There is one golden rule when it comes to Mercury Retrograde phases. Interestingly enough, it's grammatical. If you can commit this simple tenet to memory then you'll find that retrograde cycles of Mercury are not only easier to navigate, but also rich with potential for growth and personal development.
Ready class? Here's the rule. Remember back in grade school when you learned about the prefix "re?" Well, a prefix is placed before the root of a word and this one means "again." All you need to remember is that during any Mercury Retrograde cycle, if you're doing something that begins with "re" such as reassess, revise, revisit, reconnect, redo, recall, resay, refresh, you're right on track. If you're not then stop immediately or else suffer the Mercury Retrograde migraine!
Here's a top list of dos and don'ts that will help you navigate the confusion around any Mercury Retrograde phase:
DON'T initiate. DO finish what you've started.
No matter how fantastic your new plan may be, hold off on the launch while Mercury is trekking backwards. There's a high probability that you're missing crucial information or that whatever you pitch to others isn't going to sound as phenomenal to them as it does to you. Instead, use Mercury's Retrograde as a time to take stock of whatever you've already got going on and do your best to polish up and finish existing projects.
This certainly holds true for writing projects (and Mercury Retrograde is a perfect time to edit and revise work). However, it also applies to all areas of your life, from work, money and relationships. Usually, it's best to not start a new job, get married or begin a new financial chapter in your life now. Polish up your resume, plan your wedding or research investments instead.
DON'T purchase big ticket items. DO comparison shop.
You should not purchase any big ticket item such as a car, computer, appliance or even a piece of jewelry during Mercury's retrograde for several reasons. First, if it has moving or electronic parts, there's a good chance that you'll find a glitch. Repairs are fine (and a perfect prefix) on existing equipment... however no one should have to repair a brand new item! In addition, during Mercury retrograde you might not receive the best bargain if you rush to purchase. If you can wait for your item, it'll be wiser to shop after Mercury is direct. In the meantime, comparison shop and spend more time thinking about what you really want. You might find that you've changed your mind completely by the time Mercury turns direct!
DON'T sign contracts, make verbal agreements or life altering decisions. DO renegotiate, mediate and reconsider existing ones.
This might be the most widely known tip about Mercury Retrograde, but it bears clarification. If at all possible, avoid new agreements! Because once you sign the dotted line or give that handshake, you will likely find that a series of events or misunderstandings cause the initial pact to change or fall apart. Instead, this is a good time to consider a renegotiation. Is your lease up for renewal on your apartment? Now is the time to either shop around or do research on a better agreement to propose to your landlord once Mercury turns direct.
Are you considering asking for a raise? Use this cycle to recognize what you are worth but also to re-evaluate whether or not you're offering your best to the company you work for. If you're not, now is the time to implement revisions. Are you ready to break up with your lover? Even if your mind is made up, you'll want to wait. A life altering decision implemented under Mercury retrograde has a waffling effect. You might go through a "make up and break up" phase that is exhausting. If you want a clean break and you're sure, wait until Mercury is direct. There will be no confusion or second guessing!
DON'T hide under a rock and stop living. DO expect delays and snafus.
Preparation and patience are key during Mercury Retrograde cycles. If, for example, you have a trip planned and you notice it's during a Mercury Retrograde, don't cancel your plans and stop living! Instead, consider the added potential for mishaps and prepare accordingly. Recheck your baggage to ensure you've packed everything vital. Make sure you have all the proper documentation for your trip. Anticipate delays due to the added issue of miscommunication. Roll with it!
In short, Mercury Retrograde cycles are not meant to be the source of endless aggravation. However, if you go against the flow of this cycle you're likely to experience more stress. Taking pause every now and then allows us to gain a new perspective and realize what we might have missed in the past. Now we get a chance to fix it and become even stronger because of it... thank you Mercury Retrograde!