So, Mercury isn't evil. His retrogrades aren't a plot to destroy our lives, after
all. Still, in all honesty it can feel that way sometimes. How do we dodge the bullets
and keep our cup half full?
Although Mercury gets plenty of bad press, there is still considerable information
about how to make use of a retrograde. Plan ahead, be careful with communication,
don't sign contacts… Use the time for review, revision, repair, finding lost things,
getting a different perspective… This is just a 'keyword' summary of typical Mercury
retrograde advice, but you get the picture. For Witches and Pagans, there are a
few things missing from that picture.
WATCH WHAT YOU WISH FOR
To work with the retrogrades of Mercury, we first must understand Mercury himself
a bit better. The planet was named after, and is associated with, the Roman deity
Mercury. He is the messenger to the Gods. This in itself presents a challenge to
Have you ever had a spell or ritual 'backfire'? I once read about a Witch who (not
without reason) cursed her landlord. It worked. Her roof (in his building) caved
in. It just might have been during a Mercury retrograde! The Messenger to the Gods,
also happens to be known as The Trickster.
When Mercury is retrograding, your messages to the Gods (and Goddesses) are no more
'safe' than communication in the physical world. Plan spells or rituals during this
time carefully. Your words or thoughts may be taken a little too literally, or not
manifest quite how you intended. It may be best (if possible) to leave your most
important magickal works for a time when Mercury is direct.
In planning magickal works, one of the primary considerations is typically what energies
you will work with. You call upon the appropriate deities, choose the best oils,
incense, herbs, colors, and tools. These decisions take on a whole new dimension
when Mercury is retrograding.
When working with Mercury - associated deities during a retrograde, a lot of caution
is advised. In fact, it is generally better not to - unless you intention is to bring
about dome sort of reversal.
Mercury is associated with Air. These elementals are likely to be more fickle, as
well as mischievous during a retrograde.
Candle burning magick using the colors of Mercury is tricky as well. You may find
it difficult to focus and charge the candle. It is also possible your intentions
may be misconstrued. If your purpose isn't perfectly clear, and your focus good -
it's better not to try it.
The stones, scents and herbs associated with Mercury are tricky to work with during
this time. Using too many of them can bring too much of the retrograde to your spell.
With his energy flow reversed, there is a danger of reversing the intended outcome
of your works.
• Stones: Opal, Agate, Emerald, Peridot, Green Tourmaline
• Tools: Wand, Pen (or quill), Ink, Paper
VISIONS, INTUITION, MESSAGES, PHENOMENA
Mercury retrogrades have a strange, contradictory effect on spiritual communication
and scrying. It is both easier, and more difficult. Often more and less accurate
than when Mercury is direct. That doesn't make sense, you say? Well, that is a trademark
of the retrograde!
A Mercury retrograde confuses communication. When communicating with spirits - be
careful. It is easy enough to misunderstand, or receive misinformation when talking
face-to-face with another human. Just imagine that with the added difficulty of the
other being residing in a different world (or plane).
If confusion and miscommunication isn't enough, we add the potential for being mislead.
Your regular spirit guides may be trust-worthy enough, but what about everyone else?
Unfamiliar presences, messages of unknown origin, and spirits/beings known to be
mischievous merit a little extra scrutiny. Mercury retrogrades bring out the ornery,
or possibly malicious, side of many entities.
While you are likely to receive misleading messages, or misinterpret the helpful
ones - you are also more likely to receive messages. Again, think of the changing
flow of communication. Attention normally directed within the physical world is more
easily pulled to other realms. Quiet whispers, and vague inclinations are often blocked
out by a focused mind. The mind is rarely focused on the task at hand while Mercury
Even your own senses and intuition can be tricky during a retrograde. Attention is
focused every which way but on the obvious. Retrogrades are friendly toward feeling,
not thinking. Feelings, impressions and intuition are likely to be more sensitive
during a retrograde. They are also likely to be quite accurate - until you think
it through. Over analyzing, and re-interpreting your initial intuitive wisdom makes
it just as susceptible to error as doing paperwork. The More you think, the less
DON'T MISS THE OPPORTUNITIES
In magick and spirituality, like every aspect of life, a Mercury retrograde presents
unique challenges. There are extra cautions to be taken and warnings to be heeded.
There are also opportunities to be seized.
The typical advise for making good use of a retrograde includes revise and review.
Look for signs that changes are needed. Take notice as Mercury points out (quite
strongly) what doesn't work well. These concepts are perfectly applicable to magickal
If you keep a record of or remember dreams, messages, and visions still not interpreted,
especially successful or unsuccessful spells etc. this is a perfect time to go over
them. In any case where looking at something from your 'normal' perspective hasn't
worked - the retrograde perspective may be what's needed.
In spiritual development and evolution, there are frequently inner blocks encountered.
If you are struggling to find or confront issues buried within - you will find them
much closer to the surface during a retrograde.
The reversal of energy can be helpful in some magickal works. Anything intended to
reverse can be more effective during this time. If you're looking to turn your luck
around, this may be the time.
Above all, go with the flow. Mercury will do what Mercury will do. You can make the
best or worst of it.