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Mercury Retrograde: What Is It Good For?

This article was written on July 10, 2006 posted under Astrology

The dreaded Mercury Retrograde period will soon be upon us. Rather than dwelling on the problems associated with this three week period we all experience about several times a year, let's look at how a Mercury Retrograde can benefit us. But first, for those of you who have no idea what this astrological term means, here’s my basic definition:

The planet Mercury rules communication, travel, contracts, automobiles, and the written word. It goes in a retrograde motion, where it appears to move backwards, three times a year for approximately three weeks at a time. When Mercury is retrograde, there’s a lot of confusion. People forget things. There are delays and frustrations.You should never start anything new when Mercury goes retrograde. But you can still put this astrological aspect to good use. Later, I will discuss how you can use this time period and work with the energy of Mercury rather than against it. There is usually a “wind up” period two weeks before Mercury goes retrograde. This is a time to finalize and finish things. When the retrograde day arrives, you should have all of your important projects put to bed. Now, you can’t stop your life just because a Mercury Retrograde rolls around. There are things you can’t possibly avoid or put off. But if you do have time to plan ahead, you can save yourself a lot of frustration and time by doing so.

Since Mercury also rules travel and trips, it is not a good time to travel unless you have backup plans. Expect delays, and double-check accommodations beforehand.

I booked a cruise for my husband’s birthday. It wasn’t a Mercury Retrograde when I booked the trip, but the ship was set to sail during one of these times. When we arrived at the airport to fly out, the gate agent told us our cruise was canceled. The ship had caught on fire! We drove to Quebec instead to make use of our time off. Our trip was cut short when relatives called and told us to come back home; there had been a death in the family!

Sometimes, even when you plan ahead, Mercury Retrogrades can get the best of you. My friends and I planned to drive together to the airport to catch a flight. I told Sherry to be at my house a half hour earlier than usual so that we wouldn’t be late. She left her house early but missed the turn to my road and went thirty minutes out of her way! Once she picked me up we made it to the freeway, there was a six mile traffic back-up due to road construction. We made it through that. However, because we started late, we ended up in the morning rush hour and delayed again. I was speeding to get to the airport and it looked like we’d actually make the flight. Then the tire on my car blew! Luckily someone stopped to help but we were about seven minutes late getting to the gate and had to take a later flight. Three hours later, we boarded a plane scheduled to leave on time. However, a worker had left some machinery in front of our plane and went to lunch. No one could locate him and our flight was stuck until he came back....a half hour later!

So, what can you do on a Mercury Retrograde? This is one of the best times of the year to re-do things. You get a second chance to make things right, to restart a project or complete something you’ve been working on for a while. Think of any word that has an “re” in front of it. That’s what Mercury Retrograde is good for....re-doing just about anything.

If you didn’t get a job offer a few months back, now the perfect time to re-apply for that job. It’s a perfect time to redo your resume too and reconnect old clients or people who could help you on a job search. Because Mercury also rules cars; now would be the time to take you car in for a repair or renegotiate your car loan for a better interest rate.

This is also a perfect time to catch up on all of the mundane work and tasks you set aside that you didn’t have time for in the previous weeks. It’s also a great period to review or revise a game plan so that when Mercury goes direct; you can move forward with an idea.

A Mercury Retrograde is also used to reflect on what you’ve accomplished thus far and where you what to redirect your energies. There are those "re” words again! We all need time to review and decide if we’re on the right path. These weeks give us the opportunity to do just that.

Most of us can’t take three weeks off or stop or even postpone commitments and projects. Here is a list of some things you can do if you absolutely cannot work around the Mercury Retrograde.

  • Check your travel plans several times and bring a book to read at the airport.
  • Mail packages and letters early. Check the zip codes.
  • Double check everything twice for mistakes.
  • Don’t check luggage when you’re flying. Carry on everything if you can.
  • If you are making big purchases, keep your sales receipt and know the store’s return policy.
  • Keep your cell phone battery charged.
  • And most importantly, let everyone know that there is a mercury retrograde so that if anything goes wrong, you’re not to blame...it's that darn planet Mercury!


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