How To Handle Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde is a three-week astrological cycle in which the energies associated with Mercury, namely communication and the mind, tend to create an atmosphere that can feel rather slow, heavy, or even stormy and negative. Life may seem to flow slowly, or in a confused way, and it may seem that everything seems more effortful than usual.

These curious changes result from an energetic shift in consciousness during Mercury Retrograde: The subconscious may seem to become dominant, as if it were the main influence in your awareness. However, the conscious mind, which is usually in charge, seems to be less available to you.

This reversal may account for the perception, often noticed during Mercury Retrograde, that things feel somewhat dreamlike. This is because in a dream the subconscious is dominant, and the conscious mind is less present. The difference here is that during Mercury Retrograde, you are actually awake, and so you notice things surfacing from your subconscious that you would not ordinarily see or feel.

During this Retrograde time, you may have assumed that your heightened feelings are entirely originating from within your own personality. However, though your emotions and thoughts are your own, please understand that the planetary energies may be affecting and amplifying certain hidden patterns within you. And also, the energetic influences of an entire population affected by this sub-conscious / conscious shift may create an unusual energetic atmosphere, and this may affect you as well.

You are generally warned not to make major purchases or sign important contracts during this period. This is because when you are more influenced by the subconscious than the conscious mind, deeper hidden forces may affect your perception and judgment. These deeper subconscious patterns, whether in other people, or in yourself, may lead to unwanted results. However, if you treat yourself with kindness and care during this period, you will be fine, and you can even benefit from the opportunities that Mercury Retrograde offers you…

Your discoveries about your subconscious self during Mercury Retrograde can be revealing and healing. Although being aware of your deeper emotional and mental patterns would be useful at any time, during this unusual three-week period you can see, feel, and hear the workings of your emotions and your mind more easily that usual. This is because of the tendency during Mercury Retrograde for your subconscious to be more prominent than usual. And that can be an advantage for you…

When you consciously listen to the voice of your inner self talking, you have an empowering strategic advantage, because you can respond to the subconscious patterns in a new way. You can introduce conscious, positive thoughts to yourself. You can have a conversation, and this introduces the voice of your conscious self to the subconscious self. Without the conscious self to introduce new ideas, the negative patterns in the subconscious may keep automatically repeating themselves.

Of course, your subconscious never announces, “This is the subconscious talking.” Instead, you may find yourself saying negative statements to yourself, without your having consciously chosen to make such statements. This is how you notice your subconscious patterns.

During the Retrograde period, your self-talk may be more insistent, as if it were louder, and as if the emotional intensity of the beliefs are more forceful. This is why you benefit from knowing when the Retrograde cycles are taking place, so that you don’t get stuck in the Retrograde tendencies of feeling slowed-down, confused, or inclined towards negativity. You can easily do an online search to find the dates for Mercury Retrograde.

It is during Mercury Retrograde that negative inner voices can seem to be more prominent in your consciousness. So what do you do when your inner self voice is insisting that life is awful, or that you are no good, or that the people in your life can’t appreciate you?

First, you acknowledge the negative statement — without agreeing with it. You notice that your emotions and mind are insistently making claims about your life…

And you listen to your inner voice, but in a new neutral way:

1. You listen to the statement as if you were a reporter on the scene. You are not emotionally involved with the statements, and you are just listening to them.

2. You notice the sound, or tone, of the inner voice. And this is something that you might not have noticed before, because generally we listen to the words of our inner voice, rather than the tone. When you become conscious that the tone is angry, fearful, or sad, you become empowered — because you are noticing the voice tone, without getting stuck in the message.

3. So what do you do when you have noticed that your inner self has negative or limiting thoughts about your reality, and you hear the tone of voice that is being used? You approach the voice as if you were a reporter:

“So, inner voice, you are saying that…________________…”

Your ability to listen neutrally, and to play back the statement, actually shifts the emotional statement to a different, less emotional part of the brain. And when you consciously notice the emotionality of the statement, you are also experiencing it with a different part of yourself. Just the fact that you are now consciously noticing the voice tone means that you are not stuck in the emotional grip of the negative message.

