True Confessions of a Mercury Retrograde Survivor

Each new moon, full moon, and celestial wonder always makes me look at myself—my very existence—and take spiritual inventory. Mercury Retrograde is no exception. Although it is said to be a special time of reflection and meditation, depending upon who you ask, it’s a time of devastation as well. At least that’s how it can feel.

 I confess to never having experienced anything like I did in the early part of 2018. This past Mercury Retrograde in March and April tried to undo my whole soul. From random, urgent, and mysteriously vanished voice messages and text messages that were never received by or from me, to three—not one, not two, but three!—cell phones breaking, to my internet mistakenly being terminated by my provider (and, yes, before your mind starts to wander, I did pay my bill on time), I was over the madness. I had to bow down to Retrograde, and submit my will to seeing what exactly I was supposed to learn as a result of those delays, confusions and mishaps.

According to Astrology Answers, Mercury Retrograde is defined as “a transit in which the planet Mercury slows to a point that it appears to move backwards. All planets in the Universe are in motion, all of the time — some moving forward at a normal speed, and some moving slowly, giving them the impression of backwards (or retrograde) movement.” The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that the phenomenon of the backwards movement is called “apparent retrograde motion.” There are usually at least three occurrences per year, with 2018’s Mercury Retrograde cycles being March 23rd through April 15th, July 26th through August 19th, and November 17th through December 6th.

Retrograde is the time viewed by many spiritualists to come in as a wrecking ball and, truly, it can totally feel like one. That reputation is usually attributed to the fact that gadgets, communication, transportation, electronics, and plans in general tend to be disturbed and botched during such periods. That is not always the case for every person. yet with Retrograde having been in a strong sign like Aries, is was the case for me this past spring. I know for sure that there is definite credence to the superstitions that swirl around these astrological occurrences.

I consider myself to be a fairly practical woman. If I see that it’s about to rain, I carry an umbrella. I understand that leaking tires eventually go flat and there is a natural and logical explanation for most circumstances. I am also a woman of incredible faith; I know that miracles abound, so when the inexplicable occurs in life, I don’t question it. I fall into line and stand in awesome appreciation of the mystical experience just like the next person of spiritual reliance. So when the Mercury Retrograde cycles are scheduled to come down the pike, I mentally prepare myself.. I woosah. I recenter. But really? Inside, I cringe. I secretly recoil because I do not claim to know everything. But I do know, without a shadow of a doubt, that one better think twice before questioning the power of a Mercury Retrograde.

This Is a Chance to Check in With Your Personal Evolution

Photo by Annie Spratt

Despite my reservations with wanting to undergo Mercury Retrograde cycles, I have endured years of them to live to tell the tale. Once the starry, sacred tempests pass, and after I have survived each Mercury Retrograde, I look at what I was taught during the time period. I ask myself if I was supposed to look at something in particular that needs evolution in my life. Most times my lessons deal in patience because that’s exactly what the Mercury Retrograde challenges. It truly tests whether or not we have the fortitude to accept what we cannot change, yet change the things that we can.

The common notions are that only electronics, travel, and communications are misaligned and scrambled during Mercury Retrogrades, but really so much more is revealed about how one reacts to the larger spiritual circumstances at play. It’s about so much more than your laptop freezing up, causing you to lose your unsaved work. I know it’s about more than my phone mishaps, internet confusions, and other wire swaps; it’s a call to examine myself during these transits.

To my own surprise, I have learned through each Mercury Retrograde to trust that everything will work out as it was supernaturally meant to. I cannot predict or prevent malfunctions, nor can I control anyone else’s reactions or emotions. I can only control my own responses to experiences. I can choose to stay positive and in a place of love, rather than a place of negativity and fear. Consistency is always my karmic lesson: I must have the unwavering patience and faith in all occasions—favorable or otherwise—to know that all things work out in my favor— if I work through my own attitude and heart space to always emit love. This is a process that genuinely takes work.

So What’s the Lesson, Retrograde?

Photo by Patrick Tomasso

Each Mercury Retrograde makes me do the cathartic and painful inside-job of working through my own “stuff”.” It forces me to take the time to ask myself: What’s the spiritual and psychological root of this? It silently implores me to uncover why I feel a certain way about this thing or that thing, what this person or that person said—often something that was completely out of my control. It interrogates me with a valuable list of internal questions, and I immediately receive the same imperative conclusion every time: I need to fix this issue or that issue right now.

That lesson tends to become the common denominator of my life; I have no control over what I’m dealt, but I have control over how I respond. My aggravation won’t help anyone or anything; it just places me in a negative space of low vibration. Yucky pessimism is not a vibration that I consciously choose for my spiritual evolution. I choose to shine like the sun, and I hope to inspire others to do the same, as I know we all strive to make this world a better place for ourselves, others, and generations to come.

Ultimately, Mercury Retrograde is the astrological trickster (coming in as an ethereal  Mary-Poppins-meets-Nanny-McPhee of sorts—but without the sugar) that really forces me to adopt the “No Worries” mantra that I work hard to live and abide by each day. The transit provides life examination opportunities, and it tests my inner gangster to see if I am spiritually legit or not. Am I the real spiritual deal or just lip service? How can I help and empower others if I don’t buy and practice my own principles and methods?

The bottom line: Mercury Retrograde fleshes out any hypocrisy, and for that, I knuckle down through the weeks of random exams, exhaling with gratitude as I walk away from each encounter with valuable lessons learned to share. That’s the bigger lesson, and we should all be grateful for it.   

Keelah Jackson

Columnist: Brave Living

Keelah Jackson, also known as "The Mastercreative," is an esteemed writer, educator, singer/songwriter, mixed-media artist, model, actress, voice-over talent, and motivational speaker based in Chattanooga, Tenn. As a seasoned vocalist, she has been entertaining for more than thirty years, since she was a small child. Throughout her lengthy entertainment career, Jackson has held numerous lead roles in various stage, film, and audio productions. In addition to performing, she is a full-time educational consultant with a M.S. in Education from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Senior Writer for The Connect magazine, and creator of her own inspirational blogs, The Runaway Diaries and Teenage Love. Check out her work at and

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