In its most straightforward translation, Mercury being in retrograde just means it appears to be traveling backward. And that’s fitting because when Mercury is in a retrograde cycle, many of us feel like our entire lives are backward—what with travel, communication, and technology woes throwing all of us for a loop. But when I sat down for a cup of coffee with astrologer Susan Miller of AstrologyZone (and used International Delights’ Hershey’s Chocolate Caramel Creamer, the Taurus match of her expert pairings of coffee creamers to go with your star sign), she pointed out that good things can also happen during retrograde. The benefits of Mercury retrograde are simply about using that power of going backward to refine our lives.
“You have a chance to repolish things up and do a better job,” says Miller, who adds that it’s important to not fight against going backward. Rather, lean into it as a superpower and mindfully go back to reclaim what you’ve lost. In order to maximize the benefits of Mercury retrograde, below find Miller’s four tips.
1. Remember comforts from your past
Mercury retrograde encourages you to revisit a specific flavor from your childhood because the planet’s mysticism allows you to enjoy certain foods that trigger happy memories and their healing powers. “You go back to a restaurant you loved or a meal that your mom used to make or prepare that she hasn’t made in a long time,” Miller says.
But if nothing nostalgic manifests on your plate (or you don’t live near your parents) the backward energy of this cosmic transit can still encourage your to re-create those comfort foods. For instance, if this specific Mercury retrograde in Pisces is making you extra sensitive, consider using your family’s avgolemono soup recipe that got you through your worst fevers.
2. Rediscover your lost items
Great news: Mercury can help us find lost heirlooms and other items that have been buried among your clutter. “That silver bracelet that your grandmother gave you? You lost it and you figure it’s gone forever,” Miller says. “You haven’t seen it in two years, and now you’re painting the apartment, you’re taking the books off the shelf. One day, when you grabbed a book, the bracelet must have fallen off, and now when you grab the book, you find the bracelet.”
So if you happen to have a stash of single earrings missing their match, now is a good time to take a critical eye to your surroundings and see what pops up.
3. Return your attention to a big project that once seemed overly ambitious
This could be a book, a screenplay, or any other really great big idea you once started writing at a Starbucks and then put on the back burner. The retrograde gives you the ability to slow down and really self-edit. That’s because Mercury energy focuses on being highly intellectual and detail-oriented, so take that critical eye, and put it to good use. “You go back, and you have a second chance to do better,” Miller says.
4. Reconnect with people you’ve lost touch with
Another one of the benefits of Mercury retrograde is that it can have a boomerang effect of bringing people back to you with whom you’ve lost touch. Maybe you joyfully run into friends on the street or an ex resurfaces. Whomever it is, note that the situation doesn’t always have to be a negative interaction—especially with long lost professional contacts. This effect could be extremely beneficial if you’re job searching, so go ahead reach out to those in your Rolodex.
“These are the people that always believed in you,” says Miller. So reclaim those connections, send some emails, and book some coffee dates, because even though Mercury can turn a day upside down in some annoying ways, being able to go back intelligently will allow you to move forward in the long run.
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