mary elisabeth
Apr 5, 2018 · 3 min read

Mercury is in retrograde, which may be shaking up your life in the past and coming weeks. According to the Almanac,

“several times a year, it appears as if Mercury is going backwards. These times, in particular, were traditionally associated with confusions, delay, and frustration. Due to the way our own orbit interacts with those of the other planets, they might sometimes appear to be traveling backwards through the night sky with respect to the zodiac. This is, in fact, an illusion, which we call apparent retrograde motion.”

Mercury entered retrograde on March 22, until April 15, and Jupiter started a four-month retrograde on March 9. This article will tell you all you’ll want to know about Mercury retrograde and how it may affect your life. In particular, it shares,

“Mercury rules all types of communication, including listening, speaking, learning, reading, editing, researching, negotiating, selling, and buying. Mercury also rules all formal contracts and agreements, as well as important documents such as book manuscripts or term papers, agreements, deeds, contracts, leases, wills, and so forth… When this planet retrogrades, these areas tend to get scrambled or spin out of control.”

For me, had I read the article about Mercury in retrograde before it entered retrograde I would’ve noticed this advice, “Backup your computer in advance of any Mercury retrograde period,” and would’ve been better prepared for my laptop getting stolen on March 14.

During Mercury Retrograde it’s advised to not make big decisions, sign contracts, or get plastic surgery. Though everyone will be affected differently by the retrogrades, everyone can expect some communication and information breakdowns, and a lot of uncertainty.

Know what helps with dealing with uncertainty? Improv.

Practicing the principles of improv will help us get through these retrogrades with grace and strength. In particular,

Play the scene you’re in, not the scene you want to be in.

When challenges arise, breathe through them and stay present. We cannot change our reality, so stay in the scene you’re in and deal with what’s in front of you.

Say “yes, and” communicate your feelings.

Mercury retrograde leads to some miscommunication. People tend to not think straight during this time. People change their minds. Lots of confusion is created during retrograde. Do your best to communicate your feelings, and also keep in mind that your feelings may be affected by the retrograde. So, if you are feeling a certain way about someone, communicate those feelings in a way that acknowledges any uncertainties or discomforts you’re feeling.

Remember, there are no mistakes, only gifts and opportunities.

Whatever happens during Mercury retrograde is right. It may be tough and may present us with some challenges we haven’t before faced. It’s all something we can get through with strength and grace. Take everything as a gift, a learning opportunity, and a moment to reflect, and there will be no mistakes coming out of these few months.

Take care of yourself and your scene partners.

Be patient with yourself and others, especially during this time period. Have empathy for others and the challenges they may be facing. Recognize that we’re all doing the best we can and all going through this life (and retrograde) together. Take care of yourself with whatever you need to do for you during this time. Take a bath, get a massage, journal and reflect on your past and present, call a friend, volunteer, go for a walk in nature, or whatever else restores your energy and calm.

With improv in your pocket you’ll get through this retrograde standing strong and will learn and grow more than you would’ve otherwise.

Join us on April 18 in San Francisco for Improv for Uncertainty: An Interactive Session Learning from Comedy Legends, as part of Reimagine End of Life, a week of exploring big questions about life and death. We can celebrate the end of Mercury retrograde and practice dealing with the inevitable uncertainty to come, even after the retrograde.

Keep saying “yes, and” stay calm during Mercury retrograde!

m e l


Improv and comedy for entrepreneurs, teams, and companies

mary elisabeth

Written by

people call me an entrepreneur, but most days i'm just trying to remember how to spell it. i ❤ improv, comedy writing, people, startups, adventure, & smiling :)



Improv and comedy for entrepreneurs, teams, and companies

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