How to survive three weeks of communication and technology breakdowns without having a nervous breakdown.
Ever have a week when nobody understands you? Your cell phone erases itself, people argue over nonsense, traffic sucks, and your computer crashes as you’re typing the last sentence of your Great American Novel. Flights are delayed or cancelled, or you forget your passport at home on the way to Mexico. Plans change without warning and your friends stand you up.
What IS Mercury retrograde, really?
About 3 times a year, Mercury passes the earth in its orbit. As it rounds the bend, Mercury slows down and appears to stop (station) and spin backward (retrograde). Of course, it really ISN’T moving backward, but much like two trains or cars passing each other, this creates the optical illusion that one (Mercury, in this case) is going backward.
In astrology, Mercury rules communication, travel, and technology—so all of these areas go haywire for about three weeks.
To top it off, Mercury retrograde also has what’s called a “shadow period, so you may feel the retrograde a couple weeks before and after it actually happens.
So why do we feel Mercury so intensely?
Mercury has a huge core made almost completely of what astronomers have concluded to be iron. The only planet in our Solar System to contain this much of this metal, with Mercury passing so closely between the Earth and Sun it almost becomes like a huge magnet charging between polarities. While it hasn’t been proven by science, I would assume this is the reason that technology can get a bit dysfunctional during this time. Not to mention on an even deeper level, why it affects the human brain since both Mother Earth and our nervous system are wired with electromagnetic properties.
These influences on a spiritual realm, open what is know as a shadow or yin period. This is not a shadow period in the sense of negativity although the common westerner who does not understand these qualities would paint it as so, hence why there is so much hype about Mercury Retrograde. These energetic principles can be seen in all of life and I call them the galactic breath. All of life has an ebb and flow, an inhale and exhale. Maybe you would be more familiar with the yin and yang metaphor. Mercury Retrograde as mentioned above is the yin. It is the time to relax, rest, to contemplate and collect what would otherwise be not easily accessible information from the realm beyond. It is about purifying your vessel through slowing down but also just listening to what the universe would like for you to do next.
How not to have a nervous breakdown?
Don’t start anything new. Review all your contracts before you sign. Renew your commitments, rather than making new ones. Prepare to repeat yourself often. It’s like learning a new dance. Or something.
Note to all 21st-century dwellers: Mercury retrograde can crash electronic equipment. Back up your computer, calendar and cell phone address book. Expect delays if traveling, and pack a book to entertain yourself while you wait for the tardy bus or plane. Get in touch with old friends – and don’t be surprised if people from your past track you down. You might hear from the most RANDOM ex-boyfriends and childhood classmates during retrogrades. Mercury also rules contracts, so think before you ink. Either wrap up important negotiations before the cycle starts, or wait to sign documents until Mercury goes direct.
If you were born during a Mercury retrograde (which we were), you may actually become sharper, clearer or more productive during this time. You won’t be immune to Mercury’s global impact (we once had a hard drive systematically erase itself before our eyes during Mercury retrograde), but you could also thrive in areas where others are flailing (almost every big writing contract and book deal we’ve gotten was offered during Mercury retrograde). You might even become more psychic or dialed-in during Mercury’s backspin. How do you find out if you were born during Mercury retrograde?
Mercury retrograde do’s and don’ts.
- Review all contracts and legal documents before signing.
- Pause and breathe before speaking. (Repeat yourself if necessary!)
- Read all emails and documents before you send.
- Insure/track important mail and packages (Mercury rules the postal system).
- Get your vehicles (or bikes) tuned up, pack an emergency roadside kit.
- Leave early for any travel and appointments, since Mercury Rx can delay flights.
- Renew your commitments instead of making new ones.
- Focus on the prefix re-,which means to go backward (renew, review, revamp, redecorate, et al.)
- Plan reunions with old friends & loved ones (but prepare for possible mishaps!)
- Expect to hear from/run into people from your past at the weirdest moments.
- Get sentimental. Reconnect with your roots, walk down memory lane.
- Practice forgiveness. Finish processing what’s unresolved so you can let it go.
- Confirm all dates, plans, meetings, appointments.
- Think of the retrograde as a quarterly review period, a chance to pause and finish what you’ve started.
- Back up your digital data (photos, contact lists, files) before the retrograde or ASAP if it’s started.
- Buy new vehicles, electronic equipment or gadgets (unless they come with a good return/repair policy).
- Sign contracts without a thorough review (delay until Mercury turns direct if you can).
- Fly off the handle or jump to conclusions if someone misunderstands you.
- Run into the arms/bed of an ex without careful screening (Mercury reunions aren’t always meant to last).
- Shoot the messenger if someone from your past comes around.
- Put anything sketchy into an email or text (you could hit “Reply All” or send to the wrong person!).
- Leave late for flights or appointments.
- Start anything new on top before finishing what’s ahead on the to-do list.
- Lead people on, give mixed messages, or believe everything you hear (actions speak louder than words).
- Spread rumors, rant on social media or share unconfirmed information.
- Turn in sloppy or unchecked work, cut corners, dash off hasty communications. Inspect to protect!
The silver lining? Mercury retrograde is a great opportunity to handle unfinished business. Most of us start a million things that we don’t complete, never realizing how much psychic clutter this creates. The retrograde is like a quarterly review, a chance to tie up those loose ends and create a clear vision for the future. Take advantage of it, and you’ll emerge fresh and ready when Mercury goes direct. As the cliche goes, what you resist persists. So the more you can embrace chaos or a lack of control (and isn’t control an illusion, anyhow?), the better you’ll survive this cycle.