How to Get the Most Out of Mercury Retrograde

Hermes underworldWhen Mercury is retrograde, we all know the drill. We brace ourselves for communication or travel hiccups, we avoid signing documents, and we back up our computer files. We know that when planets are retrograde, things tend to go awry. But what isn’t as well-known is the deeper meaning behind a retrograde planet.

When a Mercury goes retrograde, we see his deeper, hidden shadow side. In myth, this aspect of Mercury is known as Hermes Chthonios. In this aspect, he shirks his role as messenger and becomes a divine psychopomp, or guide of the dead.

He kindly and gently guides the endless flow of souls into the underworld, showing them the path and comforting them along the way. He is merciful and loving as he moves these souls into their new home.

But that’s not all he does. He has also been known from time to time to bring a special or worthy soul back to earth for short periods to speak with loved ones or feel the warmth of the Sun. He also brings deep, hidden knowledge to the surface, reporting to Zeus the major happenings in the underworld. In doing so, he becomes the bridge between Heaven and the depths.

As Mercury finishes his retrograde period in Cancer, we are asked to journey to our very deepest origins, the void from which our spark of life once sprung. Our roots are ripe to be dug up and examined. I encourage you to listen to these inner stirrings as long-hidden knowledge comes to light. What treasures are buried in your subterranean world? And how can they be used to build a bridge to the skies?

What has Mercury retrograde brought up for you?

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About Midara

Midara has been a consulting astrologer for over a decade. Whether you’re struggling with relationships, personal growth, tough transits, or whatever else, she’s here to help.


How to Get the Most Out of Mercury Retrograde — 13 Comments

  1. I’m thinking about stuff and trying to understand the lassitude and feeling of losing in my Neptune transit. And usually the art of losing isn’t hard for me to master (heh you know that poem?)
    I’m noticing my loss about western hegemony and human hegemony on earth and the unraveling of my assumptions of now I fit in. The manifest destiny narrative is not applicable, capitalism isn’t working, but is the culture of Russia or China the answer? (It’s from this guardian article by Pankaj Mishra.) My Neptune transit is making me think of these things and notice how much in common these sensations of losing are with my recent breakup.
    I’m noticing the power of a story to shift the narrative, and how ‘cancel culture’ isn’t about censorship, but presenting narratives of power. I just watched Nanette finally, (highly recommended for the interesting feeling it gives) and I think Hannah Gadsby sharing her story is a precursor for black people sharing stories of their experience. The special had me like 😮
    Especially these quotes

    ‘Self hatred is only a seed planted from outside in’ -Hannah gadsby

    ‘Ignorance will always walk amongst us because we will never know all of the things’ (about insensitivity in public discourse and a lack of stories coming from the subjugated)

    ‘The history of western art is just the history of men painting women like they’re flesh vases for their dick flowers.’

    A lot of times, my family has been ready to forgive a genius when he subjugated women. And some were ready to reject him. But maybe that’s as shallow a response as companies putting up BLM signs or firing people without govts pushing to convict police who committed crimes. An artist inspired by Hannah Gadsby put up stories about Balthus taking Polaroids of a preteen or Picasso having a relationship with a 17 year old and people got butthurt. She wasn’t censoring the art or removing paintings.. she was adding a perspective to the story.

    I need to add that I am pretty dumb and rarely ahead of my time or capable of a bird’s eye view. I find personal stories really absorbing and refreshing. Just hearing John Laster’s stories about his experiences with the police humanizes news that I can tune out or that can scare me into numbing out. Maybe that’s the way to get to apathetic Pluto in Scorpio types like me.

    I read a lot of descriptions of Neptune and Pluto transits, but just like other stuff, they don’t affect me the same as they affect many other people. My Neptune transit has been torturing me with some kind of sadness I haven’t been able to escape from even though I eat sugar and watch anime and other weird crap. And usually I have words to explain the wrenching feelings inside. Just like Venus Pluto seems to equip me with the ability to connect with people beyond my ego handicaps and awkwardness rather than the cookbook description and showing me that I’m not an unloving pig.

    Anyway, I do meditate and do yoga already and they don’t fill the hole. I was ready to deal with my ego a bit although the continuous doubt is crushing. Maybe the ego issues are deeper, my identification as a marauding westerner type. I feel a bit of relief having identified one cause of the continual heartbreak. But I still can’t face the degradation of the earth. My hope and optimism about the future seems to be disintegrating, my continuous Jupiter in pisces quiet hopes.

    • I was watching a video about digital blackface that I quickly repressed. I also watched an interesting video about racial preference during dating. And an article about black Twitter, black vine, and generally how black creativity is still the distinguishing driving force in our culture really. My theory was always that it would have been a blander Britain without the subjugated art of black people. It’s 80 pc black people and 20 pc immigrant culture that gave it any culture at all.

      I hate that some of my friends are fighting dictatorial shit and part of me clams up. I know it’s been fucked up for a while. What’s so wrong with me lending my support? It just seems like some fights for justice are a tale as old as time.

