This morning (6/24) at 9 a.m., eastern time, Mercury went retrograde and will remain retrograde until July 21 at 2:20 p.m., eastern time.

Mercury retrograde happens three times a year and news of his retrograde motion will often cause a negative reaction from people. While it is true that communication, computers, short distance travel, contracts and educational matters can be more challenging and/or negatively impacted by Mercury being in apparent retrograde motion any planetary movement or configuration that happens so often must have a positive as well as negative side.

This particular retrograde will take place completely in the sign of Gemini which is one of the home signs for Mercury. Mercury being in the sign of Gemini gives us a longer than usual time period spent with Mercury not being unhappy and therefore causing greater amounts of confusion. At this time the Sun and Jupiter are in Gemini with Mars scheduled to enter Gemini on July 5th. Gemini is a fast-moving and high-strung energy which has a strong influence over the media, gossip, travel and impulsive decisions. The past few weeks have certainly been filled with fast-moving and somewhat chaotic events taking place at a rapid rate. This fast pace can be directly attributed to the nature of Gemini as can the stress you might be feeling.

I tend to view Mercury retrogrades as a time-out for all of us on planet earth. While we may not like the delays and mishaps of Mercury retrograde this particular retrograde period can prove to be a mini vacation for our minds and nervous systems. Delays can be viewed as found time in which to breathe, read or listen to music. People not wanting to communicate can become moments of silence and Mercury retrogrades are one of the most powerful times in which to meditate and simply breathe.

One of the attributes of the connection between Vedic Astrology and Yoga is an understanding of how the planets affect the unseen energetics of our bodies. Gemini and Mercury both benefit greatly from simple breath work. One of the easiest ways to utilize the time-out of Mercury retrograde is through breath work and meditation – a simple meditation is below:

The “pinky” is considered the Mercury finger and in order to balance the Mercury energy gently press the thumb pad onto the pinky pad with the hands facing upward, close your eyes and gently begin to breathe through the nose, hold the breath, gently exhale through the nose – all times should be equal – if the inhale lasts 5 seconds, the hold and exhale should be 5 seconds as well. Try to do this for 11 minutes but for no less that 5 minutes – focus on the count to settle the mind and allow yourself to just be quiet and stress-free for those moments.