Be bold. Be proactive. Refuse to be afraid. Insist on making Mercury Retrograde into your friend.
Mercury goes retrograde on August, 23rd, 2023, which happens to be the same day the sun moves into Virgo, one of the two astrological signs ruled by Mercury.
Mercury, the planet of communication, technology, and travel, appears to move backwards during retrograde periods. This celestial dance can coincide with misunderstandings, delays, and a touch of cosmic chaos. But fear not, for within the cosmic dance lies an opportunity for growth, reflection, and recalibration.
With Virgo season in the mix, we will feel especially guided to clear clutter, organize, and support our mental and physical health.
With Venus still retrograde until September 3rd, we are also still reflecting on old relationship issues and revising our approaches to finances, self-compassion, and aesthetics.
Why Embark on the Mercury Retrograde Challenge?
The 24-Day Mercury Retrograde Challenge is your invitation to embrace this cosmic phenomenon and turn it into a period of self-discovery and empowerment. Why succumb to astrological fears when you can harness the energy of Mercury retrograde to embark on an intentional journey of expansion, healing, and recalibration?
Whether you’re a seasoned astrology enthusiast or someone who’s just dipping their toes into the cosmic waters, this challenge is designed to help you make the most of this unique time. By engaging in daily tasks, rituals, and assignments, you’ll learn to navigate the ebb and flow of retrograde energy, fine-tune your relationships, projects, and personal growth, and emerge on the other side with newfound clarity and purpose.
Unlock the Potential Within Retrograde Energy
This challenge spans the entire Mercury retrograde period from August 23rd to September 15th, 2023. Each day presents an opportunity to explore a specific theme, dive into a reflective practice, or engage in a ritual that aligns with the energies of the retrograde.
Are you ready to unlock the potential within this retrograde? Let’s dive in.
Day 1: August 23rd – Set an Intention
On this Mercury-ruled Wednesday, when the sun moves into Mercury-ruled Virgo, set a clear intention for the Mercury Retrograde period that begins today. Choose an intention related to communication, commerce, finances, travel, health, aesthetics, organization, self-love, or personal evolution.
Phrase it simply, in the present tense, as if already true. Write it down.
Here are some examples:
- I express my creativity in joyful ways.
- My wealth is constantly expanding.
- I invest wisely.
- I am an adventurous world traveler.
- I am healthy: body, mind, and spirit.
- I feel beautiful. I am beautiful.
- I establish glorious order in my inner and outer worlds.
- I love and approve of myself unconditionally.
- I just keep getting more and more comfortable in my skin.
Day 2: August 24th – Reconnect and Clear the Air
Reach out to someone you’ve lost touch with or haven’t spoken to in a while. Rekindle connections and clarify any misunderstandings.
Day 3: August 25th – Digital Detox
Take a break from technology for a few hours. Unplug and reconnect with the physical world around you.
Before or after you do this, delete old emails, photos, and files you no longer need and set boundaries around the time you spend on social media and the internet each day.
Day 4: August 26th – Clear Physical Clutter
Declutter your living or workspace. Clearing physical clutter always helps clear mental clutter too.
In one day, you might not get to everything, but you can certainly choose a limited area – such as your fridge or the medicine cabinet – and clear it thoroughly. In addition to being a helpful activity in its own right, this will unstick your energy and help inspire you to continue clearing in the days and weeks ahead.
Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas for where and how to begin.
Day 5: August 27th – Shed Old Responsibilities
Look deeply at your responsibilities: do you want to keep all of them? Or are some of them draining you and not feeling like an authentic fit? Keep the responsibilities you need, value, and cherish. Let go of the rest, and make more time in your schedule to be free.
Day 6: August 28th – Reexamine Relationship Dynamics
In addition to Mercury being retrograde, Venus is still retrograde for one more week. So now’s a good time to get really honest about relationship dynamics that aren’t working or that are bringing you down. Journal about them and brainstorm ways you can begin to heal and evolve.
Also look deeply at anything you aren’t speaking up about, at work, in your family, or in your primary relationship. Once you get clear on the truths you need to express, make a plan for expressing them soon. If this seems overwhelming or out of reach, seek support from a therapist or trusted friend.
Day 7: August 29th – Revisit a Project
Pick a creative project you’ve been procrastinating about or have temporarily put on hold. Revise, rework, or brainstorm new ideas for it.
Day 8: August 30th – Get Yourself a Penpal
I love writing actual letters and putting them into actual envelopes with a stamp. Even before the digital age, penpals were so much fun. But now, there’s something especially restorative and grounding about taking a pen to paper and expressing your thoughts and feelings.
I have two penpals, so I’m always on the lookout for fun stationery and cards, and I love sending and receiving fun little gifts along with my letters, such as stickers, incense, and dried herbs.
Today, invite a long-distance friend to be your penpal. But don’t do it over email or text! Send them a letter or card.
