Blame it on Mercury.
What is Mercury in Retrograde?
Mercury retrograde—as it's technically called—was being written about in astrology circles as far back as the mid-18th century. This is not a millenial marketing phenomenon as some would suggest. The event was noted in British agricultural almanacs of the time, which farmers would read to sync their planting schedules to the patterns of the stars. During the spiritualism craze of the Victorian era, interest in astrology boomed, with many believing that the stars affected the Earth in a variety of (often inconvenient) ways. Late 19th-century publications like The Astrologer’s Magazine and The Science of the Stars connected Mercury retrograde with heavy rainfall. Characterizations of the happening as an "ill omen" also appeared in a handful of articles during that period, but its association with outright disaster wasn’t as prevalent then as it is today.
While other spiritualist hobbies like séances and crystal gazing gradually faded, astrology grew even more popular. By the 1970s, horoscopes were a newspaper mainstay and Mercury retrograde was a recurring player. Because the Roman god Mercury was said to govern travel, commerce, financial wealth, and communication, in astrological circles, Mercury the planet became linked to those matters as well.
"Don’t start anything when Mercury is retrograde," an April 1979 issue of The Baltimore Sun instructed its readers. Because of course it was a Baltimore Sun article. "A large communications organization notes that magnetic storms, disrupting messages, are prolonged when Mercury appears to be going backwards. Mercury, of course, is the planet associated with communication." The power attributed to the event has become so overblown that today it's blamed for everything from digestive problems to broken washing machines.
That being said, on the 25th (so, two days ago...sorry...im always late) Mercury went retrograde until August 19th. “Retrograde” refers to the apparent backwards movement of a planet. So, it looks like its spinning backwards from Earth, but actually is not. Mercury being Retrograde (aka: Rx) doesn’t mean that the sky is falling or that you’ll have bad luck. All it means is that communication gets wonky, technology is less reliable, and misunderstandings are more common. There is not any actual scientific fact (that I have come upon - please tell me if you have this info!) that supports the ideology of Mercury in Retrograde - But I guarantee if you ask your girlfriends, youre not alone! Mercury Rx is not a great time to sign contracts — not because they’ll be ill fated, but because you’re more likely to miss the fine print or, again, misunderstand something. It's all about the misconceptions - similar to the misguided thought thtat the planet is actually going backwards. seeeeeeeeeeeee whats happening?!
Okay. Now what?
On a deeper level, because Mercury, Mars, Pluto, Neptune, and Saturn are all Rx right now, this presents an ideal time to reassess things in your life so that you can realign. You and I and everyone we know need this period to upset our assumptions and to inspire us to refine our approach.
There are a lot of exciting celestial events coming up! The big news this week is the Lunar Eclipse (aka super intensified Full Moon) in Aquarius on the 27th at 12.20pmPST. This Eclipse is going to have you feeling all kinds of intense; the key isn’t to find “the answer” or to try to confront all your complicated feels and fears at once. It’s to devote yourself to the process of trying. It’s to stay with the hard questions, especially in the absence of any good answers. We are living through a terrible time when our shadow is being illuminated both on an individual level and societally. You can not view the eclipse from the northern hemisphere, but you can watch it here. These are a few more celestial activities you might want to keep your eye peeled for!
- Mars will be closest to the Moon on July 27 – the same night as the Blood Moon – and has been visible all month.
- This will be followed by Venus appearing in the sky as if it were a star near the moon on August 14 – and it will remain visible in the sky until October.
- Just a few days later on August 17, Jupiter, also known as the King of the Solar System due to its monumental size, will be visible next to the moon.
- Saturn will then make a close approach and the ringed-planet will be visible on August 21. ( Thank you, Universe for the great birthday gift! Side note - last year the big lunar eclipse was on August 21st also - my birthday!!!!!!!!)
The ever brilliant Jessica Lanyadoo wrote a little piece about this particular mercury rx:
You are being confronted with the truth, and how you respond to that is a matter of free will, whether it feels like it or not. This process isn't to be feared but to be embraced. You may feel bad or you may feel magnificent; the key is to not to judge or attach to your feels in either case. Be present for your emotions, and then, as I always say, act in ways that reflect your integrity, not your situation.
There is no fast track to healing, integrity, or kindness. There is no simple answer for life’s hard questions, but at the same time, it is all very simple: do what’s right. Consider the needs of the whole instead of just your own needs or the needs of those closest to you. Treat others with the same decency and respect that you want to be treated with, even your employee, your annoying neighbors, or the people who live life in ways that you can’t conceive of or understand. You don’t have to be the same to have empathy and compassion for someone else.
You are on call; can you hear it? It may be Leo Season, but you shouldn’t need to get credit or attention for your good deeds. Understand that it’s as simple as love versus fear. It’s as complicated as unpacking and dismantling systematic oppression. Life presents us with duality, and if you’re willing to be present for it all, you can find a truth that lines up with the person you want to be. If you are brave enough to honor that, you will not have regrets. Don’t let anyone (even your favorite astrologer!) tell you how to think or what is right. But don’t evade the hard questions or avoid eating the occasional slice of humble pie either.
Life presents us with choices and consequences, and is a constant dance between chance and will. You have free will, but it exists within a finite container. Work within that container; embrace it, use it, make the very most of it. You have the light of the Sun, and Moon, and stars within you. You were born into a world of pain and beauty and love and hatred, and you have come here to be a part of it all, to participate in it in your own unique way. Consider the needs of the whole alongside your own needs, and participate in this world in ways that reflect the fullness of your Light. It’s time for the actions, born of light, that bring about peace for all people; it’s time for all hands on deck, so get to work, my loves.
How to stop the madness?
While there is no *solution* to the shifts in energy that we experience during Mercury Rx, there are some things you can do to help yourself.
A Smudge Stick is my first weapon of choice. Usually they are a mix of sage, rosemary, and lemongrass. I prefer the *sage* only sticks. The use of sage is for healing. The smoke is used to bless, cleanse and heal the person or object being smudged. Sage is used to 'wash off' the outside world when one enters ceremony or other sacred space. ... Many of the herbs called sage come from a completely different family of plants, the Asteracea family. You can find smudge sticks on amazon *eye roll* or you can head to your local headshop! Shout out to The Other Side in Towson for always having the sage that I need!
Accompanied by the right crystals, and you've got enough clean energy to last until rx is over! These are some of the crystals I use and keep close during retrogrades.
- Green Fluorite
- Black Tourmaline
If you Babes enjoyed this post, please take the time to comment, share, DM me, or anything else to let me know you found this interesting! As with a lot of astrology a lot of things are open to interpretation, so if there is something you disagree with, know more about - hit us up! We want to know!
Love & Light