Everyone's favorite planetary retrograde is coming up, and it's coming up quick. That's right: The first 2019 Mercury retrograde hits Mar. 5, which means that good ol' Mercury — our resident planet of communication, tech, and day-to-day travel — will be backspinnin' its way through our astrological lives, turning a multitude of things upside down and inside out.
Retrograde energy can certainly be frustrating to deal with — after all, it forces us to stop what we're doing, hit the brakes, and look deeply into where we're at and what we're doing in our lives. But if you work with the energy of the retrograde rather than trying to swim upstream against it (which I'll warn you is a futile act, mere mortals), this period offers us a beautiful opportunity to pause, reflect, and refine our current paths. Doing some energy work and rituals for Mercury retrograde is a great way to do just that, as ritual work can help you to connect with yourself and the energy of this astrological influence in a harmonious way.
Before any ritual, it's important to carve out a space that feels magical and sacred to you, in whichever way feels right. Many people choose to cleanse their ritual space, or even using an energetic cleansing spray such as The Golden Secrets' Aura Clearing Mist. Creating this space for yourself will feel especially healing during the retrograde, as it'll be nice to have a moment of calm that feels separate from the retrograde-fueled madness of your day-to-day.
Bustle spoke with several witches and holistic healers about their favorite rituals for Mercury retrograde protection and magic — so try one of the following and see if you can harness the wild energy and make it work for you.
Mercury Retrograde Meditation Ritual
Making space for sacred moments of introspection and magic is always a good idea — but it can be especially helpful during a retrograde, when our thoughts, plans, and ability to communicate feel out of sorts. Bustle spoke with Michael Cardenas, head witch at Olde Ways, who provided the following simple yet effective ritual that can be used regularly through the duration the retrograde. "This meditation is used to keep your energy clear of heavy vibrations and to draw in mental clarity and clear communication throughout the retrograde," explains Cardenas. "I recommend repeating this each week on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday."
What you'll need: A bowl of cool water; lavender and/or lemongrass oil; 1 blue or white candle.
What to do: Begin the ritual by adding 16 drops of your chosen oil to the bowl of cool water. Then take your blue or white candle, set it in front of the bowl, and light it (Cardenas notes that this same candle can be used repeatedly in your meditations throughout the retrograde). "Take a moment to ground and center yourself by taking several deep breaths of the essential oils in through your nose and exhale through your mouth," explains Cardenas.
Now you may begin your meditation. "Bring your focus and attention to the center of your forehead and to your throat area visualizing a bright golden light swirling in a clockwise motion, clearing and balancing these energy centers. Open your eyes and gaze into the bowl of water and meditate on the reflection of the candle's flame," instructs Cardenas. "Do this until you are intuitively guided to stop."
At this point, once you feel the meditation is complete, move your fingers and toes, feeling yourself back into your body. Take another deep breath, inhaling the scent of the oils. Finally, blow out the candle. The ritual is done.
And as for what to do with the oil-infused water? "You can use the remaining water in spiritual baths or a floor wash for your front door steps to clear yourself of heavy vibrations and draw in positive energy to carry you through the Mercury Retrograde," advises Cardenas.
Mercury Retrograde New & Full Moon Rituals
A new moon will rise just a day after Mercury begins its retrograde, and two weeks later — mid-retrograde — we'll be illuminated by a full moon. Working with lunar energy is always helpful, and can be especially grounding during an unstable Rx period. Bustle spoke with Renee Watt, professional witch/psychic and host of the Witch Doctorate podcast, about moon rituals to use for the upcoming Rx. "New Moons are all about planting seeds for the future, while Full Moons are used for banishing and removing obstacles from our life," explains Watt. "Since we are working with Mercury retrograde energy, we want to become aware of what needs revising in our lives. In order to work this energy effectively, I recommend a two part ritual for the New and Full moons of March." The following rituals are created by Watt.
