If things have been feeling weird lately, it’s safe to go ahead and blame Mercury. If you’re the astrology type, that is. If not you can blame it on something boring, like school starting back or a stressful deadline at work. Of course, there are still a ton of self-affirmed non-believers who will admit the normal stressors in the circle of life somehow do seem worse when Mercury goes retrograde.
But why is that? Well, astrologically speaking, the stars, planets, and all their movements make waves throughout the universe, affecting those in it in different ways. When Mercury, the ruler of communication, clear thinking, truth, and travel, goes retrograde (or looks like it’s moving backwards in the sky), all of those things it rules feel like they’re reversed too.
What to Expect
Believe it or not, we’re in the third Mercury retrograde of 2016 (the first was Jan. 5-Jan. 25, the second Apr. 28-May 22). It started August 31 and will last until September 22, and you can even plan for one more this year (Dec. 19-Jan. 28, 2017). So what should you expect during these time frames?
Expect everything to seem frazzled and hectic. Expect to feel stressed and be prepared to bicker over things you’d otherwise find trivial. Your electronics are more likely to go on the fritz during Mercury retrograde, and you’re also more likely to experience travel delays. If you have friends who are Geminis or Virgos, tread lightly; they’re ruled by Mercury and can really feel the effects of its retrograde. Mercury even affects many industries, like publishing and writing, advertising, sales, PR, and travel, so retrograde can be a rough time for people working in those fields.
Basically, if Murphy’s Law had an astrological equivalent, it would be Mercury retrograde. But it’s not all bad; as Gala Darling says, “Mercury retrograde provides us with lots of beautiful opportunities if we can just tilt our head and squint.” It gives us the time to re-examine and re-work different areas in our life that may need the attention. Because we can often have major breakdowns in Mercury retrograde, we’re also able to have major breakthroughs, whether they be intellectual, emotional, or spiritual. During this time, we’re given the opportunity to see things with clear eyes and a fresh perspective.
Surviving Mercury Retrograde
The best way to deal with Mercury retrograde is to avoid fighting it. Go with the flow, but remember to try to keep the flow’s pace a little slower than you normally do. Be patient with yourself and also try to be patient with others; we’re all going to get through this one day at a time. And go say a special thank you to Gala Darling for her Quick and Dirty Guide to Surviving Mercury Retrograde:
Don’t take things personally, and try to give people the benefit of the doubt.
Back. Up. Your. Data.
Try to avoid making any big ticket purchases. If you do, triple-check any paperwork and spring for the warranty.
Take everything with a grain of salt.
Since communication’s a mess right now, get clarification on everything: read the small print, ask questions, and make an effort to get as much information as you can.
Tie up any loose ends you’ve let dangle for too long.
Take a break from work and real-world stress. Get together with old friends to reminisce and laugh.
Double-check any information you’re given, especially regarding travel arrangements.
See what you can learn. Mercury retrograde can put you in a lot of unusual situations, but “don’t just try to wriggle out of it – look at what the universe is trying to show you.”
How do you get yourself through Mercury retrograde? Tell us all about your game plan for the next couple weeks in the comments below!
Kat Wiseman is a content writer for Span Enterprises in Rock Hill, SC. She has a B.A. in English-Creative Writing from Winthrop University and her RYT 200 from Yoga Alliance. When she's not writing or doing yoga, she enjoys Netflix marathons, mystery novels, and being at the beach.