4. You may be inclined to tell your inner voice that it is wrong, but this would create resistance. What are your choices here? Put on the best friendly coach or counselor hat you can manage, and just listen to the voice. Ask the voice to share its concerns. As the inner voice speaks, just respond with friendly yet neutral responses that show that you care, and that you are listening, such as, “tell me more,” or “I’m listening.”

Notice that you are staying neutral — you are not agreeing, and you are not jumping in to help. Nor are you making the inner voice wrong. When your responses have calmed the voice, at least somewhat, you can offer some new possibilities…

5. Show the inner voice a range of possibilities. Imagine a scale, like a thermometer, except that rather than showing temperature, this is a scale of the emotional range of possibilities… from lower heavy vibrations ranging all the way up to higher lighter vibrations. Share this scale with the inner self in a non-judging way.

6. Use your imagination to help the inner voice shift upwards on this scale. Gently shift just a little bit upwards, towards a higher vibration on the scale. Don’t force your inner voice to a much higher place on the scale, because a radical shift may create resistance. Shifting just a little bit upwards on the scale is actually a powerful thing to do, because a slight shift upwards helps your subconscious self recognize that it doesn’t have to be stuck in one negative state.

In other words, change is possible — when you approach it from a neutral attitude, and when you shift gently and gradually.

Help your inner voice gently shift to a somewhat lighter or smoother state. And once your inner voice realizes that this is possible, it begins to take in new messages, new thoughts, and new emotions of hope and possibilities.

7. When you have raised your vibration, even somewhat, you will have learned an important lesson about consciousness, which is that any shift that helps you get unstuck makes it easier to continue shifting your reality. This is self empowerment.

To sum up, although Mercury Retrograde may affect many people emotionally and mentally, it offers you a unique opportunity to converse with your deeper subconscious. This can give you emotional healing and deeper self knowledge. Though many people irrationally fear Mercury Retrograde, this is because they do not understand the opportunity that this period offers.

Now you know how to use the Mercury Retrograde time to cultivate deeper awareness. This lets you generate useful discoveries, and heal your inner self when you communicate with your subconscious.

May you be enriched and empowered in every aspect of your life when Mercury Retrograde next offers its fascinating gifts to you.

Many Blessings,

Joel Bruce Wallach

Founder, Cosmic Living – spiritual instruction private consultations and home-study mp3’s

48 Responses to How To Handle Mercury Retrograde

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  4. miss Sarah Lindup says:

    How do I try and cope with the sleeplessness…. And the headache as soon as my head hits the pillow… I’m so tired yet cannot rest at night I’m empath, psychic medium who does give readings and I always close down after but during these times I simply cannot sleep, any suggestions? Love and blessings

    • Sarah,

      You’re empathic, so you tend to absorb energies from people and situations. Here are some recommendations:

      1. After you complete a reading, visualize your body and aura being swept completely clean from any entities, thoughts, feelings, and energies that don’t belong to you. This is more thorough than just “closing down.”

      2. Before bed, sweep yourself clean again, and tune into what it feels like to live in a physical body. This stabilizes you in your physical body, so that your energy isn’t fragmented or over-stimulated.

      3. Do slow deep breathing before sleep, and let yourself gently relax each time you exhale.

  5. Lisa Peaslee says:

    This is the best Mercury Retrograde advise ever. I was indeed having negative thinking during this retrograde. Now I know how to not let it take over. Thank you!

  6. Tara says:

    Thank you so much for this positive, empowering view of Mercury Retrograde. It always gets such a negative spin. Just googled the benefits of it and found this! Just lovely and I’m actually looking forward to January 5!

