February 25, 2013

Mercury in Retrograde~Self-Care for A Powerful Time of Manifestation + Creation.

We have 3 Weeks...Half Full or Half Empty? 

It is officially a full moon in Virgo and Mercury is now retrograde. Yay!

First, I have to say: though I will talk a little astrolgoy, this post is not all about the little I know about astrology.

 It is really about self-empowerment, self-care, embracing change, and making space for time off. 

These are all things I have been working through this winter. Well..and most of my life for that matter.

This story starts with an astrological anecdote and leads to some quieting self-care tools that I would like to share with you. 

Sometimes it feels like everything we touch breaks; as if the very grounding and security that mends our life together is crumbling with every step. One of the most helpful self-care that you can offer yourself is a change of perspective. It can be hard, but, with a little bit of effort, your life lens can show you the light in your life.

So, I begin thorough a lens of astrology....and how Mercury goes Retrograde 2-4 times a year... 

If you ask me what that means technically, I will not be able to explain that very well... I can however share my philosophical, pattern seeking thoughts formed about it through reading and life observations. 

Many of us have heard folks around you referring to "Mercury is in Retrograde" every once in a while. 

It  is a three week period where astrologers alllll over the world warn us to check our day timers so that we don't accidentally flake out on a friend or an important business meeting. 

Technology seems to go awry and people tend to experience ill communications left and right. However, this brings some positive influences as well!

When a Mercury in Retrograde approaches, I swear I can feel it in my bones a week or two ahead of time.

I get this amazing amount of energy to write more than usual and communicate online, a lot. I  update my blogs, website, and Facebook page like a crazy lady...

The shift  is uncanny and kind of funny. Marty, my partner, can vouch for the sleepless nights I spend typing away with way too many ideas during Mercury in Retrogrades. Mixed with this full moon (which I have found can also cause sleeplessness), I have heard and over heard many quandaries over lack of ZZZ's!

Mercury in Retrograde can be a time for powerful manifestation and creation. 

I think we choose to perceive it's effects according to what lens we wear for the day. For instance, should I  focus on my lack of sleep? Or revel in the increase of creative energy and expression? 

In this post I share some of my personal life story and six nurturing Self-Care tips for your mind, body, heart, soul, and spirit. Even if you don't believe in astrology, the self-care tips are worth taking a gander at. Most of them are free, and accessible for all. 

If nothing else, this time period can be a good time for life lessons on planning ahead and letting go of control. We totally have a choice to decide on how we perceive the energies of our days to come.  Hence, our minds can affect our entire experience in the making. 

Seeing A balance of Dark and Light

A few years ago I noticed an extraordinarily high level in expression and creative energy right before and during Mercury in Retrogrades. I have the focus to finish assignments for school with a proficiency that otherwise may be lacking. 

I would also often hear from friends that I had not heard from in years! 

My personal incoming phone calls on a regular basis...can be crickets for days. On a random Mercury in Retrograde day? I can literally get like six different calls within only a few hours. These are all wonderful things!

These are things you may also begin to notice or already notice during these retrogrades. 

Now Let's Get Real...

Yes, it's a time when you may want to double check your calendars, technological gear, and emails to avoid missed communication and scheduling confusion. But, don't take my word for it if you haven't already come to terms with your own personal belief on the matter. 

Make a note of these retrograde periods on your calendar. See if  taking such precautions resonates with you and go from there. 

You may notice that your electronic devices may go a little haywire and that you need to repair a thing or two, but, not always by the bucket. That said, I find that I get hit by these types of occurrences about 1-2 weeks before and after the three week window of Mercury is Retrograde. 

Generally, it is not all that bad. Once we are in the retrograde, life is flying by like a sparkly unicorn on wheels. I was born during  a retrograde and so it effects me a little differently than those not born during a retrograde, but, more on that later. 

Now...that being said...THIS pre-retrograde period has hit me really, really hard!

The culmination and aftermath of these many mini-disasters stirred up some fairly  defeated emotions as I waved my flag in retreat. ha.

Part of That is Just Winter

Just yesterday, I took a walk through Cornell and came across the above stark architectural detail of light and dark as displayed at the War Memorial.

 It made me think about the starkness of the winter season and how the many months of grey weather allow us time to face our shadow selves.Yet, we still have an opportunity to embrace the light. Sometimes through celebrations with friends and families, and other times by jumping over big hurdles.

