The best astrological time to clear out mental detritus getting in the way of your personal growth and evolution begins April 9—and yes, that's Mercury retrograde I'm talking about.
That's because Mercury retrograde is the most useful cosmic tool we have to transform the very thoughts, ideas, and perceptions that guide and shape our lives.
Surprised? Let's review the basics and unravel some of the fear mongering that's so prevalent in astrology right now.
What even IS Mercury retrograde?
Mercury is the astrological ruler of the mind, including our thoughts, perceptions, decisions, and communication. When Mercury is direct, the mind moves at the speed of news headline ticker-tape, categorizing, simplifying, deducing, and judging the external world. When Mercury is retrograde, that process turns inward, meaning we're able to see the contents of our mental landscape with greater clarity.
Mercury retrograde doesn't cause the dysfunction we attribute to it; it amplifies our perception of the thoughts that arise in reaction. Retrograde periods have the power to show us where our mental blocks are, giving us access to our subconscious so that we can confront them head-on.
If our response is to blame all our troubles on Mercury retrograde, we risk missing out on the valuable gifts being offered to us and lose a rare opportunity to change our lives by changing our minds.
Because if we can't use cosmic energies to power positive, growth-fueling change in our lives, then why bother?
That's why I think it's time to change the conversation about Mercury retrograde from one that constricts and inhibits our life force to one that helps us live more fully. From one that shuts us down with fear to one that channels our focus toward the future.
Exactly how to navigate it this month
Here are my five top tips to help you get the most out of this powerful, misunderstood transit:
1. Investigate what subconscious thoughts arise during Mercury retrograde.
Our perception of what is real, of what is true, creates meaning in our lives. So if we don't take a moment to slow down every once in a while and pay attention to what we're thinking and believing, we risk making decisions that don't match up with who we are or what we want.
Mercury retrograde makes us more aware of the subconscious material rolling around in our brains. Its move from Taurus back into Aries this April is another signal that we're being invited to investigate whether our actions and behaviors support or undermine our fundamental values.
2. Interrupt negative thought patterns with intentional awareness.
A little introspection now can yield powerful results later. All mindfulness regimens—such as meditation, yin yoga, or a gratitude practice —will soothe the mind, enabling you to get in touch with the growth that's possible during this period.
3. Write your way through it.
As French novelist Gustave Flaubert famously said, "The art of writing is the art of discovering what you really believe." And during Mercury retrograde periods, there's no better way to find out what's true for you than writing your thoughts down on paper. The more regular your journaling practice, the better.
4. Reprogram your mind for positive transformation.
Affirmations and mantras are incredibly effective during Mercury retrograde. Once you've spent some time reflecting on what this transit has unearthed for you, choose or create a mantra that you can turn to for support.
5. Build a new practice.
Understanding that retrograde phases put the mind's incessant chatter on maximum volume can make it easier to battle the occasional bouts of doubt that come with building new habits. If negativity rears its head, do your best to smile, acknowledge its presence, and reassert your commitment to your goals.