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Help! Mercury is in Gatorade! [a Retrograde Survival Guide, ft. Nick Neutronz]

“When the planet Mercury enters apparent retrograde motion, that marks the beginning of a span of misfortune down on Earth.”

Wilder Davies, TIME.

It’s that time again. What time? Well, we’re currently midway through the oh-so Internet-infamous, ‘Mercury in Retrograde,’ what’s what! 

Now, there are a few things you might be thinking: 

Oh no, not this again..

Oh no, not THIS again! 

Or, perhaps–

Oh no, what even IS this?! 

Regardless of where you fall on the astrology-reaction-spectrum, this article is for you. That is because we are going to explore what exactly ‘Mercury in retrograde’ refers to, what it means for this particular season, and offer up some tunes to listen to while we wait for this chaotic season to pass. 

We also connected with our local astrology and beatmaking wiz, Nick Neutronz, for some additional insight on this subject. 

For those of you completely uninterested in astrology, go ahead and skip to the last section of this article–we won’t judge either way. There, you will find a list of songs to listen to when you’re feeling certain ways about your life, your relationships, and more. 

Go ahead and grab your comfort beverage of choice–then, read on. 

So, what exactly is ‘Mercury in retrograde’?

Glad you asked! Besides acting as an overused Internet meme (“Mercury is in Gatorade/The Microwave/etc.”), ‘Mercury in retrograde’ refers to two things: a concept in astrology, and a concept in astronomy. 

To clarify: astrology is a spiritual practice rooted in the stars; astronomy is the scientific field of study related to the stars. 

(Yes, this clarification is sometimes needed, much to the dismay of my high school astronomy teacher…)

In this case, ‘retrograde’ refers to the backwards motion of the planets, as observed here on Earth. Author Joanna Martine Woolfolk explains, “[Retrograde is] the apparent backwards motion of a planet traveling through the zodiac. In reality, planets in our solar system do not move backward in their orbits; they only seem to do so because of the angle of observation here on earth” (The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need).

So what does this ‘backwards’ planet ‘do’? Why does it have such a negative connotation? 

The effects of a retrograde planet depends on the planet that is in retrograde.

According to astrology, each planet rules over a different dimension of our subconscious, like passion (Mars), luck (Jupiter), and communication (Mercury). When in retrograde, the influence of the affected planet is ‘inverted’, so to speak. 

So, when it comes to a period of Mercury in retrograde, all things communication-related can be affected. What does that mean?

Well, according to Mark Travers over at Forbes, “many people believe that when Mercury is in retrograde, we become vulnerable to communication breakdowns, relationship turmoil and misunderstandings with friends and loved ones, as if there is cosmic static or interference that gets in the way of our normal communication patterns.”

Essentially, this means that everything from the conversations we have with our loved ones to the devices that we use to have these conversations are subject to chaos right now. 

In a more clear-cut astrological sense, Amy Herring, author of Essential Astrology, explains, “Mercury is our need to know, tell, and understand; broadly defined, it is our mind and our voice. […] In general, [the effects of Mercury in Retrograde] can be seen in things like premature judgments, excessive closed- or open-mindedness, and information overload leading to burnout or mental chaos and confusion.” 

This is why you will see believers warning against having important conversations during this time. Or, sometimes, they will or complain about interference with their computers, cellphones, wi-fi connections, and more. 

The time of year a retrograde happens matters just as much as the planet that’s affected by it

For more information on what to expect from this particular retrograde period, we asked our local astrology expert*, Nick Neutronz, to explain. You might remember him from his astrology-inspired tune, “North Node“.

Of this retrograde, Nick says, “Mercury retrograding-parading through Virgo is going to be an exacting, meticulous, ‘akshuwally’ type of retrograde. 

As a Virgo rising, my whole personality is up for review, [so] check where Virgo is in your chart to see where [you will be affected]. 

Virgo loves a good system or organization method, so perhaps reviewing those systems or habits we use everyday to wash clothes or dishes, organize finances, or deal with friends and family will yield some surprising opportunities for increased efficiency or value.” 

In order to get a closer read on how Virgo affects you, you can use a free service like Co-Star or Cafe Astrology to generate a free star chart. All you need to provide is the date, time, and location of your birth. 

Music for Mercury Retrograde Relief 

Whether you’re facing relationship turmoil, or are undergoing a holistic personality review like Nick, we picked out some stellar tunes to vibe to while you wait for this retrograde to pass. 

From his own discography, Nick Neutronz recommends meditating on two songs: “Seven Wands” and “Edisto Island”.

He explains, “Hopefully [“Seven Wands”] gives you courage to keep your footing through a very, very long mercury retrograde.” 

He goes on to explain, “Alternatively, an ambient tune of mine from over 3 years ago, ‘Edisto Island’–it’s named for the small island where my grandma lived for many years, and has no thematic connection to this retrograde–but, to me, this retrograde feels like ‘Edisto Island’.” 


For the readers who are going through some interpersonal turmoil, here are some cathartic, relationship-related songs for you to yell along to: 

“Letter to My Ex” by girli 

“Best Friends” by grandson 

“gfy” by Blackbear x Machine Gun Kelly

“Backstabber” by KE$HA

“THAT SUX” by Royal & The Serpent 

“Friends” by THE HARA

“Blood” by Papa Roach

“FXCK YOU CAUSE YOU WERE THE ONE” by KID BRUNSWICK x Eyelar 

*Nick humbly denied our claims of his expertise and called himself an ‘involved hobbyist’. However, relative to any of us here at MendoWerks, he most certainly is, in fact, an expert. 


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