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Time for a Karmic Overhaul in Vedic Astrology

Your Brain On Mercury Retrograde

“Mercury goes retrograde” is the Chicken Little chant of astrologers. Don’t sign contracts, don’t buy a phone, don’t move, don’t get married, don’t plan travel BECAUSE MERCURY IS RETROGRADE YOU FOOL!

Ah, but maybe we should be less like Chicken Little (aka, Henny Penny) and more like Foxy Woxy. Mercury is indeed going retrograde this month (November 17th!) but perhaps the sky is not falling (well, at least not for all three weeks that Mercury appears to be going backwards!).

While conventional astrological wisdom advises important decisions should not be made while Mercury is retrograde, in this case from November 17th to December 6th, perhaps if we understand what’s going on within our brains during this retrograde period, we can take appropriate actions.

When Mercury goes retrograde, or appears to travel backward through the sky, there occurs a corresponding effect in our thinking abilities (remember that Mercury is the astrological indicator for the thinking mind).

When Mercury is moving forward, or projecting itself through space and time, our left hemisphere of the brain, the analytical projective “moving forward” mind functions as usual, allowing us to analyze and make appropriate decisions (like updating our computer software or signing a lease).

However, when Mercury moves “backward” we lose much of that left brain function as we turn inward, or move into, the right hemisphere of the brain. While the right brain is great for delving into the hidden areas of life (think meditation), it is not the best part of the brain for making analytical decisions, like what airline should we book our trip.

With the left brain on a Mercury retrograde hiatus, we often completely second-guess ourselves, overlook or forget something, and then have to re-do something or re-visit our actions. The left side of the brain also controls speech, and so we may experience frustration in communicating effectively when Mercury is retrograde (just watch how often people mispronounce words or incorrectly type a phone number during that time!).

So do not blame Mercury. It’s just a planet. Blame your half brain.

So if we cannot whine about Mercury when it is retrograde, what can we do?

Answer: Yoga, and specifically a yoga breath practice called Surya Bhedana Pranayam (Sun Piercing Breath).

It is simply inhaling through the right nostril and exhaling through the left nostril. Seven minutes daily is a minimum to help ameliorate Mercury retrograde brain farts.

Inhale Right, Exhale Left. Repeat.

While you can make these days of retrograde better by practicing Surya Bhedana Pranayam, perhaps on November 17th when this all begins, you may simply want to take Chicken Little’s advice and pull the covers over your head.

And don’t buy a phone from a guy called Foxy Woxy.