Its all about perspective, and sometimes, from our Earthy one, Mercury appears to travel backwards on its solar orbit. It doesn't really, it just looks that way because of our Earthly positioning in the cosmos. This happens three to four times a year for three to four weeks at a time and we call it Mercury Retrograde. During periods when Mercury is in Retrograde, everything that the planet Mercury rules is affected. Mercury rules, communication, travel, mental agility and this means that everything from the alarm on your phone, to your phone itself, to your morning commute, to your computer and on is being affected. Astrological experts and amateurs alike encourage you to have certain practices during Mercury Retrograde. Backing up your computer, double checking finances and plans, leaving extra commute time and avoiding signing contracts or some that get thrown around a lot. It is also suggested to be careful with your communication, using short, clear, concise sentences as to not confuse anyone. Its is also a poor time to practice your sarcasm, or double entendre jokes. 

I tend to agree with these professionals, but I do so with a huge nugget of perspective. Mercury Retrograde happens too many times a year for me to make any major changes to my life. To me it just a part of a cycle and a good time to take care of things, just like on Sundays when I prepare for the week ahead and during the Spring Season when I pretend to do “deep cleaning.” Instead of bogging myself down with how to protect myself during this hectic time and who to avoid talking to because we “always fight during Mercury Retrograde,” or giving in to the crabby attitude that tends to come during this planet shift, I use the different perspective of Mercury to shift my life into a more positive perspective. I use this time to help me finish things up. I tend to be a project starter and an idea generator, having lots of projects going on at the same time. I read more than one book, crochet more than one project, write for more than one publication and run multiple micro businesses on top of having a bunch of kids and a bunch of random hobbies I like to engross myself in. Mercury Retrograde serves as a cleanse, a time of completion, and a time to button things up. “Finish” the timeline screams at me. I tend to declutter at this time, getting rid of books I didn’t really like to read (but feel driven to, because who leaves a book half read?), projects that I thought were an up cyclers dream but really look like trash, I unsubscribe to newsletters that don't bring me value, I donate toys and clothes that don't fit anymore and I even clean out my refrigerator, ridding myself of toxic substances that tend to pile up, and re committing to a whole foods lifestyle. 

I don’t have a checklist of what Im going to do during Mercury Retrograde, I just tend to let it happen. I sit still and see what screams at me. Im also more patient with my loved ones, letting comments that can be taken as rude or mean with a Mercury Retrograde perspective. I am careful with certain activities such as shopping being extra mindful at places like Target or Costco where things tend to pile on the care by themselves and also avoiding completely shopping for craft supplies or books (well one can “try”). I found that perspective during Mercury Retrograde makes me feel like I WANT to work on certain projects and read certain books when in reality, its just nostalgia that Mercury Retrograde sometimes brings. 
There are certain things you are not "supposed" to do during Mercury Retrograde. Starting new projects and signing contracts are two of them. I have become aware of how impossible it is to avoid signing contracts. When permission slips, receipts, bills, electronic signatures, and other contractual nuances come up, I laugh, at the audacity of a planet telling me to avoid signing it. I make sure I understand what I am signing, I put a loving light around, it, and I move on with life. I do this even if Mercury is not Retrograde. 

What about major contracts like marriage or car shopping? If one day during Mercury Retrograde, you wake up and find that you want a new car, or a new house, or a new spouse; its probably a good idea to wait until after the planet starts "going direct" before acting on those impulses. It’s only a 3-4 week waiting period for a decision that will affect you for years to come. However, if you've been needing a new car for months, and you have some money saved up, and your dream car goes on sale during Mercury Retrograde, it’s not: "FU Mercury Retrograde, Im signing this anyway!!!" Its more like: "Thank You Mercury for helping me complete this project." Same with marriage, I would save my beautiful elaborate ceremony for a day when all the planets are aligned with peace love and prosperity; but that legal paper has different purposes. Perhaps Mercury Retrograde is the perfect time to get married if you: already live together, have children, and have been co-habiting for decades. A marriage contract is about more than love, its about life, and security and finances too, so this "project" of yours needs attention, Mercury Retrograde is a great time to finish things up. 

The point is that life doesn't stop, paralyze, or get scary during Mercury Retrograde. It is a cycle that can be worked with or just something to be aware of. What about you, are there certain rituals you practice during Mercury Retrograde? Are there things you avoid? 



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    Metzli is an intuitive tarot reader. She practices through her Etsy Shop.


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