Even if you only have an elementary understanding of Astrology, you've probably heard about the oh-so-dreaded Mercury Retrograde. About three times a year, the planet of communication, learning, and transportation goes retrograde, retracing its orbit. Although Mercury Retrograde has the ability to cause some annoyances in our lives, this regularly occurring transit isn't as bad as the masses tend to think. When we are open to truly understanding this energy (instead of perpetuating a fear-based narrative), we can make this transit work to our advantage.
Check out these 10 things you need to know about the transit we all love to hate:
1. Calm your tits, sis.
Mercury is retrograde for basically half the year. Before you knew anything about this transit, you were just living your life and Mercury has been retrograde on numerous occasions. You may have even been born during a retrograde like myself. Even if you aren't a Mercury retrograde baby, you probably know someone who is. These individuals tend to be more introspective, detail-oriented, and they have the potential to be extremely creative—even borderline genius.
2. Be patient.
The retrograde transit itself lasts for about three weeks but there is a two-and-a-half week pre-shadow and post-shadow phase. During the shadow phases, the effects of the retrograde tend to be felt more as Mercury prepares to retrace its orbit. With that being said, the entire Mercury Retrograde transit is about two months long (and yes, it can feel extremely drawn out depending on what zodiac sign this mutable planet is visiting).
3. Stick to the tried and true.
Mercury Retrograde is not a good time to start new projects, endeavors, or serious commitments. Instead, use this time to review and revise something you're already working on. This transit is best utilized for rolling up your sleeves and getting into the details. Finish up your business plan, prepare your marketing campaign for the big launch, and reassess existing contractual agreements that need to be adjusted.
4. Mindfulness is key.
When the planet that governs our thoughts and communication goes retrograde, we have a tendency to overanalyze things. When Mercury is direct, the energy is focused outwards towards our surroundings. However, when it's retrograde, the energy is more internalized. Although this transit can be effective in helping us get into the details, we can easily trail off the deep end where our inner critic becomes louder than our intuition. There are enough haters in the world. Don't be a part of your own downfall.
5. Maintenance check, please!
When's the last time you got your oil changed, sis? It's time to visit your local auto shop, especially if you plan on taking a road trip during the retrograde. Not only does Mercury govern our thoughts and communication but it also affects our transportation. If you've been holding off on getting those tires replaced or your radiator fixed, you may not be able to hold off for much longer. You can also avoid a much bigger problem later down the road by making sure your car is getting just as much self-care as you do.
6. Don’t text your ex.
You may be tempted to reach out to someone from your past due to the optical illusion that Mercury is moving backwards during a Retrograde (in actuality the speed of the planet's orbit is just slowing down). Each person's situation will be different but as the popular saying goes, "Exes are exes for a reason." Now you may feel like you've got some unfinished business to sort out with someone, and in some cases, Mercury Retrograde can help you clear the air in an attempt to get on the same page, heal, and even reconcile with the past. Just keep in mind that once Mercury goes direct, there is the possibility that someone pulls a 180 and decides to move in a different direction.
7. Leave 20 minutes early.
Mercury is a bit of a trickster and when the planet that governs our transportation goes Retrograde, it can throw some unexpected surprises our way. If you've got something important planned, or your boss keeps giving you a hard time for being late, give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. You may notice an increase in accidents, traffic, and road work during the retrograde. With that being said, it's a good idea to leave the house a little earlier than usual to avoid the chaos.
8. Triple check your travel plans.
Traveling can already be a hectic affair. Once you add Mercury Retrograde into the mix, the process becomes 10x more annoying. There is a tendency for our thoughts to be a little cloudy during this transit which is why it's so important to pay attention to the details. As excited as you are to hit the beach in Cabo for Spring Break, make sure you've got all of your ducks in a row. Make sure your passport is up-to-date, your hotel room is secured, and stay on the alert for any flight changes.
9. Hold off on upgrading your electronics.
You may be tempted to get that new iPhone or buy that fancy MacBook Pro. Unless it's an emergency, you'd be better off waiting until Mercury goes direct. Not only does this planet govern communication and transportation but it's also associated with all of our modern gadgets. If you must make a high dollar purchase, make sure to save your receipt. You may even want to consider buying a warranty or some kind of insurance to protect your new gadget just in case something goes wrong.
10. Sharpen your expertise.
Although this isn't the best time to start a new endeavor, Mercury Retrograde does give us the opportunity to dive deeper into something we've been working on. If you need to brush up your skills or prepare for that public speaking event, this energy is useful for working out the kinks. As annoying as Mercury Retrograde can be, the regular occurrence of this transit serves to remind us that life is a lesson that is constantly refining us into a better version of ourselves.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
Featured image by Shutterstock