5 Rituals To Help You Survive Mercury Retrograde This Holiday Season

"I love Mercury retrograde…" said literally no one ever. Mercury retrograde winter 2018 has come at maybe the worst time possible. I mean, there’s never a truly good time for this transit, but considering Mercury is the planet that rules over communication, traveling, and technology, it’s a wee bit cosmically cruel that the retrograde went down during Thanksgiving week — you know, the week where everyone in America was traveling, catching up with countless friends and relatives, and indulging in Black Friday shopping crazes (hope you saved your receipts — especially if you bought any electronics!). Mercury began its final 2018 retrograde on Nov. 16, and it’s hangin’ tough there until Dec. 6, meanwhile turning all the Mercury-ruled sectors of our lives into hot zones of stress. It’s a short but sassy retro-round, and even though there’s only a week and a half left of this thing, I’m kinda strugglin’ over here. SOS.

In truth, Mercury retrograde isn’t low-key trying to kill us (despite how it like, really feels). It’s actually trying to make us stronger! Our society is all about that go-go-go, perpetually-busy type of lifestyle (and being in the middle of on-the-go Sagittarius season doesn’t help!), but sometimes we need to take a pause from the chaos. We’re all constantly busy, and most of us are probably addicted to packing our Google Cal with work, social events, and more. How can we possibly slow down? Well, sorry, but Mercury retrograde is here to force you to pump those breaks. Just as Mercury currently appears to be moving backward on its elliptic orbit, we too should be moving backward in order to review what the heck we’ve been up to. And we shouldn’t be moving back in a regression type of way, but rather in a review/ reassessment type of way. As astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo put it, "REmember: REtrogrades mark a time to REview, REasses, REalign." That said, it’s time to hit the pause button on the astrological VHS tape of your life. Be kind, rewind, guys — and give yourself an opportunity to work out any of the kinks in your current ~life plan~ so that once Mercury goes direct, your plans can, too.

Using the energy of Mercury retrograde to your advantage, obnoxious and inconvenient as it may be, will ensure that you’re even more solid on your path once the retrograde ends. That said, calling on a bit of earth magic and witchcraft to help you certainly can’t hurt — especially given that we’re all bombarded with the craze of the holidaze during this particular transit. We’ll take all the help we can get, universe! There are lots of super rad rituals for Mercury retrograde winter 2018 that will help you work with the energy of this period rather than against it. No need to be a full-fledged witch to give these a try — so long as you’re open to working with energy, you’re good to go.

Remember, prior to any ritual, you should prep your ~sacred space~ in whatever way feels right. If you’re casting a Wiccan-inspired circle of protection, there are lots of instructions online on how to do it properly (here are some simple steps!). But TBH, your spirituality time is about you. Do whatever feels natural — maybe that’s lighting your favorite incense and making a crystal grid or putting on some meditative tunes in a quiet, clean space. What’s important is that the act of preparation separates your special ritual time from the day-to-day mundane, making it feel special and rendering the energy much more effective.

All right, kittens, it’s time to get witchy! Check out these simple, helpful Mercury retrograde rituals so you can get down to some energy-cleansing, aura-protecting business and survive this thing in style.

Mercury Rx Energy Reversal Candle Ritual

If you’re desperate for some non-retrograde-fueled energy to help you through, this ritual is for you. Based on a spell created by witch Jess Carlson, it can help protect against the energy of Mercury retrograde — and it’s especially useful if you have to partake in activities that are typically advised against during the retrograde period.

What you’ll need: A light blue, gray, or silver taper candle and candle holder; a knife; other candle-carving tools (optional — you can use a knife for carving if needed).

What to do: Firstly, since this is a reversing ritual, you’ll want to flip your candle upside-down. Seems odd? Sure, but doing so represents your aim to flip the energy of Mercury retrograde upside-down for your given situation. You can do this by slicing off the tip of the candle so that it can serve as the new base, and forming the original base into the new tip, where you’ll light your candle. "The top part of the candle, where your new candle tip is, is the reversing half of your candle," explained Carlson on her site. "The bottom half becomes a tool for attracting something." Mark the halfway point on your candle with a knife or carving tool to denote which half ends and begins where.

Now, in the top half of your candle, you’ll want to carve the glyph representing Mercury (☿), because this is the energy you’ll be reversing. On the bottom half, you’ll want to carve the outline of a basic shield shape (?️). This represents protection, which is what you’re trying to attract.

Now, secure your candle into your candle holder. Focusing on your candle, begin to set your intentions aloud, asking for protection against the energy of Mercury retrograde. Say exactly what you need — for example, "I ask for clear communication." Once you feel ready, light your candle, allowing the flame to release your intentions into the universe. As the candle burns, it will activate the reversal of Mercury retrograde’s energy, and then activate the protection you’ve invited into your space. Plan so that you can safely allow the candle to burn until it goes out.

Simple Super-Smudge Energy-Clearing Ritual

Sometimes all we need is a spiritual bath to wash away the negative, stressful vibes. And if you have a sage bundle or other smudging herb, there’s no actual bath necessary. Give your living space a full energy-cleansing session with this simple "super-smudge," as I like to call it.

What you’ll need: A sage bundle, palo santo stick, or other smudging herb of choice; an abalone shell or other heat-proof bowl.

What to do: Grab your sage, a lighter, and your heat-proof bowl and begin by standing at the front door of your home (or door of your room, if you’re not working within your entire living space). Start by saying your intention out loud, which is to cleanse yourself, your space, and your energy. Light your sage (or other smudging herb) over the bowl and allow it to flame while focusing on your intention. Once it’s lit and smoking but no longer flaming, move the sage in clockwise circles around yourself, allowing the smoke to cleanse your energy.

