NYC’s Ultimate Mercury in Retrograde Survival Guide
While Mercury has been doing its thing for all of eternity, this planet has become a hot topic recently, especially in regards to going retrograde. Even Buzzfeed has posted several articles over the past couple of years about this somewhat mysterious “Mercury in retrograde” phenomenon. In honor of Mercury currently being retrograde, I thought this would be an appropriate time for me to geek out and share my fascination of astrology with everyone while clearing up some misconstrued ideas and providing some insight to assist you through this somewhat turbulent time.
First thing’s first: Mercury DOES NOT actually move backwards, reversing its direction of orbit during a retrograde phase. When a planet is in a retrograde-station-direct cycle (fancy astrology term for retrograde), it appears to be moving backwards. This is an optical illusion that results from our point of view on Earth, simply because the Earth is also orbiting the Sun at a different speed than the other planets.
So, why does everyone make such a big deal when Mercury turns retrograde and not when any of the other planets turn retrograde? Well for starters, Mercury turns retrograde more frequently than any other planet (approximately three times a year with each phase lasting around three weeks), making it more relevant in our lives than any other planets retrograde phases. Sorry, Mars…you receive enough attention with extraterrestrial beings.
Mercury is the planet associated with communication, learning, travel, coordination, technology, negotiation, buying/selling, contracts and agreements. When Mercury is retrograde, we can expect any or all of these things to feel like they are spinning out of control, or even reversing any progress we have made in these areas of our lives.
Sure, Mercury in retrograde can throw you for a bit of a loop. However, if you are prepared for what’s to come and use this planet’s retrograde influence to your benefit, you may be pleasantly surprised at how much smoother your life is when you acknowledge and choose to go with the flow of the universe. I’ve taken the guesswork out of how to prepare yourself and your life for a Mercury retrograde cycle in NYC by creating a survival guide of sorts, based on my own personal experiences and knowledge of this astrological phenomenon.
1. Allow yourself more time for travel
Being that Mercury is the planet associated with all things travel, you better be prepared for your daily commutes to get interesting! Throughout my time living in NYC, I’ve noticed that the MTA is REALLY in sync with the universe, as in, expect more train delays and other various travel faults over the next few weeks. Leave yourself extra time to get to places, so that if your travel plans go awry, you will be prepared for this and can remain calm rather than stress yourself out. When everyone else is grumbling on the unexpected delayed train because they’re going to be late, you’ll be smiling and thinking, “Take that, Mercury!”
2. All Mercury retrograde cycles are not created equally
Each Mercury retrograde cycle has it’s own unique flavor added to the already predictable mayhem that is about to ensue in the areas associated with Mercury. It’s safe to always expect faulty travel and mixed up communications when Mercury is retrograde, but the details as to how these areas will be affected by the retrograde cycle relies on the alignment of all the other planets as well. The current Mercury retrograde cycle we are in the midst of is in the Air sign of Gemini and spans from May 18th to June 11th. For further insight on the specifics of how this Mercury retrograde cycle will be impacting our lives, read Robert Wilkinson’s Mercurial wisdom on Mystic Mamma.
3. Each zodiac sign is affected differently
Educate yourself and read up on how the present alignment of the cosmos affects your personal zodiac sign. Cafe Astrology has horoscopes written for each sign specifically about this Mercury retrograde cycle in Gemini. Be sure to read your Sun sign and Ascendant sign horoscopes for the most accurate interpretation. To find out your Ascendant sign, use Cafe Astrology’s Quick Ascendant Calculator. While I’m at it, if you’re really feeling this astrology stuff, you can get your Free Natal Chart at Cafe Astrology as well. Basically, go to Cafe Astrology for all of your astrology needs.
4. Reflection is protection
Mercury retrograde is a very supportive time for reflecting on your past. It is often that our past makes a reappearance in some way, shape or form during a Mercury retrograde cycle. Rather than dwelling on the fact that someone or something from your past is now visiting your present moment, view this as a second chance. A second chance to decide to heal your past, leaving the event behind for good. Or, perhaps now that some time has passed, you have the chance to reevaluate the event with a fresh perspective, which could lead you to a different understanding or conclusion. Either way, taking the time to get clear on what you want to leave behind in the past and what you want to take with you into the future is crucial during this time. Mercury can force us to deal with unresolved issues, sometimes in the least expected and most unpleasant ways. Deal with them now, or else you’ll just have to deal with them later when it’s even more of a mess. Clean it up now…your future self will be very grateful!
5. Think before you speak
We should always have this practice in our lives, but if there’s any time to take a pause and carefully formulate our thoughts into speech, it’s now! Communication can get super wonky during a Mercury retrograde cycle due to the fact that Mercury is the planet of communication. Confusion, rambling, Freudian slips, stumbling over your words or simply not being able to spit it out are all common side effects, so if you feel like your native language has suddenly become your second language, with nonsensical now being your first, it’s quite alright. Words are hard sometimes, especially during Mercury retrograde times, so hopefully you can find some solace in the fact that you’re not alone in the communication struggle – we are all fluent in nonsensical at this time. Knowing this, speak (or don’t speak!) appropriately.
6. Hold off on crossing your T’s and dotting your I’s
Everyone being fluent in nonsensical simultaneously can lead to major miscommunications. Therefore, it’s best to hold off on signing any contracts or agreements. Brainstorm and daydream all you want about traveling, but wait until after Mercury turns direct again to book that dream vacation or else it might wind up being a bit of a disaster (Berlin, Germany vs. Berlin, New Jersey – it could happen, so just wait a few weeks). Obviously, some things can’t wait (like your dream apartment) and it won’t be the end of the world if you sign a lease or book a flight during Mercury retrograde. It’s just more likely that you’ll have a change of heart after Mercury turns direct, because our decision-making can be challenged during a retrograde cycle. So if it can wait, practice the art of patience and wait it out.
7. Remember to laugh
This doesn’t have to be a time of complete darkness and doom. Make light of the situation and embrace the insanity! It’s a time when the universe has justified the bits of insanity that we all have inside of us, so enjoy it while it lasts. I often refer to Mercury retrograde situations in comical ways during its cycle to lighten up the mood. If you take any of this too seriously, you’re bound to let Mercury get the best of you. We all could use little more light in our lives during this time, so crack your best Mercury jokes and don’t forget to laugh at yourself when you sound like a babbling buffoon.
8. Take time for yourself
Mercury retrograde is a great time to do something for yourself that alleviates stress, whether it be a day at the spa, a trip upstate to get out of the city (just be weary of travel issues), or booking a private session with me to feel the flow of supportive and healing energies through yoga and Reiki.
9. Keep calm and carry on
Don’t tiptoe around or over-analyze everything you do during this period. Attempt to stay as levelheaded as possible during what can seem like a turbulent time and go with the flow. Ride the stormy waves of Mercury retrograde, knowing it will all be over soon. For in our most trialing times, we often come out on the other side stronger, wiser and with a new sense of depth and appreciation that we could not have gained from an easy ride.
Even though it may feel like the universe is out to get you, the universe is supporting you through this time. From darkness, comes light. It’s all one big balancing act…trust in the process.
Love, light & gratitude,