Yoga to survive mercury retrograde!

Yoga to survive mercury retrograde!

Mercury retrograde - it happens at least 3 times a year and lasts approx 3 weeks, yet it still seems to take us by surprise when we find out its happening! Mercury retrograde has a bit of a bad rap and during a mercury retrograde you’ll likely see memes posted over the internet blaming mercury retrograde on something (unless the internet has crashed!). Even with my students if someone comes in saying something has gone wrong we all joke and say ‘mercury retrograde’! Its a bit like shouting April Fools! However there’s a lot more to it.

All planets in our solar system have been allocated certain aspects and qualities, ruling over them, and when a planet moves into retrograde these aspects may have a bumpy ride. Mercury is the planet of communication, travel, ideas - affecting our thoughts, speech, phones, computers, internet connection, social media, transport to name a few!

During Mercury retrograde we may feel stuck, unable to express ourselves or at least not as clearly or as easily as we wish to, there may be travel delays, computer systems and social media sites crash (the last 2 times Facebook, WhatsApp & Instagram were down was during mercury retrograde or its shadow period!)

So we know a little more about Mercury but what does it mean to go retrograde? Retro - denoting action that is directed backwards. From our point of view here on planet Earth at some point during their orbits all planets look as though they are travelling/moving backwards, they don’t but they do slow down so to us it looks as though they are moving backwards. Have you ever been sat on a moving train with another moving train alongside you going in the same direction and the train next to you looks as though its moving backwards? Same thing when a planet goes retrograde!

Mercury is the fastest moving planet in our solar system taking only 88 days to orbit the sun and so retrogrades more often but for shorter periods than other planets. Due to the speed Mercury moves when it slows for a retrograde and then speeds up to move direct we may be affected more at the start and at the end of a retrograde period. I think of this in 2 different ways - when Mercury slows its like having to do an emergency stop while driving your car, you were moving so fast and now you’ve suddenly stopped that items in your car may have moved about such as your bag which caused your phone to fall onto the floor and maybe break! When Mercury starts to move direct this is similar to an airplane taking off, we feel ourselves pulled backwards and then we move forwards again.

For me the word retrograde makes me think of the the word retrospective - looking back on or dealing with past events. This is what mercury retrograde is inviting us to do - to look back at past events to see if we have missed any lessons before we can move forward. Its a great opportunity to finish old tasks or projects we might have neglected before we have a boost of energy and creativity to start anew.

So why can we sail through some Mercury retrogrades and get bitten during others? Mercury is the ruling planet for Gemini - the communicators and Virgo - the planner. When both these aspects slow down or get lost in translation we can get confused. If your Sun or Mercury is in either of these signs you may more likely be affected by a Mercury retrograde (unless Mercury was retrograde when you were born). However don’t think you’ve gotten off lightly if you don’t have your Sun or Mercury in Gemini or Virgo. You may breeze through most Mercury retrogrades BUT when Mercury is in your natal Sun or Mercury sign is when you need to pay attention.

The Suns Messenger - Mercury is known as the messenger to the Sun, the Sun being the King of our solar system and Mercury being the postie! Really these 2 are like best friends and are always travelling together so its fairly easy to know where Mercury is by the sign the sun is in. The current Mercury retrograde was through Leo and Cancer, the Sun was in Cancer when Mercury first went retrograde in Leo on the 7th July and then moved the Sun moved into Leo on the 23rd July as Mercury moved into Cancer on the 19th July before it goes direct again on the 31st July. Mercury usually sits in the same sign as the sun or the one before or after it - for example the Sun can be in Cancer and the signs either side are Gemini and Leo. During a Mercury retrograde (when it goes backwards) Mercury is simply going back to double check its not missed anything. However the Sun misses its companion and so feels lost and confused which is why we can feel this way too!

All 12 signs of the zodiac rule over different aspects just like the planets do, so Mercury retrograde can affect us in different ways depending on the sign its moving retrograde though. This current retrograde period through Leo then Cancer is highlighting where we stepped back from owning our power, where you might be settling, causing miscommunications in your home life.

When things go wrong or not the way we want them to during a Mercury retrograde we can become frustrated however its an invitation to slow down - which is why most of us come to a yoga practice anyway! If your computer or phone glitches and doesn’t work, sit and talk to the person next to your instead or go through the pile of paperwork you’ve been putting off sorting for months. If you get lost on your travels enjoy the scenic route, remember we our only human and its ok to make mistakes. Its how we handle them that shows us our character.

If you are feeling frustrated then roll out your mat and move through a 25 minute Yoga practice to survive Mercury retrograde!

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The Astro Yogi )0(