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Mercury Retrograde, Make It Mindful Not Murky

01/10/2014 13:30 BST | Updated 30/11/2014 10:59 GMT

Mercury retrograde is upon us again. From October 4th to the 25th the planet known as the messenger of the gods goes backwards. Some people fear mercury retrograde as a time of doom, gloom and disaster. This astrological transit has its own hashtag on social media with accompanying stories of the mayhem often caused by this cosmic tailspin which many refer to as mercury retro ARGH.

So what is mercury retrograde and why does it raise an astrological red flag?

In astrology Mercury rules communication, logic and intellect as well as commerce, technology and transportation/travel.

Three times a year the planet goes retrograde for roughly three weeks however many established astrologers say there is a shadow period approximately two weeks either side of the retrograde. This means that during this period all the areas mentioned above can go a little haywire as things understandably do when they go backwards.. From muddled communications and subsequent misunderstandings to foggy heads and thought processes being a little off key... the best laid plans going awry, and major computer says NO issues as well as cars and other machinery playing up - all of these are common complaints during murky mercury retro ARGH.

Below I share some tips on managing mercury retrograde. I am sticking to the do's rather than the don'ts and in fact the only 'don't' I have is DO NOT PANIC. Instead focus on what you can do to work with the energy available during this time.

Do anything 're' Mercury retrograde is considered a great time by astrologers to do anything with the prefix re. Repair, redo, renew, reconsider, research. Repair old items in your home and freshen them up giving them a new lease of life. Review past situations to see what you can learn from them to help you both now and in the future. And so on. As this astrological transit can often make people feel a little unsociable taking some quiet time for anything 're' is a great use of one's energy during this period.

Do look back In theme with the re concept above mercury retrograde is not just a great time for reviewing what has been but also a time when the past comes knocking... You may hear from or feel minded to reconnect with people you have lost touch with - platonic, professional or romantic. Sometimes revisiting the past may involve final closure/wiping the slate clean - a reminder of why you parted ways with a person or situation but sometimes it can be a chance to repair an old hurt, renew a former business relationship, reconcile a friendship or romantic relationship. Consider a silver lining of the retrograde to be an opportunity to reexamine the past to see if it ought to be part of your present and indeed future.

Do back up! The retrograde of this planet is known for causing havoc with technology so with that in mind back up data, take care with all things electronic and do a bit of housekeeping with your online affairs. Computer repair shops and garages seem to do more business during mercury retrograde. Coincidence or cosmic synchronicity? Either way knowledge is power and prevention is always better than a cure.

Do have a Plan B Naughty mercury is known for creating havoc with transport and travel. But this doesn't necessarily mean doom and gloom for your travel plans however whether you are heading off on holiday or going to an important meeting or function make sure you have insurance in all forms and allow flexibility for delays.

Do delay Speaking of delays if you can avoid taking direct action on anything formal until mercury is direct (and ideally out of shadow) this is preferable. This means delaying signing contracts or starting anything new including making big life decisions. Take the time to do the re's and if possible put off doing anything formal until mercury goes direct and information that you may have missed comes to the surface. If you HAVE to take formal action and sign a contract or close a deal so be it but take extra time to review and read all the small print because murky mercury retro has a way of obfuscating facts and important information.

Do practice patience Be patient with yourself and others. I mean this should be a do for everyday life but when mercury is retrograde it's an even bigger MUST DO. With communications going awry misunderstandings are more commonplace and as plans often get changed people (or you) can seem a bit flaky. So be mindful and patient with yourself and others knowing that it may be mercury meddling rather than anything personal.

Do your thing Mercury retrograde is often known as a time when people feel more hermit like and it is a great time to lay low and reconnect with yourself. Yes logic and reasoning can be muddled but many find themselves more connected to their intuition and sixth sense at this time. Take time out for you and note what your higher self may be telling you - once mercury is direct again (and preferably out of shadow) and your mental processing faculties are hopefully all back on track it's is a good time to fully process what you have observed and perhaps act upon it.

Do trust Trust that what is beyond your control and goes awry during mercury retrograde often returns or is replaced/repaired in some way when the planet goes direct. As always in life the only thing you can control is your own consciousness and actions. If others muddled by mercury make rash decisions that impact you it is quite possible they may have a change of heart or mind when mercury goes direct and matters resolve themselves as the cosmos irons out the wrinkles.

Final DO! Do keep calm, have a sense of humour and carry on. Mercury goes retrograde three times annually for approximately three weeks (or twice as long if you factor in the shadow periods). You can't put your life on hold but you can use this time strategically and even benefit from it.

May you have a mindful muddle free mercury retrograde.