Mercury snuck out the door a little early this round, so while technically retrograde starts December 10th, I experienced maddening Skype issues, flaky Comcast and meeting mixups as early as last weekend. I’m still not as frustrated as the friends I attempted to coordinate, but trust me, by Sunday night I was in full on tech-rage. Given some coffee and a chance to step back, I’ve reminded myself that I have to approach the absence of the planetary influence the way I do when I create a vegetarian meal: it’s not about what’s missing, it’s about what I do or consume instead. This isn’t the time for all those extroverted things we take for granted. It’s the time to go within, and sort things out.
Think of Mercury Retrograde as an information/travel diet: it’s a signal from the universe to slow down. Maybe the world won’t end if you skip that party, don’t answer the email within five minutes and maybe wait until the new year to close the deal. If you think about it, December in the West is both the best and the worst time for such a Retrograde to land. Even those of us who officially don’t observe the Christian holidays get caught in them, and we forget to cherish the quiet that the season can also bring. I loved working Christmas shifts not only because I wouldn’t get caught out for reading on the job but also because it left me time to explore things normally lost in daily bustle.
This makes this particular season one to really explore, revisit, re-examine, (experiment with retro?.) With that in mind, this is how I try to put Mercury Retrograde to positive use:
It’s a great time to clean up stuff both physically and online. Unsubscribe from irrelevant mailing lists, clean out all those old boxes, get rid of the clothing you keep saving for when you’re the size you were when you were 21.
It’s Christmas card season – maybe get in touch with people you’ve lost touch with, so long as they’re people you actually care about. Make sure you want to hear about them, not just tell them how you’re doing.
Look over that manuscript, project, artwork – what can you change and improve? Nothing ever comes out perfect on the first try so this is a good time to accept and explore that process.
I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I do a series of Google document plans, that I review and update throughout the year and then transfer for the next year. While initially overwhelming, it’s a good way to re-examine my priorities and to look over the year before to consider what has worked and what hasn’t. There’s also no shame attached to not getting something done. Life events happen all the time; I’d rather put life first than ephemeral deadlines.
Also, according to Susan Miller’s fantastic Astrologyzone, this month will be a financial bear to any adult with a pulse. You may want to consider going low-cost on the gifts this year, or even doing the handmade or service option. I’m the freak who gets done with holiday shopping by August, usually, but most people I realize don’t think like that.