Day 9: August 31st – Revise Limiting Beliefs
Today, write out your limiting beliefs. Look deeply. Assess your expectations and paradigms and be honest about the limitations you discover there.
Then, revise each one. Choose one, two, or several positive revisions for each limiting belief you uncover.
For example: “Making money is hard,” can become, “Making money is always easier than I think it will be,” and “It just keeps getting easier and easier for me to make more and more money with every passing month.”
Day 10: September 1st – Recharge and Take Care
Prioritize self-care today. Treat yourself to a relaxing bath, flowers, or an evening in with a favorite movie or book. (If you already have plans, make plans to do this soon. Choose a time and day and actually put the words “self-care” in your calendar.)
Day 11: September 2nd – Learn from Mistakes
Grab your journal and find yourself a relaxing spot where you won’t be disturbed, preferably outdoors.
Think about mistakes you’ve made or setbacks you’ve experienced so far in 2023. What are they? What have they taught you? What hidden blessings did they contain? How can these experiences and insights help you to grow?
Day 12: September 3rd – Connect with Nature and Integrate Venus Retrograde Lessons
If weather permits, spend some quality time outdoors today. Whether it’s a hike, a walk, or simply sitting in a park, turn off your phone and pay attention to the elements and the Earth.
Also keep in mind that Venus goes direct today. While you’re in nature, contemplate all the ways you’ve learned and evolved since July 22nd. Breathe, relax, and anchor these positive changes with your connection to the earth and the physical world.
Day 13: September 4th – Boundary Assessment
Saturn goes retrograde today. We certainly have no shortage of retrogrades lately, which means we have lots of opportunities to revise, revamp, and generally level up.
With Saturn Retrograde in mind (in addition to Mercury Retrograde of course), look at your boundaries and consider how you can revise or enforce them in order to support yourself even more meticulously. Do you feel comfortable saying no? Is it easy for you to get off the phone or leave a situation the moment you feel ready?
It’s also possible that you need to set some better boundaries with yourself, for example by choosing to spend less money on extras or by refusing to speak to yourself with anything but the utmost respect.
For further study, check out All About Boundaries: Energetic Protection for Sensitive People.
Also consider these 5 Ways to Make the Most of Saturn Retrograde.
Day 14: September 5th – Healing Charm
With both the sun and Mercury in Virgo, healing is of the essence.
Today, make yourself one of these 6 Magic Charms for Physical Healing.
Day 15: September 6th – Goal Check-in
Review your goals for the year. Are you on track? Do you still want to accomplish or manifest all this stuff? Maybe you’ve already achieved a lot of it and you want to set your sights on something new. Adjust your plans as needed.
Day 16: September 7th – Reevaluate Finances
Take an honest look at your financial situation. Budget, save, and consider any necessary adjustments.
To revamp your relationship with money in the most enjoyable possible way, check out my book, Little Guide to Money Magic.
Day 17: September 8th – Practice Gratitude
Write down three things you’re grateful for. Then write three more. Then three more. Then keep writing until you’ve filled a page.
Write down little things (like listening to music in the car) and big things (like your best friend). Write down things you normally take for granted (like running water) and things you feel lucky for each time you encounter them (like fresh baked brownies).
Focusing on gratitude always, always, always improves your vibration and magnetizes even more to be grateful for.
Day 18: September 9th – Mind-Body Connection
Engage in an activity that connects your mind and body today, like yoga, tai chi, dancing, or a mindful walk.
Day 19: September 10th – Rekindle Creativity
Experiment with a new creative outlet or return to a hobby you once enjoyed.
Day 20: September 11th – Communication Check-In
Reach out to friends and family members you haven’t connected with in a while.
Give them a call. Say hello. See how they’re doing.
Day 21: September 12th – Retrograde Reflection
Reflect on the retrograde period and how it’s gone for you so far. What insights have you gained? What have you learned? How have you grown?
Day 22: September 13th – Embrace Change
Close your eyes, breathe consciously, and set the intention to embrace change, even though you don’t know what that change will look like.
When we let go of the need to know everything, we open to wisdom, When we let go of the need to foresee everything, we unlock all the possibilities.
Release attachment to certainty and you will make room for the universe to flow in and co-create with you.
Day 23: September 14th – Plan for the Future
The moon is new today. Set some intentions for the upcoming months.
After all that you’ve been through since the beginning of the retrograde, how do you want to move forward? Now that the retrograde’s almost over, what do you want to achieve?
If you’d like, you can light a candle as you write out your intentions, and perhaps arrange a crystal grid when you’re finished to anchor them in…Or, just keep it simple: listing your intentions in your journal is a powerful exercise on its own.
Day 24: September 15th – Retrograde Ends
Celebrate the end of the retrograde and your successful completion of this challenge by getting yourself flowers: chrysanthemums or marigolds would be a good choice for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, and poppies or carnations for those of you in the Southern.
So…how was it? What did you learn? How did you grow? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you move through them? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.