Mercury is in retrograde this week: here's your survival guide

·5 min read
Photo credit: Jessica Lockett | Getty Images
Photo credit: Jessica Lockett | Getty Images

Between 27th September - 18th October 2021, Mercury is in retrograde, so if you're wondering why things have started feeling a bit, well, off, recently, we have the reason. Here's what it *actually* means for you and your star sign.

Mercury in retrograde

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and takes only 88 days to go around it. This makes it a super speedy planet, right in the thick of everything, and in astrology this helps to create its role: the ~brain~, the messenger and the planetary representative of communication and travel.

Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo (both super-smart signs, with plenty of vocab, who love to articulate themselves well). And when Mercury is doing its thing, all is well in the cosmos.

However, three or four times a year, Mercury goes retrograde. If you're not sure what that means beyond the occasional meme on Instagram or just the ~feeling~ you get three times a year? Here's a detailed guide to what you need to know.

What is Mercury in retrograde?

Here's where we get technical. When a planet goes retrograde, it appears to go backwards in the skies. It isn’t real, though, it’s just an optical illusion because Mercury’s shorter orbit makes it look like it hustles past Earth, slows down and then moves in a backwards loop. Pretty fancy. Mercury IS super smart. Maybe even a bit of a show off.

When is Mercury retrograde?

The dates change every year, due to the fact due to the fact 365 days (or 364 days in a leap year) doesn't divide exactly into 88 days - the amount of time it takes Mercury to go around the sun. For 2021, the dates are as follows.

Photo credit: Jessica Lockett | Getty Images
Photo credit: Jessica Lockett | Getty Images

What happens during a Mercury retrograde?

So why does Mercury in retrograde have such bad connotations? Basically, if Mercury is usually all about communication, travel, messages, information and intellect, then plan all of those areas of life to be impacted during a retrograde. Negatively.

Expect mixed messages, crossed wires, gremlins in the machine, major cock-ups at work, delayed or abandoned travel plans. Everyday situations become more complex, vague, unclear, and conflicting.

Things basically just feel a bit off. Mercury is usually all about giving off good vibes, but when it's in retrograde, that goes out the window.

Things you should *probably* avoid doing during a Mercury retrograde

Listen, we're not your mum so you probably don't need telling what to do. But if you want to make your life feel a bit easier, here are some suggestions on what to avoid while Mercury is in retrograde:

  • Putting pressure on yourself. Do whatever you can to take a load off, and chill. Wait it out.

  • Significant conversations with people about subjects that are tricky anyway (relationship issues, pay rises, family squabbles, landlord negotiations etc).

  • Being super busy and not having enough time for things to go wrong. Build in LOTS of ~wriggle room~ to all of your plans.

  • Overly relying on technology. This is when emails might mysteriously disappear, laptops go to the great ~laptop heaven in the sky~, and home entertainment buffers endlessly.

Tips for surviving and thriving when Mercury is in retrograde

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

Get your crystals out and carry them with you. Have them on your desk, near your laptop, in the bath and shower with you, and next to your bed. Basically, surround yourself with grounding and protective crystal energy to try and create a forcefield sort of shield against the pesky vibes of this cosmic sh*tstorm.

Make sure you cleanse (in running water, or placed in moonlight overnight) them first and charge them with a protective intention (hold them in your hand, imagine a bright glowing light beaming into them from the heavens above, and think about them ~fuelling up~ with protective energy from the Universe).

Consider using: rose quartz, onyx, blue lace agate, selenite, amethyst, citrine, tiger’s eye.

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

This is a great time to meditate because it will help you focus on the here and now, and maybe plant some seeds of action for when the effects of the retrograde have passed, and you can move forward unimpeded. Download an app, put on a guided meditation video, and just chill. Make this a daily event during retrograde.

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

Less is more right now, so slow down and use the retrograde’s ups and downs to illuminate what isn’t working in your life, and seek to minimise or remove it. Start with your home, and have a clear-out and a spruce-up. Consider the roles you have in life, too, and your relationships. Notice where there is most discord or dissatisfaction, and ask yourself if this is serving you well any longer.

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

Himalayan bath salts (and salt lamps) can help to dispel negative energy in the home, and around you personally. Use daily to sustain a working space around you.

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

Back up your laptop, copy important files to a stick, make sure you have things saved someplace super-safe, check your emails have sent. Double-check and triple-check your communications and plans. Better safe than sorry.

For your own unique and personal tarot forecast, visit Kerry's TarotBella page

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