Nothing makes you feel more secure, happy, and deeply joy-filled than finally reaching the last leg of a dark tunnel!

This morning, I woke up feeling just that. I have not been writing very much because I worry about not knowing the difference between sharing darker emotions in a helpful way versus simply brooding. Yet, I realize that I am simply only sharing a the lighter portion of myself, which is not whole. So, here I go.

A anecdote of my processing life through astrology... a self-growth tool that I have found helpful and inspiring since I was a wee little gal nerding out at my desk and note paper.  

Facing Up To Silly Mistakes

Over the past few weeks, my energy has been low. I miss my home, my cat, my partner, friends, regular work, and body movement routine.  Things are different here. The gyms are very expensive, there air is pretty darn cold, and even finding my food sources has been very new. These are little things that come with moving away from home. And, I am working on finding ways around this. Honestly, my experience here has been that of welcome, warmth, and happiness overall. I have made friends already and have attended some pretty awesome classes at the Ithaca Freeskool. 

I just have found myself in the midst of little scenarios that happen to shake up my definition of security. And, with all these changes, it has been a little more difficult to attempt to bounce back with vigor. 

"If you fall down seven times, get up eight"

This is one of my favorite quotes that I have saved from a chocolate candy wrapper. It keeps me going when things are tough. Reminds me to keep trying, because some things don't always work on the first, or third try...but, that does not mean that they will never work or give your efforts any less meaning. However, it does not keep me from sobbing because things just really suck sometimes. 

I am not the toughest cookie on the block. I am happy to cry and wave my flag in surrender, and I think there is much beauty and necessity in that. To me strength is not always strength. The ability to recognize when it is time to surrender takes real strength and an ability to overcome pride.

However, I am still pretty damn persistent. I also try to see the positive light side in even the darkest of times, because life is just a flow of birth and decay. Granted, the light side appears after a period of processing, some periods longer than others. 

So, after a nice decay-filled sob last night, I woke up remembering just how much perception and attitude counts on a day to day basis. 

I remembered that there is much to look forward to. Much of this encouragement was coming in support from Marty. He helped to remind me that not every day is all cupcakes and unicorns. But, it doesn't mean that we can't find reasons to smile and laugh to lighten up perceived gloominous doom. Even if it is a surprise funny kitty video from a fellow cat lover friend...I send out prayers that a light side comes easy to you when you need it as a pillar of strength. 

Self-Care #1 is for the Heart+Soul...

Make a "Lighten Up" Folder

I have a folder on my google chrome bookmark bar that I named "laugh". I look at this when I am feeling down....there are lots of silly animal videos there. When I find something cute, hilarious, or inspiring, I place it in this folder. 

Sharing Some of My Life Anecdotes This Past Month

I wanted to share some of the crazy mishaps that I had to face the past few weeks because they are uncanny with the timing of this Mercury in Retrograde. Also, to just put out there how sucky I can feel at times. I feel like I am always writing about the good parts of life, and I think that if I want to sustain this blog, I need to lower the bar a bit! Ha. Believe me, I am not always happy. In fact, I have a tendency towards depression and I take many steps to refrain from being depressed. One day, I will share some of that story as well...for now it is baby steps.

But,  More importantly, below, there are some tips on how to work with the energy of Mercury in Retrograde. 
It is all about planning ahead and allowing for life to do its graceful thing...Even that does involve some semblance of seeming destruction!

So, it all began mid February when my car broke down due to my irresponsibility. I had to unexpectedly replace the motor... Ah!!! Okay, problem solved, life goes on, just with many fewer dollars to my name. Life Lesson 1: Check your freakin' oil. Always. My practical elders weren't lying when they told me that a million times. 

A week later my cell phone stopped working properly. Well...I unknowing snapped a piece of an adapter into the headphone jack. It would only work on speaker phone. 

Luckily ,I could drive an hour to the nearest city {with new engine, thank you!} where I met a lovely woman at the store who fixed it for free. Again, my fault. Silly me. Road trip and music is always a plus to me.

My thoughts after these two events? "Wait! {insert expletives here} I thought I was an adult!?" 

Being and Adult Doesn't Mean Being Perfect? Awesome!

