How to prepare for Mercury Retrograde…

Rx Edyta Pawlowska Dreamstime

Eight years ago we had a new kitchen installed. I love it…except the oven…it’s never cooked evenly…but that’s another story.

Anyways in this new kitchen we doubled the width of our existing benchtop and extended the length. This allowed for extra bench space for prep work and a set of bookshelves for all my cookbooks. The benchtop we chose was a white, marble look, acrylic.

The other day it cracked up the middle. It sounded like a gunshot. Our 10 year warranty, it seems, was no longer valid given that the kitchen company, something or other trading as Kitchen Connection, had since gone into liquidation. Another company, something else or other, had purchased and was trading under the name Kitchen Connection, but all warranties are void. All above board, all completely inconvenient and expensive.

Nor will insurance cover the damage.

Also during January, in the consistently hottest week so far of this hot summer, our pool filter blew a seal and proceeded to empty water from the pool rather than filter it. Yet another seriously expensive inconvenience. Pool repairs, in my extensive experience, are quoted in increments of $800.

Yes, we’re lucky to have both a kitchen and a pool, and yes, both issues are first world problems, but both have been our Venus retrograde story. I have Venus in the 2nd. Hubby has it in Libra in the 6th, but this retrograde has spent some time in his 10th house conjunct Saturn. Just lately it’s been in his 9th and square his natal Venus.

Heavy sighs.

Venus might be now direct- and hopefully the money flow will begin to come in rather than out- but it’s Mercury’s turn to back-step- in just under a week, to be exact-ish.

Mercury, as we know, does this a few times a year. For dates and degrees, check out this page.

Mercury retrogrades come in cycles. Last year, all retrogrades were in water signs. This year, each will start at 2 or 3 degrees of the water sign and move back into Air. This makes communication, messages and technology even more of a focal point.

Dealing with it will require common sense, flexibility, clarity and patience. I often tell people to act as if they don’t have a smart phone, or are overseas with the data roaming turned off.

What do I mean by that?

Remember back to when you made appointments with people and you called them up and agreed a time and a place. You never knew if there’d be a pay phone handy, so you mapped out your route before you left, and made sure that you caught the train before the last train you could catch in order to ensure you got there on time. Remember then?

You didn’t squeeze in an extra coffee meeting knowing you could punch out a text to the person you were going to be keeping waiting. You didn’t turn up for meetings late knowing that you could dial in on the way.

And before you travelled you made sure you had enough time to get to the airport, had books in case of delays, and records you kept separately of your ticket and passport details, plus copies of your itinerary, hotels and car hires?

You would never think of signing a contract without reading the fine print at least twice, and if you needed a map, you’d print out the directions, or at least make a note of the details in the notebook you always carried.

Remember then?

Sure, it was slower. You weren’t available 24/7 so had to fit in meetings as you could.

Our lives these days are ruled by Mercury things. There’s no avoiding it, and it’s great. Mercury retrograde though, is like the Universe telling us that every so often we need to slow it down, listen to our own thoughts, revisit those things, issues, ideas, people, plans that need revisiting, and then move on again. It’s a little like the detox we all go on after eating millions of lunches over Christmas (or was that just me)… I’m not advocating that we do away with our little helpers- perish the thought…I’d be lost without my smart phone and social media and google maps and… but Mercury retrogrades are like a push in the e-tox direction.

Despite what some astrologers will tell you, life doesn’t stop just because Mercury has decided to pass between the Sun and the Earth and look like he’s going backwards. I can tell you to delay signing contracts and making purchases, but the reality is, there’ll be times where it can’t be delayed. Here’s what you do.

If it’s a purchase and it can’t be helped, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I need it?
  2. Do I really need it?
  3. Do I really need it now?
  4. Have I shopped around?
  5. What’s my back up plan?
  6. Can I afford it?
  7. What happens if I don’t buy it?
  8. Do I really need it?

If it’s a contract and it can’t be helped, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I need to sign?
  2. Do I need to sign now?
  3. What happens if I don’t sign now?
  4. Have I read the contract?
  5. Have I read the contract properly?
  6. Have I read the fine print?

Get the idea?

Personally, I love Mercury retrograde periods…now.

When I was in the partition job I’d dread it- at least until I began to do the following- as far as I possibly could:

  1. I booked fewer appointments per day
  2. I left greater contingency before and after appointments
  3. I scheduled additional testing for changes
  4. I scheduled additional change communication and issued additional FAQs for changes
  5. My meeting minutes were more thorough
  6. I followed every conversation up with a brief confirming email
  7. I took carry on for business trips
  8. I allowed extra time for travel time for interstate meetings
  9. I backed up everything

Why do I love it now?

It can be inspirational…and as a writer, that’s a good thing.

Ideas that have been lost in the whirl of busyness, pop back into my head, the words flow freely onto the manuscript, unrelated and random concepts can somehow make sense.

Buffering helps. For more on this concept, check out this post by Sarah Wilson.

It doesn’t mean things are perfect- heaven forbid…just that I can adapt the energy more freely these days and, as long as I keep my plans flexible, don’t tend to get too hung up on frustrations.

I dare you to give it a try…

Mercury stations retrograde at 3 Pisces 16’ on 6 Feb…

For the ultimate Mercury Rx survival guide, check out this page

Related great posts by Sarah Wilson- who isn’t an astrologer- that could just help you not just survive Mercury retrogrades, but come out refreshed, regenerated and inspired. Yes. Really.

How to e-tox

Switch off data roaming

and another I saw in the newspaper this morning…

My Week without my iPhone