It's a Mercury retrograde month, virtually all of August. Life can't stop while we wait out this and other troublesome transits, so here's some practical suggestions to help you get through the month of August as well as upcoming retrogrades.
1. Be patient. You'll notice longer lines, cars broken down by the sides of the road, traffic jams, computer glitches. If a transaction normally takes five minutes it can take twenty. Planning extra time into the schedule and avoiding unnecessary errands can be very helpful. Breathe.
2. Don't buy anything you don't have to buy. It's a great time to do research for future purchases, but generally items purchased during a mercury retrograde turn out to be defective or unwanted when the retrograde is over. My stubborn and impulsive nature has tried to test this rule many times. I've purchased the only tempermental Mac computer I've ever had, a total lemon car, clothes and shoes I hated a few weeks later, music filed in the category 'what was I thinking'… I could go on... The thing that amazes me though is how often we feel compelled to buy things during the retrograde, even when we know better. Right now I'm research projectors. Last time I was sure I needed one was also during a retrograde. I actually ordered it that time, thought it wasn't compatible with my computer, sent it back, and later discovered it would have worked with an adaptor and I should have kept it (or would it have been defective?!!)
When we are sure intuitively we need to buy something, buying the extra warranty, or in the case of an airline ticket, buying one that is refundable can be helpful insurance. Little extra cautionary actions allow life us to go forward through the month with a feeling of peace and security.
3. To repair or not? Know that equipment and cars are more likely to break down, and patience will be required. Some people say things that break during a Mercury retrograde won't be fixed properly during it and some say a thing that has been broken a long time can sometimes be fixed properly, finally during a subsequent retrograde. The reality is, if you ever walk into an equipment repair or car mechanic's shop in the middle of one, they'll be swamped and stressed and it makes sense that maybe the repair won't be perfect. Most of us don't have the luxury of not fixing our cars, computers or phones until a few weeks go by, so we just have to take them in and hope for the best. A calm accepting attitude that a gift of the Mercury retrograde is to help us focus on fixing problems facilitates the flow.
4. Delay signings. Don't sign contracts or start something new unless you have to. It helps if you began the idea well before the retrograde and if you give yourself some kind of escape clause. This comes up a lot when people want to buy a house. Deciding to buy a house in the middle of a retrograde often ends up not working out so well, but looking for houses for months and finding one during might be the problem solving energy of the retrograde coming to fruition. Usually a contract allows a review period and setting the final contingency date to be past the retrograde is a good idea.
5. Meditate. Mercury retrogrades are a great time to review our mental processes; in fact the deeper meaning behind any retrograde is to allow us to use the energies of the planet more independently and creatively. We simmer and percolate in energy forward, backward and then forward again. That final forward is a new template, created through reflection and deep process. The only way to have an objective view of our thoughts is to be able to observe them with a sense of our higher selves engaged in the process. Meditation is really our best ally in the pursuit of a clear mind and conscious thoughts. It also helps us be patient, allowing us to clearly decide what is an intuitive urge that bears action in the mercury retrograde period, and what is just the antsy mercurial mind flitting from one idea to the next. A clear mind works in service of the intuition. The intellect is a fantastic tool when it is harnessed and connected to our higher spiritual vision. The Mercury retrograde cycle is a helpful process when approached consciously, and not a pesky delay to living our lives.
Enjoy the energy!