couple of weeks leading up to and directly after the actual retrograde period.

How Mercury moves through it’s retrograde cycle
Corresponding dates for the 3rd Mercury retrograde season of 2016

I’d love to hear how you survive the karmic fallout that Mercury retrograde can often bring? Perhaps, your natal Mercury is retrograde, and you are having an entirely different experience. Speak up below and share your own struggles and successes with this infamous astrological period.


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