I feel like Mercury Retrograde always gets a bad rap. So I decided to share my personal feelings about how and why I love Mercury Retrograde. I have not always had this deep affinity for this specific planetary aspect. I was like so many that felt like I was perpetually being punked any time we happened to get even close to it. It was about two years ago that I started to develop my own strategies for how to make the most of this challenging relationship. I decided to make this time an opportunity to deepen in my practice of self mastery.
Firstly, I think it’s important to develop an appreciation for all challenges, as a general spiritual practice. They help us discover where we need to do more of our souls work. And although this can leave us feeling exposed and vulnerable, with a positive attitude, we can approach it as an opportunity to grow wiser. I like to consider the planets as archetypal gods and goddesses. We all have the potential to be influenced by these energies, because they exist within ourselves. Understanding archetypal God/goddess energy/types can help us discover our true nature, our innate gifts and abilities. Through observing their energies we can learn to appreciate our strengths as well as understand our areas of challenge. It has been my experience that when you perceive the planets as offering an archetypal lesson that their influences feel less static and more fluid. The collective unconscious, Jung believed, was where these archetypes exist. He suggested that these models are innate, universal and hereditary. Archetypes are unlearned and function to organize how we experience certain things.
The Planet Mercury is associated with the God Hermes/Thoth/Djehuty/Quetzalcoatl/Enoch who was associated with being the father of the Occult and Magic among many other things. This planet influences communication, the nervous system, our solar plexus chakra, self-confidence, writing, teaching and art. Mercury rules our “lower” mind, how we perceive and interpret information that we receive from our environment, and how we relay that information to others. Mercury rules over such things as speaking, negotiating, buying and selling, and negotiating formal contracts. In Vedic traditions, it is believed that Mercury is the son of the Moon. Mercury is also the God of travelers, in charge of transporting souls after death to the Underworld.
Mercury is known as the trickster, the magus, the prince of thieves. In Native Mythology, the trickster, often associated with coyote animal medicine, is celebrated in a vast number of oral tales. He was typically portrayed as a demiurge (independent creative force) and a maker of fateful decisions. The trickster deity breaks the rules of the gods or nature but with ultimately positive effects. In many cultures, the trickster and the hero are often combined. For example, Prometheus, in Greek mythology, stole fire from the gods to give it to humans. All of these dynamics play a role in my appreciation for my own inner Mercury archetype.
What does it mean when a planet is retrograding? We often believe that the planet that is retrograding is moving backwards. In actuality this is an optical illusion which is created based upon our perception. Therein lies the lesson. When engaging with the energies of a retrograding planet always keep in mind that it’s an opportunity to check our own perception. Our minds are what translate our experiences and give them meaning. What the universe offers to us is in fact neutral however we judge it as positive or negative based on our beliefs. Truly with any experience what we perceive as happening is based on the vibration of beliefs we are offering. Mercury retrograde offers us the opportunity to examine more closely areas in our life where we can still get easily hooked or triggered. It does seem to do this by creating opportunities that push our buttons but again with the practice of mindfulness we can approach these experiences with more light heartedness and humor. We live in an infinite multiverse of parallel realities. It is becoming more evident that we have the choice within each present moment to shift into one of infinite realities. We do this be deliberately offering our most preferred vibration. This is often referred to as the path of least resistance. This path takes practice to align with. Mercury retrograde offers us ample opportunity to examine what vibration we are perpetually offering.
So here are some of my favorite tips for self-mastery during Mercury retrograde.
1. Challenge: Mercury rules our “lower” mind, how we perceive and interpret information and how we relay that information to others. Communication wires tend to get crossed and meaning tends to get confusing during this time.
The Practice: Cool your temper. Take a few minutes before responding to someone. Especially with loved ones. Ask more questions. If you know that communication may be challenged take a step back and examine if you are projecting your limited beliefs onto someone else. Take the time to meet face to face for serious conversations. Even laugh and say, I know mercury is retrograding, let me make sure I understood you correctly, is this what you mean? Check in for more clarity.
