by Gabby Rickman, RYT, DevaTree Graduate, Assistant & Staff
Yogis seem to love talking about planetary influences on their lives. Not being an astrology expert, when people would mention mercury retrograde, at first it didn’t really mean much. I didn’t judge it, but it was a bit like white noise to me. However after experiencing some interesting events in my own life lately, my interest in the Mercury Retrograde phenomenon was piqued. Is it legit? Is it really as bad as people think?
Taking comfort in the fact that I am probably not the only one unfamiliar with Mercury Retrograde and all of its intriguing effects, I decided to go on a hunt to familiarize myself with the topic. I’m sharing the parts that resonated with me personally, and I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on what Mercury Retro means to you.
For starters, here are some basic facts to get us on the same page:
- Mercury is in retrograde motion for the third and final time in 2014 from October 4-25, which is now!
- Mercury isn’t actually moving backwards. This is just an illusion created when Earth and Mercury are on the same side of the Sun and Mercury’s orbit speed is slower than Earth’s.
- The flip side to retrograde motion is direct motion which means that the planet, Mercury in this case, has shifted back to what appears to be its forward motion.
- Mercury is the messenger planet and is regarded as the ruler of communication and motion – in a nutshell, that means Mercury oversees our ability to receive and interpret information from people and our surroundings; how we share information with others whether that is talking, texting, or writing; the functioning of electronics (computers and phones) and vehicles (cars, boats, planes, etc); and travel plans.
Now that we have established the basics, it’s clear to see that Mercury affects some pretty important aspects of life. Retrograde periods have a great impact on so much of what we do and say on a daily basis. This wonky (yup! that’s a scientific term) impact has earned Mercury Retrograde a bad reputation because it can create confusion, frustration, delays, setbacks, and challenges. Some say decision-making can be hazardous, so the following are general rules of thumb to keep in mind during Mercury “madness”:
- Avoid signing contracts or engaging in new business or projects
- Be prudent with money spending and hold off on making new purchases, especially electronics or vehicles of any kind.
- Err on the side of caution when forming new partnerships
- Minimize travel if possible, or check and re-check your flight times
- Be careful to avoid arguments or disagreements because misunderstandings are likely
Now, it may seem like Mercury Retrograde is a negative event, but if there is one thing I know from my yoga path, it is that nothing is purely good or bad. Mercury Retrograde holds a hidden gift – the opportunity to put our own life in retrograde and slow down long enough to take a break from the usual hustle and bustle. It is an important time to observe and reflect.
Here are some tips on how to manage and maximize your personal retrograde:
- Don’t think of this as a downer. It’s like the other side of the coin – day/night, happy/sad, summer/winter. Only if we are attached to life constantly being one way –in this case moving ahead in leaps and bounds- does this energy need to get us down.
- Check and re-check appointments so everyone is on the same page.
- Clean out your closets, back up your files, clear off junk from your computer, or organize your stuff .
- Practice getting super clear in your communication. If you wonder if you were misunderstood, or wonder if you misunderstood something someone said, just ask. If an email or text conversation seems unclear, get on the phone and talk it through.
- Re-do something you weren’t happy with, like an art or creative project.
- Review your life – journal about where things are at to create a clearer future.
- Tune into those intuitive thoughts that you didn’t have time to pay attention to before, and allow them to take effect on your life.
Taking my own personal experiences into account over the past week – from delayed travel to electronics going haywire to needing to re-frame my statements -I was reminded in my moments of frustration just how connected everything is, including the planets.
As a mercury-retro-newbie, it now makes sense to me why so many people mark retrograde periods on their calendars. It reminds them to proceed with caution and honor its influence. I’ve included a list of the retro periods for 2015 below, in case you want to mark them too.
Just like the moon has an effect on the tides, it makes sense that planetary movements have an effect on us. It’s easy to dismiss this in our fast paced lives and forget about all those heavenly bodies floating up there. Keeping that in mind, I have accepted the so-called madness. Knowing about it makes me chuckle at Mercury’s “tricks.” What if there are lessons or “treats” in those uncomfortable or awkward mercury moments that are ready to reveal themselves for our growth? Mercury might also be asking us to revisit a forgotten idea or a longing that wants to resurface.
My conclusion? If we let Mercury do its thing and embrace the awareness and presence that this time has to offer, these periods can be helpful instead of problematic.
Mercury can be ‘tricky,’ but only if we don’t ‘treat’ it with respect.
Happy Retrograde Everyone,