Here we are at the official beginning of the first Mercury Retrograde of 2018! At this astrological juncture, it appears that Mercury, the planet of communication, technology, and short-distance travel, among other things, starts to move backwards for roughly three weeks! This is an illusion based on the ways that Mercury’s orbit interacts with the Earth’s, but just as we can see the effect of the Moon on the planet’s tides, the effect of the other planets — especially Mercury at the moment — can be felt deeply in our own personal “tides.” So, for the next three weeks (actually, the “Shadow period” of the retrograde doesn’t lift until May 4), take comfort in that you can expect challenges with your phone, computer, gadgets, breakdowns in communication, delays in travel, and any other number of little life-glitches, in the midst of which you can either get frustrated, or you can take a pause to laugh at seeing the direct influence of Mercury — the trickster! — at play. Mercury is going retrograde in Aries, the firey sign of war represented by the Ram, increasing the potential for the obstacles that crop up to make you mad mad mad. Keep this in mind and do your best to stay cool! For the next three weeks, expect the unexpected, and do your best to roll with the mercurial punches. Retrogrades are perfect opportunities to gain deeper understanding of our inner processes, to notice how we respond and react to given circumstances and make adjustments in favour of learning better ways to reground and go with the flow.
For a direct, no-nonsense look at how best to weather this Mercury Retrograde, I did a Super One-Card reading to get right to the point of what we need to know! I drew from the Thoth Tarot, the Art of Life Tarot, and the Minchiate Tarot. I laid out a tiger iron to ground you as much as possible for this astrological transit, carnelian to help you connect with your creativity and develop your emotional understanding, and verdite to help you remain heart-centered and focused on what really matters during this time.
While shuffling, I set the intention that the cards drawn would represent what can be focused on in order to stay grounded when faced with the challenges that characterize Mercury Retrograde.
To begin, let’s look at the Shadow Cards for a sense of the “underlying theme” of this Mercury Retrograde:
Shadow Cards: 2 of Cups | Love + The Hanged Man | “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” -Lao Tzu + 0 – The Fool
This Retrograde will have a distinct effect on personal relationships — it will be very important to maintain perspective on who you already know your loved ones to be, as everyone will be very much acting out-of-character for the next three weeks. There will be some major “contorting,” and a definite need to do some “bending over backwards” — this will be most essential when you don’t feel like it! Manage your expectations on a minute-by-minute basis, being prepared to release preconceived plans on a moment’s notice. When life seems to be nipping and biting at everyone’s heels in an incredibly annoying way, be the beacon of peace and understanding when you see people stopped in their tracks by the most unexpected baloney. Even and especially when they’re not demonstrating the same amount of understanding — do unto others, right?
X – Fortune + 6 of Swords | “For everything you have missed in life, you have gained something else.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson + 9 of Staves/Wands
Indeed, this retrograde will be a time of real change! The way things go will ultimately prove to be a healing process, one where you are able to set better energetic boundaries in order to protect not only your actual “fortune,” but also your sense of self-worth. A classic component of Mercury Retrograde is being presented with past mistakes, but in such a way that you’re able to really see how they can be fixed — take extra care to cross and dot all your t’s and i’s, and again, be forgiving when others do not do the same. There will be so much conflicting energy surrounding that you need to focus mainly on your own progress — mastering your responses to challenges, maintaining perspective on current battles in such a way that you’re not dredging up past crap to bring to the table, doing your best to keep your energy and spirits in a place where you’re still able to get things done. This is not a time to start anything brand-new, but it is a good tim to tinker with projects you’ve already started, knowing that you’ll readily be able to identify what’s not working with them in order to clearly see what will be a better fit.
Now for the Higher Self Cards, a message of hope moving forward:
Higher Self Cards: Prince (King) of Swords + 3 of Swords | “Difficulties exist to be surmounted.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson + Queen of Swords
Ooh. A message of hope delivered via warning! Indeed, this retrograde has the potential to be a real make-or-break period for personal relationships — everything that has sucked in the past will come to visit, and the true test will be to see if you can address these issues with clarity and emotional detachment in favour of working together to overcome and proceed. Do you want to keep fighting the same fights, or do you want to move towards solutions? Is that something that is possible with creative thinking, or would you rather creatively think of a way out? This retrograde will be full of tricky questions, but you can rest assured that by the end of it you will have at least one foot firmly moving in the right direction, and a much better picture of what you want and how to keep working towards making that your permanent reality <3<3
For the next three weeks or so, maintain a “nurturing” mindset: try to be soft and accommodating, as everyone will be acting like babies who dropped their ice cream. It’s fallen and there’s nothing to be done, but yelling at them won’t help — do your best to communicate yourself clearly, even though it may feel like you’re not getting through. All you can do is keep trying! Release your expectations surrounding absolutely everything for the next little while, knowing that when the dust settles you’ll be able to focus on developing actual useful structures once more. Give yourself permission to rest whenever it all becomes too much — you’ll be far more useful to yourself and others well-rested with your mind as sharp as it can be when we’re all being yanked around by Mercury’s silly, mischievous antics. Hang in there, persevere, focusing on your own definition of your “best self” — feeling ungrounded will be the name of the game, so at least know that feeling that way is 100% normal. Go easy on yourself and the people you love, and prepare for a roller-coaster ride! Keep both eyes open and remember to laugh!
This is an example of the $10 Super One-Card Reading in my Etsy shop! This reading is great for a quick overview of your situation at present. Thanks for reading, and have the best-possible Mercury Retrograde!
Art of Life Tarot. Charlene Livingstone. Stamford, CT: U. S. Games Systems, Inc., 2012.
Minchiate Tarot. Brian Williams. Destiny Books, 1999.
Thoth Tarot Deck. Aleister Crowley. Illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris. Stamford, CT: US Game Systems, Inc., 1983.