Mercury in Retrograde

by | Sep 10, 2022 | Nurturing Your Practice

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A common thing to hear these days is the planet Mercury getting the blame when things go awry. This is something that is repeated by those who practice astrology and the layman, alike. People complain that the planet is in retrograde, throwing everything out of whack. What does Mercury in retrograde even mean and does it really cause things to go wrong or is this just a popularized trope to make us feel better during times of shared frustration?

According to the Famer’s Almanac, Mercury moves retrograde three times each year. To further understand exactly what this means, we must start with the fact that all planets rotate around the Sun, each planet with its unique spin rate and axis. This means that each individual planet has a specific path around the Sun. This can create illusions that can be seen from our view on the Earth. When we look specifically at Mercury and what it means for the planet to be in retrograde, from Earth it looks as though Mercury is rapidly moving away from us, or backwards in the sky. As stated before, this apparent backwards motion is an illusion; the planets do not suddenly reverse their path and move back the way they came. They continue on their cyclical path in the same direction as they always move. 

In 2022, these are the periods of time in which Mercury will appear to be in retrograde (times in EST) – 

  • January 13 to February 3 
  • May 10 to June 2
  • September 9 to October 1
  • December 28 to January 18 (2023)

For those who practice and ascribe to astrology, the planet Mercury is said to rule all things communication and activities related to it. Think listening, talking, writing, reading, etc. It also rules travel by car, trains, air, etc. From the perspective of astrology, the time of Mercury in retrograde can be marked by feelings of delay and confusion. It is also said that this time is a time of high intuition. It is suggested that we take things slowly during this time. Reflection and internal study can be a great tool to notice what is arising within us as it happens. We want to take care to pause before we respond, holding space for the delay and any big emotions that may arise. People can have short fuses during this time and be closer to explosive reactions.

During this particular season of Mercury in retrograde (September 9th to October 1st), Mercury will be in Virgo. The Zodiac sign that Mercury is in when it is retrograde can influence what happens during this time as well as your own rising, moon, and sun signs. Interestingly, Mercury is the ruling planet of the zodiac sign Virgo. Because of this, the time of retrograde might feel a bit more difficult. The sign of Virgo is a slow moving sign. They tend to think critically and take their time. It might feel as though chaos and uncertainty have replaced routine and order. With that being said, you are empowered to take care of yourself during Mercury retrograde. There are a lot of ways in which people find ease, connection, and support during these times. Rituals and other holistic practices can be utilized not just during Mercury in retrograde but also during the different phases of the moon.

During this period of Mercury in retrograde, we invite you to slow down. Stay present in the moment and take your time with decisions that you make. Take time to practice self care; this doesn’t always look like a bubble bath or a face mask. Your act of self-care might include waking with the Sun and taking your mornings nice and slow. You might introduce yourself to the act of journaling which can be helpful when processing the things that happen to us – especially when those things feel like they are happening frequently like they can during retrograde. When you feel things like frustration beginning to arise, give yourself permission to pause. Mercury in retrograde is a time for us to learn a lot about ourselves and how we can create the space to show up in the world how we want to. Be quiet and listen. Be still if you feel called to but beware of this stillness becoming an obstacle to your growth and forward motion. 

Aside from online yoga teacher training, My Vinyasa Practice offers an excellent opportunity to reflect during this time of retrograde through our FREE Virtual Silent Meditation Retreat. This retreat is designed to encourage a deep level of introspection and self-study to support you during this time where you might feel a bit discombobulated or foggy. You will choose times to practice intentional silence and meditate on topics meant to support your growth and connection. If this sparks your interest in Meditation, or Pratyahara, a meditation certification might be the next step. 

Like the famed Psychologist Viktor Frankl said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose and in that choice is our growth and freedom.”

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