• Kathleen Phalen

5 Ways to Celebrate Not Dread Mercury Retrograde

5 Reasons Why Everything You Have Heard About Mercury Retrograde is Wrong

Astrology has come a long way since Carl Sagan, a respected and revered Scientist told us we were all made of stars; it shifted our perspective as a collective, even if just a bit. The mainstream is perhaps understanding that if we share the same particles as the stars perhaps their movements, along with the planets in the heavens also affect our behavior.


What is ancient is new again. The Hermetic principle, as above so below, as within so without is infiltrating our consciousness, there has been a shift, and people are waking up and suddenly interested in how the cosmos up there, affects us down here.


It has become a phenomenon and a cultural conversation piece to discuss Mercury retrogrades and to blame technological failings, communication breakdowns or other mishaps on him. 'Don't blame me, blame Mercury Retrograde for it'.  It's the 21-century version of the dog ate my homework. It encourages one to stay stuck by not taking any personal responsibility that one needs to grow and evolve. As long as one continues pointing the finger as to the reason why they are unhappy, unfulfilled or unorganized they will stay that way. (Note: this is said for the author's benefit as much as anyone else's).


Why has a planet that appears to be moving backward in the sky from our vantage point here on earth, become so dreaded and feared? As I eluded, people get stuck in a pattern of blame or negativity.

It is true that things can get a little wonky with organization, travel, and commerce, so we should anticipate that three times (give or take) in one calendar year, for about 3 weeks Mercury will go retrograde.


It’s a time to rejoice, redo, retreat, reassess, remake, rethink, review and anything else that suggests going back over something, finishing projects or slowing down to practice self-care.


The first Mercury retrograde of the year happens on March 5th in the watery, sensitive, creative, intuitive sign of Pisces. Pisces also represents the end of something.  What things did you not quite complete but would like an opportunity to do so?


This year, all of the Mercury retrogrades fall only in water signs, setting up an emotional, sensitive theme for the year. I would ask yourself, how can I better care for my emotional self?  What do I need to take a break from, emotionally speaking?


Water signs are associated with sensitive, intuitive, and artistic forms of expression. Sensitivity is often synonymous with intuitive or psychic.  If you follow some of my simple tips, you can use this energy wisely and work on either developing or strengthening your intuition or opening your third eye.


Our emotions, our dreams, our creative urges, and our gut feelings are all  going to undergo an upgrade. Use this energy to your advantage and begin strengthening your intuitive muscles. One surefire way to sharpen your intuition is to start a meditation practice.


Because Mercury is the ruler of communication, a portion of the retrograde will affect it along with air travel, commerce, including contracts in an unpleasant manner (usually in his shadow period before the actual retrograde happens). Look beyond the small annoyances, for it is a magical time indeed, a time to look forward to, and a time to be celebrated with your traditions and rituals.


Why not see it as a normal planetary cycle and rhythm of the cosmos, and make room for it in our life as such?  What actions should we take and on what should we focus during mercury retrograde? 

These are the 5 things I like to do during a Mercury Retrograde.


Retrograde Ritual- I have created my own ritual around it, lighting orange candles (the color associated with Mercury) I boldly state my intentions while feeling the emotions that are attached to them. I transmute my emotions, meaning if I start out feeling nervous or fearful, I keep going until I feel determined and successful and then here is the transmutation; I feel gratitude like my outcome has already materialized. I give my gratitude, and I am genuinely thankful for it happening (even though I am only pretending it has already happened). I state my intentions, feel my feelings and then place them into his glyph or sigil. An internet search will produce a copy of either his sigil or his astrological glyph, but I will include a link for you here. Click Here for Glyph. Mercury is the Messenger God; he brings your messages, your intentions and/or desires to the Gods. Mercury also rules the merchant class, commerce, writing, writers or authors, intellect, reason, language and how you perceive the world; he also rules making money through your own business or side hustle. This ritual would be especially powerful for merchants, bloggers, writers or anybody trying to improve their communication skills.


Slow down and keep your schedule light- you know when it’s raining, and all you can think about is going home, getting under the covers and reading a good book? That is how I like to see Mercury Retrograde periods as I stated previously, retreat, repose and restock your brain with new knowledge. It’s like an invitation from the heavens to get caught up on any reading or studying you may like to do. If you aren’t keen on reading or if the public school system knocked out the desire to study independently, then binge-watching will work in this instance as long as you are doing so with the intent to….wait for it...relax.


Finish Projects- that’s right, during a Mercury retrograde it’s a great time to reassess what projects need finishing. What have you been putting off or dragging your heels on? After you do your Mercury ritual would be a great time to brainstorm what projects you have left lingering. Trust what makes it onto your list; what comes back to mind is the most pressing of projects to complete.


Make Self Care a priority- during your repose and retreat stage why not throw in relax to the mix? Take longer baths, try a DIY mask, eat healthier, cut out the ice cream for the entire three week retrograde or give up another food that you know isn’t doing you or your waist line any favors. Somehow, making a three-week sacrifice seems easier to handle than completely swearing off for good.  If you notice an improvement, it will be easier to give it up for good.


Realign with Your Creative Force- let your imagination and your originality soar. As someone who cannot draw, paint or create art I had to learn I was creative in other ways. Dressing can be creative if you take risks and follow your imagination; DIY projects are creative; you could make candles or jewelry. Anything that gets you doing something out of your comfort zone but uses your imagination will help bring back your true nature as a human-being and not a human-doing. The idea is to be resourceful while igniting the flame, the creative force within your soul.


As you can see a Mercury retrograde is a time to recalibrate, slow down, and get in touch with the natural rhythm and flow of the planet. It’s a time to be resourceful, and it can teach us about delayed gratification which is much needed and an extremely rare commodity in today's culture.  Old school astrology warns us to be careful “during a retrograde of any personal planet and refrain from purchasing any high-cost items”. It would be healthy to declare this period a 'purchase-free' period.

Too many people have given in to mass hysteria about this astrological occurrence. Just like a full moon comes once a month, a mercury retrograde occurs (about) three times a year. Aren’t you looking forward to it now? By following one or more of these suggestions, you can align your energy with Mercury’s and use it to your advantage.


Surrender means giving in to the winning side. Why not surrender to the cycles of the cosmos, slowing down and realigning will always pay off. There you have it, you now know the secret to Mercury retrograde, please use it wisely.

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