The Visionary Magic of Mercury Retrograde

Mercury retrograde gets a bad rap. If you're a witch with a smart phone, you've probably encountered the spiritual scare tactics that surround this astrological transit: portends of communication chaos, breakups, the resurgence of exes, technological mishaps, parking tickets, you name it. And while Mercury retrograde certainly shakes things up, this transit isn't one to be braced for; this transit rewards flow, adaptability, humility, and a deep well of laughter. If you utilize it to your advantage, Mercury retrograde is the perfect opportunity to lovingly release your hold on fear so you can better tend your inner visionary.

Mercury stations retrograde later this month on August 23rd, where it'll spend several weeks seemingly traveling backwards through the sky. When a planet enters retrograde, the areas of life impacted by this planet can feel like they've been brought to a standstill. This is your chance to take a hard pause — even when you'd rather move full speed ahead — and realign with your values, goals, and desires.

Mercury is the planet of expression; during a Mercury retrograde, the way we communicate, relate to others, and understand ourselves is brought into question. You can honor this period by loosening your grip, embodying new perspectives, and bringing your attention to the way you create meaning. What does it mean to express yourself authentically? Who are you in relationship with, and what agreements sit at the foundation of this relationship? Who are you to yourself, and who would you like to be?

Mercury rules the astrological signs Gemini and Virgo, who are intimately concerned with the way meaning is spread, assigned, expressed, and transformed. As Mercury stations retrograde for the second time this year in the sign of Virgo, prepare to nurture your intuition and judgement. Mercury retrograde is a temperamental time, because Mercury is a trickster planet; remember to go with the flow instead of bracing for impact.

Mercury Magic: Cord-Cutting Spell for Visioning

Tap into the visionary magic of Mercury retrograde with a cord cutting spell! Mercury is the planet of the mind; if you don't make an effort to be present with your mental state during Mercury retrograde, you might notice your thoughts slowing down, getting cluttered, and blocking the path towards clear and aligned expression. This spell is supportive for cutting cords with murky communication, basking in clarity, and invoking your inner visionary.

You will need:

  • One blue candle (for intuition)

  • One white candle (for clarity)

  • Black thread or string

  • The Ace of Swords from your tarot deck

  • Matches or a lighter

  • Pen and paper

Before you begin the spell, spend some time connecting with your physical body; rewatch your favorite comedy sketch and offer yourself some deep belly laughs, take a cleansing shower or bath with support from herbs like peppermint and rosemary, brush your hair and massage your scalp. Prioritize whatever makes your body feel good! No matter how pragmatic your individual outlook on Mercury retrograde, this transit has a tendency to amp up stress and tension in the world around you. It never hurts to take a moment (or two) of inventory before beginning a spell, let go of stagnancy and heaviness, and remember your body is an ally.

Begin by preparing your materials. Cleanse your candles, pull the Ace of Swords from your tarot deck, and gather the rest of your tools in a quiet, illuminated space. Cut your black string to size; it should be long enough to wrap around your candles twice. This string will represent the mental and emotional blockages on your path towards your inner visionary, intuition, and re-alignment.

Place the Ace of Swords in front of you, and consider what blockages you're specifically releasing. The Ace of Swords is ready to cut away whatever ties are holding you back. On your piece of paper, make a list of roadblocks you feel ready to let go of. Set this list aside, then place a fire-safe dish on top of the Ace of Swords. On your dish or plate, place your candles side by side and wrap your string twice around them.

When you're ready, light your candles and envision the path towards your inner self clearing and brightening. Allow any shadows to fall away, pushed away by the strength of the light from the path. Hold this visualization as long as you can, allowing the candles to burn until the black string has been completely severed. At the end of your spell, offer yourself some time to reflect. How does your body feel after this release? What, if anything, is still lingering? Take some time over the next week to make a plan of action for living this magic out in your day-to-day life; are there friendships you need to take space from? A coworker you need to set a boundary with? An apology you need to make to yourself? Don't let the magic end here, babe! Allow it to ripple out into your life through each conversation, each decision made.

Mercury retrograde is a time for imagining what else is possible — what other ways of communicating, loving, doing, and being we can embody. Retrogrades prime us for big, aligned shifts towards our dream world. When you tend to your inner visionary by pausing long enough to see what other roads are opening to you, a renewed sense of purpose becomes possible. If you do any one thing this Mercury retrograde, honor your inner visionary and choose a direction.

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