The last Mercury retrograde of 2017 is (finally) coming to a close, and TBH, this sh*t was rough, fam. While each and every retrograde presents its own unique set of difficulties, this one seemed to screw with communication skills, sleep schedules, and overall energy like never before. Fortunately, despite the astrological chaos, I was able to make it through with the help of a Mercury retrograde ritual created by yours truly.
For being the smallest planet in the solar system, Mercury sure knows how to wreak a whole lot of havoc in a short amount of time. During the first few days of this latest retrograde, I was already having trouble falling asleep, dealing with severe mood swings, and perhaps worst of all, having way too many meaningless fights with my boyfriend.
And for all you non-believers out there, let me tell you that no, none of these dramatic events represent how my life normally goes on a daily basis, so I can pretty much guarantee that Mercury was, indeed, the culprit behind it all.
Now, as a yoga teacher, I would usually just tell myself to use my movement and meditation practices to soothe my stressed state of mind and simply wait it out until the planets all go back to normal again — but no sir, not this time.
Instead, I created a very specific ritual that I performed in the morning and evening to ward off any and all of Mercury's bad energy.
I performed the ritual for a week straight, and by the end of a long seven days, I realized that it had actually worked. Needless to say, the solar system ain't got nothin' on me.
So, let's get down to the dirty deets, because trust me, I think you're probably going to want to use some of these tips and tricks to help you get through the many retrogrades awaiting us all in 2018 (*shudder*).
As part of my ritual, I began each morning by sipping on a large mason jar filled with warm water and lemon.
According to Ayurveda, (which is an ancient mind-body health system that correlates closely with a consistent yoga practice), drinking warm water with lemon first thing in the morning rids the digestive system of toxins and hydrates your entire body. It's important that the water isn't too hot or cold, because both extremes can surprise your system and make digestion more difficult.
Since Mercury's retrograde can sometimes mess with your digestion, this seemed like the perfect way to start my days. Hopefully I'm not jinxing myself, but seriously, my tummy has never been happier, guys.
Next, I lit a candle and a stick of palo santo to help improve my mental stability during my morning meditation, as well as cleanse and purify my space.
Palo santo is a type of holy wood that's used to combat negative energy and raise your vibration by calming your immune and nervous system and prepping you for periods of meditation. When you burn palo santo, it's said to ground you, cleanse your space, and bring upon good fortune — aka Mercury retrograde necessities to the max.
I set the palo santo aside, allowed the smoke to continue rising, and proceeded to close my eyes and meditate in a comfortable seat for just five short minutes. Gently breathing in the fragrant incense that surrounded me, I allowed myself to settle into the present moment. As each though came up in my mind's eye — whether it was "good" or "bad" — I simply observed it, without judgment, and proceeded to let it go, staying constant with my steady inhales and exhales. In the midst of Mercury retrograde chaos, this was exactly the kind of peaceful start I needed to begin my days.
After the meditation, I moved on to my daily pranayama, or breathing practices, which included alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana) to calm my mind and center myself, breath of fire (Kapalbhati) to build internal, healthy heat, and an intestinal stomach cleansing breath (Agnisar Pranayama) to improve my morning digestion.
As I went through the week, I realized that the usual, frazzled feeling that plagued me each morning — and followed me closely throughout my days — was influencing me less and less with each passing ritual I performed. The lack of focus I would usually have during the Mercury retrograde was replaced with a much more serene and impenetrable center of attention.
Look, I'm not saying that all of my stress and anxiety automatically vanished, but performing this ritual each morning made any initial tension I would've automatically brought with me into the day, melt away, making any other obstacles I faced throughout the week seem much more manageable.
At the end of each day, I'd settle in for another set of rituals, though admittedly, they were a little less elaborate than my morning routine. After all, your girl isn't trying to do a whole lot before going to sleep, especially when Mercury retrograde is exhausting the crap out of her.
First, as I got ready for bed, I made sure to rub a detoxifying essential oil on the bottoms of my feet.
I know it might sound weird, but putting essential oils on the soles of your feet is actually a really efficient way to absorb them into your body, because this is the only part of your body without sebaceous glands, which can prevent the oils from sinking in and doing their job. And the last thing you need during a Mercury retrograde is a purifying essential oil blend that doesn't actually work. Knowledge is power, guys!
After that, I held a rose quartz crystal close to my heart for a few minutes, thinking of all of the negativity I wanted to let go of before going to sleep.
And finally, I burned a stick of sage to renew my space from the ritualistic practices and create new energy, releasing any previous attachments.
So, there you have it. At the beginning of the week, my mental chatter was at an all-time high, and I was getting into trivial fights with my boyfriend far too often. Seriously, at one point, we fought about whether microwaves were healthy or not.
But after this week-long ritual came to a close, I felt so much more balanced, calm, and able to effectively communicate my rational feelings with my boyfriend and everyone else in my life, as well.
These morning and evening rituals might initially seem lengthy and mildly intimidating, but by no means do you have to complete them all, or even do them in this specific order. Rather, consider these to be friendly suggestions for how to navigate the next Mercury retrograde if you feel like it's low-key ruining your life.
After all, I am living proof that it is, indeed, possible to beat Mercury at its own, manipulative game. If I've got this, you've definitely got this too, fam.