Mercury Retrograde: A Basic Guide to the F*ckery

You may have already seen the references. You may already have seen the memes. So what the hell is Mercury Retrograde and why is everyone freaking out about it so much?

What is Mercury Retrograde?

Okay, so basically this means that Mercury appears to change direction of movement. It’s only an illusion – Mercury doesn’t actually start going backwards. But traditionally and in Astrology, this tends to mean that a whole bunch of things get f*cked up, including:

  • Travel
  • Communication
  • Technology
  • Electronics
  • Clear thinking

Okay, so it looks like a planet is going backwards and my flight’s going to get delayed?

A sign on a train platform floor reads, “MIND THE GAP” in yellow lettering.

Maybe. But that’s not the worst part of Mercury Retrograde. See above: communication.

Communication during Mercury Retrograde

A young child screams through some rope play equipment.

Have you noticed that you might be a little more … agitated than usual? Maybe a little tetchy? Easily triggered by things that are probably silly? Maybe you and your family/partner/cat/dog/neighbour are bickering more than usual. This is all the f*ckery that comes with Mercury Retrograde. You can’t think clearly. You feel stressed out, and anxious, and maybe even angry.

During this time, it’s super important to take deep breaths and remember that this is all an illusion. You are being blinded by the bullsh*t that is Mercury Retrograde. Your communication is off, your brain is a little bit foggy and you’re not thinking clearly. So, no, that person did not intentionally and maliciously ‘steal’ your parking space. They probably did not even see you. Even though you were indicating. They’re probably in their own head, wondering why their partner yelled at them because they got the wrong brand of bird seed. See? M.R. bullsh*t. So take a deep breath, and send a blessing their way. They need it.

When does this F*ckery begin?

A person looks very stressed. A dropped ice cream is on the ground next to them.

The bad news is, it’s already begun. Well, the pre-Retrograde. That began on October 11th. Mercury turns Retrograde on … Samhain. Halloween. Yes, on Halloween. This one’s in Scorpio. Here’s a handy guide on how to handle that from Allure. Basically, this article describes the pre-Retrograde period as being similar to PMS, so you get moody and tetchy and stressed out and generally feel like sh*t.

When does it end?

Wednesday, November 20th. Mark your bullet journal, witches.

Is there any good news, or should I just go and hide?

That’s hilarious. We can’t all go and hide for a month, regardless of how nice that might sound. But the good news is, yes, there is good news.

A golden frog statue meditates on a rock by some water.

This is a time for beginnings and endings, death and rebirth. Which means we can take advantage of this tempestuous time to cast off old (bad) habits and focus on our futures and dreams and desires. We can kick nasty exes to the curb (oh yeah, they show up during M.R., be warned). We can take leaps of faith and embrace the spirit of change for the better. It’s a great time to work on your manifestations.

A black and white photograph of an old dial-up telephone.

Pro tip: just make sure you’re sending your emails to the right people and you’re not texting about someone TO that someone. As my Insta friend, Emerald Crown, so wisely puts it in an excellent video she posted – keep your eyes opened and your mouth SHUT.

Blessings, and good luck!


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