It's back, babes. Yes, it's happening again: Our lovely friend Mercury is back in throes of retrograde. And she will be from April 28 to May 22.
And it's only May 3.
Before I dive into why I feel this is a deeply pivotal and important time of year, I'm going to quickly refresh you on "Mercury retrograde," just in case you were a fool and missed my last retrograde article.
Mercury retrograde is a three-week period that happens three to four times a year when the planet Mercury passes the earth in its orbit. This makes it appear that Mercury is moving backwards. (It's not.) How does this affect us humans residing on planet Earth? In the world of astrology, Mercury is the great ruler of communication and technology, so all things related to communication go spiraling out of control during retrograde. And really, when you close your pretty eyes and think about it, what doesn't fall under the umbrella of communication in these modern days? Nothing. Not even sex!
During Mercury retrograde, people are wildly notorious for experiencing some pretty wicked side effects. These include memory loss, computer breakdowns, car breakdowns, emotional breakdowns, mental breakdowns, nightmarish miscommunications, epic traffic delays, broken contracts, breakups, accidentally-sent text messages that have irrevocable consequences and a general sensation of feeling "stuck" -- like you're never going to move forward and are headed toward a dark and dismal future of bleak nothingness. Sounds like a party, right?
The first retrograde of 2016 was January 5–25. And it was harrowing retrograde, to say the least. I was out of luck in lust and love, had a blow-out fight with a close friend that resulted in the end of a decade-long friendship, got into two car accidents, and had a three-week bout of writer's block that made me feel like I was banging my brain against a cement wall and still feeling numb and uninspired. Not to mention, my antidepressants stopped working, so I started weaning off them and had trippy, sickly, sweaty, sad Lexapro withdrawals tossed into the retrograde mix. Good times!
However, here comes the good part: I emerged from that brutal retrograde a shiny, new woman. Seriously. I'm NOT the same girl I was back in January. And maybe I've fallen off my rocker, maybe I'm just getting a little more New Agey since I turned 30 and subconsciously know that I'm just that much closer to death, maybe I'm finally tapping into the inner astrological witch I've always felt has been lurking within -- I don't know. I don't care. I feel it. I truly feel like I'm in the most powerful place of my life, and it all started after the retrograde subsided.
And you know what? I'm not afraid of retrograde this time around. I'm not going to give it a morsel of any negative energy, and in fact I'm going to use its mishaps to my advantage. Because you know what I think, kittens? Every few months, we need a reset button on our lives. We gotta crawl through the mud to get to the other side.
And Mercury is the mud that you're crawling though. And if you can just see the light at the end of the tunnel, you will realize this is the most powerful time of year.
Here are a few tips I have for setting yourself up for a life-changing retrograde:
Clean out your closet.
The other day, I was having a cup of tea with a friend when I suddenly said, "I can't f*cking look at these bracelets anymore. I'm giving them AWAY."
I didn't even realize Mercury was in retrograde, but I had this all-consuming IMPULSE to get rid of the old jewelry on my wrists, and I just couldn't shake it. Cut to eight hours and three podcasts later, and my closet was cleared of all the unnecessary garbage cluttering up my life.
One of the best things you can in the throes of Mercury retrograde is get rid of the sh*t that's taking up too much space in your closet. Clean closet, clean brain, baby. Clean home, clean mind, baby.
Look, you just can't have a life reset without getting rid of all that f*cking scratched, worn baggage, you know?
However, clearing the clutter will be an unexpectedly emotional experience. Retrograde is notorious for helping you suddenly find things from your past. You will find old love letters, ex-girlfriends' sweaters, hand-written notes from your late grandmother. And you will feel things. But that's OK! It feels good to feel, I promise! Just remember that the feelings won't kill you.
Plus, you can't reset your life without rereading those old love letters and having one last cry. Crying gets a bad rap, but crying is great! It's deep cleansing of the ~soul~. And that soul needs to be clean. Like your closet.
Skip the party, stay home and reflect.
Lez be honest: I'm not the most social girl creature, and my reclusive behavior is only amplified in retrograde. My brain feels slowed down, almost as if it's slurring like an old, drunk man. That's not to mention that conversations always seem to take on a dark, twisted turn. I would rather stay home.
And retrograde is the perfect opportunity to stay home and stew in those festering thoughts that we usually just stuff deep down inside of ourselves. When do we ever give ourselves the luxury to pull out the repressed feels and feel 'em?
Now is the time to think about the person you are and the person you want to become. Now is the time to get down and dirty with your real self and ask the real questions: "Am I happy with the direction my life is headed?" "Do I need to change course?" "Am I settling?" "What are my real passions and how can I capitalize on them?"
This is a jarring but necessary process.
Pick up that call from an old lover, and HASH IT OUT.
It's very likely that an old flame from the past is going to contact you in some way. I know, I know -- I would normally advise that you press IGNORE and move the f*ck on, but I say during this particular retrograde, you should pick up the phone (unless it's a dangerous, crazy, abusive or damaging person). Otherwise, accept the damn call and hash it out.
Tell this person why and how you were hurt, why it really ended, and hear what he or she has to say, too. Don't be defensive and don't recklessly bite back. Listen. End on a peaceful note, if you can. If you decide you hate him or her, that's fine. Get answers to those sneaky questions that keep you up at night.
Sometimes you have to look at the old flame to blow it out and move on. Get that closure your spirit and energy needs.
Because I know you're going to find true love again (I'm a witch, after all), trust me: You need to REALLY close the door on your last relationship in order to manifest a new love.
Go with ~the flow~.
I know, I know -- retrograde is an old, stubborn bitch. And for those of us WHO LIKE TO BE IN CONTROL, it's a particularly rough challenge.
But look: The technical f*ck ups, the pesky phone calls from your ex, the feeling of running on a treadmill and NOT moving forward, the miscommunications -- they're going to happen, and there is nothing you or I can do about it.
Throw those perfectly manicured hands up in the air and let it all happen. Think of it is as a good exercise in letting things go. Don't fight the breakdowns. Look the breakdowns dead in the eye and tell them, "You can't break my f*cking spirit, bitch." Which leads me seamlessly into my final point...
Revisit the past.
When you're at home doing all that self-reflecting, revisit the demons of the past.
Pull out the ol' photographs and gaze into them until you feel sh*t. Are there old friends you're disconnected from that you miss? Give them a f*cking call, even if it feels scary. Mercury retrograde is the ultimate time to reconnect with old connections that you so desperately need back in your life.
It's also the perfect time to do some ~spring cleaning~ on the newbie friends. Got any energy vampires sucking the life out of you? Got any "friends" weighing you down with their extra-heavy, draining-as-f*ck baggage? I know I do, kittens. It's time to clear out the negative "friend clutter" and make some space for the real, authentic people who lift us UP, not BRING US DOWN. We're too fierce to be taken down by these awful snakes.
Remember, you have only so much space in your life! Mercury retrograde might be a bitch, but she's a bitch who knows what she's f*cking doing. She's creating space for newer, better sh*t!
Happy retrograde, kittens. We'll get through the next three weeks together, and we will emerge shinier, stronger, more powerful, TOUGHER kittens. Message me your retrograde issues, and I'll be sure to respond.