How To Hack The Retrogrades

How To Hack The Retrogrades

There has been a bit of talk about how potent and generally shithouse this current Mercury retrograde is. Anecdotally, it seems more severe than any of the recent prior retrogrades -at least as far as I can remember.

However, there are potential positive sides to retrograde planets if you know how to spot them. Here’s a calendar of 2010 retrogrades so you can see what’s coming up.

Given that I have a tendency to zig where others zag, I tried ‘leaning into the curve’ -as it were- of retrograde Mercury yesterday and got some amazing results. More on this later.

Of course, the other essential component of any retrograde hack is knowing where the planets are in relation to you, personally. Sun signs will easily suffice for this if messing about with natal charts isn’t your area. (It certainly isn’t mine.)

Here’s where I get my free monthly sun sign predictions. You may have your own preference, of course.

Retrograde Hacks

Below are the broad influences of each retrograde by planet followed by my recommended hack. The guiding idea connecting all of them is rather than ‘backsliding’ in areas of your life such as love, career and communication, think of it as an opportunity to ‘look back’ or reconnect with something that’s past. The trick is not to go in the opposite direction of the retrograde planet… Just try and manage its slide into more positive areas.


  • Influences: misunderstanding leads to arguments, interrupted communication, tendency for negative thoughts to distract you.
  • Hack: Reconnect with people with whom you have lost contact. Touch base with old colleagues. Anything to do with communicating with the past is favoured here. Maybe some new work comes your way through your old network? If you’re a historian then presumably a retrograde Mercury is a boon.

Figuring I’d just try this little idea out, I reconnected with some old colleagues yesterday morning and now I’m going in to one of the world’s leading media companies, tomorrow, to give one of the most important presentations of my career. So send me luck on that one. (Seriously. Send me luck. What’s the point of having a magic blog if you don’t ask for a little sorcerous help from time to time?)


  • Influences: Doubts grow in your relationship, feelings of abandonment or loneliness, tendency to make faux pas in social situations.
  • Hack: Get in touch with a former partner. (At least, one that you planned to stay in contact with but didn’t.) Alternatively, finally let go of past negativity and emotional scars. If you’re thinking about getting a therapist, now’s the best time.


  • Influences: Inappropriate anger, inability to cope with stress, a tendency for projects to fail in ways that are out of your hands.
  • Hack: Go through your mental trophy room. Dwell on all the awesome things you have done in the past. Make a firm commitment to fail better. No one succeeds without racking up dozens of failures. Learn to like when this happens. Commit to failing a whole lot.


  • Influences: A tendency to sell yourself short in all areas. Or the complete opposite; a tendency toward pomposity and arrogance. Financial interruption.
  • Hack: Become an ‘inner emperor’. See just how rich your internal life can be. Sit somewhere and mentally read a book to yourself that no one has written yet. Locate your inner, unstoppable awesomeness.


  • Influences: Fear, depression, ‘woe is me’. Inability to rise above background anxiety, insomnia. Bullying hurts more than it should. Increased desire to be cruel.
  • Hack: Make amends for past wrongs. Even just an email to someone you have hurt in the past. Consider this an opportunity for meditating on and bearing witness to the pains of the world.


  • Influences: Feels like you’re playing Are You My Mother? with the whole world. Feeling lost or that you have strayed from the path somehow.
  • Hack: Get lost. Go on a solo road trip. Really lean into the feeling of being an outsider and find joy in it -you are truly unique in the entire universe. (This is my favourite hack.)


  • Influences: Tendency toward idleness and delusion, false feelings of guilt. Isolating yourself from those around you.
  • Hack: Find yourself a regular activity where you can really blur the rules of reality. Enter yourself into poetry slams or do what I’ve committed to doing; a wine appreciation course. (So going to be top of the class in that one.)


  • Influences: People and events getting off on the wrong foot, unforseen circumstances turning your world upside down, complete upheaval.
  • Hack: Empty your attic. Seriously remove or cut away things in your life that are no longer used. Cancel your cable. (It’s all on the internet, anyway.) The trick is to cut things from your life that you want cut.

A final reminder

Astrological influences are a starting condition and nothing more. Don’t use them as an excuse for inaction. Don’t casually check the charts and presume something is doomed before it has started.

You are still very much in the driver’s seat. To continue the automotive metaphor; astrological influences are best thought of as traffic conditions. They’re gridlock or snow or pouring rain. But you always have the option of taking a few back roads.

Who’s got some other ideas for retrograde hacks? I delight in your ingenious ways.


Within half an hour of posting this my stupid host goes down and I lose all my sites! (I have more than one blog.) Like I said to the adorable Dropped Out Dilettante; perhaps Mercury was less than happy with my attempts to hack his movements?

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  1. 1

    I don’t know about anyone else, but this retro hasn’t been that bad, once I realized what was going on. Knowing Mercury’s retro leads me to Keep Silent, implement Thumper’s Dad’s Rule: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Note I haven’t posted today, for example. :D

    Also, just knowing there’s a predilection for miscommunication, I’m not stunned and pissed when people don’t understand me. It puts things into proper perspective.

    Mercury is the only retro that gives me any consistent grief.
    .-= RO´s last blog ..Mental Games =-.

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