What you'll need (for both rituals): 1 lavender candle; 1 black candle; lavender and sage essential oils; palo santo or dried lavender; water (rain, sea, or moon-charged water); an offering bowl; pen and paper.
What to do for the new moon ritual: This new moon ritual is to be performed on or near March 6, in alignment with the new moon in Pisces.
Anoint your candle with lavender oil, starting at the wick and moving down to the base, while focusing your energy on seeing through you third eye (which represents your intuition, and is located on your forehead). Watt then advises you to fill your offering bowl with water, set the candle on your altar (or windowsill, if you don't have an altar space set up), and place the water bowl next to it.
"Begin the ritual by taking three cleansing breaths then lighting the candle," says Watt. "Once the candle is lit, rub a few drops of lavender oil on your third eye (use a carrier oil if you have sensitive skin.)" She then instructs you to say the following incantation aloud:
"I am opening myself and my intuition up to your guidance so that my highest path may be illuminated."
"Place a few drops of lavender oil into the water as an offering and take a few quiet moments meditating on opening your third eye," continues Watt. "Complete the ritual by thanking your guides." You should allow the candle to continue burning safely, and then pour the water in your offering bowl outdoors or into a plant the following morning.
"Over the next two weeks try to become aware of the positive and negative influences you encounter, ask your guides for clarity on any aspects of your life that feel unclear or uncertain," explains Watt. "Write down any dreams you have and keep note of any synchronicities that occur during this time to help keep track of the divine insight coming your way."
What to do for the full moon ritual: This new moon ritual is to be performed on or near March 20, in alignment with the full moon in Libra.
"Now that you’ve spent two weeks flexing your intuition, it’s time to rid yourself of any negative people or influences in your life," explains Watt. "Begin by writing down a list of negative people, influences, or habits that you’d like to banish from your life." Once you've written out your list, you'll want to anoint the black candle using sage essential oil, rubbing from the base up to the wick. Focus on the intentions you've written out as you anoint. As with the new moon ritual, you may now fill your offering bowl with water, and place it next to your candle on your altar or windowsill. At this point, you can light your candle.
Take three deep breaths to cleanse your energy, and then consult your list of negative influences. If there are names of people on your list, say the following aloud, as instructed by Watt: "I banish [name] from my life and am severing emotional ties." Anoint your heart chakra (located in your chest area) using sage oil as you speak this intention.
Then, Watts instructs you to move on to influences or behavioral patterns on your list. For each, say aloud: "I banish [influence/behavior/pattern] from my life." This time, anoint your solar plexus chakra (located two inches above your belly button) using sage oil as you speak your intentions.
Meditate on your intentions, and visualize the energy of these people and influences leaving your life and your space. "Take the paper and tear it away from your body over and over until you’re left with only tiny pieces," says Watt. "Add a few drops of sage oil to your offering bowl then sprinkle your pieces of paper into it."
Wrap up your ritual by burning some dried lavender or palo santo in a clockwise motion while speaking the following aloud: "I bring in love, light, and positive opportunities."
"Thank your spirit guides and allow the candle to burn throughout the night," instructs Watt. "The following morning bury the paper and pour any remaining water into the ground."
Mercury Retrograde Sacred Tea Ritual
Calling upon our plant allies is an amazing way to connect with the earth and ground ourselves during one of Mercury's backspins. Bustle spoke with shamanic herbalist Natalia Karoway, author of Living Sacred Ceremony, about her favorite ritual for Mercury retrograde. "I like to brew a tea with some of my favorite Mercury-aligned herbs to keep me protected — especially against the classic miscommunications running rampant during a retrograde," explains Karoway. "These herbs associated with Mercury bring us clear thought, speech, and understanding, along with basic protection and a sprinkle of much needed luck."
What you'll need: 1 teaspoon each of dried food-grade lavender, peppermint, and red clover; a small bowl; your favorite tea cup.
