I think of Astrology like I think of the weather. It is helpful for us to know the weather for the day so that we can dress accordingly and make plans for travel. We don’t necessarily “judge” the weather, it just creates the environment that we find ourselves in.
When it comes to Mercury Retrograde, it particularly affects people who have Mercury in their chart. Different planets “rule” certain signs. Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo (ancient). In modern society Virgo is ruled by Chiron. Your sun sign is just one tiny component of your astrology. It just so happens to be the one that most people know, but astrology is actually about all the planets and where they were at the time that you were born. In order to get an idea of that you’d have to get what’s called a birth or natal chart.
My sun sign is Aquarius, which is ruled by Uranus, so I have to be mindful of whatever Uranus is doing in the sky. In addition to planets being associated with certain signs, they are also associated with certain elements of our lives.
A “retrograde” occurs when it appears that planets are spinning backwards from our perspective on earth. The planets are actually NOT spinning backwards, it just appears that way. All planets experience a retrograde.
Most astrologers view retrogrades as a “review” of the areas that the planet rules. I think of retrogrades as “chicken exits” on the rollercoaster of life. We have a window opportunity to make another choice that can shift the trajectory of our lives.
Mercury Retrogrades (like other retrogrades) impact everyone, regardless of your signs, but it impacts those who have mercury in their chart more intensely. Mercury Retrogrades are also noticeable because so much of our daily lives are about communication, information, networking, travel, trade, merchants and commerce. Some planets rule things that are not as concrete and top of mind, so the effects of those retrogrades are not as apparent.
I am a Gemini Rising (or my ascendant is in Gemini), so Mercury retrogrades affect me particularly strong. Your rising sign is how people experience or view you, versus your sun sign which is who you are at your core (may not be as easily seen/known by others). Most astrologers recommend paying attention to your rising sign, as it is a more accurate portrayal of your personality than your sun sign.
Mercury also impacts me in the following ways:
Moon in Virgo – The moon represents how we process emotions, as well as our self-image.
My North Node is in Gemini – which impacts my spiritual life lessons.
My 4th House is in Virgo – which rules the home, family, roots, my deep emotions and my self-worth.
You can get your birth chart narrative for free here: http://astro.cafeastrology.com/natal.php
Here are the 2018 Mercury Retrograde Dates (according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac):
- March 23 to April 15
- July 26 to August 19
- November 17 to December 6
So here are my tips for how I prepare for and experience the Mercury Retrograde, which is coming up on
- Exercise more patience and grace. – It is easy to get frustrated when you feel like you are experiencing miscommunication and your flight gets canceled. Remind yourself that Mercury is in Retrograde, so that you can be a little more patient and give others a little more grace.
- Slow down – When you are moving too fast, it is easy to make mistakes. Slow down and double check details and communications.
- Phone a friend. – Ask friends to help you review documents to ensure that a piece of written communication is delivering the message that you intend. Especially documents that are high-stakes.
- Give yourself more time. – Try not to make any rash or quick decisions. It’s always ok to ask for more time.
- Try to avoid signing contracts. – I try to avoid signing contracts during retrogrades. It is also recommended that you don’t make major purchases during this time as you may experience issues with whatever you purchase.
- Save your documents more frequently. – Save your work, as you are typing, and back up your photos, videos and documents. Technology tends to be wonky during retrogrades.
- Ask lots of questions. – Instead of assuming what someone means, ask them. Try to get things in writing, and don’t move forward just based on a verbal agreement. Because Retrogrades are a period of review, it is a great time to get in touch with how you truly feel and what you truly think about things and people.
- Use your journal. – During retrogrades, I try to record my thoughts and my feelings, just to have another record or way to process my day to day experiences.
- Repeat affirmations. – Tell yourself “everything happens for a reason.” Remind yourself that the universe and/or your God is conspiring in your favor. Be gentle with yourself and be kind to yourself.
- Remember that nothing lasts forever. – Remember that sunshine always comes after the rain. Remember that emotions are just as fluid as the moon (which changes every 2 1/2 days!) and ultimately Mercury eventually goes direct (when a planet is not in retrograde, it is direct).
Note: I am not an Astrology Expert. I have been studying Astrology for about 2 years now, and I’m still learning. For expert advice I’d recommend connecting to a real astrologer. My favorites are @ashleighdjay, @chaninicholas, @naimonujames @thehoodwitch and @jessica_lanyadoo.