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Mercury Retrograde: Slow Down + Find A New Groove

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know I LOVE Mercury Retrograde. I see it as a necessary time of re-calibration, as opposed to a time wrought with snafus and dread.

You see, Mercury, the planet that rules communication, travels very close to the Sun, and moves quickly in his orbit. It only takes Mercury 88 days to orbit the Sun as opposed to the Earth’s 365 days. Due to Mercury’s speed and elliptical pattern, at points he appears to pass the Earth, and then seemingly goes backward while Earth catches up and passes him. This dance between the Earth, Sun, and Mercury—an optical illusion at it’s finest—creates a beat, that for many, feels hard to dance with.

Think about it: speedy Mercury switches positions with planet Earth while they harmonize very different elliptical rhythms. It’s sort of like fast tempo and progressive chord changes of bebop jazz—abrupt and a bit in your face, but if you find the rhythm you can really groove. Especially since it’s all an illusion anyway. (Mercury does not actually travel backwards, he simply switches places with Earth as they both continue to travel around the Sun.)

Yet, this harmonization of offbeat rhythms certainly freaks a lot of people out. Words like pandemonium and mayhem are thrown about while Mercury travels retrograde. And as an astrologer who has tracked this phenomenon for a long time, I concur. Mercury retrograde can certainly feel wild at times; however, I find it potent medicine with a dose of good fortune (assuming it’s approached with a creative spirit and playfulness).

Remember, the recalibration of planetary speed follows natural law. It’s supposed to happen. Nothing’s wrong.

Nonetheless, Mercury Retrograde sets off the warning signals, causing many to go on the defense. Double check every message! Backup your computer! Halt your travel plans! Become suspicious of new opportunities! Worry!

If this sounds like you, I urge you to approach this period from a slightly different angle.

I celebrate Mercury Retrograde as an auspicious time, because in our go-go-go world, this is when we are meant to pause and review what we’ve already done to figure out what’s slipped through the cracks instead of charge forward heedlessly. We’re meant to notice that the beat changed, and there’s a new soloist on stage. We need to pay attention, listen, and recalibrate.

 “As above, so below.” The planetary rhythms influence us, indeed. However, they are normal, natural, and aligned; not something to fight.

When we honor Mercury and utilize his retrograde pattern to reorganize, revisit, resituate, and reassess, it helps us to not only make substantially better decisions, but to catch our breath, too. I know I am not the only one who puts things off and rushes from one thing to the next. When we learn to honor Mercury’s retrograde pattern, we can succinctly tidy up our lives before diving head-first into our next chapter. And if we pay really close attention, we’ll understand it’s all an illusion anyway, so we might as well have some fun with it.

Mercury Retrograde is not something you need to fear, nor is it a time to halt forward motion.

In the fast-paced world we live in, we can utilize Mercury’s syncopated, asymmetrical and offbeat rhythm to find a new groove in our lives. It offers an opportunity to tidy up, chill out, and get crystal clear on exactly what you need to do to further align with your truth. It’s the perfect time to get unstuck and dance to a new beat. Syncopation simply breaks up monotony. And come on, who doesn’t like to groove?

So, while many view Mercury Retrograde as a time we should expect the worst, I see it as an opportunity to make wiser decisions, follow my gut instinct, and clean up issues from my past so I can align more with the present—and obtain clear directives on what to execute next.

This month, Mercury goes retrograde on August 12th in Virgo, and retrogrades back to the late degrees of Leo (the exact degree of the upcoming solar eclipse on the 21st), stationing direct on September 5th. To be certain, we can expect the most potent moments of Mercury Retrograde to occur on the 12th (and 5th when he stationed), as well as on August 26th when Mercury and the Sun align at the same degree in the sky: 3-degrees of Virgo.

5 Ways to Use Mercury Retrograde to Further Align With Your Truth

  1. Expect your intuition to increase and prepare to take action. More than usual, expect to receive intuitive messages. Instead of thinking about an answer or a solution, feel your answer. Mercury’s retrograde is a period when our intuition will become stronger, and if we work with it, instead of against it, we can move ahead faster. Over the next few weeks, make sure you tune in and follow your instincts—let your body guide you—and be prepared to take action on the wild insights you receive. Take the time to meditate, check in, and reconnect with yourself. Then dance to the beat of your insight.
  2. Become even more comfortable with all of your emotions. One of the key things you can learn is how to get comfortable with all of your emotions without needing to fix or deny them. Can you be present with everything that comes up for you emotionally? What do you need to do to strengthen this relationship with yourself? What support do you need to help you feel your emotions fully? Should you feel the need, give yourself permission to have a good cry—it’s okay. If crying is something you struggle with, rent some tear-jerkers and have a movie night to let yourself release and feel.
  3. Fix the glitches. Mercury Retrograde is a time to slow down and finally address our blind spots. When you listen more deeply, asking yourself where you are resisting your truth and not honoring your needs, you can find the glitch in your thinking, systems or communication. You can then turn towards breaking out of behaviors and patterns that hold you back and crush your individuality.
  4. Take care of you. Since this particular Mercury Retrograde journey primarily happens in Virgo, you’ll want to take special care of your body, your health habits, and the details of your life. This is a time for slow and steady self-care, with massive doses of meditation and cleaning sprinkled in. Tidy up. Do a detox. And most importantly rest. Seventeen days after Mercury Retrograde ends, we have the equinox—another time of recalibration. Be sure to set yourself up for success.
  5. Go backward to go forward. Mercury Retrograde beckons review. While on the one hand you’ll want to consider your year to date, on the other you may even want to throw back to your childhood, too. Visit old friends. Pick up the phone to connect with someone you’ve lost touch with. Write a letter to someone from your past. Look at pictures and get nostalgic. You never know the healing that will ensue!