Lesson learned. I should really rethink my definition of "adult". I should recognize that many of us will continue to make stupid mistakes until the day we die. Wow, that just took off a huge weight from my shoulders. I also think that I can feel more comfortable being an adult now. 

A few other funny retrograde happenings revolved around missed meetings, resheduling, and missed communications. Six in a period of seven days to be exact. No joke. It was kind of cool because I put the time to use and love surprise time off!

I focused on some new business projects, a dream board (!) and some aromatherapy distance courses. I was feeling pretty aligned and motivated...

But, then....my printer stopped working correctly!

Yarg! It was the one thing keeping me from actually completing the majority of my work. Ha! I also realized that my virus scan stopped working and I could no longer edit my writing online {between random pop-ups} without my browser crashing...like every five minutes. 

I really didn't think things could get worse until last night when I thought I deleted this entire blog domain. Long story short, I recreated this entire blog on a new page. I finally fell asleep at 2am feeling pretty defeated. I woke up at 5:30 starkly knowing that I would have to try again. I think it must be the fire in my Irish blood.  Finally, after forever later, I found a solution. After a few heart plummets, the true blog is back up and running. 

 Yay!  Okay. So those are some of the crazy things that can happen at retrogrades. Now it is time for some of the fantastic and beautiful energy!

Mercury is Beautiful, Playful, Communicative, Fun and Creative Energy!

It can be a powerful time for manifestation, brainstorming, and yes, sometimes even communication.

It just seems to come with a much simpler pace of life than we are used to with all these fan-dangled computers and things.

So. Step one. Take it easy on from the computer and your phone for the next few weeks if technological failures stress you out.

Self Care # 2 is for the Heart+Soul~

 Take the Time to Manifest

If you are looking for a change of pace in life that involves more creation, play, fun, and expression, consider making a dream board. Above is a tiny snippet of the dream board that I created a few days ago. It totally embodies the energy of playful mercury, though, at the time I wasn't even thinking about that! Our bodies are much more intuitive than our minds can even comprehend at times!

Self-Care #3 is for the Soul+Spirit ~

Tune into your Subconscious

Record Your Dreams and Follow Through with Spirit Work

This can be a great time for dream journaling, meditation, and listening in to your spirit guides. 

Dream Journaling

Dreams may be more vivid and airy in nature. Are you recalling more details? I know I am! Take a moment to place a pen and journal by your bed. When you rise, take a few deep breaths without opening your eyes. Try to recall the last detail  of your dream and work backwards in dream time. Once you feel like you have grasped it, begin to record it in your journal. Maybe give the dream a name that reflects the flavor, nature, feeling or emotions of the dream. Later on that day, or in a few weeks, you may like to review your dreams. What symbols pop up as being important to you?

Spiritual Work

 I've found that communication with ancestors can even bump up quite a bit. Talk about hearing from old friends! Recently a friend suggested that technology goes awry during this time because our spirit friends are just tickled by the ease of access. I liked that idea! 

Although, things seem to go awry in our physical world, I think that it can  be a time for some very clean lines in communication with our subconsciousness, creative spirit, and spirit allies. 

I have been excited about scheduling a Spirit Session with another good friend, Lori-Lynn Hurley. I am intentionally scheduling it for this Mercury in Retrograde. I think it will make way for some really great lines of communication. The thought just fills my heart. {If you are someone who enjoys working with others spiritually, I can't say enough positive things about her work!}

Self-Care For #4 is for...the Mind+Body~

A Walking Day Dream Meditation

Walking Day Dream Meditation

When we practice meditation, we are better able to deal with stress in general. Suddenly, the printer not working is not a big deal. Consider a walking meditation. This is something you can do on your work break. It does not have to be a very long walk, try anything from 5-15 minutes. The main focus will be on your breath. When you breath in, really feeling the air enter your lungs, let it fill your heart and entire being. When you breathe out, let go of it all. I know that sometimes "clearing" your mind can seem impossible, and that is okay. We are all built differently! While you are walking, try to think about what you would like to manifest in your life. Consider it something of a daydream vacation. We are all entitled to those. 

Self-Care # 5 is for the....


Take A Short Break From Technology!

Honestly, I think that if we simply took the time to walk away from the technological distresses, we may find our self walking into a more beautifully fated space. I mean, Mercury makes me think of play and whimsy! How can it be all bad?

