Rituals to Help You Thrive During Mercury Retrograde

July 22, 2019 4:17 am Published by

Every Mercury retrograde, it feels like the whole internet goes crazy (including Instagram crashing, the technology breakdowns with Mercury retrograde are real!) for a while with memes blaming a whole slew of problems on Mercury retrograde.

But the fact is, Mercury goes retrograde a few times a year every year, and it can be an incredibly potent time for your growth and transformation if you treat it as such. I really believe that all cosmic events happen for us, not to us, and we can let them have power over us or we can view them as empowering invitations to help us on our journeys in specific ways.

In this blog, I’ll be sharing some rituals for Mercury retrograde to help you tap into the magic of this time. But first, what is Mercury retrograde?


Mercury retrograde occurs when it appears from planet Earth that Mercury has slowed down, stopped, and moved backwards.

Mercury doesn’t actually move backwards–this is just a function of the orbits of Mercury and Earth.


Mercury is the planet of communication, of the voice, of how we receive, process, and share information and wisdom.

So Mercury retrograde always highlights these themes for us, asking us to look at our challenges, blocks, and wounds around communication, the voice, and how we exchange with other people.

It’s a beautiful time for turning inward, slowing down, connecting with our intuition, and reflecting on our own process. Use the rituals below to help you make the most of this time!


Mercury Retrograde can be a time of incredibly deep listening–listening that we’re able to drop into because we’re slowing down, turning inward, and turning off the external “noise.” Cards, whether you prefer tarot or oracle cards, are a great tool to assist you with this. Use this simple tarot spread to help you understand how to use Mercury retrograde to deepen your understanding of yourself and your journey.

To ritualize drawing cards, you might like to take some time before getting started to light incense or burn other herbs, ground yourself (click here for suggestions on how to get grounded), and/or do a practice that helps you open your channels such as breathwork, a movement practice, or a visualization meditation.

When you feel ready, you can start pulling cards:

  1. What inner work am I being invited into this Mercury Retrograde?
  2. What in my life needs re-evaluating during this Mercury Retrograde?
  3. How can I care for and give to myself during this phase?
  4. Where is this Mercury Retrograde leading me?

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Spell bags are one of my favorite ways to work with spells. They’re simple, effective, and you can work with the same bag for a while. My favorite kind of spell! Here’s what you’ll need to create a spell bag for clear communication:

  • A small cloth bag
  • Marshmallow, rosemary, or thyme herbs
  • A drop or two of lavender, grapefruit, rosemary, or time essential oils (optional)
  • The King of Swords tarot card (you can put the actual card in, or make a photocopy of it and put the photocopy in)
  • Sodalite, lapis lazuli, blue topaz, and/or blue lace agate
  • A relevant mantra, phrase, or sigil (learn how to create your own basic sigil here) on a piece of paper. Here are some suggestions, but feel free to use your own:
    • I express myself authentically and clearly
    • Sat nam, a Kundalini mantra meaning “truth is my identity”
    • Ham, the bija or seed mantra for the throat chakra
    • I always communicate clearly and my words are received as I intended them

As you place each item in your bag, visualize healing blue light flowing into your body, filling you up with this fresh energy of clear communication and truth-speaking.

Place your bag on your altar and leave it there for a full moon cycle!


In a culture that prioritizes the yang, the active, the solar–rest is radical. I recommend blocking off an evening, a weekend day, whatever time period you’re able to and creating an intentional, luxurious time of rest.


Here’s what that might look like:

  • Take a bath with your favorite herbs, oils, crystals, and candles (click here for some herbal bath recipes to inspire you!)
  • Wear your favorite clothes with soft, sensual fabrics and eat chocolate (or whatever other sweet treats you love–chocolate for me!)
  • Bring a blanket to the park and nothing else (no phone, no book, no distractions) and just lay down and watch the clouds move, or the stars and moon if it’s nighttime.
  • Turn off your phone, cancel your plans, and stay in to read inspiring books or watch a documentary.
  • Turn radical rest into a ritual by bringing intentionality to it and creating a ritual space, whatever that means to you.
  • That could mean lighting candles, having your crystals in a circle around you as you lay under the stars, meditating in the bath, or breathing deeply as you eat.

The options are endless! Give yourself full permission to rest in whatever way feels best to you.

Remember, Mercury Retrograde is here to help us. The things we associate with Mercury Retrograde, like communication breakdowns and technology glitches, can certainly happen. But the invitations we receive through that–turning inward, slowing down, acceptance, re-evaluation–can be beautiful if we choose to say yes and sit with our discomfort.

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About Eryn Johnson

Eryn Johnson is a breathwork facilitator, tarot reader, and Reiki Master based in Fishtown, Philadelphia. She is also the host of the Living Open podcast for mystics and seekers, a storytelling tool here to help facilitate soul evolution. The foundation of her work is energetic and based on the belief that there's nothing wrong with you- we are simply programmed from a young age to forget the truth of who we are. She uses energy work, storytelling, and breathwork to guide you back to you - your heart, your power, your magic. Find her work at www.living-open.com and @erynj_ on Instagram.