Now you’ll move through your entire living space or room. Continuing with the sage stick in clockwise circles, move clockwise through your home, using the smoke to cleanse each corner and each room. If you’d like, you may repeat a mantra or prayer aloud as you complete this process. As you move through your entire space, you should end up exactly where you began. At that point, set down your sage in your smudging bowl, say a closing intention, and then enjoy a fully cleansed and negativity-free living space and spirit.

Mercury Rx Reiki & Crystal Charging Ritual

So I’m a weirdo who doesn’t like massage (I know, WTF is wrong with me?), but you know what I do love? Reiki. What’s amazing about this form of energy healing is that it can be effectively done remotely, so YouTube is a totally valid source. By allowing yourself a reiki energy healing session and then charging your crystals with Mercury Rx protection once you’ve cleared your field, you can work with the crystals for the duration of the retrograde.

What you’ll need: A reiki energy healing YouTube video of choice, queued up and ready to stream (this is a favorite for Mercury retrograde!); crystals of choice.

What to do: Gather up your favorite crystals — specifically those that are highly protective (such as black tourmaline or jet), or grounding, green-colored stones (such as green aventurine or kambaba jasper, which help connect you with Earth energy). Lay them out in front of you, then queue up a reiki energy healing video and allow it to soothe and cleanse your energy field. One great one to use is this video titled Reiki With ASMR: Mercury Retrograde Healing Session, as it’s led by reiki master Lune Innate and is focused specifically on healing during Mercury retrograde.

Once you’ve treated yourself to a free reiki healing session, focus your newly-cleansed energy into intentions for your crystals. Ask your crystals to help you with the areas that Mercury retrograde is influencing. It might feel silly talking to your crystals, but if you believe in crystal healing then you know crystals absorb energy and need to be charged with the things you want them to help you with. After charging each crystal with your personal Mercury retrograde intentions (and calling upon their natural properties to help you, too!), you can close your ritual and continue working with these stones by carrying them with you or meditating with them for the duration of this retrograde.

Earth Grounding Ritual

Mercury retrograde can leave us feeling like our lives are an absolute mess. This ritual is inspired by the "Grounded To The Core" ritual found in the book Crystal Muse: Everyday Rituals To Tune In To The Real You by Heather Askinosie and Timmi Jandro, and it can help ground you so that your energy feels more stable during this tumultuous time.

What you’ll need: Two hematite crystals; one smoky quartz; a sage bundle; an abalone shell or heat-proof bowl.

What to do: The best place to do this ritual is outdoors, preferably with bare feet on the ground so that you can truly feel the energy of the Earth flowing through you. Begin by cleansing yourself and your working crystals with sage, asking to clear away spiritual debris to allow room to root yourself. Place the smoky quartz between your feet to act as a grounding catalyst. Hold the hematite pieces in each hand and say aloud, "My energy is safely rooted and grounded in the Earth."

"Grounding yourself with crystals leaves you better able to handle change, or any negative circumstances that may arise," explained Energy Muse on its site. "Instead of responding to negativity with more negativity, let the energy of the Earth fill you with compassion and clarity for yourself and others." Now, you’ll want to close your eyes and repeat your mantra at least three times. After that, begin visualizing glowing white roots growing out of the bottom of your feet and deep into the Earth’s sparkling crystal core. Imagine all your fears, burdens, and confusion rushing out through those cords and being transmuted by the light of the crystal. Once you feel lighter, allow the new and cleansed energy to come back up to you through the roots. Imagine it coming up through your feet, up to your knees, into your root chakra (located at your lower back), and up through the rest of your body. When you’re ready, open your eyes and close the ritual.

Mercury Candle Magick Ritual

Inspired by a lovely Mercury retrograde ritual on Evolve And Ascend, this candle magic ritual will help you with the review and realignment process that Mercury retrograde forces upon us so you’re ready to conquer your goals once the planet goes direct again.

What you’ll need: Frankincense essential oil or incense; a blue candle; a white candle; a blue-inked pen and piece of paper.

What to do: Begin by anointing your blue candle with Frankincense oil, or bathing it in the smoke of Frankincense-scented incense (depending on which you are using). Blue is the color of throat chakra, which is directly associated with Mercury’s purview of communication and information sharing, while Frankincense is also associated with Mercury and is used in this ritual to honor the planet’s energy. Now light your blue candle, and use the aromatherapy of the Frankincense to help you get into a calm and meditative state. "Take about 10 minutes to meditate while softly gazing at the flame of the candle, and with each inhale visualize the light of the universe expanding within you, with each exhale allow all that does not serve you to dissolve," explained Evolve And Ascend on its site.

Next, either by following the affirmations listed on Evolve And Ascend or by coming up with your own, say your list of positive affirmations aloud while focusing on the blue candle’s flame, then write them down on a piece of blank paper using blue ink (again, blue here represents the throat chakra and clearing Mercury’s energy channels). Allow the candle to finish burning. Sleep with these positive intentions under your pillow, and revisit the list each day for the remainder of Mercury’s retrograde period, saying the intentions aloud and reviewing how you’re planning to work toward these goals in your life. Once Mercury goes direct again on Dec. 6, light a white candle (representing purity and clear energy) and burn the piece of paper on which you wrote your intentions, saying some words of gratitude and focusing on how you plan to move forward now that the retrograde period is over.

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