  7. Teresa says:

    This is the BEST Mercury Retrograde explanation, by far! I recall the Srring of last year a huge shift and looking back, seeing the deep subconscious healing that started due to the Retrograde (without even knowing why) and can’t help but love and welcome it… (doesn’t mean I have to like what is in my subconscious, but at least I whatever is coming up, is for my greatest good!) Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  8. Luna says:

    I’m an empath and as such i am extremely emotional, how do i cope with all the stress in my enviornment without letting it cripple me and my relationship as well? It feels like im suffocating!

    • Luna,

      Empaths are overly open to energy, as you know, so your goal is to be more present in your body, in present time.

      Practice being aware of your breath, as this keeps you present in present time, in your body. Notice that you are not other people. Make a strong choice to be yourself, and to release other people’s energy from you.

      Imagine your aura, and imagine your aura fibers weaving together, so that your energy field is strong, and other people’s energy bounces off.

      Whenever you feel suffocated, calm down, and imagine people’s thoughts and feelings releasing from you, and dissolving away. Then re-weave your aura fibers so your aura is even stronger.

      Blessings for empowerment,
      Joel

  9. Bee says:

    Thank you so much for this. This is so helpful. I was searching on dreams during MR and how to handle them. I seem to be getting the whole shebang here. Lots of dreams that actually come through the next day. I am seeing things in real time in my dreams. Some dream I actually become the person I am dreaming about and I see what they are seeing and feel what they are feeling. I know these people. Its quiet nauseating. Also my skin feels weird like ….hard to describe like I was electrocuted days before and I still have an insistent low level hum or electricity that is running just under my skin. It is even hard to sleep and I never have problems sleeping and I am so emotional which is just not me. It is great as I am learning all about myself and growing from the experience but wow I need to rest. Thank you so much for this helpful article and just by following the techniques you listed I feel more calm and balanced and ready to take on the rest of the day!

    • Bee,

      Just keep gently breathing, even amid the weird stuff!

      During Mercury Retrograde, your subconscious is on the surface. It’s a great practice time to look at your stuff, bless it, and calmly move forward.

  10. Virgo says:

    Thank You for this I love my life and what I do, but on mercury retrograde everything some how loses sense and makes me question if my path is right…. Normally I have no doubt. What could this mean??? And when will it become clear again? The retrograde is supposed to end today but there is still The post shadow phase for almost Two more weeks :-/ I understand that this is a blessing but I feel sick and I hate it because normally I am a highly energetic parson in love with sports. Now I feel week and depressed….

    • Virgo,

      Mercury Retrograde teaches you to go with the flow. Don’t judge yourself, and don’t assume that you have to be the same all the time.

      Take the opportunity to look at the curious thoughts and feelings. See what you can learn from them.

      Bless yourself and others, and discover that life is more than what you had assumed it to be. See the potential.

      • Virgo says:

        Thank You for the helpful advice. Of course you are right – observation without judging. Just being grateful and finding the balance between having goals in life, and yet remembering that We are all stardust in the end. There is always a lot to learn, or just simple let go of…..

  11. C.L. says:

    Joel, I have to agree with everyone saying this is one of the best explanations about Mercury Retrograde and its emotional effects.

    We are currently in a retrograde and I feel like my emotions and thoughts are running rampant! When you mentioned what the subconscious is doing during this period everything clicked!

    I knew to go with the flow during retrograde but the flow feels horrible! LOL! You mentioned being aware of our breathing so we could be present and also consciously taking a neutral position when so-called negative thoughts and emotions surface to really get the LESSON they are attempting to convey to us rather than trying to resist them. This is gold for me because I already know how to do these techniques. I just didn’t know I needed to be consciously using the NOW!

    Thanks again Joel!

    • Thank you, C.L

      You’re doing great… NOW is the magic hour of power for accessing neutrality!

      Try this subtle technique for going with the flow without over-reacting:
      – notice what’s happening.
      – notice your reaction to it.
      – gently put the energy of your over-reaction outside of you, at a distance.
      – watch the over-reactive energy dissolving and releasing.
      – rinse and repeat as needed!

