Retrograde periods are times for reflection and heightened inner awareness. Since Mercury symbolizes communication, the way we learn, transport, our siblings, and our neighborhood, this period can yield great insights in these related areas of our life.
Mercury Retrograde lasts about three weeks and occurs three to four times per year. This current one takes place April 28 - 22; the last one took place January 5 - 25.
Mercury represents the bridges and channels that allow us to connect varied pieces of information in order to synthesize them into the whole of understanding. During Mercury retrograde periods, inherent weaknesses of these conduits may be revealed.
While this may give us opportunities to bolster their connectivity, strengthening their core foundations, it also may result in this period being one where we experience the breakdown of tools that help us to share information (such as phones, computers, and printers). Therefore, do what you can to make sure that those that are under your purview are in good working order; also be aware of the possible need of having a contingency plan for getting your message across should there be challenges in the systems that you usually use for communicating.
Given that transportation is also a conduit, as it assists people and things in moving from place to place, we could find that means of travel could be challenged or disrupted. As such, pay attention to personal transport vehicles—whether it be your car, bike, skateboard, et al.—making sure they have what they need to function efficiently. Double-checking airplane departure times, leaving ample time during transit for potential (and unforeseen) traffic, and reading the fine print of rental car contracts are some examples of good transportation strategies to follow during Mercury Retrograde.
Any planetary retrograde reflects a period where the energy is focused more internally. Therefore, it’s a wonderful time to turn communication inward to seek insights and understanding. Meditation, journaling, dreamwork, and nondominant handwriting are great activities to do during Mercury Retrograde to help you find the pieces of the puzzle and the teachings of wisdom that you seek.
While inner reflection is heightened, external communication may be stressed. Therefore, try to avoid misunderstandings by being extra diligent about the words you use, while also making sure to listen even more attentively than usual. Whether it be with writing, speaking, or design, put a little extra effort into dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s. Be especially aware of this if you have to sign any contracts during Mercury Retrograde, as oftentimes all of the information we need in order to make a decision isn’t readily available or especially clear; ask questions if doubts arise, sussing out details to uncover facts that may be shielded on the surface from view. If traveling, allow extra time and double-check your reservations and the details of your trip.
When you think of how to approach this period, just remember the first two letters of the word retrograde—“re”—and apply it to the activities you undertake. As such, Mercury Retrograde periods are a great time to reassess, review, reanalyze, revisit, rethink, re-edit, and recommunicate. Looking at it through this lens, you will begin to see how this time period can actually yield great benefit as you can to discover things that you may not have previously seen, things that allow you to refine the integrity of your creativity and communications.
During this retrograde period, Mercury travels from 24 Taurus to 14 Taurus. How Mercury retrograde will impact you personally will depend upon the connections it makes to your personal chart. You would look to see where this span of Taurus falls in your birth chart to see the realms of life that are being brought to your attention owing to Mercury going over this area three times during the pre-retrograde shadow, the retrograde period, and the post-retrograde shadow. What lessons this Mercury Retrograde can yield for you is also related to what planets and/or pivotal points (i.e., Ascendant/Descendant or Nadir/Midheaven), if any, in your birth chart to which it may make a connection.
Mercury Retrograde Apothecary Suggestions
Impatiens flower essence: Mercury Retrograde periods are a time for going slow and reflecting, rather than taking full-on outer-directed action. And yet, most of us are more used to doing than being, acting than contemplating, and moving forward rather than sitting with something and letting it gestate; as such, a patient approach may be challenging for many. If you need support slowing down and waiting, harmonizing with the more yin-like rhythm that is infused in the Mercury Retrograde period, consider Impatiens flower essence. (Flower essences are made from flower-infused water and work energetically to restore emotional and mental balance. You can find them in natural food stores or holistic pharmacies.)
Nondominant handwriting: This exercise is easy to do and takes minimal time commitment. Just think of a question to which you seek an answer, something that you’ve been pondering. Then pick up a pen or pencil and place it in your nondominant hand (the left one for righties, and the right one for lefties) and write out the answer on paper. Write freely and don’t judge what may seem like chicken scratch. The beauty of this exercise is that by using our opposite hand we are able to able to access more of our subconscious mind and tap into our intuitive knowingness. What you compose on the paper should provide you with an insightful perspective on your question.
Diving into Dreams During Mercury Retrograde
Reflective of it being a time where we yield riches by being more reflective, Mercury Retrograde is a great time for dreamwork. If you'd like a structured approach to working with your dreams, a container that will inspire you to more fully understand the images that your subconscious is offering in your nightly landscape, then you'll love Dream Life: 40 Days of Astro-Dreamwork Alchemy that I'm co-leading with Jungian analyst and astrologer Sherene Vismaya. Read here for more details.
personalized mercury retrograde insights
Want personalized insights to better understand how this Mercury Retrograde may impact you? If you want to find a copy of your chart, so you can identify where this range of Taurus falls for you, you can do so for free on Astro.com. Or, if you'd like to have a Mercury Retrograde-focused mini-reading, in which we'll talk about the opportunities and challenges that this time period may be yielding for you personally, based upon your individual birth chart, send me a note and I'll share more details.