Mercury Retrograde



Mercury Retrograde Dates 2017

  • January 8 – Mercury turns direct at 29 degrees Sagittarius
  • April 9 to May 3 – 4 degrees Taurus back to 24 degrees Aries
  • August 12 to September 5 – 11 degrees Virgo back to 28 degrees Leo
  • December 2/3 to December 22 – 29 degrees Sagittarius back to 13 degrees Sagittarius

Here’s a site with some fascinating information on planet Mercury

And some interesting articles on Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde Makes the New York Times

Enough with the Mercury Retrograde Hysteria!

Why Mercury Retrograde is a good thing

Retrograde literally means “backward motion”, and in astrology indicates the apparent  backward motion of a planet. Of course, no planet in actual fact can reverse in its orbit, but from our vantage point here on Earth they sometimes appear to. Technically it has to do with the speed of our obit verses the other planet involved. Mercury goes retrograde more often than any other planet, but stays backward for less time, usually 20 days or so, and does so three or four times a year. When an outer planet goes retrograde it can stay there for months. For example Neptune will retrograde around 5 months each year.  In astrology when a planet retrogrades it indicates the energy or principle the planet represents becomes more internalized.

Mercury represents the lower mental plane – the rational mind and the brain. It governs communication in all its forms specifically the media and any tools we use to communicate. Mercury rules the signs of Gemini and Virgo, so people with Sun, Moon, Ascendant, or any major planets in these signs may notice these retrograde periods more than most. Also if Mercury retrogrades in a significant sign in your own personal birth chart you might notice that particular retro period more.

When Mercury turns retrograde phones, computers, fax machines, and other communications tools like TVs or radios tend to suddenly go awry. And generally strange things happen to all forms of communication. Laptops go fluky, your cable goes down, emails disappear, your copier or printer does strange things, etc. There really does not seem to be a rational explanation for this – it just happens. The only  remedy is to be aware of these time periods, and be very gentle with your communication tools for the  duration! Some people do rituals of protection. Hey whatever makes you feel good, I say!

The other Mercury retrograde trend does have a logical explanation because it has to do with your mind – your mental process. During a Mercury retro period you will tend to internalize your thought processes more than usual.  You’ll be spacy and distracted. This leads to many of the problems for which Mercury retrograde is famous. For example, you thought you told your husband to pick you up at 5:30,  but he was sure you said 6:00.  You could have sworn your friend said lunch on Tuesday, not  Monday, you write the wrong date for an appointment. Luckily there is a remedy for this:  repeat important facts, get feedback that your facts were heard and received, and make sure you focus to hear others correctly.

We also tend to make fuzzy mental assumptions, or just plain forget to check something totally, or miss important details even when you do. This is why you will often hear to never sign any important  documents, or create wills, legal papers, close a real estate deal etc. during this time period. This is also the reason why it is said you should never begin an important new venture – you just might overlook the details.  However, life often requires that you must do these things during a Mercury retrograde period. The rule to follow then is this: don’t panic, or the strain will only make things worse, but do make sure you check, check and double check everything and have another person check it too!  Simply be aware enough to make yourself concentrate and be fully focused.

One way to avoid these pitfalls, especially if you must travel, sign documents etc. during a Mercury retrograde period is to make all plans and organize all documents BEFORE Mercury goes retrograde. For example if you know you will be traveling during Mercury retro, book flights, etc. well ahead of that time. Also make note when Mercury is retro, so you will not get your passport or other important travel documents during Mercury retro, for a trip you are planning months later.

Another thing you need to pay special attention to when Mercury is retrograde is operating any tools or machinery – especially your vehicle. Because of unfocused attention, it is all too easy to cut yourself with a knife or saw, or run over something with the lawnmower. But it is in your car where you need to be most careful. People tend to get spacy when they are driving anyway, especially on long distance travels, or the usual routine commute. During Mercury retrograde periods you can get even more dreamy to the point of not knowing an 18-wheeler is in the next lane. The potential for accidents is real! The remedy is to know this, and make sure you do whatever it takes to stay doubly alert during these times.

Another phenomena of Mercury retrograde is that things which have been moving ahead, will seem to back up for a while. Plans about to manifest, stall; a blooming relationship fades; a promised raise doesn’t manifest, and so on. Often these plans will move ahead later, so it’s best to be patient rather than reactionary if this happens to you.

There is also a positive side to Mercury retrograde periods. It can be the perfect time to go over plans that need revision, or review, reflect and ponder on things generally, and it seems easier to write or journal  during this time.  It is a wonderful time to do any inner work, such as meditation or any inward reflective mental process, or reach within yourself to find the appropriate way to say something you have been wanting to say for a while. Another interesting Mercury retrograde phenomena is that things which have disappeared or got lost, sometimes mysteriously reappear. This has happened to me personally, so I’ve experienced it in action.

Here’s an article I liked from the blog Only Here for a Spell on The Positive Side of Mercury Retrograde 

One last note. People who are born with Mercury retrograde in their birth charts sometimes seem to have a reverse mode when Mercury goes retro in the heavens. I have noticed these folks will tend to go into high gear when Mercury retrogrades, as if all their usually internalized plans suddenly spew out in record speed! In talking with some Merc. retro folks I know, their explanation is that they simply are used to handling  Mercury retro and so they seem to be on top of it, when everyone else is spacy and fuzzed out.

To sum up, the general Mercury Retrograde advice is to check everything you speak or write with doubly focused attention, and get feedback on important facts – take nothing for granted.  Be especially careful when driving or operating any machinery, and be kind and loving to all your communication tools, because they will be in a cranky mood.  And take off time to enjoy a day of reverie and drift off into the heavens – perhaps to have a chat with Mercury.