(GIF via Cosmopolitan)
Yes: Mercury is going retrograde this week (until Dec. 6th). No, you do NOT need to worry. This period gets a bad rap for the most part due to ancient anxieties that have held fast over the years… but now, we know it’s no cause for concern. What it IS is an opportunity to pay closer attention to how we’re running our lives, and where we might be ready to shift or release old patterns.
We can work WITH Mercury retrograde, rather than against it, we when we do, we can totally benefit from it! As Chani Nicols says, this retrograde period is: “a rhythm to be rocked.” Rocking this motion is about knowing where to focus your energy. Here’s 411 on this planetary motion.
What Actually IS Mercury Retrograde?
Three or four times every year, Mercury passes earth in its orbit and as it moves, it appears to stop and start moving backward. It really ISN’T moving backward, or even slowing down, but, like two cars passing each other on a highway, this creates the optical illusion that it is. In astrology, it’s known as a time when our travel plans and communication goes awry.
Why? In astrology, each planet has a specific area of human life it governs, and Mercury rules travel and communication – everything from how we share and interpret information via writing, speaking, and social media, to how we get ourselves from point A to point B. It’s Mercury’s job to make sure all of this flows smoothly day to day, but when in retrograde, it basically checks out. Social plans fall apart, meetings get forgotten, people turn flaky, commutes get hairy. Retrogrades are like, a planet going on vacation and leaving all their work behind.
So WHY Does Mercury Retrograde Mess With Us?
Ultimately, the way I see it: Mercury retrograde is an opportunity to do a deeper kind of work than we’re used to doing when it’s direct and communication and travel is flowing smoothly. When business-as-usual gets disrupted, it’s an invitation for us to get really self-aware and really present, so we notice what, in our lives, isn’t really aligned with our truth: our ways of working, habits and routines, our expectations of ourselves, and others.
Mercury retrograde wants us to ask ourselves, ‘Is this really, truly working for me?’ This job? This schedule? This partnership? This role I’m playing? Or… nah?
Whatever comes up during this 3-week period that makes us feel like we’re crumbling into chaos happens because it wants to get our attention! This motion tests us in the areas we’re ready to rise more fully into our power. That is, make those radically self-loving, self-honouring choices we’re ready to make. It’s a big time to identify and ‘release the bullshit.’ Trust that it’s all happening FOR you, rather than TO you, boo.
Hence: The way to really win Mercury retrograde is to REFLECT. When we do this now, we can start to connect the dots in our lives and see where things have lead us and why. For the next 3 weeks, aim to pump the breaks on productivity in order to move slower and more mindfully through your day.
Focus On Activities That Start With The Prefix ‘Re,’ Like…
– Reconnect with old places or activities you used to love, and remind yourself who you really, deeply are.
– Renew your commitments to the anchors that hold you in place in your life (your yoga studio, your food delivery subscription service, etc.)
– Redo any job you might have half assed. Maybe it’s a report at work, maybe it’s a breakup. Whatever’s been looming on your mind, get that job done RIGHT this time around.
– Revisit your wardrobe and home décor. Clean out your closets and give away anything that feels tired. Now is a time to get to unfinished business, and freeing up space in your material life is totally part of that.
– Revise and review everything more thoroughly. Emails or messages before sending, any documents you need to sign, or review, etc. Do your future self a favour and go through things you need to work on with a fine tooth comb.
Should You Not Sign Contracts?
It’s said that now isn’t a good time to launch into new commitments is because we’re not processing information as sharply as we usually do under regular circumstances. Wires are much more likely to get crossed.
Here’s my personal thought on that: If the timing is right – and only YOU know if it’s right or not, then do whatever you need to do. Just know that it may not pan out as you expected (and, I mean, that’s a good attitude to have whenever you start anything new, right?) At the end of the day, the point of astrology is to be able to use this information to empower ourselves, so don’t get discouraged because you read that ‘it’s not the right time.’ Check in with what you know and feel to be true, and go with that. Always.
Will Old Lovers Pop Up?
This period is notorious for bringing back people from the past. If an ex or someone you have unfinished biz with is still on your mind, now is an excellent time to really cut the cord and move on. On the other hand, if the timing wasn’t right with someone the first time around, he or she could make a come-back now. When that person slides into your DM’s, your gut will tell you if it’s a hell yes or a hell naw. Just don’t rush into a commitment before really taking your time.
Mercury rules communication, so there may be confusion in the message-exchange, but: Your emotions and your heart are uncompromised during this time – so drop into your intuition before you express yourself. And that goes for all areas of life, around now! Remove yourself from any confusion or conflict, and speak directly from your heart.
(Story by Contributing Editor, Kait Fowlie)