For many of us, the phrase “Mercury retrograde” fills us with a special kind of dread as images of myriad potential communication and technology-related snags flood our fevered brains. But fear not, gentle reader: Like all things in life, Mercury retrograde is temporary thing — even as it happens up to four times every year — and it doesn’t have to be so bad. Consider that, according to Elite Daily, there is an upside to Mercury retrograde, and with a little planning and foresight, we can use it to our advantage. But how long, exactly, is Mercury retrograde this summer, and when will the dang thing be over?
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, Mercury retrograde occurs when Mercury appears to move backwards across the sky, and adherents of astrology claim that these retrograde periods are typically associated with delays, communications gaffes, and general technological wonkiness. In a nutshell, Mercury retrograde can undo our best-laid plans, while predisposing us to misunderstandings, travel snags, and tech issues galore. Our first Mercury retrograde period of 2018 occurred from March 23 to April 15 — and that pesky Mercury will again go retrograde come July 26, and lasting through August 19 when it goes direct. Surely that’s survivable, right?
According to astrologer Susan Miller, Mercury is said to rule all manner of communication, including those that take place in both the personal and business realms. Contracts, leases, agreements of all kinds, manuscripts, and school papers are considered to be under Mercury’s domain, as are travel and all technological coding.
Traditional advice for Mercury retrograde includes allowing extra time for potential travel delays and upping our communication skills to avoid misunderstandings, while showing some patience with others as they (or we) might be more prone to irritation or anger, the Farmer’s Almanac notes. And it’s never a bad idea to have a back-up plan in place for anything you might be planning.
That said, Miller suggests that Mercury retrogrades can be a powerful time for introspection. (See, it's not all bad!) With a little awareness, we can use these times to boost our intuition and productivity, and examine whether our priorities in life are lining up as we’d like them to. Miller also notes that a key tenant of astrology is the notion of ‘as above, so below,’ meaning that there is a “fractal relationship between the orbits in the heavens and human activity down here on earth.” With this in mind, we can prepare for the various astrological phases of the year, and use them to our advantage as much as possible.
Miller further notes that we can all benefit from these retrograde periods as they are the perfect time to tie up lingering projects and slow down a bit. And taking the time to examine our lives and relationships with a deeper sense of understanding is also possible during this period. As Elite Daily also suggests, everything is about to slow down, so it’s the perfect time to think things through before speaking or making plans. By relaxing into Mercury retrograde, and maybe releasing some of the fears that can come along with it, we can position ourselves to emerge more rested, clear, and empowered than we were before.