Why Do We Hate Mercury Retrograde So Much Anyway?

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How you can use it to your advantage

Whether you’re an astrology-loving goddess or just like to spend some time surfing the Internet, you’ve probably heard about mercury retrograde. And more than anything, you’ve probably heard about how horrible, annoying, and downright rude it makes the cosmos. Mercury retrograde can make things like travel, technology, and communication (what mercury rules over) go haywire, but it’s also an invitation to slow down and make decisions and plans intentionally.

Making mercury retrograde your bitch isn’t really as hard as it seems. The Numinous, an online destination for all things mystical and material, has teamed up with The Standard hotel to host a daylong event in the middle of mercury retrograde. Created by Numinous founder Ruby Warrington, as a way to tune in on the empowering aspect of this cosmic energy, Mercury Rising takes place on May 7 at the Standard Highline in New York and is a day of workshops from the best of the best. Think: cosmic guidance with some real-life advice. 

We asked the experts from this event how you can use mercury retrograde to your advantage and slay, even when the cosmos seem like they’re against you.

Ophira Edut, one-half of the AstroTwins of AstroStyle, explains mercury retrograde as a three-week cycle which happens three to four times a year when earth outpaces mercury in its orbit. When mercury goes retrograde, it gives the illusion of spinning backward, causing travel, communication, and technology to go out of control. So, how can we make this testing time a positive experience? “Focus on the prefix  ‘re-‘ and go back to complete unfinished projects, reunite with old friends and flames, renew commitments and, review everything carefully,” says Edut. “Don’t start anything new and don’t commit to anything without careful review.” 

To conquer retrograde, Edut suggests getting ahead of the curve with prevention; make plans around retrograde for best results. Or you could just go for it, loosen up, and do you. Sleep with a bunch of exes, play oldies, have a clothing swap, read and write—get creative and make the old new again to truly tap into retrograde. But, don’t forget about your coping mechanisms. Awareness is key, and talking and venting with friends, whether it’s IRL or on social media, is another way to kick retrograde in the butt. Couple this with visiting some old self-help books and remembering there are some things you can’t change, and you’re golden. Don’t forget: the lingering period after retrograde is still a “shadow period," aka another couple weeks of cosmic BS, also known as #RetroShade. 

Tuning into your breath is another easy way to have some chill during chaotic cosmic times. Erin Telford, a breathworker, Reiki practitioner, acupuncturist, and coach says to focus on “2/4” breathing when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. Simply inhale for two counts and exhale for four counts. Doubling the length of your exhale sends an automatic signal to your nervous system that turns off your fight-or-flight response, allowing you to relax. By tuning into your breath, you’re able to feel your feelings, which can be difficult. “It can be uncomfortable to be completely present with yourself and the swirl of energies. The more you can breathe into grounding yourself, the more you have access to your intuition and can meet the intensity with grace,” Erin explains. She also emphasizes to go with the flow. Let yourself chill out, go slow, and allow the retrograde energies to help you realign. 

If you’re more into physically and tactically working through your energetic crisis, look no further than a deck of tarot cards. Lindsay Mack, a tarot reader and spiritual counselor, explains that “at its heart and soul, tarot is a sacred mirror and map for our highest evolution. When we view and utilize tarot through this lens, it can help us to totally embrace whatever lesson or cycle we are personally or collectively moving through during a retrograde.” Mack also stresses the importance of surrendering to the evolution that comes along with retrograde periods. Tarot can help with this surrender, and allow growth. Roll with retrograde and acknowledge miscommunications, resistance, fear, and frustration, and know the value of each. Mack says that to make retrograde your bitch, you need to not let the negative aspects of it get you scared or nervous. Instead, work with them. 

You can try this simple three-card reading for help:

Card one: What is the invitation of this retrograde?

Card two: What am I learning from it? 

Card three: What is this retrograde guiding us through collectively, as a planet? 

Card four: How can I surrender to it gracefully?

Another natural way to align yourself to the energy of mercury retrograde is to align yourself with the energy of the moon. By honoring the cycles of the moon, you’re honoring your own natural rhythm of body, mind, and spirit. Deborah Hanekamp, a seeress and medicine woman, says a good intention for the retrograde new moon, which falls on May 6, is “allow, receive, clear.” She says, “Often for a new moon intention we focus what we want to call in or manifest, but during a mercury retrograde we have to be super clear on what we are calling in. When we try to manifest in a forceful way, what we receive may not always be in our highest good.” As the moons waxes or grows, it’s time to revisit and invest time into ongoing projects. Mercury’s standstill energy can help you find a new, and yes, calmer perspective that you may have been overlooking all along.

Tune into these energies by going outside and creating an offering to the earth—this can be through a crystal or herbal grid—to acknowledge the expansiveness and sweet surrender that mercury’s sending. By following the pulse of the moon and taking the time to honor it, we are able to understand our own intuition and are able to help others do the same. Hanekamp’s biggest advice for how to handle retrograde kicking your ass? Simply go outside and “moon gaze” for at least seven minutes. Yes, it’s really that easy.

Whether you’re breathing, reading tarot, or staring at the moon, remember that mercury retrograde is what you make of it. Slow down, pay attention to the signs, and don’t resist. Listen to your intuition and make sure to take the time to take care of yourself. And, don’t forget: Mercury Rising is at The Standard High Line on May 7. You can find tickets here.

