A mercury retrograde transit often gets blamed for things like computer crashes, miscommunications, showing up late and missed appointments. Once during a retrograde, I had to make 15 phone calls to change one thing on my insurance. I used to dread Mercury Retrograde!
But Mercury is a fleet-footed planet that goes retrograde three times a year, usually for about three weeks each time. That's a lot of time to spend trying to hide under a rock.
What if instead of being afraid, there was something we could do about it? Could we balance or even take advantage of this energy?
As it turns out, yes. Vedic astrologers typically offer remedies and rituals that can balance an afflicted planet or enhance the power of a positive planet. They also offer their clients suggestions for weathering through upcoming transits. The idea is to use the energy for something positive before it has a chance to cause random (and possibly negative) effects in your life. Whether its a natal mercury retrograde or a transit that's tripping you up, I think there is some merit to this concept of fine-tuning planetary energy.
Here, I give my own modern take on this ancient practice.
(This is a series! Stay tuned for a collection of rituals and remedies for each of the planets.)
Modern RX for Mercury Retrograde Natal or Transit
1. Abstain from drinking alcohol. This one is recommended for most planet problems, actually. Alcohol tends to brings out the malefic side of planets, even a neutral one like Mercury, so avoid it during any iffy transits or if you are trying to improve a hard aspect in your natal chart.
2. Drink lots of water during a Mercury Retrograde or all the time if you have Mercury Retrograde in your natal chart. Memory and other cognitive functions are diminished when we are dehydrated, making us more likely to miscommunicate, make mistakes, or forget something.
3. Drink green tea, too. It is full of beneficial polyphenols. The mind needs lots of these antioxidants to reduce inflammation, and our memory also gets a boost from mild to moderate caffeine intake. Just mind the sugar, since it basically cancels out the positive effects.
4. Red meat, like alcohol, is another common planetary agitator, so skip the steak for now. Instead, focus on brain food like fish, nuts and seeds, leafy greens, and blueberries during the Mercury Retrograde season.
5. Take a bath with epsom salts and essential oils or a bath tea made brewed from plants related to Mercury, like eucalyptus and mint. Epsom salts have magnesium, which, among many other important roles in our bodies, is responsible for relaying nerve signals from the brain to the body and aiding in brain development, memory and learning.
6. The hands and arms are under Mercury's domain. Do daily hand and wrist stretches or workout your arms. I did this three week lean arms challenge during a recent retrograde.
7. Mercury rules communication, so you might like to learn a new language or refresh yourself on a language you already know but don't use often. I imagine American Sign Language has a strong Mercury influence, since it utilizes the hands for communication. Here is an American Sign Language youtube video for beginners.
8. Mercury also rules words and writing, so you could do a crossword puzzle every day to keep your mind sharp.
9. Journaling is another great way to channel this energy. Since Mercury also rules business, you could take your journaling up a notch by keeping a business journal.
10. Mercury also rules the local community, education and siblings.You could donate to local education or become a Big Brother/Big Sister. Speaking of brothers and sisters, you could also call or text yours, if you have one. If not, get in contact with cousins, teammates, classmates, or any mates really.
Mercury Retrograde doesn't have to be scary or stressful, you just have to be prepared and intentional in order to use the energy to your advantage. And don't feel like you have to do all of these things, its more like Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Astrology. Pick a few things and make a ritual out of them. Maybe you do wrist stretches and write in a journal every night, and take a bath once a week. Or maybe you take on a new arm workout and challenge your sister to join you.
Check out this video where I combined some of these remedies and rituals into a three week Mercury Retrograde Challenge.
And if you want remedies and rituals uniquely catered to you, consider a Celestial Self Reading.