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What the F*ck is Mercury Retrograde?

by Shawn Engel
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Chances are, you’ve heard at least one person blame Mercury’s retrograde for just about anything recently — rude behavior, the need to communicate with people from the past, bad habits, drinking too much — anything. While it’s true that most of us have absolutely no idea what the retrograde is and are just fetching for an excuse, don’t be so quick to assume that is the cause {it might actually be the damn retrograde}. So, what the f*ck is retrograde exactly? — we weren’t so sure either, and that’s why we’ve asked an expert, Shawn Engel of Witchy Wisdoms {our newest HG contributor!} to help us out. Read on for a quick Mercury Retrograde-101:

mercury retrograde

Getting the Term Right:

Before you go and blame any mishap on the red planet, you should know the correct terminology. Almost everyone says “Mercury is in retrograde,” which is incorrect. Mercury’s transit is retrograde {not in} — no worries, this is just a quick mistake people make. 

So, what is retrograde?

Retrograde occurs when a planet appears to be moving backward in its transit from the Earth’s point of view. Because Mercury is much closer to the Sun than the Earth, it whips around the Sun 3-4 times in an Earth calendar year. Each time it passes up the Earth, a phenomenon occurs where it appears to be slowing down and moving backward, before speeding up again and passing, which causes a sort of turbulent wind during the exchange.

What is the significance of Mercury?

Mercury is known in astrology as the messenger planet, or the planet that rules communication. So, quite aptly, if it appears to be going backward, communication will be fuzzy.

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What should be avoided?

Things like big conversations, binding contracts, or dealing with exes should all be avoided. With the planet ruling communication all out of whack, it’s important to steer clear of anything that needs proper conveyance in order for it to go well. Also, technology may freeze up and package deliveries may be lost. When there are many components to achieving something, there are too many parts to be accountable for during retrograde.

How do I get through it?!

Retrograde season is tough for a lot of us, because we haven’t done the correct work around ourselves to know how to deal with it properly. If communication has been an issue for you in the past, it is best to start journaling around why it is an obstacle, and learn patience around the impending delays. Retrograde is a frustrating time, but it is also a reminder to slow down and accept things as they are. Remember to cover all of your bases, like saving important files, and learning to postpone important agreements until you know exactly where you stand.

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Mercury retrograde doesn’t have to be a scary time where everything goes wrong. It can simply be a time that we must learn to navigate through with more precision. Take a breath and lead with intention during this transit, and know that your patience is truly a gift.

How are you planning to handle the retrograde? Share with us in the comments!

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