Surviving the Holiday Retrograde


The holidays can be a challenging time—dealing with family, tight budgets, and travel stress is tough as it is, but Mercury Retrograde adds another layer of frustration this year.

Mercury, the planet of communication and information, appears to move backward three times a  year for about three weeks. The current retrograde started on December 3rd and will end on December 22nd. That means this retrograde is smack-dab in the middle of the winter holiday.


When Mercury is retrograde, progress grinds to a halt so that we can stop to reflect.

Communication breaks down so that you might be waiting to hear back from someone, and misunderstandings may get blown out of proportion. Technology goes on the fritz so your phone, computer, or car might be finicky. Big purchases during retrogrades may cause regret later. Signing contracts, committing to new relationships, or getting married is not recommended now as you might be missing critical information. And travel becomes delayed, canceled, and otherwise disrupted.

Yipes! That’s some tough energy to have to deal with around the holidays when we’re traveling, shopping, and reconnecting with loved ones. Miscommunications, buyer’s remorse, and delayed flights are likely.


So how do we push through?

Stop trying to make progress on goals and relax for a moment. Choose your words carefully, and give others the benefit of the doubt while not taking their comments personally. 

Keep your technological devices safe in their cases; if your tech starts to act weird, be patient and give it a second to fix itself before running to the Apple Store. Back up all your important data in case your hard drive crashes.

Opt for more modest gifts this year so as to avoid making a huge purchase. And if you have/want to buy something expensive, do your homework first and avoid impulse buys.

Delay signing any contracts or leases for now. If you must sign something, be sure to read the fine print carefully. Put off any first dates, too. And if you happen to fall head over heels, don’t put a ring on it until after the retrograde because you might find out your beloved is not who you thought.

And if you’re traveling, print your tickets out and don’t rely on e-tickets. Arrive early for your flight/bus/train, and expect delays/cancellations. Bring a book to read or other ways to preoccupy yourself when that layover ends up being twice as long. Mostly, be ready to have a laugh at the irritating retrograde setbacks and take this cosmic time-out to reflect on this past year and its lessons for the year ahead.