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23 Feb 2013

Retrograde Planets: Re-everything

Whenever I read a retrograde article that includes phrases like, 'your computer will malfunction', or, 'don't sign contracts', in regards to Mercury Retrograde, I tune out.

Retrograde planets have so much to offer us, and the idea that this apparent motion is detrimental is misleading.

In a Nutshell

We all go through periods of feeling reflective, thoughtful, distanced from others, and generally requiring mental space, quiet, or creative exploration. When we feel like this, it's understandable that it's better to shift away from action towards introspection; take some time out, engage in artistic play, daydream, ponder life's options, watch some good films or sink into a good book, and relax.

If, for example, our brain is asking for Time Out, and instead we push ahead and attempt to focus or initiate action, things are less likely to 'take' or work out to their best potential. Not because some external energy is giving off 'bad' vibes, but simply because we are fighting against the natural inclination of our current emotional/mental state.

This is the Retrograde experience.

The Retrograde planet simply turns inwards, so to speak. Take the Re from Retrograde and apply it to your life - re-view, re-vise, re-think, re-focus, re-mind, re-arrange, re-adjust, re-consider, and so on.

The planetary energy isn't going to cause any problems, it's simply in an inward-focused state.
If we attempt to go against it, we're just choosing the more difficult path for ourselves.

In fact, I firmly believe that when things 'go wrong', it's a sign that we are taking the wrong approach or putting our energies into the wrong area. We can use mishaps and malfunctions as a reminder to re-align ourselves.

the hermit - shadowscapes tarot

Mercury Retrograde

So then, is such common advice to not sign contracts relevant for the planet of communication going Retrograde?

It's relevant, but misleading. And after all, sometimes you have to get a contract signed. The point to understand is that Mercury Rx naturally thinks more loosely and openly rather than in a focused way. In our modern societies, we're just not very good at slowing down.

In such a loose state of mind you might miss vital details. However, if you're able to go over a contract with a fine-toothed comb, without rushing, or have done so already before the Retrograde period, then there's nothing wrong with signing up.

Instead of focusing on what a Retrograde period doesn't support, it seems many times more useful to focus on what it does.

No planetary energy is 'good' or 'bad', it simply is. It's how we work with it that makes the difference.

Computer malfunctioned? Perhaps you have felt the need to quieten the mind, or to take time to consider a specific issue, or simply to get out into nature and recharge. Instead, you hop back onto your laptop and fill your head with information - bam, computer goes down.


Mercury Retrograde supports thinking and communications that go deeper, inward, un-rushed, with looser boundaries, and with a foot in the past.

The trick is to channel this beneficially. Thinking in this state, probably won't benefit throwing yourself into a new financial investment. But it would support picking out the useful methods or researching tried-and-true methods, or brainstorming new ways you might invest in the future.

When signing a contract, if you tap into the slower energy, you could spot details you might have rushed through otherwise! Or come up with a more creative solution to the proposal.

If you initiate something new, but do so in an open-hearted, unrushed, and intuitive way, you could be better attuned to your truest needs.

Also, if we've been rushing forward recently, now the energy supports a time for slowing down, re-couping, and re-aligning. Take the chance to rest and re-charge.

It supports the activities that take place internally and behind-the-scenes; re-arranging book shelves, day dreaming, de-cluttering, re-vising written work, sifting through old records or photographs, sifting through recent thought patterns, editing, proofreading, meditating, deleting unused bookmarks/favourites, closing off unused social media accounts, reflecting on what you truly want and need from a relationship or situation.

Tidy things up - mentally, emotionally, literally - without actually pushing for conclusions, to be better prepared for the next period of outward-focused action when a planet turns direct.

The retrograde period is a wonderful and powerful preparation stage.

Mercury retrograde is wonderful for re-assessing old ideas, as well as uncovering new insights or realising new perspectives into old issues. With looser boundaries, retrogrades help us detach from stubborn thought patterns. They help us see beyond habitual thoughts.

Another vital energy of a retrograde planet is the gift of a second chance. How much in life is neatly tied up and without loose ends? Retrogrades nudge us back into whatever needs completion, and sure, this can be tough sometimes, having to re-hash old problems, but it just as easily can be a wonderful re-lief! I find it especially helpful for situations that require closure.

Life works in cycles, and we need reflective time as much as action-orientated time. Get the best out of a retrograde planet in the same way that you get the best out of yourself - recognise flow. We can rant and rave at a planetary energy, while we choose to swim against the tide. Or, we can recognise, accept, honour, and work with, the ebb and flow.

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© Bohemian Twilight 2013