During every Mercury Retrograde, there are always dozens of articles discussing the finer points of why this time is ‘going‘ to be difficult, how we need to ‘get ready and just get through it.’ And it’s partly true, any retrograde can be a time of heightened energies and challenges, but rather than put a negative slant on it before we’ve even entered it, I always like to think of this as an opportunity to slow down, re-visit and re-assess.
Mercury is the planet of mental activity, communication and connection. He is a trickster. In Vedic astrology (Jyotish), he is Buddhi, meaning ‘intelligence’ and in our bodies, rules the skin and the nervous system (so pay attention to this over the next few weeks). He is the nearest planet to the Sun and a neutral planet, meaning that He can be changeable (he rules over Gemini and Virgo too!) and fickle – a couple of reasons that He is often in retrograde!
When the planet Mercury is in retrograde, it means that it has slowed down its course; with everything else passing at the normal speed this can make it seem as if it is travelling backwards and is the reason astrologers often advise against making any new plans or signing any contracts at this time.
The Optimist’s View
As Mercury is the planet of communication and connection, people can sometimes find that computers stop working or keep faltering, internet goes down or their phone won’t turn on…or perhaps a relationship hits a rocky patch…?
All of the above can also signal a wonderful opportunity to ‘switch off’ for a bit. Perhaps you’ve spent too much time browsing social media, or searching for that course you’d like to take, or over-analysing a relationship; use this time to look back at what you already have, what you’ve already done and see how these could be re-visited, fine-tuned or improved. How can you shift your view and see the positives and potential in a situation?
- Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha: Om and salutations to He who is the destroyer of obstacles.
This is the mantra honouring the Hindu God, Ganesha, who resides in the Muladhara (root) chakra. Ganesha is the elephant god of good fortune, bestowing one with prosperity and success (whatever your version of success is). He is the destroyer of obstacles and is known to place obstacles in the path of his followers in order to push them to go beyond what they thought possible for themselves.
If you find the the Retrograde does mess about with your mind, plans, electronics…anything!…this is a really lovely mantra to help you to remember that everything is temporary and that you can get through this. Call on Ganesha at this time for strength and encouragement; allow him to hold your hand and gently guide you through.
2. Om Maha Vidyayei Namaha: Om and salutations to the power behind and producing great knowledge.
A Shakti mantra honouring the Goddess Saraswati in her form of the power behind knowledge and wisdom, I think this is a lovely one to serve as a reminder that there is the potential for higher knowledge and insight at this time.
Saraswati is the Goddess concerned with divine speech, wisdom and the search and acquisition of knowledge (so a nice counter-balance to Mercury and His trickster ways!). Delve deeper into this retrograde and see where gaps in your knowledge might be; what are you missing? Is there something you are working on that is ‘almost there’ but not quite? Take it slowly – ‘all is coming’ – and look for opportunities for constructive critiques. Perhaps asked a trusted friend or colleague for their opinion or feedback.
Allow Saraswati to shine an all-encompassing light on your work, relationships and life to highlight all the nooks and crannies you may have missed.
3. Lam: Bija mantra for the Muladhara chakra
As Mercury is a planet governed by the element of earth (or Bhu in Vedic astrology), this is a lovely mantra to use to honour that. The vibrations of the mantra ‘Lam’ create a resonance in the root chakra at the base of the spine (our centre of survival – physical and emotional). As a Shakti (divine feminine) energy, it is the energy of Dakini, the power that holds the Earth.
Although this retrograde isn’t necessarily a time to start anything new (as I’ve already said), what’s to say it’s not a time to start thinking about it? To root into what we want to manifest? Things often come up in life that don’t correspond with planetary alignments or movements (how cool would it be if they did though?!), we work a day job, have to fit in with others and such like and at these times we just had to do our best, Mercury retrograde or no Mercury retrograde…
…but seen from a cosmic viewpoint, Earth is the start, our roots and everything that lies beneath us. It supports us and holds us. Perhaps you don’t want to put any plans into action, or even start planning at all, but you could start researching and laying down these roots. Roots from which your plans will stem and, eventually, come to fruition.
Feel held by the Earth, get outside and bury your feet in the dirt if you can (I mean that literally). If this retrograde does see you ‘loosing it’ at all, know that you can come back to the beginning. Sit in stillness. Re-visit. Re-assess. And most of all…