What's a retrograde, for those of you that don't know what it means when Mercury gets into Gatorade, oh wait, retrograde. ;)
Learn what Mercury Rx is and how to work with it.
What’s a retrograde?
A retrograde (Rx) occurs when a planet (or asteroid) appears to be moving backward through the Zodiac. It’s not actually moving backward, but just looks that way. The normal motion is forward, so retrograde motion changes the way the energy of the planet is expressed.
Mercury retrogrades 3-4 times a year for about 3 weeks at a time, but has a two week shadow period before and after the retrograde. Mercury will stay in one or two signs for the time that is retrogrades and it’ll stay within one or two elements of the zodiac, meaning earth and air or fire and water for example. Basically that means there’s lessons or themes that come with each Mercury Rx. Whatever sign Mercury is in retrograde or not, it shapes our intellectual interests and pursuits and how we communicate and express ourselves through the zodiac sign that it’s in.
Mercury is the planet closest to our Sun and the fastest moving planet in our solar system. It only takes about 88 days to fly around the Sun at speeds of about 112,000 mph. When it goes retrograde it moves at a rate equivalent to about 40 minutes of movement per day. This means that everything Mercury is astrologically attributed to also slows waaay down. It’s like a giant pause button has been activated when Mercury goes retrograde and the side effect is cosmic and personal shifts. There’s a rhythm with Mercury and within the Universe. Mercury goes in and out of retrogrades, it’s natural, to be expected, and teaches us to trust in the rhythm of the Universe and the rhythm of life.
In ancient times, our ancestors believed that when Mercury was retrograde it was taking time to unearth higher truths, expand consciousness, bring more awareness from the underworld, and uncover messages and insights. It was a time to reconnect to intuition.
Let’s discover what Mercury is attributed to in astrology.
When Mercury is Rx it mixes up our lives in all of these areas. It’s advised that during a Mercury Rx we don’t sign contracts, make big purchases or make any big commitments, don’t make travel plans or at least add in extra time for travel snafus, back up data, and basically just take extra care with anything planned. Life doesn’t stop when Mercury goes Rx, but we can anticipate it coming, since we know it’s going to happen 3-4 times per year. It’s advised to not take on big life decisions during this time because this is a time we tend to discover hidden pieces of information or more insights are revealed to us in order to help us to move forward in life. We need to allow that process to happen before moving, signing our name to anything, or even getting a haircut for that matter.
What does Mercury Rx look like in real life?
Again, life doesn’t stop, so do your best to give yourself extra time for things, to really think thing through as best you can during this time if you do have something coming up that might be affected by this cosmic cycle. Use discernment, care, and practice patience during this time. And I just can’t repeat this enough during Mercury Rx, back things up.
How can we shift our perspective during Mercury Rx?
Mercury governs how we think and learn, find resolutions, travel and use technology. During this time it feels like chaos, but it’s ultimately a time of rest. We can’t go, go, go all the time. We need some mental down time. We also need to deal with things we might’ve been putting on the back burner, or slow down enough to recognize when there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. Let’s look at Mercury Rx as a time to chill out, a universal chill pill.
Instead of seeing Mercury Rx as a time of chaos, mental clutter, brain fog, ignoring facts, things going wrong, dealing with glitches in technology, and saying the wrong things, instead of seeing this period of time as something bad I propose we see it as an opportunity. We can use this time to listen to what our intuition is telling us, to slow down and connect with our higher selves. We can take this time to be aware of the messages and insights we need to discover in our lives.
Mercury Rx teaches us that change is part of life and those times of change will pass and settle. We don’t have to let this cosmic cycle overwhelm us; we can lean in and choose to be present, aware, and patient. It’s so easy to get upset, to blame, whine, and come up with excuses. It’s not taking the higher road and consciously expanded path to be negative though. Sure it’s okay to feel your emotions, let them process through, but can you connect to what your emotions are telling you? Can you look inside yourself with candor and shift what isn’t good for you any longer? Can you heal through the emotions that are coming up? Low vibrational or negative feelings simply want to be loved and transmuted into the light. Take this time to slow down with Mercury and do some unearthing for yourself. You have control over your own actions, always.
You can use this period to do routine maintenance, too. It’s actually perfect for taking time to organize, do good things for your health, take care of your car, clean out closets and garages, and clean up all those messy folders on your laptop.
Think of words that begin with RE, just like the re in retrograde. This is the time to:
When you think of Mercurial energy and influence ask these questions:
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