Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few decades, you’ve probably heard the term mercury retrograde being thrown around–especially at times when everything feels a little out of sorts. Mercury rules communication, so when it is in retrograde, it can shift things out of balance by creating a lot of scrambled thoughts and confusion.
Our current mercury retrograde period ends October 1st, so in order to close it on a good note, it is important to slow down and focus on the challenges that arise during this time. These rituals can help you face this with a clearer mind and, hopefully, less stress.
Being truly honest with yourself can do a lot to relieve any confusion you may be experiencing at this time. If you don’t have time or energy for more complex rituals, then journaling may be helpful for you. Taking pen to paper is a simple task that doesn’t have to take longer than a few minutes every day, and keeping it up can help with memory, communication skills, and more.
It is so easy to get stuck in our own heads, especially if you’re prone to anxiety, so physically writing down those thoughts can help put an end to that negative self-talk loop. Mercury retrogrades, it turns out, are actually a great time for self-reflection. To capitalize on that, focus on prompts around change: what are some things you want to change? Are there changes you’re pushing against?
Candle work is the practice of using fire (which represents transformation) to manifest intentions. Retrograde is a great time for this because it forces you to slow down and truly face the challenges it puts in your path. To manifest, write down a list of your intentions on a piece of paper and focus on them while lighting a candle.
The color yellow is associated with Mercury and Wednesdays; it’s tied to elements like focus, intellect and mental workings. A yellow candle is best during this time because it’ll bring in renewed ideas and inspiration, clearing mental blocks and more. If you don’t have a yellow candle, white candles are a good alternative.
If you’re feeling fancy, you can dress the candle with bay leaves (for protection and success), cornflower (for peace in the home), and fig leaves (for luck). For business owners, a dash of cinnamon can be added for prosperity.
Meditation is a classic with good reason; it has been shown to have long-term positive effects in the treatment of anxiety disorders and, according to a study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, even increases immune function. There are no specific steps you need to follow for this, so don’t worry about getting it right or wrong! If you’ve never done it before, we’ve covered how you can get started in the past, and there are plenty more free resources out there.
Binaural beats can be helpful if you’re having trouble focusing and you can find playlists themed to your specific need. Want to add an esoteric touch? Try adding a feather (representative of the air element) and a cloth bag of allspice (to ease mental stress) to your person when you do it. After, the latter can be carried around as extra protection at all times, but especially during this period.
When in doubt, you can never go wrong with a good old Epsom salt bath. Not only does it relieve tension and soothe sore muscles from a practical perspective, but Epsom salts are also a powerful tool used to purify, bless and cleanse.
Aromatherapy can help change your mood, so consider adding a few drops of basil (it sharpens concentration and is used for protection, peace, and happiness) or eucalyptus (it clears the airways) essential oils as well. Just make sure to do an allergy test first, and keep them away from your pets.