How to Survive Mercury in Retrograde

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The file you’ve been working on for a week crashes, and all your work is lost.  Your flight is majorly delayed and your luggage is missing. The email you thought would inspire your team made them feel belittled, and now there is tension at work. It seems that anything that can go wrong will, and you can’t figure out the common denominator. If this sounds familiar to you, it’s time to check and see if Mercury is in retrograde.

Mercury, the speediest planet in our solar system impacts much of our day-to-day lives. Mercury rules everything to do with communication, including emails, text messages, writing, contracts, transportation, and travel. When Mercury goes into retrograde, everything it rules is affected.

It’s not all bad news of course. There are ways we can work with these energies to avoid chaos and use the slowed down pace to reset. With the next Mercury in retrograde period coming up May 10th – June 2nd, let’s break down what Mercury in retrograde actually is and outline how its retrograde period might affect each sign.

Let’s start off with a little bit about what a Mercury in retrograde period means.

Mercury in Retrograde:

Mercury in retrograde refers to the 3-4 times a year when Mercury appears to go backward in the sky. Mercury doesn’t actually move backwards; it’s an optical illusion, but it still affects us all the same. Mercury is the fastest moving planet in our solar system and a few times a year, the planet speeds by Earth and appears to be moving backwards. There are a few analogies out there, but Astrology Queen Susan Miller describes it best:

“If you were in a car and another car passed you, you could tell it was going faster than you. But if it slowed down and you then passed it, it would appear that that car was actually going backward. Then when the other car speeds up and passes you again, it kicks up all of the dust in the road. As Mercury speeds by, it is like a train flying past, creating a powerful, turbulent gust of “wind” in its wake. The turbulence and disruption Mercury creates when it retrogrades can affect what we feel on Earth in our everyday lives.”

Areas of Challenge During Mercury in Retrograde:

One of the major challenges during a Mercury in retrograde period involves communication.  Try to be mindful with every interaction you speak or write, taking special care to triple check before hitting the send button. Communication is impacted not only by the way it’s sent, but also by the way it’s taken, so having important conversations in-person will help control the way it’s received. Finalizing decisions and finishing projects can take longer than usual and if you do manage to get a decision, it’s likely to change down the road. That’s why it’s often recommended to avoid starting anything new, like a job, or signing any important contracts, as the details are likely to change. Also, make sure to leave lots of time to buffer for delays while travelling anywhere, and avoid buying anything expensive, especially if it has moving parts.

Things to Focus on During Mercury in Retrograde:

It’s not all negative. Mercury in retrograde is a great time to reflect on past projects and relationships, and to review how much you’ve accomplished. If there is anything you’ve started and stopped, this is a perfect time to pick up that project.

This celestial slowdown influences each Sun sign in a different way. Here are some ways to combat Mercury’s tricky energy by sign:

Aries (March 21st – April 19th):

As a fire sign, Aries are used to moving fast. However, during Mercury in retrograde, this can be risky. Make sure you double check all emails for mistakes and try not to have important conversations over text message or email, as the context can be misunderstood.

Taurus (April 20th – May 20th):

Tauruses love routine and a set plan.  When Mercury in retrograde throws things off course, Tauruses can get stressed out. If you’ve been inundated with last-minute assignments or are feeling overwhelmed with projects, speak to your manager to help you prioritize. If you are the manager, this is a good time to utilize grounding techniques like mindfulness meditations or going for walks in nature and listening to the sounds.

Gemini (May 21st – June 20th):

Mercury rules Geminis and sometimes Mercury in retrograde hits them harder. Geminis are very efficient, and the number of delays and hiccups can be frustrating. Lean into your ability to adapt, and remember, retrogrades don’t last forever.

Cancer (June 21st – July 22nd):

Since Cancers feel emotions intensely, a Mercury in retrograde period can be a difficult time. The intense energies not only impact you, but all signs, and it’s imperative that you don’t get swept away in the emotional turmoil. You can prevent emotional overload by checking in with yourself often and steering clear of office drama.

Leo (July 23rd – August 22nd):

Leos are known for confidence, but even the most confident people are not immune to the chaos of Mercury in retrograde. Leos get shaken when something they’re spearheading doesn’t go according to plan. Get ahead of technical issues by triple checking your work and backing up files.

Virgo (Aug 23rd – Sept 22nd):

Mercury also rules Virgos, and tricky Mercury in retrograde energy can turn order into disorder in an instant. This turmoil can throw the Zodiac’s perfectionist into a spin. Try to remember to breathe and know that all items on the to do list will get checked off. It just might not be in the order it’s planned.

Libra (Sept 23rd – Oct 22nd):

Libras are all about balance and any retrograde period, especially Mercury, can tip the scales. Regain your balance by going with the flow and leaning on your great communication skills to make sure nothing gets lost in translation when speaking to others.

Scorpio (Oct 23rd – Nov 21st):

Scorpios are known for their commitment to finishing projects, but during a retrograde period, that commitment can quickly turn to tunnel vision. Try to stay grounded by working with a team when possible and allowing others to have their turn leading.  

Sagittarius (Nov 22nd – Dec 21st):

Sagittarians live for adventure and social interactions, all of which can be stifled during a Mercury in retrograde period. Moving slow is not a speed Sagittarians are used to, but embracing the slowed down pace and planning an epic team event once Mercury goes direct will help you get through it.

Capricorn (Dec 22nd – Jan 19th):

Capricorns feel safe when they are in control and a Mercury in retrograde period can make this impossible. Try to embrace spontaneity and ways to lend your leadership strength to your team without needing to control every aspect of the project.

Aquarius (Jan 20th – Feb 18th):

Aquarians like a little bit of chaos but that doesn’t make them immune to the possible calamity of Mercury in retrograde. This is a great time to let your natural curiosity run wild and brainstorm new ideas for projects. Just make sure to wait until the retrograde period is over before implementing any of the ideas.

Pisces (Feb 19th – March 20th):

Pisces are naturally intuitive and great at listening to their gut feelings. However, in a retrograde period, your intuition can feel off. This is a great time to connect with your subconscious through meditating and sitting with decisions for a while before acting.

With a little planning and a lot of patience, we can all survive and thrive in a retrograde period.

Interested to learn more? We’ll be back next month for the next edition of Leadership Signs. In the meantime, make sure to check out all the amazing content on Bosstrack!

Lisa Stanton is a Toronto based writer and entrepreneur. She loves to explore the intersection of the worlds of business and the metaphysical through writing.


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