Forget Everything You Think You Know About Mercury Retrograde
"Ugh, Mercury must be in retrograde," sighed every person encountering a setback, miscommunication, or inconvenience over the last handful of years.
The placing of blame on little ol' Mercury is widespread, there's no doubt. But from whence does this cosmic scapegoat originate? After all, Mercury retrograde, a period lasting around 20 days during which the littlest planet in our solar system appears to be moving backward, is nothing new; it happens 3–4 times a year. The blame likely has something to do with social media and the proliferation of sound bites (easy-to-disseminate details that swiftly become common knowledge). Not to mention the appeal of opting out of life's important decisions for a while because, well, Mercury is in retrograde, and we shan't run the risk.
Lennon Mara, an astrologist who writes for Moon+Quartz, recently shared her thoughts regarding the infamous Mercury retrograde, and why we all need to stop playing the blame game and instead reclaim the inherent power of this time.
According to Mara, during Mercury retrograde, "the subconscious mind is on more equal footing with the conscious mind than normal." In other words, we feel as though we have less control because suddenly our subconscious is playing a more powerful role.
But rather than spiral into a storm of calamity over this loss of control, Mara suggests seeing Mercury retrograde as a period ripe for transformation and introspection. "It's a really useful time for shifting your mindset, repetitive habits, or thoughts," Mara tells Well+Good. Additionally, Mercury retrograde is an ideal time for looking closely and honestly at ourselves.
“Self-knowledge and self-awareness during this time—when you're literally 'hearing' subconscious thoughts a bit louder—let you make deeper discoveries," she says. You can also observe more carefully things that come from a deep-rooted, subconscious space of your psyche (unproductive habits and cycles or bad relationships, for example). "If you just observe this mindfully, by the time Mercury goes direct, you can let things go; you can move into a new life."
Other areas of strength during Mercury retrograde are intuition and creativity. "Through the process of Mercury retrograde, you can be very prolific," Mara reminds us. This is because our subconscious is more keyed up than usual, and thus our creative output is energized. Don't worry too much about editing during the retrograde period. Instead, revisit your work one retrograde ends.
And as for those mishaps that always seem to occur during the time? Well, Mara can't promise they won't happen. In fact, they likely will! That's why it's vital to try to take a step back from the hysteria and instead allow the experience of each setback to teach you something. We operate at such a high level of excitement every day that even the not-so-great things that force us to take a moment and recover serve a powerful function for helping us grow.
Are you happy to read about these aspects of the infamous period?