What Happens when Mercury is Retrograde
Mercury is our guide; it allows us to interpret the world around us by taking large scale ideas and synthesizing them so we can classify what we are trying to decipher. However, this celestial body is a trickster, so just when we think we have it figured out, he turns the tables, which is why people are thrown for a loop when this planet backtracks.
Every area of a Mercury Retrograde is about going inward to do the 3 R’s of the Inverse cycle; reboot, recreate, and re-calibrate. You need to go back and become organized. Sometimes, ideas need an overhaul, and Mercury does just that. We have to keep on our toes during an RX cycle; otherwise, there are mishaps, and we can fool ourselves into thinking we have our shit together when really it needs to be tidied up.
Shadow Period- The Precursor for What's to Come.
Two weeks before this Celestial Body goes Retro it goes into it’s Shadow phase, this is when we can notice things becoming glitchy with our phones, computers, and other electronics. The Shadow period is a good time to prepare for what themes might appear for the upcoming inverse cycle. My advice is to look up what particular Sign or other Zodiac it might go into because sometimes the RX hits two at a time.
Also, another way to prepare is to check the Elemental themes for the Retrogrades for the year. You can read More about those themes later in this article.
Other ways to prepare:
Backing up important data
Looking at the areas of your life that could use some polishing
Going to stone and crystal shops to buy some supplies that can help you ground your energy
Hanging out in nature or where ever you can find some green space to chill at
Journaling all of your stuck emotions or thoughts that way when they come out it isn’t too harsh
Taking a nice meditative shower or bath with your favorite music and scents
Researching topics you put on the back burner
Video games, no seriously, a little gaming will help you decompress
Binge watching movies and shows you’ve meant to catch up to this is also great when you need to destress and baby yourself. If you can’t concentrate on mental task, give yourself a break with a good show.
The Typical Situations You Can Expect During Mercury Retro
These are some of the common issues experienced during the Retrograde:
This is a time to reflect
Thoughts from our unconsciousness come to the surface
The swindler side of a person can come out
Balancing the duality of your psyche
Going inward with your communication
Social exchanges with others can come out in a surprising way
Sudden flashes of insight show up and give us eureka moments
Teaches us where we need to look at the details and not skip a beat
A need to be introspective
Our awareness is raised
Things slow down so we can understand them and see a situation without the distractions we do when life is fast-paced
Learning how to pay attention or suffer the consequences
Issues that have been in the subconscious, or underneath, repressed from the last few months or a few Retrograde cycles ago need to be figured out.
People from our past come back that we have unfinished business with
Some people feel these more than others. Either you get to be a lucky spectator and watch everyone else glitch out, or you are the individual who receives a case of the Retrogrades.
People born with Mercury Retro Natally generally are immune to the inverse cycles but might feel off when this planet is direct.
The best way to know if you will be affected is to check what planets are being aspected in your chart because it takes an activation from Mercury to feel the energy intensely.
Transiting Mercury Retrogrades Affects When it is in a Specific Element
Yearly, Mercury goes through a particular element to review things in that Triplicity for society as a whole.
So one year we might have lessons in Fire, another, could be in Earth signs and so on. There are some years it will have an emphasis on a certain Triplicity but has one last review in another element. Therefore some inverse cycles will have a mixed bag of a few weeks in Water, then Mercury will spend the previous few in Air until it goes forward.
It varies from year-to-year, but when this celestial body goes back into another element, then we have some unfinished business in that triplicity we must finish as a collective.
Either way, these are the areas of life that need to be reviewed or finalized, especially if it goes into one element for a brief moment to retrace its steps. When Mercury dips back into an element, this planet was in while direct then it is time to go back to resolve or dissolve something in your life.
In a personal chart, the same theme can occur within elements so a person might have a year of transiting Mercury RX in Water, and so on. This cycle is repeated over 6 to 7 years, and can aspect a planet, house, plus other placements such as the Part of Fortune or an asteroid like Juno.
Water Sign Lessons
In Water signs, it is to break old patterns and emotional habits that don’t serve you. This is a time to fix your coping skills and how you handle trauma in your life. In other words, this would be an excellent time to adjust how you deal with your reactions when people disappoint you and find a healthier way to work through these feelings of abandonment or rejection.
Working on inherited psychological traits is a big theme during a Water cycle as well as how you deal with physiological symptoms. Sometimes emotional disappointment can be buried deep beneath the surface, so this is your time to work on the deep-rooted issues so you can heal your suffering and not suppress things that bother you.
Energetically, you’re more inclined to go inward in Water Signs inverse cycles; this placement causes an experience of internal reactions which you’ll learn how to understand over time. Don’t escape emotions or they come back for you to deal with them later over the next Retrograde in this element.
Air Sign Lessons
In Air, you focus on the meaning of relationships; because, in this element, it is all about how you relate to others. Dealings of all kinds, whether it be family, spouses, and friendships you will have to work on what is lopsided.
