When people hear the word "retrograde" in Astrology they usually cringe. Well after studying and "living" astrology for the last decade, I'm writing to attempt to redeem and shift the perspective a bit.
Most of us will agree that life moves really fast these days, and often we feel like time is flying right by us in ways that have us struggling to capture important moments, reflect on things or even breathe.
Well, this is what retrograde periods are ultimately for. They provide us with opportunities to slow down, gather our thoughts, ideas, senses and breath, so we can proceed with more understanding, awareness, mindfulness and confidence. And I'd like to add that real definitive progress can also be made during these times. Life does not have to stop and frankly, it can't.
We are currently in a Mercury retrograde, and I find myself revisiting my blog and writing again. Huh? Whata ya know! Life has calmed enough for me to gather my thoughts so I can actually sit down and write. I've spent month (actually over a year) racing around with fleeting thoughts and ideas in my head of what I'd like to write and trying to set intentions to get back to actually doing it, and nothing... until now.
And not only is Mercury touring backward, so is action planet Mars and business and money task master Saturn. Luckily Jupiter has shifted direct after 4 months, so this helps to lift the spirits for sure. Nevertheless, I have begun to recognize that often much actually can and does happen under these and all retrograde phases.
As we race around every day aren't we physically or mentally making lists of "to dos" that we hope to get to at some point? Well, do you ever notice that that "some point" can often come during a retrograde? For a lover of making lists and checking shit off it, this feels awesome to me. I have a passion for feeling like I'm being productive and making progress, so retrogrades have become a positive opportunity rather than a negative one for me. And there are many small things on my daily lists that I get to check off during the 3 or 4 regular Mercury retrograde times we have every year. But sometimes, like now, we are dealt a heavier hand of retrograde energy so bigger items on bigger lists can potentially be marked off. And I want to share a recent experience to show that progress can be made under these conditions and actually that retrograde periods can be very helpful in many ways...believe it or not.
My husband and I have had a home improvement to do list since we moved into our house 6 years ago. We don't have a large home, so we have been planning to redo the backyard and build a covered patio that can be an additional outdoor living space as we have a large family and also love to entertain. Now this project was by no means a new venture or conceived under retrogrades, which is key. And we started the actual project before Mercury went retrograde. Nevertheless, Mars and Saturn were already working backwards and the trickster definitely still played a big part in the process. I'll explain.
First we signed the estimate and put down a deposit before Mercury went into retrograde, yet because we were already in the shadow of it I prepared myself for delays... and they started the job a couple days later than planned. The demo of the old patio concrete was done even before the official shift, but not without hiccups and delays. They busted a water pipe on day 1, knocked out our previously placed footings for our covered patio on day 2 (which would now have to be redone), on day 3 they said they'd start late but ended up not showing at all because there was an accident on another job, and on day 4 they chopped my cable line creating a series of appointments to repair. See Mercury and the others were already at work, and clearly other people were also dealing with them too.
I just rolled with it and kept saying, "yep, this is the energy we are in and this is the choice we made." And even though I know I over communicated about the issues of watching for the pipes, only cutting around the footings and several other particulars, still much was lost in translation between the foreman and his workers. But there was really nothing I could do but keep a sense of humor about it all and keep going. And in the end these hiccups and delays actually allowed things to be fixed and redone in a better way than they originally were, which was a positive.
They say you can absolutely get things accomplished during Mars and Saturn retrograde phases, but you should proceed with caution and it may take longer and cost more than expected. Well that has been proven to be true also. There was added cost along the way due to some of these issues mentioned and other miscommunication about what was included and what wasn't with the original estimate.
But again on the positive side, if you use the slow pace to your advantage and proceed with caution only after all the necessary info has been gathered the end result will be worth it. And I agree. And it was.
When Saturn went retrograde I reviewed our budgets and finances, realized we had made huge progress over the years of waiting and could now responsibly afford the project. Then I slowly researched all the possibilities and ideas ensuring we settled on what we really wanted (even though we had been discussing it for months). And of course my husband had a say as well and I listened really hard to his thoughts and desires and trusted his vision. Next I gathered several quotes and compared them carefully to make a choice on a company before Mars went retrograde. And I think because Mars and Saturn were moving slower I was really able to take the time to efficiently evaluate before taking action.
And believe me, I asked myself several times if I should wait. But I now felt such a strong drive to get this thing done. And when planets are retrograde the energy can become internally much more intense and I feel this was the case for me. I had put in the time and done the homework. And I was very aware of the universal energy in play. But I was still feeling the time was right to go for it. So we did.
Now you could probably explain away the Astrology here if you wanted to because I've also come to learn that this is the way all home improvement projects go. This way my first rodeo. But this was such a huge, long awaited goal for us and the way things seemed to finally magically come together makes me feel that there was something beyond us helping....even if at times it seemed harder in the process. It was like the universe continuing to test us. "Do you really want it?" "Do you think it will be worth it?" "Can you handle this?" And since the answer was a resounding "Yes", we won. The concrete and phase 1 is finished and the covered patio is due to begin construction tomorrow. We'll see what the planets say about this next phase, but I look forward to any challenges that might come so the end product can be better than even we imagined.
There is a saying that nothing in life worth having comes easy or without hard work. I suppose when planets are in retrograde it can feel like harder work and like nothing can easily be accomplished. Yet I believe if you use the time wisely and navigate it with true awareness of its opportunity to service us well, help us improve and evolve successfully, we might welcome them more often with open arms.
Note: Perhaps a part 2 of this post will be in order down the line, #MercuryRetrograde. Lol But I felt compelled to share from where I am now in the hopes that it can potentially ease the pain and stress of retrograde energy and show that good things can still happen during these times. And please comment below, I'd love to hear other people's positive experiences under planetary retrogrades.