Have you experienced a string of bad luck lately — missing your train, misplacing your phone, or even getting into a tiff with your bestie? Keep calm, there is an astrological explanation in just two words: Mercury retrograde. Mercury went retrograde in Scorpio on October 31, where it will remain until November 20th.
You have probably heard it said by now, or even said it yourself: “Blame it on Mercury retrograde!” In fact, Mercury retrograde might be the most-popular scapegoat in modern astrology, referenced when even the best-made plans seem to go wrong repeatedly.
“Retrograde” simply means that the planet looks like it is moving slower, appearing to move backward in the sky. When Mercury is retrograding, astrologers advise against a number of significant activities — signing contracts, having important conversations, purchasing expensive electronics, and traveling — all until after the retrograde period has passed. Overall, it’s a time for taking a “step back” in order to take a metaphysical inventory of your life and well-being.
To some of you, this might sound extreme; but an increasing number of us are fairly tuned-in to the cosmic pulse. As The New Yorker reports, the trend-forecasting company WGSN declared new age spirituality — including astrology — the norm among millennials. Since Mercury goes retrograde three to four times annually (depending on the year), it’s worth it to brush up on the deets behind this astrological phenomenon.
If you’ve ever wondered what exactly Mercury retrograde means, or more importantly, how to cope with it, keep reading. Marie Satori, medium, intuitive, and founder of the astrological Satori Shala community shares her wisdom below.
What does “Mercury Retrograde” mean?
“Satori explains the underlying struggle of the phase, noting that it’s basically as if the planet that presides over communication, and getting from “A” to “B”, is drunk.” During Mercury retrograde the energies and the influence of Mercury [do] not work the way that we normally would expect them to.” This means that the aspects of our lives that Mercury presides over — including text messages, the internet, communication, travel, and electronics — can all start acting wonky.
She also reveals that the planetary phase is ideal for introspection and planning, but not acting on said plans just yet. “When Mercury is in retrograde,” she begins, “we usually are asked to reflect, return, and fix an area of our lives before we can move forward.” The time is also ideal for inner-work and processing, hence the unhealed wounds — and even exes — that come to mind when Mercury slows down.
Experientially, simply getting from point A to point B can feel infinitely more complicated. In fact, it can feel like a psycho-spiritual obstacle course, especially with past baggage and emotional clearing thrown into the mix. But once Mercury goes direct again, the time will be ripe for implementing and acting upon the plans you have made, informed by the personal growth you have undergone.
Expert Tips for Coping During Mercury Retrograde
Satori provides the following tips for surviving this Mercury retrograde (October 31, 2019 – November 20, 2019) in Scorpio. Keep these themes in mind to help you cope for the next time that Mercury goes retrograde.
The time is ideal for brainstorming, reflecting, and processing any unhealed wounds that come bubbling up, remaining conscious and present to your inner-needs. “Take notes on anything that is coming to you at this time,” she says. She adds that having someone to talk to, whether a close friend or therapist, is also a great idea.
Take a step back from your regular pace and turn your focus inward, she instructs. It’s important to give yourself more personal time, from thirty minutes to an hour of dedicated “you-time” per day. For instance, Netflix and reading count as two self-care past-times that can be taken at your own pace.
Knowing that plans can be subject to change, it is important to pad yourself with extra time when getting to/from appointments. Being flexible with your plans can also help buffer the impact of delays, cancellations, and misplaced belongings that the phase is notorious for.
Satori notes that Wednesday is a particularly important day to meditate, as Mercury rules over this day of the week. Meditation is an excellent tool for cultivating detached awareness with which to observe and process your inner-work. In this case, remaining conscious and present to what comes up emotionally — not avoiding or distracting yourself from the problem — is the path to growth.
Reconnect with old friends.
While keeping your closest friends close, this time can often lead to us reconnecting with old friends, or even an ex. Satori shares that it might not be the best time to discuss rekindling an old romance, but you can talk about the deeper issues that hurt too much to discuss rationally before.
“There are crystals you can use to help you feel more aligned,” Satori states, noting that she personally recommends protective black tourmaline. While you can light candles and conduct rituals, she warns that even energy work can go awry during Mercury retrograde.
Finally, the Intelligent Change Productivity Planner, $24.95, is an excellent tool for navigating your path forward once Mercury’s gone direct.
Revisit old projects.
Satori reminds us that all the “re-” activities are applicable during retrograde. It’s an ideal time to re-do your resume or plan how to re-vamp your image, whether professionally or personally. Dust off old projects you never quite finished, and revisit whether you’d like to pursue them again.
Elevate your personal space with a “Spring cleaning” of sorts. As Satori puts it, “Marie Kondo your life!” Put anything you don’t want anymore in a bag to donate — then wait until Mercury goes direct to drop it off, she adds.
This doesn’t just apply to your home, either. Use the phase to evaluate any area of your life — including your phone book and your friends lists — and discern, and remove, whatever (or whomever) lowers your vibe. This clears your path to success once the planetary energies turn direct.