      • C.L. says:

        Joel, thank you for the blueprint. Its funny because I JUST had one of the subconscious thoughts pop up and I immediately came back to your article and the question, “So inner voice you are saying that ________…”

        IMMEDIATELY I got feedback when I started to ask the inner voice questions… Possibly tied to the fear of loss and abandonment.

        Hmmm never thought of myself as an insecure person overall but maybe in relationships where I have truly opened my heart…

        Interesting!

        • C.L., the stuff that surfaces in these retrograde moments is from the deep subconscious, so it’s an opportunity to see the material that ordinarily hides deep down in the inner shadows.

          Not fun, but a great opportunity to see it and shift it.

  12. Asha says:

    I’m pregnant and very emotional right now. It seems as if my mental complexes are turning very negative and also making me sad…having awful dreams as well. How can i cope or release these unwanted energies?! I’m also feeling lost and lonely..

    • Asha,

      Here is how people handle their thoughts and feelings:

      – Look at the thoughts that bother you.
      – Gently push them into the distance.
      – See that you are not the thought.
      – Bless the thought, and send it on its way into the divine light.
      – Notice that you feel somewhat calmer.

      – If needed, repeat the above as often as required. Remember, you are not the thought.

  13. Jessica says:

    Thank you for this. Really.

  14. Daphne says:

    Hi Joel,
    Thank you so much for your positive insight about Mercury Retrograde. What a great view you have!
    Wondering your thoughts on this… I have been undergoing hypnosis for near future fertility treatments and had been doing wonderfully accessing the subconscious mind in a positive light. In the middle of Mercury Retrograde I started speaking with a second hypnotherapist concentrating directly on fertility and after one conversation something drastically changed in my subconscious. Nightmares, insomnia and everyday anxiety that has been intense. I realize the purge is good and I welcome it but am still feeling the effects of it all today 5/26/16, although lessening a bit every week I figured it would be gone by now. Am I still just feeling the effects of it all or should it have subsided? Any tips on continued healing? Trying to keep my body under minimal stress and I feel like I did the polar opposite.
    Thanks in advance. 🙂

    • Daphne,

      Transformations may involve releases on all levels: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, such as the purging of thoughts and emotions you’re describing. The shifts resulting from retrogrades can carry on for a while, as the retrograde opens the doorways, and then the body/mind processes that for a time.

      You can modulate the subconscious releases to smooth them by speaking to your subconscious and gently directing it to release smoothly and comfortably. And you can research calming remedies, such as magnesium (read about the Natural Calm brand; many people have written about it).

      By the way, there are natural fertility treatments for people wanting a holistic approach, such as this one:
      http://www.radiantwonder.com/

  15. Bonnie Nash says:

    Not only did I feel the emotional shift but also felt a physical shift. My stomach became filled and it felt like my insides moved. I’m very sensitive to the spiritual world. I to am an empath. But can you tell me why or how I felt it physically?

    • Bonnie,

      You’ve heard of the body-mind connection. There is also a body-spirit connection. In fact, everything is connected.

      The challenge for sensitive people is that they feel so much. Learn to release energies that aren’t yours from your body and your aura.

      The remedy for extreme sensitivity is to practice body-centered mindfulness from moment to moment. This helps you stay centered in your body, so that as the changes in the world happen, you maintain a stable body presence. That builds a sense of stability and continuity.

      Make sure you’re getting enough healthy protein and fat (butter and coconut oil) daily, because these macro-nutrients help you stay centered and grounded.

  16. Gina Kida says:

    Sounds like meditation practice is in order. What is your opinion about positive affirmations during MIR? Not neutral enough? It seems to give me comfort but doesn’t really change the insanity. I can always tell right when it starts. I don’t follow the calendar but one day I’ll wake up and find things going haywire and I’m dropping things and breaking things and the electronics are all failing and finances all go kerflooey and I get that sinking feeling…Oh no Mercury is in retrograde? and sure enough I check and it is day one. This has happened to me many times.

