Take a deep breath to center yourself because you’re about to read the words “Taco Bell’s Mercury RetroGrande Nachos with a chance to win a Spencer Pratt-approved nacho-shaped amethyst crystal complete with a gold-colored cheese drip.”
This, like most fast-food restaurant promotions, is arbitrary nonsense — like inventing a new food holiday or the term “fourth meal.” Taco Bell is wisely capitalizing on the increased interest in astrology and metaphysical healing by partnering with Pratt, known crystal enthusiast, who once said, “I’m trying to keep it in my crystals...I know they’re not working, that’s why there is hundreds on me right now” in a now-iconic episode of The Hills.
But there is a hook here: Mercury is in retrograde through October 18, 2021. Astronomically, that just means Mercury appears like it’s moving backwards from Earth’s perspective. Astrologically, though, it’s shorthand for all sorts of communication problems, be they interpersonal or society-wide. Could Mercury be responsible for Facebook going offline for a day? Who’s to say! It’s a better explanation than anything they’ve come up with!
So, because of the planets and a general love of nachos, Taco Bell is offering “free Mercury RetroGrande Nachos with a minimum basket of $12 exclusively via Uber Eats” between October 7 through October 9. Customers can also enter to win a nacho-shaped amethyst crystal endorsed by Pratt, who has his own crystal business to complete the pivot from reality star to sus LA healing dude. Here’s a video about it, in which Pratt attracts hummingbirds (or “hummies,” which sounds like a very different thing) with his nacho necklace:
Pratt also offered this statement, as if it explains anything: “Mercury in retrograde is no joke and I do whatever I can to combat those bad vibes from extra quality time with my hummingbirds to cleansing my crystal collection and more. I’ve always been a Taco Bell superfan and was so pumped to team up with Uber Eats and Taco Bell to bring together my two favorite things, Crystals and Nachos.”
Cosmically, though, I think I can make this make sense. [Editor’s note: Jaya literally wrote the book on crystals and is in fact our in-house expert.] Amethyst is a stone primarily of balance. Its name comes from the ancient Greek amethystos, meaning “not drunk.” As Pliny the Elder wrote in Natural History, “The falsehoods of the magicians would persuade us that these stones are preventive of inebriety,” and that “if we inscribe the names of the sun and moon upon this stone, and then wear it suspended from the neck, with some hair of [a baboon] and feathers of the swallow, it will act as a preservative against all noxious spells.” The Taco Bell amethyst does not come with hair of baboon nor feather of swallow, but it does come on a necklace, with a drip of gold that feels like the name of the sun, so protection there is! If Mercury in retrograde is a time of great unbalance, the sobering and protecting powers of amethyst make it a fitting stone for Taco Bell and Pratt to shill.
Also, consider the shape of the nacho-thyst: A triangle, the sturdiest, most balanced shape of all geometry, serving to further concentrate and solidify amethyst’s balancing powers. This is replicated in the nachos themselves, which are both composed of many triangle chips and layered with sour cream, cheese, and ground beef in, dare I say, a delicate flavor balance? And that the RetroGrande Nachos are free with a $12 purchase...1+2=3, the number of sides of a triangle, the number which in numerology represents a person who is skilled at communication, the precise area Mercury in retrograde is said to affect! Wheels within wheels people! It’s all happening.
As a member of the press looking to do my due diligence to journalism AND mysticism, I requested the Taco Bell amethyst ten days ago and it still has not arrived for me to see how balancing it is for myself. What I do feel confident in, however, is that Taco Bell certainly thought about everything detailed above (the symbolism of amethyst, the numerology, etc.) and didn’t just jump on the flimsy pun “RetroGrande.” Anyway, I hope my crystal arrives soon and I’m looking forward to figuring out which of my chakras is aligned with nachos.