How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Mercury Retrograde

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Mercury Retrograde November 1, 2019

My history with Mercury retrograde often looks like this: I break up with people, I fight with people, I don’t read emails before I send them, and I forget promises I’ve made. Lovely, right?

But I’m working on changing that. After all, opportunities abound. I have a chance to slow down, to consider what I’m doing and what is working/not working. I have a time to go behind the scenes of my life to evaluate what I could be doing differently.


So, from this point on, no more Mercury retrograde blame.

I’m looking to this time as a gift to myself.

A gift of introspection.

A gift of presence.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington











It Only Looks Like Things are Heading Backwards

Mercury is said to go retrograde with it appears to be moving backwards in the sky. It isn’t, really. It’s just how we see it because of the way it orbits the Sun.

And isn’t that the way that life is? When we’re in the middle of something, it seems to be going a certain way and we might project onto it stories and judgements. We think people are against us, that things that are happening are because we did something wrong, pissed off a godd, or aren’t heading in the direction we’re supposed to go.

We tell these stories that make sense to us. The stories that fit what completes the cycle of beginning and end. We squeeze in details that support what we ‘know’ to be true. Even if we find out later they’re incorrect or incomplete.

In short, we’re human.

So, during the three times a year that Mercury retrograde happens, we can choose to continue these stories, these systems, and these they-way-things-are perspectives.


Heading Inward and Embracing the Unknown

Let’s step back for a minute. Let’s move into a new place and into a new place of possibility.

Quiet your mind – I am guilty of letting my mind run away from me. And as a Witch, that can mean I manifest things I don’t really want. But I’m thinking about them so much that I find ways for them to be true. During this time, turn down the volume of input. Step away from social media. Quarantine the news. Put your phone down. Close your eyes and breathe. Let thoughts and worries fall away. You can always come back to all of this. But when you step away, you may find the quiet much more inviting. Even informative.

Write about the facts – If you find you’re stuck in a story, reduce it to the facts. Write it down to what you know 100% to be true. And even then, question how you know that to be true. Reduce things down to their barest essentials. What is there? What is actually there? Is it in your control? Is it so terrible?

Note what isn’t working – This can also be a time to think on the things that aren’t working for you. Choose one thing to examine under the gaze of Mercury. What is happening? What do you wish to happen instead? If you’re not sure what you want to change, focus on how you want to feel. That can guide you to the steps to arrive in that place.

Make a wish list – I like to use this time to presence the things I want to happen. I am not going to act on them right now, but I want to place them in the crucible of retrograde. Let them melt into something else. Surrender to transformation and the high temperatures of desire without attachment.

Perhaps Mercury retrograde will offer you healing. Perhaps it will offer you clarity. In any case, I hope it opens up examination and the possibility that by dismissing the illusions you hold for yourself, you can see what is truly yours.

About Irisanya Moon
I’m a Witch. I’m a writer. I’m a priestess, teacher, drummer, feminist, and initiate in the Reclaiming tradition. I serve the gods, my community, and the Earth. I’ve called myself a Witch for nearly 20 years, and my life has been infused with magick. I am interested in shifting stories – the ones we tell ourselves and the ones that are told about us. I’m continuously inspired to engage as the storyteller and the story, the words and the spaces between. I am a devotee of Aphrodite, Hecate, the Norns, and Iris. I seek to find love and to inspire love by reminding us we are not alone, while also meeting myself at the crossroads, holding the threads of life, and bringing down messages from the gods. I am a Witch. You can read more about the author here.

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