    • Gina,

      Yes indeed, meditation practice is in order!

      Affirmations are fine, but they have limited effect. To make them more meaningful, re-align the elements in your universe with an energy higher than astrology. The Divine Source, or God, or whatever name you give it, is higher than astrology, because it transcends the angles of planets.

      Once you’ve re-aligned everything with the divine, make sure that you also align all the aspects in your world with your Higher Self (being cosmic, it is also beyond astrology)
      – your house
      – your car and appliances
      – your body
      – your finances
      – and anything else in your universe.

  17. Desiree Valenzuela says:

    How do i handle oversleeping? Every time mercury is in retrograde, i want to sleep. When i’m awake, i am meditating or learning and growing consciously. But all I want to do is sleep and I hate it.

    • Desiree,

      As you know, during Mercury Retrograde, the sub-conscious can seem to be stronger than the conscious mind. This can be an advantage, or it can be a spacey experience, as you’re describing.

      During this time, you may be experiencing deeper suppressed emotions and thoughts that are coming to the surface. You’re probably sleeping more to process these, or perhaps tu suppress awareness of them.

      As an alternative to this, consciously examine the thoughts and feelings that are surfacing. Release judgment of them, breathe into them, and let them flow through you.

      Also, discover the creative thoughts that are emerging. You may be getting new ideas for projects, and creative solutions for situations. Meet your deeper self, and discover your potential.

      Make sure you’re getting protein every day, so that you’re grounded in your body, so that you have the energy you need.

  18. Samantha says:

    Can you feel the effects of Mercury Retrograde before it actually starts? I first started having issues on August 26 with my love life and then with my car on August 29. I hit a column and it caused a little damage to my front bumper. Then the next day, I was read-ended, but again another fender bender. Then three days later my car ran out of gas on my way home late at night. I wasn’t expecting it to run out.

    My partner broke up with me and said he is confused and needs space and time to think about what he wants. We plan to meet at the end of September to discuss our feelings.

    Do you have any advice on how to turn my string of misfortune around? And do you think all of this is caused by mercury in retrograde or coincidence since it happened before it actually started?
    Please and thank you!

    • Samantha,

      Yes, the effects of Mercury Retrograde may appear several days before, and several days after it goes direct.

      The patterns that surface during this time are from your subconscious. This is a time when you can become more aware of your deeper patterns that were already there.

      Do not get stuck in them, and do not over-react to them. Take the opportunity to bring healing and balance to these patterns. Imagine these situations aligning with divine light, or with the highest good. Of course, take any appropriate action on the earth plane to bring these situations into balance, if such actions are possible.

      Keep grounded in your body, breathe in peace, and release judgment of yourself or any situation.

  19. William Lowley says:

    I’m gay n met my boyfriend in prison well from the moment we met we was inseparable. we fell in love with each other fast idk if it had to do with the short we had but I never felt this type of love and I say that he taught me how to love this much n be able to make the choice to wait was no problem because I am so in love with him. well there was a shift in the way he is n he’s hopeless n just doesn’t think he will get out because he has an illegal sentence of 30 years but he is growing back to Supreme Court to fix it and he still is hopeless about it. Well he ended up meeting buddy something could have happened but it’s still affected me and broke my heart it’s still considered cheating he is sorry and everything that he says it has nothing to do with me but started just switch all of his Edwards that he had Tumi about being together forever he’s questioning for ever questions funny he’s just so negative and sad right now do you think this has to do with what your grade is a Virgo and I’m a Leo I’m very sensitive to anything. he is very stubborn nowbmore than before. he was usually a caring and encouraging the one picking me up helping me be strong. He pretty much is saying that all of this was just a fantasy that we need to do living reality now and I should move on I don’t want you do you think this has retrograde? How do I tell if I’m empath and what is it. I hope this is why things are going the way they are n go back to the way we were and be back in love with each other and work it out. gshow do I deal with this what should I do ?
    I’m also born on July 24th kind of on the cusp you say stuff over laps a lot so I’m thinking I’m a Cancer /Leo is that possible? which would affect my mental stability or am I just overthinking?