Screenshot via YouTube

The band shared details about their new St. Vincent-produced album that will drop "you into the world of catastrophe"

Sleater-Kinney just shared more information about their St. Vincent-produced album and dropped a new single.

Per Billboard, Sleater-Kinney revealed that their new album, which they've been teasing since early this year and will be their first since No Cities To Love from 2015, will be called The Center Won't Hold. It's due out on August 16 via Mom + Pop Records. "We're always mixing the personal and the political but on this record, despite obviously thinking so much about politics, we were really thinking about the person—ourselves or versions of ourselves or iterations of depression or loneliness—in the middle of the chaos," Carrie Brownstein said in a statement. Corin Tucker further noted that the new album will "[drop] you into the world of catastrophe that touches on the election."

Janet Weiss noted that the band will "explore a different sound palette" with this album, and pointed to St. Vincent as the reason behind it. She said that St. Vincent "has a lot of experience building her own music with keyboards and synthesizers so she could be our guide to help us make sense of this new landscape and still sound like us."

To satiate us until then, the band released a lyric video for new single, "The Future Is Here," which is very grungy. Bump it, below.

Sleater-Kinney - The Future Is Here (Official Lyric Video)


This is so satisfying!

Even Jon Snow knows just how unsatisfying the final season of Game of Thrones was, and he's ready to apologize. Well, a deepfake of him is at least. A heavily-edited version of Snow's speech from the fourth episode—just before the bodies of those lost in the Battle of Winterfell get burned—now features Snow apologizing for the conclusion of the show and lighting the script on fire.

"It's time for some apologies. I'm sorry we wasted your time," Snow begins. "And I know nothing made sense at the end. When the Starbucks cup is the smallest mistake, you know you fucked up! We take the blame. I'm sorry we wrote this in like six days or something," he adds, before signaling to his peers to light the script with torches and "just forget it forever." "Fuck Season 8," he says before the pages begin to crackle and burn.

If there were more lines left to alter, we would have loved to see Snow also tackle how messy Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister's story line ended up, as well as Bran's kingship, Cersei's boring demise, and the water bottle appearance.

Watch the entire deepfake and try to heal the wounds left by HBO below.


Photo by Darren Craig

It premieres today, exclusively via NYLON

In LP's song "Shaken," the most recent single from her 2018 record Heart To Mouth, she tells the story of seeing her lover out with someone else—ouch. Today, exclusively on NYLON, she releases a cheeky animated music video that pokes fun at the song's heightened drama and perfectly demonstrates all the angst that comes with falling hard for someone.

"She looks at you like I used to/ And I'm just sitting in the corner sh-sh-shaken," LP sings, as the visual—with art by Maayan Priva—depicts the singer hanging out in a bar, watching the girl she likes meet up with another girl. Despite the situation's inherent drama, "Shaken" is less of a ballad and more of an upbeat bop. LP told us she loves the way "this little video captures some of the fun of the song, and its inherent comical anxiety." Sure, heartbreak isn't that funny, but our (sometimes) overly dramatic reaction to it kind of is.

"'Shaken' feels like a bit of a wild card on this record," LP says. "It's the closest I've come to writing a musical, which I hope to do one day." We heartily endorse this idea: Please, LP, give us the queer jukebox musical we crave.

Until that day comes, though, you can watch the music video for "Shaken," below.

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Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures.

This cameo has the Beyhive buzzing

I went to see Men In Black: International alone. Which would have been fine if it wasn't for the shock I received when I saw two specific characters on the screen. Unable to keep it to myself, I shared a curious look with the stranger next to me, who was obviously thinking the same thing as me. "Is that them...?" I whispered first. "I think… so," she replied. Then the two men in question started to dance, and we were both sure: "Yep, that's them."

It was Laurent and Larry Nicolas Bourgeois, better known as Les Twins. Fans of Beyoncé will recognize the duo as the talented brothers who often accompany her on tour and in music videos. In Men In Black: International, the two of them play shapeshifting entities—they're more like energy forces than aliens—who pursue Tessa Thompson's and Chris Hemsworth's characters throughout the duration of the film. The twins' ability to manipulate their bodies in ways that are graceful and otherworldly really helps sell them as extraterrestrials and is fun to watch.

So if Thompson in a suit or Hemsworth shirtless weren't enough motivation, here's another reason to go see it. If you look close, you can see them in the trailer below.


Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

"I am honored to share this bonding experience with my own daughter"

In a heart-warming Instagram photo, Serena Williams shares the history of hair braiding and the importance of the tradition. The tennis player shared a photo of herself braiding her daughter Olympia Ohanian's hair and spoke about how "honored" she was to be able to "add another generation" to the tradition of the practice.

The photo shows Williams attentively braiding her daughter's hair while Olympia smiles, obviously loving the experience. Williams noted that hair braiding was created by the Himba people in Namibia, Africa, and that "we have been braiding our hair for centuries." "In many African tribes braided hairstyles were a unique way to identify each tribe," she continued.

Williams pointed out that braiding is a bonding experience. "People would often take the time to socialize," she wrote. "It began with the elders braiding their children, then the children would watch and learn from them. The tradition of bonding was carried on for generations, and quickly made its way across the world."

Williams closed her post with a sweet message about her daughter, saying that she's "honored to share this bonding experience" with her.

See the post, below.