Surviving Mercury Retrograde 2016
Mercury retrograde tends to inspire two reactions, the first being "I don't believe in that stuff!" and the second being, "AAAAAGGGH!"
The good news is, there's no reason to panic when mercury is in retrograde. This is simply a normal part of the cosmological process, and it doesn't have to rule your life. Being aware of mercury retrograde can actually pose significant opportunity for spiritual and personal growth with the right strategies.
Avoid Being Overly Critical
Mercury retrograde affects each of the signs differently, but we're all prone to criticism during this time. As any Virgo can tell you, critiquing your own critical nature is an important aspect of personal growth. Rather than feeling guilty about your tendency to snap first and sympathize later, simply be aware of your own reactions. Of course this is a good practice at any time of year, but it can be especially helpful to use mercury retrograde to reflect on the areas in which you are too critical of yourself and others.
Mercury Retrograde Shadow Work
I used to be one of those people who dreaded mercury retrograde. Being ruled by mercury, I found myself particularly affected by this often frustrating time. The thing about mercury retrograde is that it brings many of the frictions and opposing forces in our lives to the surface. You can either resist those things, leading to more frustration and ensuring that they remain in your life until you learn from them, or you can use this time to reflect the things that ail you and turn inward for the answers.
Resist the Urge to Be Perfect
It's never going to happen. Really. No matter how hard you try or how much effort you put in, there's always going to be something about everything that fails to meet your impossibly high standards during mercury retrograde. The key is not to try less but to focus on seeing the positive aspects within every part of your life.
Be Considerate and Compassionate
Mercury retrograde is one of those times where sarcasm comes easier than compassion for most people. You can't always keep your tongue from cutting, but you can minimize the damage by staying conscious of your words. Even shifts in your attitude and energy can led to a serious communication breakdown in your most important relationships. Try to keep in mind that this can be a stressful time for everyone. Devote more attention to building relationships and mending bridges during mercury retrograde and you will reap the benefits. Most importantly, remember that mercury retrograde is not an excuse for being a jerk! No one likes the coworker who excuses his nasty comments and inconsiderate behavior on the alignment of the stars. Astrology has an unfair reputation, and this kind of behavior makes it seem justified. Remember that no matter what the cosmological forces of the universe have brewing, you are always in control of three things: your thoughts, your words and your actions. Become the master of those and nothing can stop you.
Put a Little Extra Cash Aside for Repairs
One of the biggest gripes about mercury retrograde is that electronics have a way of going haywire. Whether your on-board navigation system goes full-on HAL 900 or your car seems to accumulate a plethora of malfunctions, electronics and mercury retrograde are a recipe for frustration. How can you minimize the frustration? Some people have what they call a "retrograde fund" in which they stash a small amount of extra cash each month to take care of any repairs that are needed. Of course, this is a good idea any time of year, but any excuse to save is a good excuse.
Use Mercury Retrograde to Fine-Tune Your Life Plans
Mercury retrograde comes with the double-edged sword of enhanced critiquing abilities, so you may as well use it to your benefit. Rather than ruminate on things you can't change, put that energy to use by turning it on the things you can. If you aren't happy with your career, this is the time to ponder steps you want to take once the retrograde cycle has ended. After making it through the refining fires of mercury retrograde, you will find your plans are more logical and less entangled with emotion than usual.
With these tips in mind, you can transmute mercury retrograde from your least favorite time to a period of intense personal, emotional and social growth. All obstacles present an opportunity for those willing to take it, and mercury retrograde is no exception.