Do you suffer from Mercury Retrograde Paralysis Syndrome? Symptoms include sudden anxiety over making a choice, shutting down your life for three weeks at a time, and an inability to sign a contract. Ask your astrologer what you do about MRPS.

Okay, I’m being cheeky. But I wanted to make a point. Three times a year, sometimes four, I get panicked comments and messages from people who have to start something new during Mercury Retrograde and they are TERRIFIED. What if they make the wrong choice? Or, they’re in a state of paralysis for at least three weeks, maybe five if they account for the retrograde’s shadow, the length in which Mercury retraces its path in the sky.

I’m not saying Mercury Retrograde isn’t a thing. It’s definitely a thing. We all have some story around Mercury Retrograde that we use as justification for why we should be cautious — often for good reason. As my subway train inched its way over the Manhattan Bridge on Tuesday because of signal problems, the second delay that day, I muttered, “Mercury Retrograde,” to myself and shook my head. I may have used an expletive.

What I want to do is create a new consciousness around Mercury Retrograde, not to deny that things get a little screwy with everything filed under Mercury’s rule — travel, communication, rational thought. A retrograde is a state change. A planet, which has previously expressed its energy as active, is now in a receptive position. Yang becomes yin.

As the planet of choice, Mercury in the active state helps us gather information and have new experiences that then informs our choices. When retrograde, Mercury takes in and sorts through the information and ideas it has gathered. Because retrogrades speak to some sort of karmic process, we’re also taking a second look at our choices, how they’ve manifested, and the different avenues we could take instead.

When Mercury is in retrograde, we’re not supposed to blindly move forward and take in new experiences. We’re supposed to reflect, retool, and allow our choices to inform our consciousness. When Mercury is retrograde, we have to face the unconsciousness of our choices. We relive old events, old themes. Old lovers resurface. Maybe the train is delayed because we’re meant to explore a new way home literally and metaphorically.

Mercury Retrograde is a time to forge a new path and get a new perspective. The word “new” may be a little counter intuitive. How do we start new things during a retrograde? We’re not starting anything new; we’re taking the information and experiences we have and turning it into something different. We’re taking metal and forging it into a new shape or, through alchemy, a new substance. Retrogrades are a state change.

I want to inspire you to look at your choices differently during Mercury Retrograde and inspire you to not be in a state of paralysis. Yes, it’s generally considered not the best to sign a contract, buy a car, or do something big during Mercury Retrograde. But life can’t wait for us. If you have to move forward, examine your unconscious motivations. What are your blind spots? Where do you not have all the information? Where do you need to do more research? Due diligence?

Just because you do something during Mercury Retrograde, doesn’t mean it becomes void once the planet turns direct. I’ve known people who got married during Mercury Retrograde and they are still married. On a personal note, I once ended a major relationship during Mercury Retrograde. And, trust me, I didn’t change my mind once it went direct.

So, the next time you feel the early symptoms of Mercury Retrograde Paralysis Syndrome, take a deep breath and allow yourself to be energetically receptive. Get a new perspective. Oh, and back up your computer files, too.

Read More:

Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide

When Planets Change Direction

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