Mercury Retrograde: Free Will, not Fear

October 29, 2019 0 Comments

Mercury Retrograde: Free Will, not Fear

Mercury Retrograde: Free Will, Not Fear

  by Rebecca Farrar of Wild Witch of the West 


Retrogrades often evoke worry for many--especially Mercury Retrograde-- though they are some of my fav astrological events. Rather than harbingers of doom and gloom, all retrograde transits are opportunities to choose free will over fear.

When a planet is retrograde, it appears to move backwards in the sky, an illusion caused by the Earth passing by these slower moving planets. Retrogrades ask us to pay attention to something we may have missed in the past or uncover new ways of relating to specific planets. Because Mercury is in retrograde three times per year for around three weeks each cycle, it gives us the most opportunities to rethink our relationship to...thinking ;).

For example, when Mercury, the planet of communication and analyzing, moves backwards our minds may feel a bit fuzzy, making us more prone to forgetting important details or poor communication. However, if we over-identify with our intellect, Mercury Retrograde phase can reconnect us to our intuition and imagination.

With awareness of a certain planet’s areas of expertise, we then have a choice at any given time how we express or allow those energies to move through us, aka free will. Knowing we have a choice of options in how we relate to each planet, means we can prepare and not necessarily predict what will happen.


Here are a few ways to prepare for this upcoming Mercury Retrograde cycle:

  • Know what Mercury is doing in your own chart. This is hugely important, if you were born when Mercury was in retrograde, those phases in the current time may actually be easier for you or feel more familiar. Conversely, if Mercury wasn't retrograde when you were born, may require you to develop new, unfamiliar ways of thinking. Look for the sign and house it is compared to where it retrogrades, to get clues about where your focus may be for learning.
  • Explore your understanding and associations with Mercury. This is the fun part, write out your understanding and keywords you think of when you think of this planet. What are the positive qualities? More difficult qualities? Perhaps even use Google for ideas, put it somewhere visible as a reminder. Keep this somewhere visible and you could check next to keywords or phrases you experience throughout a retrograde.
  • Finally, bring it down to Earth. What are some possible manifestations of that planetary energy you can utilize? Complete old writing projects, revise your resume, reignite a journaling practice. Perhaps reorganize closets, drawers, and cabinets, as Mercury likes to keep things in order. Retrogrades are a time of renewal, so visiting things you didn't get done before is perfect, a mini time machine gift from the sky.


Pro Tip: The Mercury Retrograde Deluxe Kit offers a way to set intentions for this astrological phase and can help you align with intuition. Burning herbs, lighting candles, and charging talismans or crystals can help you stay grounded and focused during this time.

Mercury Retrograde doesn’t have to be destabilizing or earth-shattering, with attention and care they can be times of deep transformation, growth, and healing. Getting a second chance can be healing or painful, it’s up to you, though who knows, this retrograde might just allow you to change the future if you let it!





Rebecca Farrar of Wild Witch of the West has her M.A. in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness, and has worked with many renowned astrologists and cosmologists. Read her bio here, and catch more of her work on Witch of the West.


Read more on astrology, horoscopes, occultism, magick & ritual on our blog, Esoteric Insights!

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