Enjoy this Mercury Retrograde, and use this time to slow down and find a new groove. When Mercury goes direct, you’ll be able to step into a new beginning. And if you want to make the most of this Mercury Retrograde journey, be certain to join my Moon Cycle Manifestation and Embodiment Challenge. I am going to help you pace yourself, and use Mercury’s syncopation to your advantage! Oh, and did I mention it’s free? Consider it my gift to you to help guide you through Mercury Retrograde and the solar eclipse season.

As always, I send you all of my love.

I love hearing what’s coming up for you—tell me how you’re planning to do this Mercury Retrograde differently. Leave me a comment and let me know!

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  • Nina

    I initially thought, I’m good, I’m already set….I just have to make it though this mercury retrograde…and then as I made my way through reading your blog, I realized how much I can really benefit from this time. My life is already set up to do so, as I started a project to tidy up (major) and will make more time in the coming week to do more so, so that I can be sure to clean out what may get in my way in the future by addressing now. I appreciate your blog and your guidance as usual.

    • jracioppi

      Thank you so much for this comment. I appreciate you. Please keep us posted on how it goes. All of my love.

  • Victoria

    This is truly one of the best articles I’ve ever read about Mercury Retrograde. As a Gemini, this info is ridiculously valuable for me – thank you thank you!!

    • jracioppi

      Hi Victoria, Thank you for reading and thank you so much for your comment. I am so glad you find the content valuable. Please keep us posted on how the next few weeks unfold for you. Big hugs!

  • Ashlynn Greenwood

    A refreshing perspective on Mercury retrograde! Thanks so much for all the helpful tips!!!

    • jracioppi

      You are welcome. Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate your words tremendously. Big hugs!

  • Laura Sprinkle

    Love this!! It just plain FEELS better than all of the other stuff I’ve read about mercury retrograde. It’s never felt right to condemn a natural pattern – so I love your guidance to embrace it 🙂

  • Erin

    I love this post! I’m sharing it with everyone I know.

    Thank you!

  • Hollis

    I just got back from several days unplugged, and was excited to read this and discover I had intuitively been following some of your suggestions…and that these steps helped me find me again. The me I had lost after a very tumultuous 6 weeks.

    Thank you, once again, for all your insights, Jen!

  • Terra

    In the past I have felt like I have to work super hard and be extra vigilant to overcome mercury retrograde. It feels so much better to use it as a time of self care and reflection. I so enjoy learning from you and look forward to using your suggestions as I interact with this retrograde.

    • jracioppi

      Yes, slow down and give yourself lots of time for self-care. Have you joined my moon cycle challenge? We’ll be talking a lot about self-care there.! Big hugs, Jenn

      • Terra

        Yes! I have joined the challenge and I am so excited for it. Thanks for offering me the opportunity.

  • Dana Barish

    This is one of my favorite articles from you. I feel you were talking directly to me. This literally puts my mind at ease and now I know how to use the retrograde to my advantage. Thank you for doing it.

  • Hannah

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thank you for this insightful, refreshing article. I feel like there is so much fear around mercury retrograde and that just doesn’t resonate with me. I am in the middle of making a life-changing decision and I honestly feel I got insight on making this decision on Aug 12, when my intuition came through strong (which you talk about here). I am curious what you’re thoughts are on actually ACTING on these intuitive insights (and life-changing decisions) during this time. I know some people say, DON”T MAKE ANY DECISIONS DURING THIS TIME… But that feels like it’s coming from a place of fear. I am just curious if you had thoughts on this. Thanks!

    • jracioppi

      Hi Hannah, Great question. I do take action on insight during MR, however, I really test it out first. Meaning, I sit with it before I do anything. But, yes, sometimes we get our very best ideas during this time. If I were you, I’d pay very close attention to every nuance of what you feel, and then see what your guidance directs you towards. Keep us posted.

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