    • William,

      Definitely overthinking!

      Sounds like a situation way beyond mercury retrograde. Hope you can move forward, and get your feet on the ground.

      Release the energy of other people from your space, and move forward with the intention to release confusion, and stay centered each day.

  20. ileana says:

    Hi. Coincidentally i started feeling extreme fstigue 2 weeks ago….ive been sleeping 10+ hours and still feel tired. I started thinking i was depressed or anemic. Today my reiki master brought to my attention the mercury retrograde which i found out started august 22….exactly when my symptoms started!! Anyway, me and my boyfriend….well let me clarify…ive been feeling many doubts on my relationship…he in actuality is not doing anything wrong. But im just finding reasons to fight with him but 2 weeks ago i felt so happy with him. Now im questioning is it him…is it me.. Are we not meant for each other. Is this my intuition talking or is it fear based. Do you have any advice. Should i ride out these doubts until the retrograde passes before making a decision?

    • Anthea Cabrestante says:

      I feel the same way, I had lower energy levels starting on the last week of august until now.. And I became really emotional too. I get angry quicker (I’m normally calm) and I cry more often..and this isn’t even the week before my menstruation lol

      • Ileana and Anthea,

        It’s good that you both recognized that you were having stronger reactions recently. When you know that it is mercury retrograde time, you can relax, be kind to yourself, and notice your stronger feelings and thoughts. Let these feelings and thoughts flow through your body, like a river.

        Do not take action when you have such intense feelings and thoughts. Just notice the energies, and be as centered as possible, so you don’t do anything hasty or foolish.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    Hi,

    What a great article! I only have just realised today that all of my prangs last week are due to the Mercury retrograde as well as strange urges –
    I was adamant I was ready to move on from my job and change careers but all of a sudden I have completely changed my mind and now want to stay in this current workplace.
    Also, although I am happily in love and have met the most wonderful partner, for the past few days I can’t stop thinking about a guy I have always had a really strong connection with, but nothing ever eventuated with him in the past as he had a girlfriend and I would never cheat. He still has a girlfriend and I would never actually do anything – so am confused about why I can’t stop thinking about him all of a sudden and want to get in contact! Maybe I want closure?
    Thanks again for this brilliant explanation.

    • Elizabeth,

      Glad the article gave you some clarity.

      During this time, many thoughts and feelings will surface. You can look at them, but don’t take action; just consider the thoughts and feelings, and stay as centered and neutral as possible.

  22. Mcknightmom says:

    Wonderful article and reading the comments and replies has been very helpful!

    I tend to find myself feeling closed off to everyone during this time. I too am normally a people person, bright and bubbly but I feel and will tell others to leave me alone in all aspects…do not want me for anything. I want to be forgotten during retrograde. I want to sleep and be selfish, and do literally nothing. It’s very hard at work because I am an assistant to two higher ups and they constantly need me. Why do I not want to be needed or noticed during MR?

    • Mcknight,

      Excellent question! During MR, the subconscious moods that are ordinarily under the surface become more dominant. You are feeling the subconscious moodiness during MR, and this explains your feelings during this time.

      Recommended: Be kind to yourself, understand that you’re feeling more sensitive during this time, and give yourself quiet time if possible.
      Visualization: Imagine other people’s thoughts and energies releasing from your aura. This will give you a sense of being in your own space, even at work.

      However, do what you can to be attentive to the needs of your team at work, and know that MR just lasts for 3 weeks or so.

  23. Debbie says:

    Thank you for keeping this article available. This is so helpful and appreciated. Many blessings to you.

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