Mercury Retrograde for seasonal business planning
Updated: Jan 3
In every business, we navigate a myriad of changing variables that can influence the outcomes of our work. Anticipating countless factors and conditions, we respond by developing guardrails and control mechanisms. Painstaking lengths are taken to plan the work, work the plan, and mitigate risks.
Within this planning, seasonality is often a measurable factor. Whether it’s the seasonality of the industry, product, workforce, or service – we’ve come to expect (and plan for) the influences that drive ebb and flow. Look around, and you will find a litany of business resources focused on managing and controlling variable dynamics: risk management, change management, project & program management, KPIs, dashboards, and performance triggers (to name a few).
A retired Financial Services Learning & Development Executive, I now provide 1:1, executive coaching to leaders in the moments that matter most: growth, change, and transformation. Most of my time with clients is spent discussing the variables that help, hinder, or hijack their goals. The seasonality of business and life is factored into a future they can be genuinely excited about, and for which I can help co-create accountability.
In addition to my nearly three decades in Corporate Learning & Development, I am also a seasoned Astrologer. This bit of information I kept on a need-to-know basis until my recent retirement. I’m not sure why I worried about what others would think given that colleagues who did know had been coming to me for 20+ years in search of timing and insights related to important topics: contracts, real estate purchases, event dates, and yes, partnership compatibility. In my personal life, I’ve leaned on this skill to decision and plan my own partnerships (including my 26-year marriage), large purchases, cross-state relocations, and investment selections.
You see, at it’s core, Astrology is the study of seasonality…And it can help all of us plan a future filled with greater potential and productivity – if we are willing to open our minds.
MERCURY RETROGRADE OVERVIEW
Mercury Retrograde (RX) is one of the most well-known (and maligned) seasonal astrological influences. Let’s cut through the meme-driven noise and breakdown the facts, fictions, and functions of the RX.
Mercury spins in reverse setting life ablaze, sling-shotting us into what feels like a cursed Bizarro World.
RX cycles, variables, and impacts are unpredictable and out of our control.
Disruptions are fated and permanent, so we should just try to weather the storm.
Mercury is not moving backwards (retrograde) but its orbit moves in a path that is known scientifically as apparent retrograde. From earth it appears to move backward.
Mercury RX cycles happen 3-4 times annually and last around 3 weeks. RX influences are also active 1-2 weeks before and after the actual retrograde. As such, I typically plan for a 4-6 week impact cycle.
Mercury influences aspects of life, including (but not limited to): communication, learning, linguistics, contracts, technology, logic/reasoning, writing, scheduling, logistics, and local travel.
Each RX aligns to a sign of the zodiac and specific themes that compel us to go back and reflect, revisit, reconnect, reconsider, repair, review, revise, reimagine, re-commit, refine and reengage.
The RX does not change free will, independent thought, nor control of our actions.
REFOCUS on existing matters…
Before inviting new matters.
NECESSARY ITERATION & EVOLUTION
Life and learning are not mutually exclusive, nor are they linear. Since the dawn of time, our species has evolved and adapted through the never-ending process of trial and error. Mercury RX cycles play a role in this process by drawing us back to matters, decisions, processes, places, knowledge, and skills that require refinement. As such, these seasonal events can be a meaningful part of business planning. Consider these cycles adjacent to business functions like: process management, AGILE development, re-skilling, deep learning, communication routines, and content revisions.
WELCOMING THE GHOST OF BUSINESS PAST
Often external events and/or conditions act as a catalyst for returning to matters of old. In the business environment, prior bodies of work (projects, policies, decisions, deployments, communications) thought to be complete, bubble back to the surface. There is a need for attention, review, and revision.
As Mercury retrogrades in the sign of Capricorn (which I lovingly call the sign of "The Boss"), we can expect to refine matters related to executive function and development, organizational alignment, authority levels, decision matrices, risk models, operational controls, and government contracts. Capricorn delivers insights which improve discipline, efficiency, responsibility, and ambition.
Any disruptions we experience moving forward are intended to redirect us back to existing work related to matters above. Take this nudge from the universe and lean into the opportunity to improve. This is an excellent time to:
Revisit, revise, and document responsibility and authority for policies, procedures, standards, and executive protocols.
Review and refine organizational leadership structures, performance expectations, government contracts, and operational constraints (bureaucracy).
Reskill, retrain, and reiterate risk controls, regulatory requirements, compliance obligations, and operational excellence.
On a personal note, now is not the time to wing-it. Be thoughtful and intentional about how you can grow and evolve through this cycle.
Revisit and clarify your boundaries: work/life, relationships, responsibilities, commitments.
Review your ambitions and get real about where you are and where you want to be.
Reassess and remove factors that create inefficiency and derail progress (social media, inconsistency).
Recommit to the discipled behaviors which improve executive functioning: restful sleep, proper nutrition, physical movement, and mental breaks.
The current retrograde timeline looks like this:
Dec 12, 2022- Dec 28, 2022: 16 day caution period before the RX delivers early signs of confusion and initial points of disruption. Pay attention, these items will not go away on their own and will require attention over the next few weeks.
Dec 29, 2022 – Jan 18, 2023: 19 days in apparent retrograde will direct our attention to existing matters related to discipline, efficiency, responsibility, and ambition.
Jan 18, 2023 – Feb 6, 2023: 19 days of slowly increasing speed and resolution before Mercury turns direct. Take the time to wrap up changes, consider post-RX adoption, and ensure documentation
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Want to integrate future Mercury Retrograde (or other planetary) cycles into your business or personal development? Check out my Coaching and Consulting services at www.astralacuity.com. Reach me via email, phone, @AstralAcuity on IG and through LinkedIn.