Mercury Retrograde
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What Does Mercury Retrograde Mean?

When Mercury is in retrograde, technology, communication, travel, logic, and information all get disrupted, but understanding Mercury retrograde's true meaning, knowing its dates and how long it lasts can help you deal with astrology's most nerve-wracking event.

When is the next Mercury Retrograde?
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Stars What does Mercury Retrograde mean for me?

You've seen the memes: Mercury's backward tour through the sky becomes a convenient scapegoat whenever a flight is delayed, laptop glitchy, or email goes astray. But the actual meaning of Mercury retrograde isn't just some run of bad luck. It's astrology's way of forcing us to review, recheck and revisit.

In our technology-focused society where emails, texts, and reliable WiFi are everything, the planet of communication has a big job. And when Mercury goes haywire during its retrograde phase, its effects hit us where it hurts. After all, you're reading this on your phone between Snaps, texts, booking flights and mapping your route to the restaurant you made an online reservation for, right? Understandably, if your phone suddenly shuts down, a message gets lost, or travel is delayed, you're majorly inconvenienced.

What exactly is the science behind Mercury retrograde? First off, the name is deceptive. It's not as if the planet actually reverses its orbit. Simply explained, Mercury retrograde describes an optical illusion which makes it look as if the planet is moving backwards from our viewpoint on earth. During this perceived backwards motion, anything to do with communication, technology or contracts can get majorly screwed up.

Mercury is associated with communication, information, electronics, travel, and even clear thinking, so when it's retrograde we have to be ready for a slowdown in all of those areas. Things break. Projects stall. We lose things. Breakups happen. Schedules are thrown off, we get frustrated, we lash out and more breakdowns in communications follow. The effects of Mercury retrograde aren't all in your imagination - but it isn't all bad news either.

Mercury retrograde may feel like it's shaking up your entire world, and it's true. This aspect affects health, and career moves, but it also means different issues for each sign. Knowing what to do and what to expect is one of the best ways to handle Mercury retrograde.

Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide

How can you get Mercury retrograde to work for you instead of against you? First, take a deep breath. Despite the serious frustration and even terror that comes with a Mercury retrograde cycle, it's not the end of the world. While it may be an inconvenience to deal with it for close to three months every year, it's not unmanageable. You can sign contracts, make major financial decisions, or start a new job in this time period, but you should be careful. During this period, cross your t's and dot your i's - and double check everything.

Keeping certain do's and don'ts in mind during every interaction will be your protection through the Mercury retrograde season. This can be a rich period of creativity and connections, and if you can be flexible, not get buried in the details, and think big picture, you'll emerge without a scratch.

General Do's and Don'ts of Mercury Retrograde

DO:
  • 1. Brainstorm. Think of every available solution to the problems you're facing - one of them has to work eventually.
  • 2. Be flexible, adaptable, and patient. You may have to step outside of your comfort zone to come up with the right fix.
  • 3. Think in broad terms. The bigger and farther reaching the solution is, the more likely it is to work.
  • 4. Stay updated on delays and cancellations while traveling.
  • 5. Keep an eye on warning lights on your car's dash and stay on top of all regularly scheduled maintenance appointments to ensure things are running as smoothly as possible. Monitor the gas in the tank (that little arrow pointing to F or E might not be as accurate as you think).
  • 6. Back up your computer and phone so you don't lose important data if they shut down without warning.
  • 7. Revisit persistent issues from the past. You know that one thing that's really been on your mind lately? The one that keeps you up at night? This is the perfect time to address it and try to resolve it once and for all.
DON'T:
  • 1. Get into a negative thinking cycle. Things may be falling apart around you but staying positive and remembering this is just a speedbump will help you get through it. You've got this!
  • 2. Be a lone wolf. When things break, make an appointment with a professional to get them fixed and then sit tight rather than trying to impatiently DIY it.
  • 3. Exaggerate. Things are bad enough without stretching the truth, aren't they?!

  • 4. Plan a big presentation or draft up important papers (especially legal documents). If you can't avoid tasks like this, pay close attention to the details.
  • 5. Rely only on technology. If you have an important meeting coming up, write down or print out info you know you'll need.
  • 6. Rush. Slowing down the pace can help you eliminate costly mistakes.
  • 7. Have unrealistic expectations. Because of misunderstandings and mix-ups, things may not turn out as you'd planned. Avoid disappointment by keeping expectations relatively low.
  • 8. Set unrealistic timelines. Red tape can keep documents in a holding pattern for a long, long time.

How Mercury Retrograde Affects Your Health and Mood

When you're stressed, you have a harder time getting to sleep - and during Mercury retrograde your stress and anxiety levels can be through the roof. Lying awake at night wondering how you could have prevented the day's mistakes or worrying about what could happen tomorrow will take a toll on your health.

And to make matters worse, sleep deprivation can cause even more problems like being tired, anxious and distracted, only furthering the effects of Mercury retrograde! Your exercise routine can also be thrown off by gym equipment malfunctioning or the battery on your activity tracker dying. Meals can even become problematic if the fridge or freezer breaks down, stove malfunctions or microwave freaks out. The following are some tips to keep your body and mind in top shape during Mercury retrograde.

Tips for Taking Care of Your Body and Mind

DO:
  • 1. Make sure your alarm is set properly before going to bed so that you don't wake up late and feel rushed.
  • 2. Listen to quiet music, put on noise-canceling headphones, or wear a sleep mask - anything that will shut out distractions, let you drift off to sleep and have peaceful dreams.
  • 3. Plan a digital detox. If there's ever a great time to take a break from your electronics and close out of your social media apps, it's Mercury retrograde.
  • 4. Practice some breathing exercises to utilize when you're having a technology or travel snafu. There's no use getting worked up about something you can't control.
DON'T:
  • 1. Plan elaborate meals using fancy kitchen gadgets. The simpler the better.
  • 2. Watch the news or violent TV shows/movies right before bedtime.
  • 3. Use your phone or other bright electronic devices in bed.
  • 4. Drink caffeine or eat anything spicy that might keep you up past your bedtime.

What if I have Mercury Retrograde in my birth chart?

You are definitely not alone! In fact, it's estimated that almost 25% of us have Mercury retrograde in our birth chart. If you fall into that category, it indicates that you were born during a time when Mercury retrograde occurred. But what does that mean, exactly?

If you are a Mercury retrograde baby, lucky you! You are somewhat better equipped to deal with the communication-related anxiety that Mercury retrograde brings. Yes, you might have trouble keeping all your thoughts straight and can get frustrated when you can't articulate them the way you'd like to.

However, you're a big thinker. And the great news is that you have a more philosophical, reflective nature that helps you deal with negative energy better, so you may be better equipped to deal with Mercury retrograde than the rest of us. Opposite of what most people think, the significance of Mercury retrograde in a birth chart is not related to karma.

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