Mercury retrograde slides in again on April 28, lasting for nearly a month until May 22. Cue the groans—or then again, maybe not, since it's always nice to have a token, abstract something to blame for any and all ish that hits the fan during that time. (“My phone screen shattered? The cat tore up the couch again? Someone put chicken in the vegan salad I ordered? Curses, Mercury retrograde!”)
Still, it turns out that having a handy scapegoat isn't the only benefit of MR—because (gasp) Mercury retrograde isn't all bad, despite what popular culture would have you believe. Sure, the universe kind of turns itself upside down. But as one expert argues, what if we harnessed that energy in a more positive way?
“The current approach to Mercury retrograde is about as low-vibe as it gets,” astrologist Lennon Mara tells Well+Good. “There’s so much fear-mongering. But to me, they are some of the most magical times that I get to experience. It’s a time when evolution on a subconscious level is possible, which is a great opportunity because we don’t always have access to that level of thought.”
In other words, while our subconscious is typically pretty suppressed during waking hours, during MR, the belief is that it is more on par with our conscious state of mind—which is why we often feel a little loopy, spontaneous, and more inclined to react to gut feelings. But having such open access to our emotions and desires also gives us a great opportunity to change deep-seated habits and establish more positive ones, says Mara.
Take healthy eating, for example. “Instead of having sugar cravings and not knowing why, it can be really useful to really see these negative thought patterns and say, ‘Okay, I see now what’s going on underneath,’” she says. "And you can tell those thoughts, ‘Hello! Glad you’re here. I’m still doing this no-sugar thing, okay?’ That’s what the awareness lets you do.” The same thinking can be applied to working out, meditation, or even being more productive at work.
Speaking of which, with all this subconscious thought—which is basically the substance of our dreams—swirling around at the surface, MR is also prime time for tapping into creative energy and imagination. To make the most of it, Mara recommends keeping a notebook (or at least your iPhone) on you at all times—and don’t edit. “Through the process of Mercury retrograde you can be very prolific, with a lot of subconscious stuff coming up,” she says. “I find that if I just keep going and doing the work, later I will understand it in a different, deeper way than I do when I’m writing.” Who knows? Those musings might just evolve into your next big idea. Curses, Mercury retrograde! Where are we going to unload all of our blame now?
Ready to harness that subconscious? Check out even more benefits of Mercury retrograde, and make sure you're tapping into the symbolism of your dreams, too. Plus, shop some of our favorite high-vibe products below to get an additional boost.