I know that I am definitely one, who especially in the past, would waste more time trying to fight "what is" instead of just accepting it and making space for proactive change of focus! Really.

Not to forget to mention that taking a break from technology can uplift our spirit, and reground our entire being. A lot of people get anxious just from working on a computer. A lot of people even feel a little depressed when they are on Facebook. Listen in. Are these things happening to you?

Take some time to make some positive changes. Consider a cell phone free or internet-free day a week!

Some Were Born With Mercury in Their...Veins (not the scary kind)

For those who were born during a Mercury in Retrograde, this can be a time where communication seems to be going just swell! 

Those born during this time tend to see and process the world differently. Maybe a little Picasso like? I don't know. 

Lexington astrologer, Michael Thurman (who is awesome by the way) has said that being born into this astrological influence, one may tend to be fairly abstract in their means of expression and communication. 

However, Mercury when goes Retrograde again, these folks are right at home! 

I am one of those folks and I totally feel that.
If you were to go through the dates on my blog and compare it to past retrogrades, you would see a great example that supports what I he is saying. 

My communication factor goes up by a zillionth. I feel less anxious about simply using my free flowing and semi-quirky (or whatever) voice. It's a time where I feel less of a need to edit or translate my normal modes of communication...for better, or for worse. 

Mercury as an Enchanting Muse for Everyone

This can be an amazing time to plan out new ideas and projects for anyone. Many suggest this may not be the best time to sign contracts. But, brainstorming is all about having the freedom to change, alter, snip, and cut before manifestation. SO, take advantage of this energy, make space for manifestation! 

Not to mention, I have signed most of my major contracts and have moved during many retrogrades! For me, it feels like a time when my intuition runs high and clear. I make big decisions and changes on a dime, and it works out just fine, if not great. It is a really good time to listen to your gut to feel our your relationship with the energy. You will always have more Mercury in Retrogrades to test the waters with! 

Self-Care # 6 is for...the Self-Employed!

Don't Save Your Money For A Rainy Day, Save It For A Mercury in Retrograde. 

Then enjoy a (surprise!) Paid Mini-Stay cation!

Especially if your income is reflected by how many hours you work per week!

I have worked for myself for the past five years. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that you really should put some money aside for those "just in case" times. Sometimes people get sick, they have to cancel, or...a Mercury in Retrograde happens. 

My daytimer (schedule book) looks like a train wreck at most Mercury in Retrogrades due to missed appointments, lateness, or sick days. 

On work weeks during Mercury in Retrograde I always call my clients a 3-5 days in advance to remind them of their appointments. I always bring my laptop or a book just case someone has to cancel. I always make sure that I have enough money saved up to cover several missed appointments over a week, so that I don't have to sweat it. This can change the stress-quality of your life drastically. It can alter a response of a few days off from panic to pure relaxation. 

Embrace Change...Maybe it knows something you don't know! 

Maybe this can be a time to embrace the beautiful nature of the unexpected. I know that when some of the best changes in my life occurred, they were not always welcome. Yet, in time, they proved to be just what I needed. 

So, if your phone breaks, consider not having a phone for a day or two. I mean, how often do we have such an opportunity to disconnect? It could seem like the end of the world, but, really. Is it? I mean. We can't be on ALL the time. 

This time may allow space for extra reading, napping, writing, or a surprise lunch date with a good friend. Or, maybe you can catch up on some projects you have been meaning to do?

So, for the next three weeks, I encourage you to sit back and enjoy the whimsical energy that is in the air. Just be sure to keep your favorite book or knitting project on hand at all times!

2/26/12: I updated this post after accidentally publishing early (due to computer issues) and could not re-edit it right after posting! I finally repaired my computer, and so here you go...the tidier more helpful version.

Much love,


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I've been experiencing and thinking about so many of the same things. This is really beautiful and helpful and whole.

  2. Lori-Lyn, thank you so much for visiting,taking the time to read this and for sharing such kind thoughts. I love that how many people can experience such similar energy shifts at the same time. It creates a space for tribal kinship and appreciation. I wish you an early Happy New Moon this week with much love!

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    1. Thank you very much, Priya! Your comment made me smile :) Wishing you a beautiful day!

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