2. Challenge: Mercury rules technology, computers and gadgets tends to go haywire.
The Practice: Earthing. Take a break from technology. So many of us, self included, are too attached to our phones and devices anyway. Take some time to go back into nature and disconnect from all of the over stimulation of our heavy technology focused lives. Walk with bare feet on the earth as often as possible. This helps to ground any unpaired free radicals that you have picked up from the environment. In addition, it’s always wise to back up your hard drive or any important information that you have stored. I have literally washed two phones in the washing machine before during Mercury retrograde.
3. Challenge: Mercury rules over all things related to traveling. There is an increased chance of delays or missed travel arrangements.
The practice: Patience. Bring along your favorite book with you. I have learned this was a cure all for my own impatience many years ago. When I get stuck in a long line or find that I have to wait for a significant period of time, I consider that free reading time. This way my mind is focused on something that brings me joy and keeps me vibrating high rather than focused on something that makes me feel frustrated and brings my vibration low. I have found by doing this many times the delay somehow would actually magically disappear when I kept myself focused. In general it’s good to plan to give yourself extra travel time.
4. Challenge: Mercury rules over negotiating, buying and selling, formal contracts, documents.
The practice: Mindfulness. If you have to work out any type of legal or contractual agreements just pay very clear attention to details. Read all of the small print. If a delay in signing something is possible it would be best to wait.
5. Challenge: Mercury rules the nervous system. We have a tendency to become easily stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed.
The Practice: Breathe. Practice taking deep full breaths that fill your entire lungs. Practice alternate nostril breathing. Indulge in long, Epsom salt baths weekly. Bring in the use of some essential oils such as Lavender or Chamomile. Carry a piece of Fluorite or lithium quartz. Use herbs that are Nervines such as Holy Basil and Ashwhaghanda. Listen to solfeggio frequencies or connect to other forms of sound healing. Get acupuncture or a massage. Listen to your body. We all have overactive fight or flight tendencies. This is a great time to develop a strong self care regimen.
6. Challenge: People from our past have the tendency to show up during Mercury Retrograde.
Practice: Forgiveness. Many believe that Mercury retrograde is a time for past karmic debt to be balanced. This means that people from the past who we have unhealed patterns with may pop up or we may run into them unexpectedly. These can even be soul mates from past lifetimes. My experience is that when working with what we refer to ask “karmic debt” the practice for healing is always forgiveness. Once you realize that you are the creator of your experience, that everyone you encounter has been cast by you in order to fulfill your soul’s lessons, there is no longer a need to carry any type of negative charge. Practicing forgiveness releases you and others from these contracts. You can simply thank the person in your meditation for fulfilling their karmic contract with you and release the debt. Sometimes the person we need to forgive most is ourselves.
In general Mercury Retrograde should be viewed as a wonderful time for coming closer to our more authentic nature. I tend to hibernate during this time and go deeper into my meditation. As the Zen saying goes, you only find as much Zen at the top of a mountain as you have brought with you. Meaning how we perceive our experience is a product of our own creation. If we become deeply triggered, frustrated, impatience, angry, this is because this already exists within us. Mercury retrograding helps bring it to the surface in an effort to be healed. As I was writing this I went to highlight the document and accidentally(no accidents) deleted the entire thing. Instead of reacting out of fear, I took a deep breath and let me intuition provide me with the solution. Yes in general we would all likely prefer our lessons to be met with more ease. But truthfully these challenges are what create the deeper levels of healing. I have found that after a few weeks of this I am blessed with more peace, insight, resilience, and courage to face my own path. Every time.
The general practice for all of Mercury Retrograde is, go with the flow. Most of what we perceive as reality is truly an illusion. Try to seek the deeper meaning in it all.
Namaste, Peace, and So much love.