“As above, so too below”
This seemingly woo woo topic is both interesting and a bit mysterious. I used to avoid the topic altogether, and annoyingly tune out anyone who uttered the term Mercury Retrograde or anything related to astrology. I used to think: “I have enough to worry about on planet earth to now also have to worry about Mercury’s orbit. I’ll leave that to the mystics.”
But, recently my desire to study all things Universe, coupled with my inquisitive nature, led me to finally research this phenomenon. As a student of the Universe, I realized that I did not want to just pick and choose topics that felt good to study. I also wanted to understand the dynamic and interplay of ALL things created in this vast and complex galaxy. I realize now that there is so much more influencing our lives than what we can possibly imagine.
The humble expressions and casual observations in this article are based on a few deep conversations with an astrologer friend of mine, and some discoveries made through self-study.
Let me take you on a journey into the world of astrology which ends with a powerful message.
Astrology 101: the study of the placement and movement of the planets and how their positions and orbits affect the conditions on planet earth, including human behavior. The desire to study the planets in the first place is fueled by the belief that planets have a natural life force, and the energy emanating from the planets affects our lives. So too, does their orbit.
This started to make sense to me because I believe that the universe ebbs and flows just like our lives, and there will be times when darkness and shadow become the central focus. As a lover of light, I have learned to embrace all things including darkness. I can no longer deny that the movement of the planets reveal both light and shadow.
There is nothing to fear even in moments were shadow is being revealed because whenever you find yourself framing something as negative or dark, it is simply an invitation for light and awareness to infuse your life.
Enter Mercury Retrograde and all of the lessons it bears.
So, indeed it is upon us, and the period is from August 30 – September 22. It happens three to four times a year, depending on the year, so we cannot avoid it! It’s part of nature.
Think of it this way. The moon creates tides. Thunderstorms create tornados. Earthquakes cause tsunamis and warm moist water creates hurricanes. We do not question these events. We accept them as part of nature. We prepare for them if we can, but sometimes, these events just happen without warning. Mercury Retrograde is no different.
So what is Mercury Retrograde exactly?
It’s described as the orbital rotation of Mercury at this precise time. As described by Roman Yaworsky:
It is a time when Mercury appears to be moving backwards. “Mercury’s orbit is closest to the sun, so it completes its orbit in about 88 days, compared to the earth’s of about 365 days. As a result, from our perspective we first experience mercury moving forward as it passes by the earth on our side of the sun, and then it seems to slow down and begin to move backwards as it races along on the farther side of the sun from our perspective”
That’s the scientific explanation.
As Mercury speeds past earth and orbits to the other side of the sun, from our view it looks like it’s reversing, but it is not actually reversing. This orbital pattern leaves a wake of sorts which causes havoc down here. How?
Stay with me.
This phenomenon has been studied for centuries and the patterns discussed here have been historically observed during this time. It is said that Mercury rules communication, travel and technology, among other things. During this period, those particular areas in our lives are affected. We can expect delays, communication mishaps and issues with technology.
There are many sides to explore. I even learned that the position of Mercury in our birth charts affects each of us differently during this time, since we all have different charts. I highly recommend a reading of your birth chart to explore this topic. Let me digress for a moment. Your natal chat is an illustration of the position of the planets at the time of your birth in relation to the zodiac. The position of the planets from your vantage point at the exact time and place of your birth is said to predict your personality, life purpose, life lessons communication and other major predictions about your life.
From my perspective, these are markers and indicators which assist us in becoming aware of our tendencies so we can learn from our weaknesses and use our strengths wisely. I feel like our chart is a gift from the universe. Clues on the map of your life that help you navigate, if you are paying attention. The same perspective applies to Mercury Retrograde.
Back to my point.
The universe and all of its life force and activity is measured by energy. The collective energy affects our world. The energy of mercury retrograde affects our life, so here is the takeaway dear reader.
I prefer to be prepared as much as possible for this event, instead of just throwing my hands up, so let me help you prepare. With a little awareness, tons of faith and some adjustments, we can ride the waves of nature. This is a time for contemplation and taking up any activity that starts with “RE”. Refresh, reconnect, revise, reenergize, revamp, reorganize. It is a time to plan for action, but not hit the start button on new projects (you could if you want, but you may miss an important detail if you rush), as you clear out energy and revisit anything that is not serving you. Most importantly, the message of Mercury Retrograde is to slow down, slow down, slow down. I have my own trajectory and it moves fast, so this lesson is a bit challenging for me.
Since communication is also extremely affected by the energy of retrograde, it is wise to be conscious in your communication. Be clear, be concise and take your time. Don’t assume anything. That will just make this time period that much more challenging. This is a time where misunderstandings are at an all-time high and you may feel like you are walking across land mines when interacting with the world. It’s a time to clear out stagnant energy and make room for the new. It is also a time for rest.
Drive safely, talk calmly and act deliberately, but gently. Pay extra attention to your inner voice. Get intimate with your shadows, just like Mercury orbits toward its shadow.
Be very patient and expect delays and setbacks. Do whatever you can to take care of your energy, since it is the only thing that you can really control. Use this time as a reminder to simply pay attention and live in the present.
Here is a prayer to help you during this time.
Dear Universe, God, angels, whatever name vibes with you, I am open to receive the guidance of this time period. Show me where love is needed in my life. Help me communicate from the heart. Help me focus on what needs my attention. Help me become aware of my shadows. Help me pause and pay attention to what is no longer serving me. Help me release. Protect me during this seemingly challenging time and help me act at all times with patience, understanding and compassion.
Catch you on the other side of the sun. You got this!