These past few weeks, you may have seen mutterings on social media about a ‘mercury retrograde’. Perhaps you know what that is, but if not, in short, when Mercury is in retrograde it appears that it’s speeding past Earth and it gives us the feel of going backwards.
So why does everyone bang on about it? During a retrograde it appears that a whole manner of life issues crop up – particularly around starting new ventures, finances and communication. Those in the know experience a disconnection with their lives (in these areas but possibly in others too) and then take to social media to declare that the retrograde has got them again.
Believe in it or not, it can certainly feel at times that the planets are working against you – they may just be!
This year’s recent retrograde happened between March 22nd and April 15th – did you see a noticeable difference in your mood or in those around you?
Do you ever feel like things are going wrong at other times in your year? Like you go through periods of nothing going your way? And now that Mercury is no longer fucking our shit up, what can we put this feeling down to?
The feeling I’m talking about is the feeling that everything in life is moving quickly and you’re just going backwards. Maybe you’re in personal retrograde.
We can have weeks where it feels like a million things have gone wrong. Our Instagram picture flopped with just 100 likes, our opportunities suddenly disappear, money seems to be flying out of our account on things we just didn’t account for and decisions aren’t going our way.
I best describe it as waking up in bed, looking out your window, seeing the world whizz by – changing, growing, achieving, smiling but you’re glued firmly to your mattress.
Any decision you need to make seems like it’s too big. Each opportunity that comes your way seems too scary to grasp. And every chance to grow is turned away in favour of staying exactly where you are – safe in your (metaphorical) bed.
I put it down to unhealed trauma of some kind. From something on the scale of changing jobs all the way to death of a loved one. Perhaps you’ve just experienced the end of a relationship or you’ve been triggered by a past horror.
Whatever it is, can put you in to a personal retrograde.
There is a reason why it’s harder to move on, grow, change and explore after trauma. Your instinct’s fight or flight mode tells you that being exactly who you are, staying exactly where you are and doing nothing to change what you are experiencing is our way of protecting ourselves.
It makes sense doesn’t it?
But what’s that famous quote again?
At any moment we have a choice. To step forward into change or backwards into safety. – Abraham Maslow
Aside from meeting at the Winchester for a pint and waiting for it all to blow over? There are actually a few things we can do, when we feel we are in retrograde.
During Mercury’s retrograde you are dissuaded from making any huge decisions or throwing yourself out there because the universe will put a bock on it. Why don’t we apply that to ourselves too?
If we’re going through a tough time, and everything seems like a step too massive to take – why don’t we park it?
Not forever of course, because as we’ve already said – you won’t grow unless you allow change. But you don’t need to pressure yourself to go and fight the world every single day. Sometimes it’s OK to take a nap, or a bath, or a duvet day and attack it the next day.
When we’re in retrograde we can convince ourselves that we need to make a lot of changes to snap ourselves out of it. Whether that be new jobs, new relationships, cosmetic procedures, wardrobe overhauls, diets or new ventures.
But perhaps it’s not the time.
Every big life decision should always be made with a clear and positive head on. During retrograde, it’s hard to see the wood from the trees so any changes should be treated with caution. It’s OK to wait until the fog clears a bit!
Retrograde periods are good times to sow seeds for the future. Whether that be organising meetings for weeks away (or when things get better) or planning your take-over-the-world schemes that can then be implemented as soon as the retrograde is over.
If I’m ever having a day (or 47) where it feels like nothing is going right, every decision goes against me or that everyone else is passing me by – I usually use that time to step back and re-look over my foundations. What small, surmountable tasks can I be doing now so that those big leaps don’t seem so scary, then?
As much as we live in a fast-paced, exponentially growing and competitive world – there’s a lot to be said for, ‘playing the long game’.
Whichever route we take to manage our retrogrades, the key message is to just put ourselves first. Yes we want to grind, fight, achieve and ‘girl-boss’ (vom) our paths in life but sometimes – maybe the universe, maybe our own minds – work against us.
Rather than punishing ourselves for feeling like the world is passing us by – maybe it’s time to sit back and let it because a retrograde always has a reversal point. And when our own personal retrogrades are reversed – we become a force to be reckoned with.
I’d love to know if you experience any ‘retrograde’ symptoms and what you do to combat them!
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