Posted by: Donna Cunningham | May 7, 2009

Mercury Retrograde Projects–Use the Energy to your Advantage

(c)2009 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Not all Mercury Retrograde periods are alike–if you’re attuned to the right uses of these 3-4 times a year transits, they can be a great asset.  We all need to reassess, review, and retool our work load every few months to make sure we’re on track and meeting current challenges–of which there are all too many in this tough and ever-shifting economy.  From today through the end of the month, we’re in just such a window.  How will you capitalize on it?

Does this contradict all the horror stories you’ve read in your search of internet sites?  Giving you the heebie jeebies about Mercury retrograde is the stock in trade of astrologers who want to make themselves important and invaluable to prospective clients.

The way I see it, the retrograde cycle is part of the natural rhythm of the universe, not something to freak out about.   If you plan for it, just as you might plan for the annual inventory of supplies for your business or planting time for your garden, it can keep you attuned to the alternating cycles of forward movement and of solidifying gains and cutting losses. That’s very qmarkmanflwrscloud-a2dmuch what the current retrograde phase is about.

A recent one  started out with Mercury in early Gemini, it soon backed into Taurus, forming a 90 degree angle (square) to both Neptune and Jupiter in the sign Aquarius the entire time, and even after it turned direct on May 31st, that square continued in range until mid-June.

Now, despite all my positive spin on Mercury Retrograde, this ISN’T the best of aspects.   Aquarius is the most modern, liberal-minded and technologically-advanced sign, while Taurus is perhaps the most old fashioned, even conservative in all senses, and not exactly jiggy with Change.

This is NOT the time to acquire new computers and other high-tech equipment nor to initiate new systems, for foggy, confused Neptune can create a good deal of  confusion and poor documentation.  (Do regular backups of mission critical data throughout this period.) It’s also a blinking yellow light–for us personally as well as our new Administration and major corporations–where fiscal policies are concerned.

So what wa it good for then? In part due to the need to act swiftly to stave off financial catastrophe, there have been decisions made on the run that now need to be assessed more carefully as to whether they were correct or not.

We’ve taken great leaps into a 21st Century society, and that’s great, but now’s the time to step back and take a common-sense, practical look at what will work for the long run.  Taurus is a fixed earth sign, as the planet itself emerges into the fullness of spring blooms. Aquarius is the emergence of the future, a digitized world.  The creativity and faith of Neptune and Jupiter represent much-needed inspiration about how to balance the two in a way that sustains us all.

Taurus also urges us to take time to smell the flowers.  If your brain is fried due to the mental demands of a complex, cerebral, and mind-boggling several months , it can help to do just that. Take a walk in a botanical garden or forest, get your hands in the dirt, cook something rich with textures, tastes, and smells–anything to get you back in your body again. It will clear your mind and spirit.

How can you capitalize on this timely phase to make headway in your own work and your own personal life?  The way I work with it is to always plan ahead for what I call a Mercury Retrograde Project, one that can easily be accomplished during the three weeks or so this transit is in effect.  Often, my choices reflect the signs and planets in Mercury’s longest aspect during that time, so this time it would be likely to reflect both Aquarius and Taurus.  As a writer, I often use these intervals to revise and polish a book in process…or work on a new and updated edition of one of my ebooks.

What I’ve set out to do this time around  is to create a databank of book and article excerpts published some time ago and rework them for submission to web sites and ezines that feature articles. My goal is for this to bring new traffic to this blog and sales for my ebooks, which you can see at or in the category “Bits from my Books and Articles” at the side of this blog.

Can you think of a do-able, practical Mercury Retrograde project for your work or personal life?  I’d love to hear about it in the comment section of this post.

See other posts about Mercury retrograde here:


  1. This is THE perfect time in my part of the planet to be planting out the last of the seedlings I’ve been nurturing all spring. The warmest weather crops can go out, and the plastic on the greenhouse can be peeled back starting around May 15. We are right now building some last beds for the season, rounding out our plan of many months’ development and work. Then there will be some final seeding of some crops that resisted pre-planting (we are cucumber deprived, for example).

    We will continue seeding thru the summer for fall and winter crops, but around the 15-20 of May marks the culmination of this phase of the project.

    • Hi, Deb, This would also be an auspicious time for planting because there are several planets in Taurus altogether: Sun, Venus, and Mars as well as Mercury.

  2. Hi, Donna.

    I’ve been holding on to some emails that I needed to catch up with, and just today reviewed (MercRx) one that got me kind of jazzed. It’s about altered books.