What to do: To begin the ritual, you'll want to mix the lavender, peppermint, and clover in a small bowl using clean hands to make the herbal mix for your tea. As you do this, you'll want to focus on your Mercury retrograde intentions. "While mixing, preferably by hand, ask the herbs [aloud] to bring forth their protective and mind clarifying properties ... as the herbs awaken and attune to your needs," advises Karoway. "If you have specific events, meetings, etc., coming up during Mercury Retrograde, feel free to speak very clearly about how you’d like these to unfold." Focus strongly on your intentions as you mix your herbs, imagining yourself receiving the herbs' power and infusing your intentions into them.
Once you've mixed the herbs, set a pinch aside. "Take a pinch of the herbs and sprinkle them on the earth as an offering in exchange for the plants’ assistance," explains Karoway. "Ask for good luck and protection as you offer your gift."
Now you can brew the remaining herbs in the blend for 10 minutes in fresh hot water. Strain them into your cup and drink the infusion slowly and consciously, focusing on your intentions as you do so. "It’s helpful to feel into the plants' energies," explains Karoway. "Can you sense the clarity they bring or feel the energy rise towards your mind? Do you feel held and protected?" Meditate on these questions as you nourish yourself with the tea.
"When complete, give the strained herbs back to the earth to be composted, again in gratitude for their support and to bring completion to the ritual," explains Karoway. Use this ritual whenever you feel you need extra support or a moment of calm during the retrograde.
Mercury Retrograde Power & Protection Ritual
Everyone needs some extra protection during a retrograde, and creating your own tools is a wonderful way to empower yourself and connect yourself with a magical practice. Bustle spoke with holistic health expert Amy Mercree, author of The Mood Book: Crystals, Oils, and Rituals to Elevate Your Spirit, who shared one of her favorite rituals to use during Mercury's backspin. "When we think about the idea of psychic protection, it can be useful to start from the outside and work our way inward," shares Mercree. "This ritual will make sure you are sealed and protected on all levels."
What you'll need: A small glass spray bottle; spring water; frankincense clary sage, and chamomile essential oils; a small piece of smoky quartz, clear quartz, black tourmaline, or citrine (optional); chamomile or fennel seed tea (optional).
What to do: The first thing you'll want to do prior to beginning the ritual is to make your "Power and Protection Spirtz" which you can use throughout the retrograde period to cleanse, ground, and protect yourself. "To make your own Power and Protection Spritz combine spring water, 5 drops of frankincense essential oil, 10 drops of Clary Sage essential oil, and 5 drops of blue or Roman chamomile oil in a 2 to 5 ounce spray bottle," explains Mercree. "If you have a small piece of smoky quartz, clear quartz, black or blue tourmaline, or citrine you can place that in the bottle as well."
First, lay down or sit in a comfortable spot where you will be undisturbed for about 10 minutes. Take a few deep breaths and allow your mind to slow down." Mercree instructs you to pay attention to your breathing and the physical sensations you're experiencing, such as the feeling of the floor or seat beneath you.
"Use your Power and Protection Spritz and spray it above your head and all around you, pointing at yourself ... Spritz every part of your body and the space about three feet around you in all directions," instructs Mercree. "Close your eyes and move down to spritz your face and the back of your neck. Open your eyes and mist your torso and over your shoulder."
Once you've covered your energetic space and body with the protective spray, it's time to speak an incantation. "Repeat the following incantation aloud or internally, knowing that it is an all purpose protection tool," says Mercree. "It is adapted from something my medicine teacher, Levity Laughing Star, taught me many years ago."
"I seal and protect all wormholes, portals, and openings in my physical and etheric bodies in all dimensions, all inter dimensions, and in all realities. I do this as needed for my highest good and the highest good of all life. It is done."
Feel the gravity and truth of these words, and repeat the incantation again if necessary. Sit with the power of the incantation's intention and meditate on the protective barrier you've surrounded yourself with. If you'd like, Mercree notes that you may close the ritual by intentionally sipping a mug of healing chamomile or fennel seed tea with a clear quartz placed in the cup.