How to Make the Most of Mercury Retrograde

Ah yes, the dreaded Mercury Retrograde. We hear about it all the time. That’s because Mercury Retrograde occurs 3-4 times a year and lasts for about 2.5 weeks each time. Just when you thought you had survived one… another one comes along!

First of all, in case you are new to this phenomenon, every planet goes into retrograde at some point or another. Although it looks like the planet is stopping and then moving backward on an astrology chart when it goes into retrograde, it only appears to be doing so in the sky. So, basically, Mercury Retrograde is like an optical illusion… but a powerful one that can potentially mess up your life, crash your computer, break down your car, and ruin your plans.

However, maybe it doesn’t have to be quite so bad? Maybe you can even learn how to love it – or at least learn how to make the most of it.


Here are 5 ways to make the most of Mercury Retrograde…


1. Use this time to finish up old projects.

Since Mercury is the planet of communications, messages, writing, technology, transportation, learning, and planning, a lot of things can go haywire if you try to push ahead with your future goals.

Instead of frustrating yourself trying to make progress on new projects that just don’t want to move forward, you could take this time to catch up on old projects and cross off some old to do’s. 

Chances are there is a stockpile somewhere of things you still haven’t gotten around to doing, so this is the perfect time to catch up. Once Mercury Retrograde ends, you’ll have even less on your mind to hold you back from steaming full speed ahead.



2. Test and experiment with your ideas.

It is fairly common knowledge that Mercury Retrograde is good for all things beginning with “re”… renew, refresh, rejuvenate, rewind, reflect, and revise. Usually, the things that we start a week or two right before Mercury Retrograde and during will end up needing to be revised! So, instead of worrying about signing a lease (which, by the way, I have done during Mercury Retrograde, and it was not a big deal), be open to the idea that you may have to return to your ideas later on down the line to strengthen them even more (like, for instance, how you’re going to continue to find ways to pay for that lease).

In the meantime, you can use this time to experiment and test the waters. Collect information from your audience about what they want you to launch next. Do some research about your ideas before you just dive straight in to executing them. Take extra time to brainstorm and ask the universe if there are any other clues or details you’ve been missing.


Be open to the idea that you might not know all of the answers right now and more factors will be revealed in time.


3. Take every roadblock along your path as a sign.

Another thing that can be quite common when Mercury is in retrograde is that we end up needing to fix things. Maybe you’ve gotten a little bit behind on taking your car to the shop for a check-up or backing up your computer files. Or maybe an appliance that has never broken before suddenly starts causing you problems! Instead of looking at these annoying frustrations as a distraction from what you really want to be doing, look at them as a sign that you need to slow down and pay closer attention to the things you normally take for granted.

When Mercury is in direct motion, we can get caught up in the ‘go, go, go’ of everyday life. This retrograde time is meant for slowing down, and if you don’t take heed of this, sometimes the universe will just straight up make you. The good news is that, when you finally do return to whatever you were wanting to focus on instead of dealing with things gone awry, you will have a greater appreciation for when things do move along smoothly. Plus, perhaps the disruption in your schedule will lead you to discover a whole new path or idea you would have never thought of before!


4. Revisit your old memories. 

Another thing that can happen when we get swept up in the ‘go, go, go’ of everyday life is that we don’t take time to pause and think about how far we have come. Growth and personal development are amazing, but we can so easily get caught up in the idea of always achieving the next goalpost! This forward striving motion can definitely mess with your head after a while and blind you to the things that are already so wonderful. Mercury Retrograde is a good time to remember the good old days, to go back and visit family, to catch up with an old friend, go somewhere you haven’t been in a long time, get back into an old interest you had somehow forgotten about, rummage through your old photos or journals, and get a little bit sentimental for a while. The rest of the world will still be right back where you’ve left it when you’re done.


5. Give yourself lots of extra time.

Just being aware that Mercury Retrograde can cause crazy things to happen is good enough of a reason to take your time a little more. Leave early if you need to be somewhere at a certain time. Triple-check that you have everything you need if you need to travel (and by the way, traveling is not actually the worst thing to do during Mercury Retrograde… however it is planning a trip that can sometimes get tricky and is not necessarily recommended).

Maybe you were thinking about launching a new business offering and you’re feeling really eager to get it out the door. What would happen if you took your time to make it as amazing as possible? We can sometimes be prone to over-promising and under-delivering during this time, not realizing the roadblocks that we may be in for, so why not give yourself the extra leeway so you end up under-promising with the potential of over-delivering? You never know if you’ll hit a snag along your path – or realize there is a way better way of doing things that will end up taking you a little more time to get it just right!



I always find that by the time Mercury Retrograde has ended, I’ve gotten so much clearer on what I’m really trying to achieve and accomplish. In the beginning, I think I know, but then by the end, it can completely change – in a really good way. It’s like we’re given a chance to download a message about something we needed to know in order to approach our projects more mindfully.

So, try to be open to what happens during this time when not all may not be as it seems, and most importantly, try not to take it so seriously! It’s when we take things too seriously and fail to loosen our grip that we feel the most frustration. And it’s not always Mercury’s fault if things seem like they’re backfiring a bit – you may have just been in need of a new perspective. ;D


Want to learn how to navigate Mercury Retrograde on an expert level? I’ve created a full class on how to work with it for yourself so you can use it as an opportunity to come back in tune with your true self.

In this class, we’ll cover:

  • The purpose of Mercury Retrograde, how it really works, and how we can honor this process in our lives & work instead of fighting against it or blaming & shaming it
  • How to look up when each Mercury Retrograde will occur, how it will personally affect you based on your unique birth chart, and the lessons you can expect to face
  • How to plan your projects, promotions, and power moves around Mercury Retrograde (and its tricky shadow periods) to avoid potentially frustrating pitfalls & make the most of the lessons that are presented

>> Enjoy this class and our full library of other courses on decoding your birth chart, planning with the cosmos, and business astrology by becoming a member of our Cosmic Calling Community @ ✨

Picture of Natalie Walstein / Soulshine Astrology
Natalie Walstein / Soulshine Astrology
I’m one part intuitive astrological counselor + one part down-to-earth career coach. I love sharing the ancient wisdom of astrology to help established entrepreneurs – and creative souls in need of direction – courageously align their life & career with the cosmos. {Read more...}

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