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What is the Mercury Retrograde?

It’s this pesky thing that has been wreaking havoc on astrology enthusiasts and regular folk alike for years. Mercury Retrograde is an astrological event that takes place a few times a year, and is often attributed to impacts on communication, travel, contracts and other aspects of life. Nearly everyone has heard a tale of woe, the relationship that got messed up or the business deal gone awry due to the mischievous effects of Mercury Retrograde.

But what is it really? And how can it affect everyone’s lives? Quite simply, Mercury Retrograde is a phenomenon that happens when the planet Mercury appears to move in a direction opposite to that of other planets in relation to earth. It occurs when Mercury is furthest away from the Earth in its orbit around the Sun, and the Earth is closest to the Sun.

Mercury Retrograde has been around for centuries and unique interpretations over the years have shaped the different ways the phenomenon is thought to impact our lives. Some astrologers believe that while it lasts, communications can become increasingly muddled and contracts may go wrong, leaving mess of confusion in its wake.

While its effects are much-debated, Mercury Retrograde has continued to be a major source of discussion among astrologers and the people who make decisions based on its effects. It’s impossible to definitively say whether or not this phenomenon can have an effect on life, but many people say they’ve had experiences that could be attributed to it.

This is because the relative positions of the planets are always changing, and we’re affected by the energy from those shifts. It’s possible that when Mercury is Retrograde, things that would normally take less effort—like communication, scheduling decisions or a negotiation—require more energy. The consensus is that it’s best to be prepared for the worst and to expect delays in everything from technology to travel.

To many, Mercury Retrograde can be a scary event, compounded by its reputation for causing more chaos than necessary. But for those who are open to seeing it as an opportunity to explore and learn, it can actually be a chance to adjust and grow.

How Often Does Mercury Go Retrograde?

Mercury moves in and out of retrograde motion three to four times each year, with varying degrees of intensity. Most years, it will occur two to three times, often for three weeks or more at a time. It will often be preceded by a “shadow period”, which is when it begins to slow down. During this time, the effects of Mercury Retrograde can already be felt. This phenomenon can be compared to when a car is slowing down before a stop sign, but not quite at a full stop.

Mercury is visible in the sky but its effects are felt around the globe during these periods. Its movements are known as the pre-shadow, retrograde, and post-shadow stages, each of which can potentially bring with it different types of problems and delays in communication, travel and other aspects of life.

The pre-shadow period serves as a caution to all to prepare for the days ahead and to pay closer attention to details. It is important to pay attention to the details during this phase and take the time to make sure that your plans and communications are crystal clear.

The actual retrograde period is when, according to astrologers, all the “fun” for that cycle begins. While this time can potentially bring a lot of chaos and confusion, it also can be a period of amazing opportunity. It is a time to take a pause and look inward to examine the current state of affairs and consider what could use a bit of re-arranging or reshaping.

Lastly, the post-shadow period is often marked by a renewed sense of hope and clarity, at least for the most part. During this period, it is important to take the time to assess the lessons from the Mercury Retrograde period and put those lessons into effect and to prepare for the next cycle. This time offers a chance to bring your world back into balance.

What Are the Beneficial Effects of Mercury Retrograde?

While Mercury Retrograde can be seen largely as a time of disruption and chaos, it also offers many benefits. In fact, it can paradoxically be a time when better and deeper relationships can be developed, as the focus is on communication and understanding.

This can be a great time to have conversations that don’t happen as regularly. You may find it easier to prioritize time for recreational activities, spending quality time with friends and getting away from the hustle and bustle of life. You also can get the opportunity to think more deeply and introspectively, exploring how you feel and look at life.

Moreover, this is a time of review and corrections for whatever may have gone wrong during the pre-shadow period. It can also be a time of reconsidering where you’re headed in life, and how to get there. And sometimes it offers a way to get off the tracks that were leading you in the wrong direction.

Finally, the post-shadow period can give you a new lease of life and bring clarity to the confusion and chaos that has preceded it. It’s a chance to restore balance and get back to whatever normal is for you.

Are There Any Precautionary Measures to Consider?

To make sure that you are not caught off guard during this time, it’s important to take certain precautionary measures. People tend to resort to technology and fall into the same patterns of communication which can actually intensify misunderstandings. So try to increase your awareness by tuning into what you are feeling during this period and communicating thoughtfully and intentionally with those you care about.

When it comes to contracts and investments, best practice is to wait until the retrograde is over before signing. Even if they are seemingly straightforward, it’s best to give it some time to be sure you’re making the best decision for yourself.

Also be sure to practice self care during the retrograde period, as too much energy can be lost during this time. Taking the time to rest, recalibrate and plan for when the retrograde is over is key for maintaining your focus and protecting yourself against any miscommunications or mishaps that can arise.

And finally, it’s important to be mindful of how you deal with any delays or mishaps that may occur during this period. Rather than freaking out and trying to rush to fix the problem, practice patience and spend time understanding what happened before jumping into the solution.

How Can We Positively Benefit From Mercury Retrograde?

Although it is often seen as a time of chaos and confusion, this period of time can actually be used as a positive tool to assess where you are in life and to think about where you want to go. It can be a great time to reassess relationships, revisit old projects, and reevaluate your life and goals.

Take the opportunity to slow down, analyze the current situation, and make adjustments on how to proceed. An honest evaluation of what is not working can result in some powerful realizations. This is a time to take a step back and be thoughtful about what changes need to be made.

It can be a great time for long overdue catch ups with friends. Slow down to take the time to be mindful and actually listen to what others have to say. As this period pushes people to re-examine their important connections, there’s an opportunity to cultivate deeper connections with those you care about.

It also can be a great time for creative projects. Embrace this period and use it as a time to brainstorm for new ideas, or to take a project and find a better route. Have the courage to break away from the routine and explore a new way of doing things that may actually be more beneficial.

This is a time to re-think the things that are no longer working in your favor and figure out ways to make things better. And who knows, Mercury Retrograde may actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

Turning Misfortune to Opportunity

Mercury Retrograde has the potential to be a great teacher. Every individual has the power to take it and use it as an opportunity to assess and improve. It is a time for reflection and recognizing the broken pieces of your life and making sure that all of them are fixed right. It’s a reminder for everyone to break away from their everyday life and focus on what’s truly important.

This period also offers the opportunity to take a break from the fast paced everyday life and slow down and respite. There’s an opportunity to focus on something deeper, something that really matters. It can be a time to preach what you practice and practice what you preach in your day to day life.

In this strange times, it is important to recognize and be aware of the power of Mercury Retrograde and its effects. But ultimately, it is up to each individual how to react to it. You can either be afraid of its effect or make it an opportunity to reassess and make any necessary adjustments.

Regardless, understanding the subtleties of Mercury Retrograde and using the energy caused by it positively will provide an opportunity to make major leaps and bounds in understanding yourself and your world. It’s possible to be prepared for what is to come, and to leverage those changes to create something new and something better.

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