Communication in these relations is essential, you will need to express your opinions so that things are clear, and everyone understands where the other person is coming from. Take this opportunity to work on respecting others by sticking to your word and not being flighty. Flakiness will ruin relationships, so it is best to work on being reliable. Also, misinformation, situations where the truth has been bent needs to be addressed.
Deep one on one relationships will need your attention; this is a time to work on areas where there is a lack of harmony, or to speak up if you have been too afraid to rock the boat. If things aren't resolved, old problems are revealed.
When it comes down to friendships, this is a time to make sure you are getting back as much as you are giving. It is an excellent time to review where you belong and work on issues where you have sacrificed your authenticity to be part of the fold. Be a leader and not a follower is one of the best things you can do when it comes to friends that try to get you to conform.
Low key irritations can occur during an Air cycle; things that we usually have the mental capacity for turn into a daunting task. It will be a bit of a challenge to tap into your intellectual resources, to say the least.
The Air inverse period is where Mercury gets it’s reputation for causing people to be not particularly bright and unreliable, sure this can happen during any Retro, but this triplicity makes it the hardest to concentrate and be the smartest person in the room.
Additionally, this is a time to learn how to get more organized in your life and unions. Some of the issues that occur for not having your life in order are situations like losing documents, signing contracts that need to be reviewed, or missing appointments.
Become better at managing your affairs; look at where your priorities are in life, so this doesn’t come back to kick you in the face. It is a good idea to reconstruct any goals you want to set, your long game, and near future plans because they will also be under construction during this period.
Be aware of buying electronics, cars, or machinery because the chances of mechanical failure are higher; save your money for when this planet goes direct. In the meantime, do some research because this is a great time to investigate things.
Earth Sign Lessons
In Earth, it is about turning non-physical into tangible things. A cycle like this causes you to work on practicality and to get real about your life. You will not be able to live in a fantasy land when this element is in RX, you will have to put your big girl/boy pants on and become responsible.
Stability is one of the main focuses that you will become more aware of in your life
Financially, you will need to review your spending habits and career goals. It is a time for you to look at what is holding you back from success and acquiring assets. Also, it can be a wake-up call in you have a shopaholic problem, there could be a lesson when it comes to being mindful about where your money is going.
Cracks are finally visible in a foundation you once saw as sturdy. In other words, you will find that you have to rebuild in some way to create structure and stability in areas like your home, health, and career. Do the groundwork to get things stable once again in your life.
You become harder on yourself, which will need to be curbed, do not self-diagnose; wait until reason has kicked in to make a full assessment.
It’s a period where you will be dealing with worth issues and values, self-esteem, plus bodily work. This all happens because change is needed in these areas so you can gain the integrity you deserve. Be more organized, and it will empower you.
Practicality is everything during Earth Retrogrades, so if you do this cycle right, then you reap the harvest later. Wait until the Retrograde passes and while you do hunt for new opportunities instead.
Fire Sign Lessons
Fire Cycles are all about standing up for yourself, working through creative blocks, getting things moving, and passion for what we desire.
Issues with standing up for yourself, and being brave might need to be reviewed in this element. Situations, where you were not assertive, will finally be addressed. On the flip-side, if you were the more aggressive type, then a non-confrontational approach is your lesson.
In RX, it is hard to start something in Fire, and it halts achievement, which causes some clumsiness and a hindrance. Mercury disrupts the fire, so you have to look for a way around the blockage. Instead of getting aggressive find an inventive solution, it also takes the playful side out of things.
Spontaneity that is derailed can turn into anger and depression; during this period. It’s because the ego becomes deflated from not being able to succeed and live off of pure enthusiasm. You need to become more in touch with the mind and gain awareness, this is where real motivation comes from. You have to relearn how to be driven, have fun, be the life of the party.
Learning to use your innate vibes is a key in Fire Retrogrades because this Triplicity works on visceral sensations.
Therefore, a person experiencing this type of inverse cycle will have to learn how to be more creative when it comes to using their perception in situations that require resourcefulness.
An Inverse Cycle in Fire is the best time to learn how to be inspired. To seek other mediums other than flair. You relearn how to respond to things and react and be quick on your feet in decisions.
Artistic blocks happen in the Fire element, so you need to adjust to tackle creativity as well. Go back and get organized, redone, re-calibrated, and rebooted. Sometimes ideas need an overhaul, and Mercury does just that.
Areas where you were reactive, you take action; if you have been a passenger in your life, this cycle will literally light a fire under your ass. So be prepared to get moving, being an active participant in your world, and passionate about living again.
After 3 long and frustrating weeks, Mercury goes direct, so this is where you can put all of the feelings, thoughts, goals, and projects back into action. As this planet rolls forward over the degrees, it went through during the inverse cycle, you will finally gain the clarity and ability to act without the consequences of the previous weeks. Use this time to fix what was misunderstood and move forward once again.