Well friends, it's that time again. It happens three to four times every year and we are now in the second one of 2023: Mercury retrograde. Everyone likes to talk about it, blame it, and fear it, but fewer people know what it actually means, and fewer still how it will impact their lives.
So beyond the talk of headlines, cancellations, and the optical illusions of celestial bodies appearing to move backwards, why should you care? Well, Mercury retrograde is a time that tests our complacency, the areas of our lives and selves that we've been neglecting, and when it is in Virgo like this one, that complacency revolves around the practical matters of everyday life because Virgo is a sign that pays attention to the daily details. The energy of this retrograde is amplified because Mercury rules Virgo. So in addition to the usual communication, technological and travel problems that pervade the season, problems you thought you'd already solved and people you thought you were done with may come back swinging. But fear not, for this is an excellent opportunity to reassess and redo things in a better way with greater perspective.
Now if you find that retrogrades don't really impact you the way they do others, your natal Mercury (where Mercury was at the moment of your birth), might be retrograde. People who have natal retrograde planets often report having fewer issues during those planetary retrogrades than other people do. So keep that in mind when you look at your charts and start planning your month. For those of you who have a direct (non-retrograde) Mercury in your chart, pay extra attention to the advice that follows. Whether you have a retrograde or direct Mercury, we can look at how to make the best use of the energy, particularly during these first couple weeks while Leo Venus is also retrograde. Because these two powerful planets are retrograde simultaneously until September 3rd when Venus goes direct (Mercury's retrograde ends September 15th), this time can feel intimate and personal even in its dysfunction.
So how do we make the most of Mercury Retrograde?
- If you can avoid starting new things and if you can't, at least make sure that
you really review any details, contracts and plans multiple times before going through with them.
- Double and triple check with people you are relying on to make sure they not only understand what you want but agree to it.
- Expect delays and last-minute cancellations even with that prep work.
While I always advise against starting things at this time, including relationships, there is something to be said for the compelling nature of retrogrades to make new things happen anyway. It doesn't mean that they will definitely fail, but it does mean they usually have more challenging and complicated starts. Even so, without challenges things are rarely strengthened. So if you've already started something or plan to, take heart that while the road may be bumpy at first, you can still use it for your highest good as long as you are mindful on the path, note the likely pitfalls, rise to the occasion.
However, if you can take this time to more fully align with the energy, that's going to mean slowing down and waiting. We have a retrograde season every year, a time when most of the sky is retrograde, like now. When that happens we're being called to really pump the brakes and reevaluate the situations we're in. Think of it like a checkpoint. How have things been going in general? Where are areas we could improve? Where did we cut corners and what did that cost us? What items have we let languish on the to-do list for too long? What backlog can we clear? What can we restore? Who has been on our mind but out of contact who we can reach out to?
An easy way to remember mercury retrograde themes is to focus on the re- prefix. Because the planet appears to be going backwards through the sky when it goes retrograde that means our energy is also drawn by that perspective to look back. Anything that involves looking back now flows more easily than things that you try to force forward before it's time. So redo, repair, revise, renew, reflect, reconcile, reminisce, etc. Focus on what slows down and gives you the spaciousness to do the undone and the lingering, focus on what helps you to rest, to do your inner work, and to enter greater harmony with the life you have now rather than just pursuing the life you want will be beneficial. This is doubly true because Virgo excels at refinement, editing, improvements and matters of tangible self-care. With Mercury and the Sun together in Virgo for Virgo season it's prime time to renovate our lives and selves.
This is especially true with the end of the Venus retrograde in Leo, which focused heavily the last month on self-expression, reconsidering our values, and looking at where our needs for love were being met and where they were left unfulfilled. Let the retrogrades cut out the things that are keeping you from what you really want and value. Now is also a time of reviewing our resources and what's working and what's not working with how we are working, showing up and being compensated so let yourself question the things that aren't adding up between your worth and what you are receiving.
Of course, this is just a general description of the retrograde energies. If you want to know how they will show up in your life specifically, please feel free to book a full reading with me at For Heaven's Sake. I'm currently running a Mercury retrograde special, where you can get 30 minutes for $33 that focuses exclusively on how the retrograde will impact you. For general chart readings or non-retrograde questions regular rates apply. You can also join our monthly New Moon Circle at For Heaven's Sake where I provide a forecast, guide you through visualizations and help you cultivate intentions aligned with the astrological energy of the moment then plant them in community ritual.
Wishing you all ease and grace this retrograde season,