WHAT IS MERCURY RETROGRADE?
Imagine a beautiful race car zooming by at 150 mph. Just as it's reaching warp-speed, it suddenly slows to 5 miles per hour! This could create some confusing, or even oddly funny circumstances. Energetically this is exactly what the planet Mercury does, three times per year. When the planet Mercury (symbolizing communication) goes so slow as to appear that it's moving backwards as other planets and stars pass it up, we call this a Mercury Retrograde, and it's a super powerful time.
In the healing community, Mercury Retrograde gets a lot of flack, and even more hilarious memes. Word on the street is that when Mercury retrogrades, we're more likely to have communication glitches, or even communication from the past. Healers often post funny comments about their lives falling apart during mercury retrograde.
I used to be AFRAID of mercury retrogrades because people would tell me a slew of horrid things, like my electronics would die, my communication in all aspects of my life would be destroyed. I got used to seeing retrogrades as “Bad.”
Then I realized that mercury retrogrades happen 3x a year! They’re ALWAYS happening!
UP-LEVEL YOUR RETROGRADE CONSCIOUSNESS
At that point I stopped fighting retrograde energy. I stopped looking for the bad as I realized it's just a natural cyclical pattern. As with any metaphysical pattern, the key is knowing how to work with it.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that our collective fear that astrology can hurt us, is just one more way we've forgotten how to actually be in rhythm with the earth and her planetary cycles. Humans in many societies used to see themselves as caretakers of the planet. Earth is sacred and needs to be honored. Even today, there are some cultures in which mountains and rivers have been given the legal protection of personhood--meaning, they have the same rights we'd give humans. This is to protect the earth from being pillaged by human greed. Understanding and honoring earth and planetary cycles is extremely healing. That wisdom went out the window when we started to forget our sacred vow to the planet.
I'm all for capitalism and I love being American, but in Western culture we've managed to legislate-away many of earth's protections in favor of industrialization and large scale production that generates huge financial wealth for a few. In our urge to feel 'safe' by loading up on monetary resources no matter the planetary cost, we're actually destroying the root of our safety by forgetting how to care for the planet, and how to work with the nature cycles that are directly linked to our psyche and well being. Just as the moon's cycles have affected humans (look at any hospital at the new or full moon to see what I mean), mercury's cycles also have affects on us. We need to remember our vow to the earth, and with it, the traditional wisdom that keeps us aligned as humans.
Instead of seeing astrology or planetary occurrences as something to be afraid of, we can break this unconscious cycle of social conditioning, and create a renewed consciousness that these retrogrades and movements are invitations for us to step deeper into conscious spirituality, connection, and reverence for the cycles of life.
Okay, back to our scheduled program... 😊
MERCURY RETROGRADE 2022 DATES
For 2022, mercury will be retrograding into Air and Earth signs. The fact that mercury is hanging out in these spaces will bring up certain themes (see below). The more we slow down our lives, just as mercury is slowing, the less we'll feel any interruption at all.
January 14 - February 3, 2022 starts in air-sign Aquarius, ends in earth-sign Capricorn
May 10 - June 2, 2022 starts in air-sign Gemini, ends in earth-sign Taurus
September 9 - October 2, 2022 starts in air-sign Libra, ends in earth-sign
December 29 - January 18, 2023 in earth-sign Capricorn
There is usually what we call a "shadow," which may be one to two weeks before and after each retrograde. I think even non-astrologers can really get a lot out of paying attention to life, to see if there are noticeable shifts during the shadow. The more you track, the more you'll notice that retrogrades into certain signs may have more impact than others. Like me, you might even come to look forward to certain retrogrades because they align with your personality or goals.
For many people, the shadow period is a little more unpredictable than the retrograde itself. I've had old love drama come back during the shadow, old friends come back around, professional offices call to reschedule appointments, etc. I've done my share of reaching out and making changes too. Because I know that some mercury retrograde shadows are like wild cards, I usually leave more space during those weeks. I've learned not to over-pack my schedule during that time.
MERCURY RETROGRADE EFFECTS (AND Crystals!)
Because mercury represents communication of all kinds, this also flows into the world of technology, gadgets, legal contracts, relationships understandings, and more. Depending on which sign Mercury is retrograding in, and where your planets are in your own chart, different themes may be triggered at the retrograde.
How do you know which themes will be triggered? Well my friend if you want to be precise about it but you don't know astrology, then the easiest way is to do a web search for the dates of retrogrades over the past few years. Look back at your planner notes during the last few retrogrades and see if there were certain themes that came up. For example, I notice that when Mercury retrogrades in Capricorn, I feel extremely empowered, but I also notice that things go a little haywire. I tend to need more rest, and more space in my schedule. When Mercury retrogrades in Cancer, I feel loved, happy, and inspired. At those times, hitting up the beach, and being creative really spark my energy and get me into a productive state. I've learned what works for me by tracking retrogrades over the last several years and putting them into my journal.
