Mercury Is in Retrograde—But You Can Use it to Your Advantage

The first Mercury retrograde of 2019 is a-coming and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it. From March 5th to 28th, this unavoidable and utterly inconvenient nuisance will blow through town, bringing all the technical glitches, relationship meltdowns (over what exactly?), hidden agendas and scheduling snafus it’s notorious for.

Yeah, this definitely could put a damper on spring. But why allow this astrological inconvenience to ruin March—the month that houses Mardi Gras, the equinox, spring break, and National Puppy Day (the 23rd, if you’re wondering)?

It’s time we start turning these lemons into retrograde lemonade.

It doesn’t hurt that Mercury will be backstroking through Pisces’ compassionate waters, which may soften its blow. Pisces also happens to be the zodiac’s proud submissive, increasing the likelihood that we can make this transit work to our advantage.

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Students of Aikido are taught to blend with the energy of their attacker as a means of self-defense. Similarly, you could apply this principle and”become one with the retrograde.” Don’t fight its shenanigans! Try them on for size.

This could be incredibly liberating, especially when you consider the clauses this cycle creates. Write yourself a planetary pardon, because here are five wicked behaviors you blame on Mercury retrograde from March 5th to 28th—and wholeheartedly enjoy!


1. “Forget” to show up for that event you’re dreading.

Staying up late to hear your coworker’s band play at a dive bar seemed like a lovely way to support…before you realized how jam-packed your workweek was going to be. Or maybe you got guilt-tripped into a “facilities tour” at a gym or coworking space, which is essentially going to be a sales pitch for something you can’t currently afford. But how to bow out gracefully?(And how to sidestep the Piscean-tinged pull to please when you get hit with the persuasive upsell or the puppy dog eyes?)

Here’s where the silver lining of Mercury retrograde comes in. During these data-scrambling cycles, appointments seem to “disappear”from your calendar or get plugged in to the wrong day of the week. Use this advantageously—and skip that event! When you get a follow-up “U still coming?” text, offer your mea culpa to the tune of “OMG,I AM SO SORRY! I thought it was tomorrow! MERCURY IS RETROGRADE A FRIGHT NOW!” You might add, “I’ll have to get back to you about this soon.” Then…don’t.

2. Spend all your liquid assets on self-care.

Not that you need an excuse for booking a 120-minute massage plus facial and shamanic body scan ritual all in one week, but Mercury retrograde’s extra-ness can truly add strain. Holding in all those feelings and incisive clapbacks can be stressful. Hey, it takes major restraint to not burn bridges this March. Trouble is, where does all that fire go? Inside, likely, and you need to release it. Mercury’s retreat through escapist Pisces offers a choice: Drown your sorrows in bottomless well drinks or hit the spa like an off-duty Kardashian-Jenner. Self-care will clearly bring greater compounding benefits. Once your body’s been scrubbed with warm crystal salt stones and slathered in jasmine-rose-infused clay, you can always enjoy a complimentary flute of champagne.

3. Sleep with your ex…just one more time.

DISCLAIMER! This plan will only work if have the willpower to order a la carte. “One and done” is all you get here if you want to maintain the upper hand. If you fear you’ll return to the buffet for a second helping, skip to Tip #4 now. But if you think you can keep it “just a casual thing” with ex-bae, read on.

Most Mercury retrogrades seem to fire up old neural pathways, the ones that have us deep-scrolling to find a dick pic or read a (now-tainted) proclamation of adoring obsession that made you feel like Hayley Baldwin Bieber floating out of City Hall. In most cases, it’s best to just leave such impulses in the fantasy zone, especially if your heart is forever twisted in knots over a deep betrayal…and your friends would excommunicate you for EVER speaking this persona non grata’s name again.

But then there are the sexually charged relationships that just didn’t work out simply because your futures didn’t mesh as well as your bodies did. Well, maybe it’s time for a follow-up shag, just for old time’s sake. If you’ve got nothing else going on and neither does bae, carpe DM and slide on in…

4. “Accidentally” message someone who’s been ignoring you.

Pride goeth before a fall, but in some cases, that’s better than tripping over your own emotionally charged reaction when you suspect someone is ghosting you. It’s only been a few days since you went out for drinks, but it’s been radio silence. Maybe they’re just busy at work and planning to call over the weekend. Maybe you should send that Bernie meme you know they’ll appreciate, but no, you don’t want to look desperate. What to do?! Here’s where the signal-scrambling powers of Mercury retrograde come in handy again. ‘Tis the season for messages to wind up in wrong inboxes…a strategy that can be used to craft a missive that gets a response!

Pretend to be writing a totally different friend about a plan, but make it cryptic enough to draw the “neglectful” party right into your web. For example, “I still can’t believe we scored those tickets for Saturday! Whereshould we meet up? Drinks before?”

FOMO :Activated. Reply: Unlocked! (Just make sure you actually have those tickets…and the link for purchase handy!)

5. Take a beach vacation and tell no one (unless you want to).

In our fast-paced, data-driven world, we’re constantly “on call,”and that is why Mercury retrogrades churn up such deep frustration. It’s like we’re speeding along and suddenly, Mercury pulls the emergency brake on our forward momentum. If we were following our natural rhythms, these periodic slowdowns would be welcomed. After all, that’s the true beauty of a Mercury retrograde: It provides a near-quarterly review period, where we can assess our progress and slowly discern next steps, instead of hurling along without ever taking a breather.

Don’t wait for Mercury to pull you over to the side of the road. Instead, retreat into your own retrograde red tent. Ideally, this would be a location that soulful water sign Pisces would approve of, like anon-touristy beach town, a yoga retreat or surf camp. You don’t have to announce it on Facebook or tell your entire family that you’re going. Share the photos after you’ve recharged—and sidestep the possibility of having to tell someone you love, “Sorry, I don’t actually want you to join me on this trip.”

Bottom line: Give yourself that pregnant pause this March—the way you want it and need it—and you might just come out of this retrograde on top! And if it all goes to hell, well, you can fix it up in April!

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