Your Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide

The Scoop On Mercury Retrograde & RetroSHADE Ah, our dear friend Mercury Rx comes to visit for its first tryst in 2020

Photo courtesy Jackie

Photo courtesy Jackie

The Scoop On Mercury Retrograde & RetroSHADE

Starry Sky, Zodiac Sign, Clock, Dial Gold, Dial

Ah, our dear friend Mercury Rx comes to visit for its first tryst in 2020. It will last from February 16 – March 9 (depending on your time zone). And this round falls in a mutable water sign, Pisces. Some astrologists say, because of this placement, it should be the easiest Mercury Rx of the year. Personally, I have already gone through quite a bit of Rx chaos. But what will this retrograde mean for you? And as if Mercury Rx wasn’t stressful enough — what the heck is all this “retro-shade” business? Stay dialed in, because we go over all of this in Your Retrograde Survival Guide.


What’s the deal with Mercury?

The fact is, all planets actually go retrograde at different intervals. The majority of the time, there is at least one planet in retrograde. In fact, quite often, more than one planet will be retrograding at the same time. Mercury is just the one that’s caught a notoriously bad wrap for it.  Maybe I have a soft spot for Mercury because it gets so much heat (although well-deserved, tbh) so I’ve put together a little planetary Rx breakdown for you. Now, when things aren’t going your way, you can blame other planets too!

Planet | Meaning | Length of Rx | How Often

  • Mercury | Communication, Travel, Tech | 19 – 24 days | 3x/year
  • Venus | Love, Finances | Hours – 4 days | Every 18 months
  • Mars | Aggression, Action, Sex | 55 – 80 days | Every 26 months
  • Jupiter | Ideas, Expansion, Exploration | 120 days | 1x/year
  • Saturn | Tradition, Responsibility | 140 days | 1x/year
  • Uranus | Innovation, Surprise, Rebellion |  148 days | 1x/year
  • Neptune | Spirituality, Universal Love, Dreams | 150 days | 1x/year
  • Pluto | Transformation, Ascension, Cycles | 5-6 months | 1x/year


Understand the history

In astrology, Mercury is the planet associated with communication, travel, and technology. That’s why, when it goes Rx, those are the areas of our lives we tend to feel it hit the most. But it is also linked to details and patterns. And that is where all the wonderful lessons of Mercury Rx come in. It rules over zodiac signs Gemini and Virgo, therefore communication is an extremely important element to both of them. Getting a sense of the traits these two signs possess will also give you a deeper understanding of Mercury, what areas it affects, and why. In Roman religion, Mercurius is the god of business and trade. In Greek Mythology, Mercury was correlated to the messenger god, Hermes. He wore winged sandals in order to deliver messages quickly and carried a wand used to resolve conflict. Is this all starting to connect the dots for you?


Why People Are Freaking Out?

Mercury Rx has a mean reputation for slowing things down, creating miscommunications, messing up your travel plans, and getting surprise late-night texts from your ex. Are these truly symptoms of Mercury Rx? Well, technically, yes. But, listen. In order to overcome your fear of something, you must first learn to understand it. Why does it seem like life takes such a chaotic turn? Why is the universe doing this to us? There are actually some valid reasons for the impact that Mercury Rx has on us, whether we’d like to admit it, or not.


But Mercury’s Intentions Are Good

The thing with Mercury Rx is we are always asking for signs in life. Guess what Mercury Rx provides in spades? Big, blaring signs on what we should be doing and how we should be doing it. So, in order to take away the positive here, you have to acknowledge and implement these lessons.

You missed your flight. And, yea, that is definitely a bummer. But, perhaps you should have given yourself a little more cushion time between leaving your house and your flight time? Did you plan for the unexpected? Likely not if you missed your flight. These are the types of lessons and changes being brought out to you in a roaring way, for you to begin integrating into your regular, daily life. The message for you here could be: Stop leaving things for the last minute, in general. Or give yourself more time than you think you need — IN GENERAL.

Mercury also loves to give you little life tests. Because, just as in school, you can’t move on to 102 if you haven’t passed 101. So now, your ex is popping up out of nowhere and temptation is rearing its ugly head. This is your chance to prove to yourself and to the universe that you’ve learned the lessons you needed to learn so that you don’t make the same mistakes again. Perhaps this is a relationship that is meant to have a second chance because of some type of self-realization and personal growth. Now Mercury Rx is opening that door for you. The key is having matured enough to know the difference and strong enough to take the enlightened next step.

Mercury Rx is a time that forces you to slow down and really be considerate and mindful of what you are doing. It’s teaching us to measure twice, so we can cut once. It gives us a chance to take stock of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. 


What You Shouldn’t Do During Mercury Rx

If you can help it at all — for your own sanity — try to avoid these things during Mercury Rx, as well as in its shadow period. If you are somehow cornered into doing any of these, it doesn’t mean the end of the world. There is a reason and there is likely something you need to learn through the experiences that follow.

Mercury Rx “Dont’s”:

  • Make big purchases or investments (esp. appliances, machinery & technology)
  • Make long-term commitments, agreements or sign contracts
  • Launch a new business or project
  • Leave things for the last minute
  • Be hasty or rush to judgment
  • Book travel
  • Elective surgeries or procedures


What The Heck Is This Retroshade All About?

Retroshade is just another term for the Mercury Rx shadow period. This is the 2 weeks leading up to and out of Mercury Rx. This is a time where the effects of retrograde will be felt, albeit not as intensely as during the actual Rx period. Most astrologists strongly advise against signing any contracts, making big purchases, commitments, or decisions during this time as well. Although, if you have no other choice, it is still better than during Rx, but it is much safer overall when Mercury is direct (out of Rx completely). Think about it this way: If you are walking one way, you will have to stop, turn around, and begin to walk in the other direction. You don’t just automatically go from pointing east to west, or north to south. Think about the ‘stop and turn’ as the shadow period. The planet is gearing up to go in a new direction. You can experience it happening, but it isn’t quite there yet.


What You Should Do During Mercury Rx

Time for some positives! Most people don’t look at Mercury Rx as something to take advantage of, but you can if you use it right. Here are some ways you can use this time to your benefit:

  • Reconnect with loved ones
  • Settle old grudges
  • Pause and reflect — get nostalgic
  • Rekindle old hobbies or passion projects
  • Take some time out for self-care (but no botox or risky procedures!)
  • Acknowledge past and present lessons
  • Renew your vows

All in all, Mercury Rx isn’t really the “Bad type, Make your mama sad type, Make your girlfriend mad tight” Bad Guy. Look at Mercury Rx more like a mischievous child — a little misunderstood and looking for attention however they can get it — whether positive or negative. So try indulging Mercury rather than shunning it, and see what happens. This could be the start of a beautiful new friendship? Or at least now you’ll have the tools to deal with it constructively. Mercury means well, and it has the potential to be a helpful tool, just don’t let yourself get caught up in its drama.

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