It's that time again. Mercury, the planet of communication, intellect, reason, timing, and dry humor is heading into its last retrograde period of the year beginning on Oct. 31. Yes, you read that correctly: Mercury is going into retrograde on Halloween. I did say it was the planet of dry humor, didn't I? But instead of being afraid of this all-too-frequent retrograde, let's alter our perspective on the event. Let's think of it this way: what good lessons will Mercury retrograde teach us?
When Mercury is not in retrograde, we might all find that we have less complications to endure when it comes to understanding each other and using technology. We might also find that it's easier to rely on things like transportation and technology. These are all things that the planet of Mercury is said to rule: Communication, technology, etc. So, when it's retrograde, these things get all screwed up. A simple plan like meeting a friend for lunch can all of a sudden include complications like going to the wrong location, getting the wrong dish, or accidentally hurting your friends feelings.
People like to play up the doomsday theme when it comes to Mercury retrograde, and yeah, fair enough — it's annoying. But, retrogrades are also a time that, astrologically, are meant to make us look inwards at ourselves and learn some valuable lessons that serve us well in the long run.
Here's everything genuinely good that Mercury retrograde will teach us during its transit between Oct. 31 and Nov. 20, 2019. These are all lessons that are good to have on hand year-round, but that are particularly helpful when you know to expect challenges.
Be Clear, Be Honest
Don't rush your interactions with people. Talking while walking, sending an email while running out the door, texting while watching TV? Stop. With only half of your attention on our words, you'll only leave room for miscommunication.
This Mercury retrograde should stress the importance of being direct, honest, and present when communicating, as major complications can come from one wrong word. Make an effort to only communicate when the action has your whole attention.
Hold Yourself Accountable
We all screw up, but the way that you handle yourself after making a mistake largely reflects on your character. Holding yourself accountable for your actions isn't just something to remember when you've screwed up, it's something to remember ever day of your life.
Be Flexible, But Have Boundaries
Sometimes, things don't go according to plan — sometimes, not even close. Being patient and flexible is definitely a virtue, but having boundaries for yourself is also important. There's a difference between waiting 15 minutes for someone who's late, and an hour. Mercury retrograde teaches us to come up with sensible boundaries that show flexibility and compassion, but also self respect.
If You're Not Early, You're Late
If at all possible, leave earlier. Whether it's for a flight, a lunch date, a job interview, or a movie screening, leaving early leaves time for mishaps and resolutions. Not to mention, getting somewhere early gives you time to settle in, check your email, relax, clear your mind, and do all of the things you need to do in order to be present when your appointment begins.
Having An Adult-Packed Purse Is Crucial
It's Mercury retrograde. In your bag, at all times, you should have: a mini-first aid kit, hand sanitizer, an extra charger, some kind of retractable rain covering, mouthwash, a reusable bottle of water, your medications, a pain reliever, an extra pair of underwear, and whatever else you might need to transform from a casual look into a professional look on the go. Sometimes there's no time to go home, so make sure your bag has your back.
Check In With Your Friends, All The Time
Because there tends to be more conflict during Mercury retrograde, we might be more likely to check in with friends during this time. And likely, it's to complain and vent about what's going on in our lives. While it's totally OK to call your friends when you need support, it's also important to remember to call them when you don't need anything, simply to ask how they're doing.
Do Regular Checkups, On All Things
Don't wait for your car to die or your cough to become a serious chest infection, part of being an adult is getting things checked out before they get bad. If you have a car, get it regularly serviced. If you can't remember when to do that, have the service shop set up a recurring appointment for you. Make sure you see your general practitioner and/or OB/GYN at least once a year, no matter what. Take your pets to the vet even when they're healthy, clean up your computer even when it's running fine, and give your house a deep clean before it's a mess.
Confront The Past
Mercury retrograde has a knack for bringing back people from the past. You might hear from ex-lovers, old friends, family members you've fallen out of touch with. And if you keep the people from your past life out of sight and out of mind, you could be really thrown off by this occurrence. To honor the past and stay in touch with all the parts of yourself, try to remind yourself of your past life more frequently that just Mercury retrogrades.
Find Grace Under Pressure
During Mercury retrograde, we're all bound to have at least a handful of moments where we are not our best selves. Sometimes stress and frustration gets the best of us, but one of the most valuable lessons we can take from these situations is how remaining calm, mature, and graceful under chaotic or maddening events can actually reduce the intensity of the event. If you add fire to fire, you only make the flames bigger. But if you remain neutral and level headed, the situation becomes more manageable and the people around you are more likely to help out in an efficient way.