    Here’s the premise. Take an old book and turn it into a work of art with photos, embellishments, paint, sewing, anything at all. You put all these things directly on the pages of the old book. Seems like this would be a fun MercRx project because of all the old photos you might look through. It also fits with the Taurus/art connection and the Aquarian (new fangled) and Gemini (the old neighborhood) motifs. We can even throw in some of our old writing – poems, lyrics, rejection notices, doodles, whatever…

    It seems quite auspcious to me, and sounds like fun. It could be a good time to re-create.


    • Love it, CJ! But then, as you can already tell from this blog, illustrating with photos, drawings, etc is something I really love. Donna

  3. I added a link to this post on my blog,, Donna. For some reason, I am completely out of patience with all the drama & trauma so many astrologers surround Mercury Rx.

    Love the balance you bring between the ideal and the real. Thanks!


    • Me, too, Neith! Mercury Retrogrades–and retrograde periods of other planets as well–are such a part of the seasons and ebbs and flows of our lives. If we just went pell mell ahead all the time and never took time to reflect on what we’re doing, we’d go deeper and deeper into foolish mistakes. As long as we’re making intelligent use of these periods (see my other posts on Mercury Retrograde), they’re an asset, not something to dread. I’ve had clients call me in complete hysteria because they heard Mercury was going retrograde. Enough already!!! Donna

  4. Wonderful article. What a positive and constructive reframe.

    I was about to turn my books into e-books and add some audio – u have inspired me to make that my May project.

    Thank you


    • Add audio??? Wow, that sounds awesome! I know it’s possible with ebooks, but I’m not there yet. Write to me privately for some hints about ebooks. Donna

  5. My brain is a bit fried – been a manic few months in rather a demanding role – I hadn’t expected to be a leader.

    I’m taking ten days at home – being with my elderly cat, hots baths, extreme balcony planting – herbs/edible/nice smells, developing the shape of my family history ebooks, mixed media sculpture, paddling in the sea – whatever and whenever the mood takes me.

  6. Nice page / hope to visit soon:)

  7. Donna, I just love getting your newsletters in my emails! They are very thought provoking and have me going over my birth chart and actually have put me on the path to understanding transits!
    I have mercury in capricorn in the 4th house, any suggestions as to what to do with this RX?

    Thanks for being you.


    • HI, Nanette, thanks and I’m glad you’re enjoying the subscription. I think the Mercury Rx is actually already over, but Mercury may still be in your 4th. What I would have suggested would be that–since Mercury in Cap is really good at organizing–it would be a good time to put things in order in your home. For instance, go through and sort out household papers or clean out closets or storage spaces.

      there are two articles on this blog about things to do for all the houses–it’s called Shovel Ready Projects for all 12 houses, and you’d find it in the category Houses of the Chart on the right hand column of the front page. Donna

  8. LOL. I have Mercury in Capricorn too! (In 3rd) I’m one of the few folk I know who has empty cupboard space 🙂 Spent the Xmas vac (2 weeks in Europe) making shelves, organising and sifting my stuff. Less is more 🙂

  9. not experienced in astrology
    but born with retrograde mercury, and have certainly experienced being startled by the fact that i say one thing, and what is heard is sometimes something so completely different, that i find myself completely confused.
    but your yang / yin example opened a whole realm of possible benefits of a retrograde mercury – it seems to me that for instance –
    mercury retrograde in the 10th house could even be useful for a civil servant type, perhaps by making them more able to receive input from the public – would think this could apply to business clients as well.
    going from there could it be… in the first
    more able to receive new vision about who one is?
    second – more willing to receive information relating to that which one truly values?
    third – more receptive in communication generally?
    fourth – more receptive in communication with family / family members’ sides of issues etc.
    fifth – – more able to call on the muse? and or more receptive to lovers advances or play ? or more open to new art techniques ?
    sixth – more receptive to work feedback, and to the messages one’s body sends to one ?
    seventh – more receptive to one’s partner and to what he/she might be trying to get across ?
    eighth – more receptive to …. i dunno – messages from beyond ? and or to the needs of the dying? and or to information that will assist one in re-birthing or transforming oneself?
    ninth – more able to learn or receive knowledge or understand others while traveling / or about traveling?
    tenth – more receptive to the needs of public, clients, etc.
    eleventh – more receptive to hearing one’s friends stories – truth of their hearts
    twelfth – more receptive to the spiritual planes ? to that which is hidden ? more able to look clearly at one’s own subconscious motives and beliefs ?

    • Very nice interpretations of the possibilities for someone who hasn’t studied it. Donna.

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