Mercury Retrograde Do’s and Don’ts

Published in The Scribe

     Of all the unpredictable and wacky astrological transits that take place during a single year, you can count on one constant: Mercury Retrograde. The planet of communication has about three retrograde cycles per year, and 2022 is no exception. On Jan. 14, Mercury stationed retrograde in future-focused Aquarius (and it is now backpedaling through Capricorn), and it will go retro again in May and Sept. this year.

     If you’ve been a good astro-student (which I know you have been), then you know what Mercury Retrograde means. For those of you who may have forgotten, here’s a refresher:

     During Mercury Retrograde (RX for short), the planet appears to be moving backwards through the sky. With that apparent backwards motion comes plenty of communication breakdowns, conversational flubs, foggy thinking and writing blocks, travel snafus, tech glitches, the return of one or more exes annnnd much, much more. 

     It’s hard to believe that such a small, backward-moving planet can cause so much mayhem (especially for all you Geminis and Virgos), but Mercury Retrograde does. Of course, with all its myriad issues and disruptions, it might seem mighty appealing to hide underneath the covers until Mercury stations direct (which it does on Feb. 3). 

     But here’s a better idea: how about a handy-dandy guide to navigating the retrograde transit? Well, don’t you worry ‘bout a thang, boo, Cosmic’s got you covered. 

     Here are all the do’s and don’ts of Mercury Retrograde.

1. Don’t text your ex

     Even if said ex texts you first, it’s never a good idea to re-open the doors of communication during Mercury Retrograde. Miscommunication runs rampant during Mercury Rx, so any so-called “friendly” texts could be misconstrued as something more (by both parties), and maybe even lead to something you may later regret. During this transit, we’re encouraged to reflect on our past behaviors and decisions, but we shouldn’t act on them… 

2. Do check and recheck your texts, papers and emails

     Seems like an obvious one, but it’s easy to overlook errors during Mercury Retrograde. That’s why it’s super important to double check your text, papers and emails for misspelled titles / words, grammatical blunders or incorrect dates / quotations / citations. Also, make sure your document is free of any sidebar comments such as: “man, this teacher is lame”. Your “lame” teacher might feel compelled to mark you down a grade or two…

3. Don’t start anything new

     Nothing– I repeat, NOTHING– you start during Mercury Retrograde will last. Why? Because Mercury Retrograde urges us to reevaluate our preexisting projects and commitments, but it doesn’t push us to initiate anything new. This means that anything you may accidentally start–be it creative project, relationship, new job–will be imprinted with the transit’s glitchy, disruptive, slow-moving qualities. And nobody wants to curse a potentially awesome project with that bad rx juju… 

4. Do revise any existing projects

     Especially if the projects have to do with writing. Have a book of poems or a novel you’ve been working on? Revising is a cinch during Mercury Retrograde, so your attention is better applied to editing–not creating–content. This also applies to any creative, communication or social media project (including podcasts and videos). Mercury Rx helps us spot any mistakes made previously, so that we can fix them in the future…  

5. Don’t make any major decisions

     Our rationality is clouded during Mercury Retrograde, which is why serious purchases and decisions are best avoided during this time. Mercury rules over contracts (both verbal and written), so if you’re starting a new job, buying a new car, sending out a manuscript or filling out important paperwork during an RX cycle, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. If possible, postpone major decisions until Mercury stations direct… 

6. Do expect some delays 

     Since Mercury rules travel, electronics, cars and day-to-day activities, you can expect some tech glitches (think: apps not loading, slower WiFi, dropped Zoom calls, broken phones, etc.), flight cancellations and/or automotive disturbances. Also, if you have any previously scheduled appointments with your friends/prof/shrink, it’s likely that they (or you) will need to reschedule. Itineraries change and plans go south quickly during Mercury Retrograde. Probably because everything malfunctions… 

7. Don’t freak out too much

     Yeah, Mercury Retrograde can cause a fair bit of chaos. But the transit also gives us a chance to slow down, reevaluate and exercise some adaptability so that we can better understand how we respond when things don’t move as they should. I mean, is it really the end of the world if TikTok doesn’t work for a few hours? No, which is why Mercury Retrograde shouldn’t freak you out… 


Want more astro-logic from Cosmic? Check me out on IG (@cosmiccannibalcamille), have a listen to my podcast Cosmic Chronicles, or get yourself a copy of my book The Zodiac Abstract.