Mercury corresponds with the Yoruba orisha Eshu, which centers communication and things that might not be what they appear. Stay centered and focused while Mercury is in retrograde.

Mercury is in retrograde: Center yourself in serenity in the midst of confusion

4 mins read

Uncertainty. Depression. Hopelessness. Discord. Unrest. If you’ve experienced any of this in the last week, it would be understood. Mercury went into retrograde on October 13, along with Mars, Neptune and Jupiter. 

In perfect timing, it is 21 days before some of the more recent contentious and quite chaotic US elections. This means the retrograde ends on Tuesday, Nov. 3.  Add to the social and political upheavals in the States, the world still reels as it navigates through another wave of Covid-19 infections. Watch the international news. Economies across the globe have tanked. Chile, Guinea and Bolivia are in a chaotic election cycle too. Greece and Turkey have been bumping heads along with India and China. As well, Nigeria burns as the youth protest police and military brutality, along with the country’s corruption. Breathe. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Maelstrom and mayhem are overwhelming energies when Mercury is in retrograde. This means that Mercury, the planet of information and technology, or also known as the messenger planet, gives off the appearance that it is moving backwards. In the Yoruba tradition, the orisha, Eshu (Èṣù), also known as the one who sits at the crossroads of life, and the trickster, corresponds with the planet mercury. Eshu’s number is 21.

Added, Mars is the planet centered in war. Neptune rules dreams, creativity, imagination and spirituality, while Jupiter is about expansion of business and wealth, and rules over matters of church and state.

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Because the moment marks an increase of dramatic disorder and disarray, you might experience more misunderstandings and miscommunications than usual. Or, issues with technology. People might even go a little batshit crazy.

So what do you do? This is a time to prioritize four things: reassess + reaffirm + reevaluate + redefine. 

First things first, I’m going to need you to regulate your consumption of information on social media, TV, podcasts, internet, newspapers, all of that. There is a lot of confusion and misinformation being sown into our conscious and subconscious. You want to have power over your mind and thoughts, so too much consumption of information on channels that are whacky during the Mercury retrograde can make you more susceptible to going coo-coo.

Now I’m not saying turn off everything. These are intense times, and you need to know what is going on. However, pause and research or think about what you hear before you respond or share it. So let’s get into the three things that are important.

Photo credit: Clem Onojeghuo


Go over your goals. Take personal inventory of all those goals you set at the beginning of the year, or even during the pandemic. Rather than throw them away, revise them, their priorities and what is healthy for you to be living your purpose right now. 

How do you do this? For me, an easy way is to write them down, like a checklist. Then write a quick note on where you are with them. Some goals might have moved up on the list, while others fall to a secondary or tertiary ambition. It’s okay. Life be like that.


Reassert who you are in living and learning your purpose. If there is ever a moment to get clear on who you are, it is now. That means you must be totally, and brutally honest about your strengths, and areas you need to work on. What type of environment you thrive in, and scenarios where you might not be your best self. Get real with all of your hang ups and self doubts. Then laugh at them and forgive yourself for these ideas so that you can move into a total confirmation of your divine self.

How do you do this? Write your hangups and self doubt. Read them aloud then burn them. Then on a brown paper bag, write affirmations of yourself, be they strength, wisdom, health, and all you want to be and read them aloud. Place them in your wallet or pocketbook as a reminder during this time. If I were you, I’d hold onto it until the winter solstice.


As you grow, your circle changes. So do your priorities. This time in the retrograde, prioritize your relationships, your working environment, and most importantly, your spiritual and mental health. 

During this time, it is said that it is good to extend an olive branch to someone where there might be some tension, but you must discern who warrants that olive branch. You know some people, you’ve just gotta let go and be fine with it.


Remember we are evolutionary beings. In this priority, renew the meanings and focal points of your passion because it is the center of your being. It is what fuels you to move in your purpose. The definition before the retrograde might have been good for that time, but in the redefinition, your passion becomes something else. Allow it. 

How do you do it? List constructive ways to deal with blockages such as misunderstandings, disappointments, and even anger. For example, clean your yard or garage. Declutter your office. Or, volunteer for community service. Physical exertion can help you work through internal chaos. At the very least, calm your mind as you change. Please realize that at these moments of discomfort means that you’re growing. In these times, sometimes we’ve got to literally move through it. So give yourself the space to grow.

A. Todd Jackson, also known as Baba Todd is an ordained minister in the A.M.E. Faith and an Ifa priest

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