You may have heard the term “Mercury Retrograde” thrown around more and more recently. It’s becoming a common lexicon in the 21st century, but what does it mean, and why should we care?
Mercury is the planet that governs communication. When it moves into its retrograde phase, which occurs about three to four times per year for a period of three weeks, we are asked to pause and go inwards so we can reevaluate certain aspects of our life, with a specific emphasis on how we dialogue with our internal and external worlds. While every planet has retrograde periods, we often feel the effects of Mercury a little more strongly due to the impact that it can have on relationships and technology. While mainstream culture places an emphasis on how this phase affects technological communication, there are many other themes to be aware of, and practices you can implement, to make the most of this notoriously challenging time. Primarily, see it as an opportunity for you to slow down and reflect.
Be Aware That It Is Happening
Awareness is always the first step toward change. Simply knowing we are moving into the Mercury Retrograde period will assist the mind in understanding why you may be facing hiccups in your life, and why it may feel as though you are moving through sludge. This current phase will run from October 31 through November 20th.
Keep in mind there is also a shadow period that can last up to two weeks before, and 2 weeks after. During the shadow period, you may or may not begin to experience some of the lessons Mercury Retrograde is bringing to the surface for you.
Minimize the Impulse to Make Hasty Decisions
This is a time of reflection and observation, not action. When offered experiences to learn from, we are often triggered into action from the original wound that is trying to expose itself. This ignites our fight, flight, and freeze mechanism to kick in, making it easy to come to snap decisions that may not be in our best interest. To make the most of this energy, refer back to step number 1. Become aware of the pattern that is being triggered. Let yourself sit with it. Meditate on it, journal, talk it out with friends but don’t feel as though you need to make a decision right away. It will likely pass, and then from a point of clarity, you can choose your course. This will assist you in breaking out of destructive patterns based on old programming, habits, and beliefs.
Use This Time to Go Inward and Reflect
Retrograde periods are some of the best times to shift your awareness inward. This period of time will show you anything that needs to be re-evaluated with respect to relationships, communication, finances, and parts of your life that may need some fine-tuning. While during many planetary phases it may be easy to bypass that little nagging feeling you have been avoiding, Mercury makes it abundantly clear where shifts need to be made. Take your time to reflect on common themes and patterns that continuously come up for you, then make changes accordingly, so you can break out of your frustrating cycles once and for all.
Avoid Purchasing Electronics and Signing Contracts
This is a common cautionary tip that many astrologers give, but we must take this one with a grain of salt. While it is true that because Mercury rules communication, technology may be effected, (you can often expect unexplainable blips and malfunctions with your phone, computer, etc) it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you do end up buying an electronic device during this phase it will be doomed. Yes, you may you might experience a few challenges, but these challenges are in an effort to slow down so you can reflect. You can use periods like this to your advantage. If your phone or computer breaks down, pay attention as to what you were doing or thinking at that exact time. Were you rushing? Were you saying yes to someone you shouldn’t be? Did you take on too much, yet again? This breakdown will force you to pay attention to why it happened.
With contracts, just be sure to go over the fine print a little more thoroughly if you do find yourself signing. There may be some details you miss, but if you are mindful and take your time reviewing, you will be fine.
Be Compassionate With Yourself
Regardless of what is happening planetarily, you must remember that you are the master of your own domain. What you choose to do with this period is entirely up to you, and you can empower yourself to make changes that are necessary for the betterment of your life. You always have choices, as we are a free-will species. There is no greater power than your own internal guidance. If certain periods hit you harder than others, be kind to yourself. Go to people and places that make you feel heard and supported. Trust that everything will, and always does, work itself out, and you will be more than okay.
Try this 3-minute meditation if you need an extra boost:
Find a quiet space where you can rest undisturbed. Set a timer for 3 minutes. Close your eyes and take a few deep inhales through the nose and exhales through the mouth. Then inhale through the nose, feel the belly rise, the rib-cage expand, then the chest rise. Suspend the breath. Exhale through the nose, let the chest soften, rib-cage relax, then belly. Suspend the breath. Repeat this breath pattern, visualizing a wave moving through you. Keep going until your timer goes off. Take a moment and think of one thing you are grateful for. Continue your day from there. This meditation will relax an over-active nervous system and assist in clearing any fear you may be facing.
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