      I scanned an open letter by a bunch of writers in Harper’s condemning radical leftism and demanding more centrist ‘tolerance’.. this quote caught my eye

      ‘and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty’

      I have to say, I’m attracted to the personal stories and clear lines Instagram activists take. How we feel when subjugate is important, stories can’t be suppressed. It is refreshing compared to the identity politics PC mumbo jumbo of ‘problematized cis queer identities in Judith Butler’ or whatever. PC culture suppresses. People’s stories and experiences and emotions humanize and connect issues of race and inequality. I don’t give a fuck if they’re unsubtle, it’s a person’s experience. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie did this TED talk about the dangers of a singular story. I like that the internet is being populated by these straightforward stories rather than identity labeling. What does it feel like to be human? To be you? This is what creates understanding. And yet, I’m worried that Instagram activists gloss over more complicated conflicts. And yet, the image of some countries being a ‘clusterfuck’ is also inaccurate and othering. I like how people are using cis and trans as descriptive simple words to explain what they’re going to say next. ‘Trans women are women’ says an image macro. How simple, to ask for someone’s pronouns and let them tell you, to ask for their experience rather than bridle and shrink away at the idea of being berated by a subjugated person. To listen rather than label. I struggle with understanding people until I speak to them at length. Same thing occurred with trans people.

      Mars is abrading my mercury. I don’t mind it so much right now because usually I have a very unclear brain.

      • I don’t have a remotely independent or free mind, nor am I free of racism. I wasn’t educated not to be closeminded in subtle ways. I can be conservative and irrational.

        But, what’s coming out is my white and racial baggage. Hannah gadsby says the us is the ‘straight white man of the world’ and she’s not wrong.

  2. I sent this quote to my friend with Sun/Saturn which of course won’t help at all..

    ‘Self hatred is only a seed planted from outside in’ -Hannah gadsby

    I take issue with the cookbook definition of Sun/Saturn as a burden that makes you work hard and is somehow good. I’ve seen my friend suffer and internalize messages of being awkward and wacky and mediocre. It’s taking years to unravel these messages from childhood and where they originate from. That you’re not mental or anxious, but someone questioned your natural ways from childhood and didn’t treat you with sensitivity. So you internalized that critic. And it HURTS. Shitty aspects HURT and are not just a gift. They leave scars even if you achieve. You can be an incredible achiever with scars. Freddie Prinze was a rising star and his baggage tanked him. Just as childhood trauma leaves scars that morph but I don’t think they go away. Maybe they say we can’t blame our parents after a while, merely be aware of how they spun us, and actively work with ourselves and bring it to light. But, it’s important to put words to it and bring it to light and ok to get angry before you get ‘accountable.’ We are also just as unaware of our parents perspective in raising us until we try it. Our parents feeling that we were shitty as a kid is just as valid a thought.
    I think people are a child and adult at the same time all the time. If you pull up your bootstraps too quickly, you will be walking around and reenacting pain and baggage. Words and vulnerability are important. This is just from observation of my friends. I have many of my own problems I find difficult to untangle or bring to light. I fail morally and ethically.

    This is some of the stuff I’ve been thinking about. I have a lot of issues to work on and should probably do that instead. But I’m tired of managing one particular emotional pain of my Neptune transit without knowing what it is.

  3. The best way I’ve personally dealt with Mercury retrograde energy is to not fight it. When it’s not resisted, you can get good and weird things out of it.

  4. Memories of my mom. Of a dear pet. My youth as it becomes distant in my rear view mirror. My life before my heart was broken. A sense of loss. Well it IS retrograde in cancer.
    Ive also been thinking about how I was so happy in my old job(10th house where cancer lies). How I wanted to eventually retire from that company, I was so happy…until turning 50 pulled the rug out from under my feet.
    Very happy with the company I work for now. Not as intellectually stimulating nor does it pay as well…but I feel Im doing some real good in the world.
    All this retrograde energy is not good for me no matter how I slice it. Could really use some simple surface skimming right now to lighten my perspective.

  5. More health issues, minor right now and exposed early enough to be managed. Cancer 6H with the Cap stellium opposing, the recent Eclipse, and Mercury Retro???

    Here’s my armchair astrology:

    Well I do believe my mind has been forced to reconnected with my body and listen to it’s story. And I am grateful.

  6. Was just thinking about this last night. Elsa wrote once that Mercury is important. Okay I hear that, but did not really hear it till this one. Mercury in Cancer, all this detail on my job has been boring me to the point of being infuriated. And then there is the software butting in all the time with useless helpful suggestions to get me to utilize their needless features. It has really been bugging me the last couple of weeks. I just want to throw my workstation out the window. I don’t think Mercury in Cancer cares about all this number stuff at all, but it will be over soon, right? Probably, the only reason my natal mercury in libra cares is that everything in accounting has to balance.

    This is nothing major. Nothing that time or a sledge hammer can’t solve. I am experiencing this one in a very personal day to day way.

  7. Hello! :))

    I was born with Mercury retro so I’m used to the energy , altho it’s now retro on my midheaven. Job is hard and finances unsure. I feel like inside I want to cry , but I mostly do when my mind is in a fog ( also Neptune SQ Neptune) I watch series like Downton abbey or other british series . So that I can escape in something else , or watch call the midwife . Just to see at the end that everything is going to be alright . My dad always use to say : well that’s the movie and not real. But is it? I don’t know I prefer it that way . Preparing myself for a whole other future and letting past things go. Adapt and don’t fight change. It will only make it harder for me. I love the comfort of my bed where I can sleep and lay my worries to rest for a few hours.


    • Hey Carmen, I like watching the detectives because the asshole criminals always end up having to take responsibility for their crimes. There is justice and all is right with the world. I do cry at injustice.

      And my guilty pleasure is those Re-design shows where they go in and stage houses. I could never live in those rooms. I think maybe I am just trying to understand what does not make sense to me, but that people find appealing. Oh and TMZ sometimes. They are so silly and occasionally do good reporting.

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