Today, I want to speak about what Mercury Retrogrades actually mean, as well as do’s and don’ts for this infamous transit. I will also give some tips and tricks to navigate the first Mercury retrograde of 2022 in Aquarius and Capricorn.
In a nutshell, Mercury Retrograde isn’t the horrific time where all hell breaks loose according to pop astrology. Things could get confusing or even funky, but with the proper mindset, you can actually thrive as you tie up loose ends, revalue old patterns that are no longer working, finish projects you’ve been avoiding, etc.
This is a cosmic opportunity to do things correctly, in case you messed up the first time. And boy do we need those second chances sometimes, right? Furthermore, your ideas during the planetary retrogrades can sometimes be groundbreaking. Let’s find out why.
So what do retrogrades mean?
For those who don’t know what Mercury retrograde is, let me begin with a few explanations. Three or four times a year, the planet Mercury appears like it is moving in reverse motion for a couple of weeks.
This, of course, is an optical illusion, as planets cannot moonwalk (although that would be awesome). Planets can only move forward in the big endless void called space. Nonetheless, when a planet is stalling in the sky, its energy creates major introspective shifts of energy.
If you pay attention and use this planetary retrogradation well, you can come out of this period feeling reborn. New possibilities and fresh solutions to face the challenges of life await you. The world will still be the same, but your approach will be different!
Understanding Mercury in astrology
In astrology, Mercury rules over how we communicate, think, learn and process information.
Mercury rules over two signs, which represent the two expressions or octaves of this energy: Gemini and Virgo. These two mutable signs are similar in many regards, but they’re also quite different too. First, because they’re two separate elements: Air and Earth.
On one hand, you have the hyper specialized Virgo, who likes to zoom in and focus on the small detail and data in order to get the task perfect. On the other hand, the hyper hive brained Gemini, who likes to look at and gather all the different pieces of the puzzle in order to complete it.
It’s like the engineer and the technician. The gold stocks expert (Virgo) and the stock market expert (Gemini). The engineer knows complexity because he sees how each element is going to fit into the other. The technician knows the specific details about the component he’s concerned with, from A to Z.
Areas affected by Mercury retrograde
So, like I was saying, because Mercury is our intellect, memory, and how we absorb and comprehend data, when in retrograde, Mercury affects these areas of our lives primarily.
Think lurches, forgetfulness, misspelled words, jumping to conclusions (and not necessarily the right ones), delays, hurdles in technology, misunderstandings, and shutdowns of all sorts.
The retrograde of any planet is an excellent time to dive into every single word that starts with “re”: revisit, rethink, reshape, restructure, reassess, reexamine, recreate, remember, etc.
So, the retrograde weeks are a time where you need to « go back », take a closer look at the thought processes, communications, or data you may have missed or misunderstood.
Do’s and don’ts of the Mercury retrograde
Here’s a non-exhaustive list with some simple do’s and don’ts.
1) Be patient with yourself
During Mercury retrogrades, you must give yourself patience. If necessary, take more time than usual reading through the texts and emails you’re writing, as well as the content you put out there.
This is especially important if the project you’re launching or showing to the world is not something you can take back. I’m thinking of books as an example. If you’re submitting the edited version of a book, take an extra hour to verify any forgotten words, weird ass long sentences or Freudian slips.
2) Be patient with others
Because our thought process is different, I also recommend being patient with others. Many people have a hard time expressing themselves, or being understood. Astrologically, this can be due to a negatively aspected Mercury, an intercepted Mercury or another planetary influence hindering the smooth flow of thoughts and ideas.
During Mercury retrogrades, it’s important to keep in mind that we all have our own challenges in terms of sharing and receiving information. There is no one-size-fits-all in terms of Mercury expression, so show compassion and patience to those around you.
Accept the new, innovative and oftentimes even surprising ways you can communicate with others.
3) Embrace change
Mercury retrogrades usher us towards taking different roads and exploring different neuronal pathways. Imagine waking up and instead of taking the grand boulevard to go to work, you decide you want to choose a slightly longer but different path.
Yes, you could end up in a dangerous neighborhood, you could get lost or arrive late at work. But you could also stumble across a wonderful area of your city that you’ve never visited before. You could meet someone you haven’t seen in a while. You could find a great nearby restaurant you never tried.
This simple, yet powerful change, is a way to open yourself up to an infinite amount of opportunities, and serendipities, or the act of finding something out of cheer “coincidence”.
4) Focus on your mental health
Pay close attention to your inner dialogue, chatter and chit chat. Is your mental realm full of exciting, encouraging and empowering thoughts? Or are you feeding the trolls of your mind, judging yourself and self-sabotaging? Take a look at the things you may unconsciously be doing that hinder your growth.
Take all the time you need to reflect, to journal and to meditate. Keep a note of what you feel and think during this transit.
I highly recommend focusing on your subconscious programming as well, such as the dreams you make, the music you listen to, the books and movies you watch… Take a closer look at these things you consume, and if something is not helping you reach your desired goals, let it go.
5) Mend things with the past & tight up loose ends
Retrogrades are actually a great time to seek closure and wrap up any relationships where there were still things left unsaid, undone, unheard.
One thing I have to say: do not stress too much about exes coming back! To be honest I never had an ex come back during Mercury retrograde. And as an astrologer, working with hundreds of clients, listening to the stories of even more people around me and online, I don’t see this happen THAT often.
What I do see through its people from the past sometimes popping up. That part is true. And this doesn’t occur physically always. Sometimes, you’ll just be sitting there and a life event will remind you of a specific person, or you will find them again on LinkedIn or something of that sorts.
If this happens to you, ask yourself:
- What trauma bond did you have with this person?
- What type of mental projections did you transfer unconsciously to this person?
- Also, what triggered the memory?
6) Learn more about yourself
Because retrogrades have a very “past-oriented” feel, using this time to do some soul-searching is powerful. Use this opportunity to learn more about yourself. Regressive hypnotherapy, past life reading, birth chart consultation… Whatever you chose, make sure to bring openness, clarity and mindfulness with you.
Mercury retrograde through Aquarius & Capricorn
Here’s a little bonus because we’re in this Aquarius and Capricorn Retrograde right now.
First, when Mercury travels through Aquarius from January 14th till January 26th. In the sign of the Water Bearer, this Aquarian introspection is especially related to how our mental realm deals with the stress of living with an unfit network.
Since Aquarius is ruled by the disruptive Uranus, the ultimate goal here is to innovate and find new alternatives in terms of democracy, communities, humanity, freedom, technology as well as quirkiness.
Then, Mercury will continue to moonwalk through Capricorn until February 3rd. Mercury will have many earth sign retrogrades this year 2022 by the way. When this occurs, it is clear that the themes we must address the most are related to healing. The other themes are actually “putting money where our mouth is” and reconciling with our physical reality (including our environment, finances and body).
Both Aquarius and Capricorn by the way have been major signs in the past couple months. Both planets happen to be ruled by Saturn in traditional astrology. And Saturn is in Aquarius now too, so… To me, this screams “karma”, unresolved issues and unhealed trauma. So, get ready for some deep healing, deep re-assessing and cleansing!
To better navigate the energies of these upcoming weeks based on your own natal blueprint, book your unique personalized birth chart reading.
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