Mercury in Retrograde Survival Kit

Mercury in Retrograde has arrived this August 2017. But what does this mean?

This has been my first time encountering or hearing about this phenomenon so I had no idea of what to expect. Up until this point, my only insights into eclipses were from 9th grade earth science and Bonnie Fuller’s song “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

I had heard whisperings that Mercury in Retrograde flips our world upside down, causes mass havoc, and makes us feel like everything we have worked so hard for has suddenly been taken from us.

This is something I certainly wanted to be prepared for! Therefore, embodying the heart of a warrior and the soul of a gypsy, I did some basic internet research, spoke with others about their own experiences, and observed my own life during this period, forming inferences about the world around me. Here’s what I learned from Mercury’s journey as well as my own.

When things feel backwards, let this move you forward.

Reverse Mortgage Concept

Three or four times a year, Mercury passes the earth in its orbit. As it rounds the bend, Mercury slows down and appears to stop and spin backward. It isn’t really moving backward but it creates the illusion that it is.

Interestingly enough, the first emotion I started feeling while Mercury was in retrograde was lethargy and stagnancy. It became increasingly difficult to get out of bed in the morning. Everything I usually loved or at least tolerated began feeling like a chore. I started resenting my jobs and relationships, and started feeling as if they were not enough to make me happy. I began to question past decisions and whether I had really moved on from them in any progressive way.

However, I began to remind myself, that when we feel the most unproductive and uninspired, that’s the kick in the butt we often need to push ourselves forward. We can all think back to a time in which we were so frustrated with a job, relationship, living situation, or other circumstance, that we were forced to grow from it or eliminate it from our lives altogether.

Stop chasing what doesn’t set you free. Find freedom in what chooses you.


In accordance with my newfound (uncharacteristic) laziness, I began to observe why certain aspects of my life were making me feel uninspired. I realized it could be that my actions were taking me towards a future I didn’t necessarily want and away from those that I did want.

When Mercury is in Retrograde, we are forced to confront what hasn’t worked in the past. If we have a job that makes us depressed to get out of bed in the morning, chances are it is time to make a change. If we are repetitively in relationships that are not actually giving us what we want, it is helpful to stop chasing these qualities. Of course, this is easier said than done, as our patterns are often formed subconsciously.

When I started doing yoga something felt right and natural, so I continued to pursue it. I decided to train to be a yoga teacher and that felt right so I kept on this path. I started teaching and I continued to move forward. This was the first time in my life I was not making excuses, was not stagnant, and was not trying to mold myself to be someone that I wasn’t. I realized that in order not to be stagnant, we have to follow a path that feels natural. That’s not to say it won’t be hard, but we will be more willing to do the work towards something that innately makes us happy.

If we don’t have the courage to let go of our negative patterns ourselves, not to worry; the universe is about to give us all a helping hand. While we tend to dread Mercury in Retrograde, as change and upheaval can be scary, this is a chance to start fresh, free ourselves from the aspects of our lives that we are not as content with, and to begin to working towards our greater self.

Don’t panic. Your heart knows the way.

Red Heart on a Tree

Once I realized that there were aspects of my life that needed ridding, I began to question everything. I stayed up all night wondering whether I was, in fact, a good person. I would spend hours obsessing about comments people made to me, and then obsessing about why I was so bothered by them.

Mercury in Retrograde can be daunting as it is an apocalypse of sorts, making us come face to face with our own demons. However, we all have the tools to get out of the situation alive. We just need to learn how to access these tools. Zombies (obstacles) may rear their ugly heads, however; they have been placed in our lives as a test so we can grow the weapons (skills) necessary in order to eliminate them.

The universe will point us in the right direction, but it’s up to us to trust our gut and allow it to steer us in the right direction. We must have faith in our third eye, or our center of intuition. Just like we don’t need anyone else to tell us if milk has gone bad, we should rely on these same senses to determine what to open our hearts to and what we should release.

There will be growing pains. Give yourself time to blossom.

Double exposure portrait

I entered into Mercury in Retrograde soon after my 30th birthday which elicited all sorts of feelings about where I was in my life and where I felt it should be. I felt a strong impulse to make large, drastic changes in my life during this time. Everything in me wanted to run out the door of my 9 to 5 desk job and escape to a foreign country to “find myself.”

However, I was advised not to make any changes whatsoever during this time. I was not to sign contracts, change jobs, move, or make important decisions. I was to stay exactly where I was as my life appeared to shatter before my eyes. It seems paradoxical for my life to be turned upside down by the universe, when I, myself, was unable to adjust to the circumstances.

Benjamin Disraeli once said “Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” Interestingly, we are so thrown off by change, when in fact, our lives are always changing. Like a bottle of seltzer, sometimes our lives need to get turned upside down, knocking us on our heads and shaking things up before they start to settle.

The Take Away

Double exposure of woman doing yoga and starry sky

I can’t tell every person how Mercury in Retrograde is going to effect their life, or even that it is going to impact it at all. However, there will be times in all of our lives when we feel stagnant or unhappy with the general direction our lives are going. There will also be a point in which we get so fed up with this feeling that we are forced to give ourselves a push to propel forward in the right direction.

There are about a hundred billion stars in the average galaxy. Like stars, we all shine in our our own way and our energy can shift over time. We must understand first what radiates our individual light in order to find our own place in the universe.

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