There was a time in my life I’d go into hiding when Mercury retrograde came to town. That was before I understood his vital message: chill out!

Ah yes, that trickster of a planet seemed to trigger all sorts of annoying things: computer breakdowns, loss of data, car repairs, miscommunications, emails sent to/received from the wrong person, identity theft, stolen bank cards, just to name a few things!

I have come to see that these few times a year when Mercury slows down, stations, and appears retrograde for a few weeks before going direct again, as a gift from the heavens. Sometimes gifts are wrapped in newspaper so we don’t recognise them straight away.

In mythology, Mercury is the Winged Messenger. Mercury rules communication, contracts, short journeys, vehicles, siblings, information, writing, speaking, books, and other ways in which we learn and share information.

Given the nature of the culture we’ve created: where we can literally be awake 24/7, and there’s always something to do or rolling news, it’s no surprise that the Messenger slowing down might energetically cause a bit of havoc! We’re not designed to live such hectic lives. It’s not natural. Mercury slowing down is a bit like a Pendolino train suddenly braking. All the passengers move forward with a hell of a jolt. People scramble all over the place, disoriented. When eventually the train slowly moves forward, and then finally gets back to full speed, things are never the same as they were before.


Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo. When it runs amok during a retrograde you can almost bet it will display the ‘two-faced’ energy (twins) of Gemini. This is NOT a time to sign contracts. You will not be in full receipt of the information needed to make an informed decision. Be aware of fraudsters. I also recommend not buying a car, laptop or other piece of electrical equipment at this time. Some see this time as a ‘communication crisis’, and it can indeed feel like it. Dot your Is. Cross your Ts. Double check where your email is going. Be mindful of how you speak to others.

Back up your computers. Charge your phones. Read everything carefully. Leave the signing of important documents until Mercury is direct and out of its shadow phase.


What I can recommend is that you make the most of the approximately three weeks to utilise the Virgoan energy of Mercury: revise, review, recycle, revision. Edit. That’s a key word for Virgo. Virgoans are masters of picking poppy seeds from the soil. So, rather than start any new projects at this time, go over what you have already done. Take the time to really study things in detail.

Our car has decided, in true Merc. X style, to need major mechanical work. (I always feel the energy of a retrograde at least a week before it stations.) I could have raised my hands to the heavens cursing this unnecessary expense, but while we wait for this job to be done and I’m ‘housebound’, I am making the most of ‘going over things’. I am writing, editing my book, and checking over paperwork. My stationary car, annoying as it is to be stranded when you live eight miles from town, is gifting me with the opportunity of having time where I’m not running around trying to fit too many things into my day. Apart from feeding my family, and the cat, my only other ‘job’ is to write. I’ll take my blessings where I can.

This upcoming Mercury retrograde is in the social sign of Libra. This sign is known as the ‘charmer’ of the zodiac, and we associate its energy with peace, love, harmony, beauty, refinement and mediation. Beware, though, as Libra is the only sign of the zodiac which is represented by an inanimate object: the scales of justice. It can bring fairness, but we have to remember it rules the mind, not the heart.

Mercury transiting Libra may shine energy on legal issues, as well as relationships. Use this time to seek out peaceful resolution or mediation. While Mercury is on sabbatical, we would be best to ask ourselves how our relationships, intimate or otherwise, reflect who we are. What does the ‘other’ show us about ourselves?

If ever there’s a time to realise you can’t control how others behave, it’s during Merc x. Remember, though, that this is an outer manifestation. There is nothing to stop you, or me, being fully conscious of what is going on in our inner terrain. And really, that’s the point of this cycle. I believe, particularly with this retro being in Libra, we need to look at the relationship we have with ourselves. Do we really know who we are? Are we willing to be emotionally intimate and honest with our inner self?

What I love most about the study of astrology is summed up best with: as above, so below.

Lightning, 2011.07.09


You see, the planets don’t control us or ‘make’ things happen. They emit energies that we tune into, individually and consciously. The best advice for Mercury retrograde is to go within. Get to know who you really are. Your relationships and the way you communicate with others can only improve as a result.

Mercury also rules the nervous system, so tend to it with B12 or magnesium if you need to stop those eyes twitching, sleep better at night, stop restless legs, or want to feel more zen.

Let me know how you experience this Mercury retrograde. Love, Veronika x


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