The most well-known, smack-talked, anger-inducing retrograde is upon us (Jul. 7 – 31) and you have likely been feeling the often frustrating effects. Heck, even during its shadow period, Instagram & Facebook went down for some time, signaling that our time of free flowing communication is about to come to a halt for a few weeks.
What’s a retrograde?
It just means that a planet appears to be moving backwards. It doesn’t actually move backwards, but it does have the appearance of backwards movement. This essentially turns the energy of the planet that is regularly presented outwards to be inwards.
So, Mercury, planet of communication, transportation, and clear thought and expression, tends to get a lot of flack when it reaches its retrograde. Why? I’ll guess that it’s because we use those things basically all the time, everyday, and reflexively. There’s not really a “stop” option for talking or moving. And it’s definitely frustrating to feel like any travel plans or necessary communications are getting halted, because that can be a serious detriment to how we want to, y’know, live out our daily lives and progress as people just trying to function in our day-to-day.
Why do we seem to hate it so much?
Let’s return to what we just went over earlier: a retrograde means that the energy is turned inwards, not that it goes corrupt or defunct or tries to ruin our lives — which is how it can feel sometimes. It’s just that Mercury going retrograde can arguably feel more unnatural than the rest of the other retrogrades since it literally involves communication and movement, but if it makes you feel any better, especially if you don’t keep up with any astrological news or events, you probably often undergo several other planets’ retrogrades without noticing.
For example, Pluto has been in retrograde for a couple months now. And it’s possible that during this retrograde that is meant to challenge our grip on change, transformation, and control, you have had some difficult moments that propelled you to look inward and ask yourself about your life course, or some big decision, or whatever change in path that could have occurred. But you probably didn’t think, “I guess Pluto is in retrograde,” because we perceive inner & personal change as something pretty natural, and when it happens, we already tend to know how we should handle that disruption as an individual.
But it’s true: a Mercury retrograde literally stops us in our tracks sometimes with how frustrating it can be to not feel heard or like you can express yourself or go anywhere without some random delay. And we often take these signs incorrectly as just something frustrating or something you should wait out, or that you’re even doing something wrong. The point is that we often go against the grain of what the retrograde wants us to do rather than accept the challenge, like we more naturally would with Pluto.
Accepting the challenge
There are a few ways that Mercury retrograde can be clearly beneficial, like the following:
☆ reorganize your physical spaces (offices, rooms, files)
☆ try looking for missing objects you previously thought might have been lost
☆ take the extra time to think over past communications, relationships, etc. and find ways you could have improved
But the truth is that many of the ways that Mercury retrograde will be ideally used are personal and up to each individual, personal needs, and in what ways you need to grow still. You’re very capable of figuring out in what ways it should and can be utilized for you — and you’ve definitely done it before!
Below is also a tarot spread I created for this Mercury retrograde. Enjoy!