Luckily “MIR” is not a new viral epidemic, it is the positively-sure-to-catch-on nickname [*she snorts and pushes glasses up on nose*] I just made up for…
“Mercury-in-Retrograde,” an astrological phenomenon that occurs about four times per year, when Mercury and the Earth pass each other in their rotations around the sun. This causes an effect called “retrograde” which makes it appear Mercury is going backwards.
Its kinda like when two cars pass on the highway and it feels like you are going backwards even though you are both going the same direction. Mercury goes around the sun at a faster rate than Earth, passing the Sun 3-4 times more often each year than we do. Thus, the ancients thought of Mercury as Earth’s “messenger” to the Sun, and associated Mercury with travel and communication.
The current MIR period started on October 4 and continues through October 25, though its effects can sometimes be felt both a few days before and a few days after the designated period. The next few Mercury-in-retrograde periods are January 21 – February 11, 2015, May 18 – June 11, 2015, and September 17 – October 9, 2015.
So what is the big deal with Mercury in Retrograde?
Here’s the bad part about Mercury in Retrograde:
Because Mercury rules communication, all forms of communication are disrupted. Electronics go haywire, travel is delayed or interrupted, stuff needs repair, and misunderstandings and break-ups are common. It is generally thought of as a bad time to enter into new ventures because of the possible miscommunications.
But here’s the (really) good part about Mercury in Retrograde:
It is a great time for self-reflection – for “taking a step back” on our perpetual forward motion – to take a look at where we have come and where we still need work. It is a great time for clearing out the old to make way for the new – both physically and spiritually – and for having a garage sale, organizing, and detoxing.
People tend to freak out when Mercury goes retrograde, because of the havoc it can wreak on the material plane. I didn’t even realize this one had snuck up on me until Facebook told me the day of (October 4). I noticed the thought, “maybe it won’t really have an effect this time.” The next morning all four tires on my car were low on air pressure, the copier ran out of toner at the office, and my laptop stopped working. Ay, Mercury! (shakes fist in air).
On the more subtle planes, MIR does wonders for clearing out old habits and heart blocks. The blessing of MIR is that after it is over, it feels like a breath of fresh air – like emerging out of the cocoon having transformed into a more radiant version of the former self. Like whoa. It feels good.
So how to survive this period of break-ups and growth? How ’bout those 4 easy tips I promised:
Like *really* rest. And give yourself permission to rest. Take a nap if you feel like taking and nap and don’t take any shit from mean-brain-voice about it. Think of MIR as a sort of hibernation period. Get extra sleep at night and go to bed early. Back off on your vigorous asana practice or workout routine. Really honor your body and the extra downtime it needs during this heavy energy period.
Use grounding practices to lessen the effects and protect yourself. Eat grounding foods, like root and fall veggies and leafy greens. Carry amethyst. Up your devotional and subtle yoga practices like kirtan, meditation, and pranayama. Connect with nature.
Roasted butternut squash with microgreens and warm sweet ghee drizzle
3. FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
There is a lot of good stuff that comes with Mercury in Retrograde. Focus on the positives. It is a great period for spiritual evolution. If you have to engage in some sort of “no-no” during MIR, like signing a contract or making a big purchase, focus on the positive aspects of the transaction that align with MIR. Like the parts of the transaction that symbolize a clearing out of the old, and the finishing up of old business to make way for the new.
4. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Remember to practice gratitude. During MIR, it is easy to focus on feelings of scarcity and negativity as things go wrong. Yet there is always so much to be grateful for. Simple things, like gratitude for the car that gets you where you need to go, the food in your kitchen, and the modern conveniences that are prevalent in our western lives. Taking a moment to feel grateful feels really good, and it may just be the key to living an abundant life.
And remember to be especially grateful on October 25, when Mercury goes direct, and to express thanks for all the lessons learned over the past three weeks.
Also remember to come by this site often to visit and get updates from my travels – we are leaving for India at the end of this month!