When mercury goes retrograde in air signs (Libra, Gemini, Aquarius) you'll likely see themes coming up around conversations and direct communication. You'll want to slow down and listen more carefully to those around you, as well as take time to explain things more carefully. Air retrogrades can also trigger small glitches in wifi, internet connectivity, and technology. Don't stress. Do a backup of your work or computer before the retrograde. Leave a little extra time for technology snafus, then you'll be fine. If you're a "fly by the seat of your pants" type of person who is always rushing, then you can see how a small glitch could create bigger issues. The key is to slow down. HELPFUL CRYSTALS: Amethyst, labradorite, kyanite
When mercury retrogrades in water signs (Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio), emotional misunderstandings can come up as a way to heal and set relationships in the right direction. Don't assume the worst about people. Follow up on misunderstandings from a neutral well-intentioned place. Think twice before taking things to the next level during a retrograde--unless it feels like something that should have happened years ago. HELPFUL CRYSTALS: Black Opal, larimar, blue calcite
When mercury goes retrogrades in fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius), arguments or conflicts based on ego are more likely. If you've given yourself time and space for reflection and cool-down, it's not an issue. Challenges only arise in order to help clarify greater issues for healing. Look at your boundaries. Are you asking for what you really want? Have you actually been clear about what doesn't work for you, or are you assuming that others already know? Every challenge can be overcome if we understand what's at the root. Look at your own life, and make sure you've set rules that allow you to be happy. Retrogrades allow us the space to figure that out. HELPFUL CRYSTALS: Pyrite, howlite, pietersite
Mercury retrogrades in earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) can show you where you've become too stagnant and need to shake things up. Alternately, retrogrades in earth signs can also expose where there isn't enough foundation. Again, reflection and surrender will help you get where you need to go. If there are situations in your life you don't love, handle them directly. HELPFUL CRYSTALS: Pink aura quartz (note the platinum in its creation), golden healer quartz, obsidian
WHAT TO DO DURING MERCURY RETROGRADE
Use mercury retrogrades as an intentional time to slow your energy down so you are pacing with the planetary energy and your communication feels clear in every aspect of your life. Words that start with "Re-" will help us all slow down and get into the retrograde energy. Think of it as slowing down in order to be aligned to go forward even faster.
✨ Reflect. It can be uncomfortable to sit in emotions, or dig more deeply into what your muscle memory is holding. When you take time to notice what you life habits and patterns have become, or where your desires are out of synch with reality, then you're using the retrograde beautifully. Like the race car slowing before making huge shifts, you can give yourself reflective time to become even stronger in your vision. Scheduling meditations, therapy time, or solitary walks really helps.
✨ Re-visit things you never completed. Remember those old clothes you wanted to donate? What about the painting you never put aside time to finish? Make peace with anything outstanding. Completing tasks, projects, and old promises during the retrograde frees your energy to hold more abundance when mercury goes direct.
✨ Re-work your inner perspectives. A little more aggressive than simple reflection, you can pick up a workbook and use the retrograde energy to get super clear on your values, beliefs, and inner narratives. What have you been telling yourself about a situation? How can you reframe that to be more empowering?
✨ Rest & Slow down in general. Sleep. Sleep is great. Cat naps are great too! When you do into an unconscious state, your body system has a chance to heal and reboot. Your sympathetic nervous system can come out of "fight or flight." Once it does, there are massive shifts in your neurological state, and how you process information. The best thing you can do during a retrograde is Rest and slow down. Scheduling massages, healing session, and midday naps can help.
✨ Re-learn patience & perseverance. These two "p" words are only torturous if we're wound up from stress, and if our perspectives are skewed by fear or safety. Patience is easy if we're busy having a pleasurable life on the way to receiving something we'd like. Perseverance takes focus, but can feel wonderful if we have the inner nourishment. Where in your life do you need more patience and perseverance? Now, ask yourself how you can rest, restore, rework, and self care around what's challenging you, during the retrograde.
Revolution and Reveal are also great retrograde words, as they remind us that mercury historically was also connected to esoteric knowledge and wisdom. Retrograde windows can help us create big shifts in our life, where shifts have been needed but we were too busy to notice. These windows of time reveal the cracks in our foundation so we can clean them up during down-time when there is much less at stake.
A MERCURY RETROGRADE HEALING CEREMONY
With RARE exception, my mercury retrogrades are usually super positive!
When they’re NOT, I do a simple ceremony in which I ask to directly receive the healing and teachings of the retrograde with as much love and gentility as possible.
This gives me conscious permission to step out of victimization and create my life with joy.
You can call in Reiki healing energy through your crown, and lay hands on for 5 or 10 minutes to get your flow going. Let the energy drop you into a relaxed state. Then envision the planet Mercury in your mind, and invite that energy directly above your crown.
Say out load: "I welcome the healing vibrations of this Mercury retrograde, and now ask for healing for my highest good, and the highest good of all. Let these healing vibrations flow down through me in the spirit of love. I now open to my higher self channel of insights, realizations, and wisdom in the most loving and nurturing way possible. [flow energy] Wherever I was previously stuck or out of sync, that is now dissolving in the beautiful healing light codes of this particular Mercury retrograde. So it is."
Allow yourself to rest quietly in the energy of your intentions. Feel into what it feels like to know your are safe and connected to powerful forces in our solar system. Give yourself permission to receive blessings and good fortune.
It is time for all of us in spiritual work, to understand that our connection to the earth, moon, and stars is not to torture and traumatize us!
When it snows, you might pull out your snow shovel or make snow angels; When it retrogrades, you shift your mindset! ❤️
DAILEY LITTLE is a healing practitioner, transformational life coach, ordained Priestess, and teacher who founded Healing Heart Reiki to help others navigate life with joy. She offers private sessions, and teaches classes in healing and mindset from a magical peaceful corner of the world in Northern California. For more info see: www.SantaRosaReiki.com