On Monday, May 18 at 9:50 p.m. EDT Mercury GOES INTO retrograde until Thursday, June 11 at 6:33 p.m. EDT.

Mercury rules communication, travel and thoughts. Ordinarily, we like to move forward—getting it done yesterday is our ideal. But life doesn’t work that way. Summer is followed by fall. Fall is followed by winter. Day transforms into night. Rest, relaxation, contemplation and review are all necessary steps in our drive for success. The Mercury Retrograde period is an ideal opportunity for us to do just that.

Because of misinterpretations of this precious time, many people fear this astrological period and think that a lot of bad things happen. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Mercury Retrograde is part of the flow of life and when you align with the flow, extraordinary things can result, if you just allow.

Our thought processes are generally very logical and organized. We see the goal, we observe the steps to that goal and we take them. We rarely pause to take a breath and contemplate to see if something is missing or see the bigger picture. When Mercury is Retrograde, the floodgates open on intuition and introspection. We actually see things that we weren’t aware of before and we have the opportunity to fill in the spaces that were previously unaccountable. This is a terrific time to re-do, re-work, re-arrange, renovate and repair. It’s also a great time to take a vacation or get into the garden. Feelings come to the fore and journaling takes on new importance. It’s time to slow down and gain new perspectives.

Retrograde motion of Mars. Image credit: NASA

This is a good time to review the projects and work that you’ve been doing with a fresh perspective. Slow down and remember that inspiration often comes when we are in nature. Go to the park. See and appreciate the trees, flowers and wildlife. Get into gardening clothes, go into the yard and dig in the dirt—Mother Nature could have something to tell you. Listen to your inner voice that’s always gentle and loving, instead of pushing it away.

People have the hardest time during these retrograde periods when they refuse to do anything differently. Slogging on as usual just doesn’t work.

It’s best not to make any final decisions or sign contracts during these periods. It affects the synapses in our brains and our standard “mode of operation” may be disabled. For example, if you buy and sell houses for a living, you may always look first at the condition of the sills upon which it sits. During a Mercury Retrograde, you could notice the beautiful light in the living room; the fantastic cabinets in the kitchen or the superb craftsmanship in the fireplace yet forget to check the sills. So take notes. Observe. Let intuition speak. But wait until the rational mind is once again engaged before coming to any permanent decisions.

It’s important to understand that Mercury Retrograde is not a negative time period, but part of the whole of life. It’s interesting to know that businesses such as Verizon, Boeing and Procter & Gamble all started during this time period.

If it’s appropriate for you, take some time off. If you go on vacation, keep in mind that it might take a little longer to arrive at destinations. Remember to be kind and give others some slack. Take a beverage of your choice out into the back yard garden and relax. Like everything else, this, too, will pass until the next Mercury Retrograde on September 17.

Celeste Longacre is an astrologist, organic gardener and has been living sustainably for the past 30 years. Her newest book is CELESTE’S GARDEN DELIGHTS.

To find out about Rose’s thoughts on how to live a happier life, click here

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