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Natural Awakenings Tampa Florida

The Gifts of Mercury Retrograde

Apr 30, 2021 10:00AM ● By Aluna Michaels, M.A.
Young couple practicing yoga on the beach

People often get unnecessarily anxious when they hear “Mercury retrograde”. This common event is certainly nothing to fear, and learning more about it may actually help you look forward to it! This year, Mercury retrogrades May 29 to June 25 and September 27 to October 17. (We have already experienced January 29 to February 20.)
Astrologically, Mercury rules communication, mechanical items and transportation. It represents telephones, computers, cars, travel and machinery. Mercury is your own individual thinking process, getting errands accomplished, leaving messages. Generally, Mercury helps your day run smoothly and allows you to be “in the flow”.
In mythology, Mercury is the god of communication and the divine messenger. One of his jobs was to bring spiritual information from Mount Olympus, the home of the gods, to people on Earth. He also brought prayers from humans up to the gods.
Spiritually, the role of Mercury symbolizes your ability to connect with your Higher Self, which Mount Olympus represents. Mercury is that quicksilver ability that links you with divine knowledge and instant “downloads”. These pieces of information might be profound or they might be simple bits of guidance that make life easier for you.
When Mercury is direct, you often have a clear link with your intuition, especially with a regular meditation practice. Maybe you take your internal guidance for granted. Now, planets of course do not actually go backwards. But from our point of view on Earth, it frequently appears that Mercury stops and turns backwards, and then stops and goes forward again. It’s an illusion created by our perspective in the solar system.
Mercury turns retrograde about three times a year for approximately three weeks. You might have come to dread these times. Things get lost in the mail. The car breaks down. Important voice mails or emails never reach their destination. Misunderstandings and frustrations arise. It takes forever to get across town in traffic. All the areas that Mercury rules go haywire.
Why does this have to happen? Mythology holds some answers. Mercury was a young god and loved to play tricks on his family. He was the trickster and a pain-in-the-butt kid who drove the gods crazy with silly pranks. One way to handle Mercury retrograde is to have a sense of humor. If you get riled up about things, Mercury seems to play more tricks on you. But when the prankster realizes he can’t get to you, the teasing lightens up.
On a deeper level, Mercury retrograde is asking you to slow down your normal pace. In making regular stuff complicated, Mercury causes you to be more conscious of your day-to-day existence. It’s easy to be somewhat robotic when everything goes smoothly. With Mercury retrograde, you have to think more clearly about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and where you’re headed.
Mercury retrograde reveals another layer of spiritual awareness. For the ancient Greeks, Mercury (who they called Hermes) had another task beyond messenger and occasional troublemaker. He also had the role of “psychopomp”, which means “conductor of the soul”. He led departed souls to the underworld, which wasn’t hell as we think of it today. The ancient Greeks saw the underworld as a place of contemplation of the life just lived.
During retrograde times, allow Mercury to lead you into the depths of your unconscious mind. This is your own personal “underworld”. What’s going on in your underworld? Are you being run by negative thoughts? Maybe you need to forgive yourself or others so you can break out of limiting patterns. What talents and strengths have you buried and neglected?
Deeper meditations are possible during Mercury retrograde. Tell your soul you’re willing to see the root of your difficulties. Surrender to the unknown and don’t be afraid to explore the dark recesses of your mind. You may have breakthroughs that illuminate your issues in a more freeing way. You might have dreams that reveal profound answers to longstanding problems.
Once Mercury goes direct, you’ll emerge into the light with added insights, greater healing and increased vigor to accomplish your next spiritual steps. You’ll feel the playful enthusiasm and reassuring smoothness of life once again.
Mercury represents the spiritual ability to adapt to new circumstances and flow gracefully between various modes of life. By all means, enjoy the easy times and effortless connection with your soul. With these new perspectives, hopefully, you will also look forward to the sacred healing opportunities that Mercury retrograde offers!
Aluna Michaels is a second-generation astrologer. She also holds a Masters in Spiritual Counseling and has been teaching and consulting for more than three decades. Her book, Spiritual Gifts of the 12 Astrological Signs, is now on Amazon in Kindle version and as an E-book on her website. Aluna lives in Clearwater and is available for appointments in her home, by phone or Zoom. Call or text 248-583-1663 or visit