Mercury Retrograde

Mercury goes retrograde for about two weeks, three times a year. 


In a nutshell, remain flexible, slow down and allow extra time for travel during the retrograde period. This is a time to complete projects, review plans, clean out drawers, closets, basements and garages. Those things begun prior to the retrograde can be completed now. Wait to initiate new projects or make final decisions until Mercury is direct.

Communications can become difficult. People can misunderstand you and you misunderstand them. Written communication can become troublesome for any number of reasons. I’ll explain more.

Mercury retrogrades for about three weeks, three to four times a year. No planet actually orbits backwards around the Sun, but they appear to retrograde because of their position in relationship toearth. Mercury retrogrades more frequently than any other planet, and its effects are often quite noticeable.

Mercury is the planet of written and verbal communication, travel, contracts and documents, along with communication equipment, such as computers, phones and television. In fact, any equipment with movable parts is ruled by Mercury. When Mercury is retrograde, all of these areas can be impacted.

Communications get muddled, luggage lost, travel plans disrupt, we miss important details in a contract, computers crash… plans just don’t go as we’d intended. There can be delays, forgotten appointments, cancellations and reschedules. The kitchen cabinets you ordered under the retrograde arrive the wrong style; the employee hired ends up quitting within three months. That’s because the retrograde period is not a time to initiate new projects or activities.

Back up your computer prior to a retrograde. Reconfirm appointments, double check flights before you leave, take carry on luggage rather than check-in, wait to order items or hire people until after the retrograde. This is not a time to put your home on the market or to make a major purchase. Things can be missed or skipped over. We tend to change our minds about major decisions made under a retrograde. So it’s best, for example, not to try a new hair color or even a new hair stylist under a retrograde.

This is because things that are initiated under a retrograde usually need to be revisited. Astrologer Susan Miller writes, “In matters of the heart, if your boyfriend or girlfriend breaks up with you or says something hurtful, take a wait-and-see attitude. Since Mercury rules speech, they may not mean what you think they are saying now. Let them have some space, and wait to see if they mean in October what they said in September.”

There are lots of positive things about a Mercury retrograde period if you work with the energy rather than against it. Mercury retrograde means slow down. This is a time to ponder and reflect, make repairs, clean out drawers and closets, and gather information for decisions to be made once Mercury goes direct. It is a time to complete projects. Finish any projects that you just haven’t had time or the inclination to complete. Get your resume up to date. This is a great time for research. The mind turns inward, facts come forward, information is uncovered. Under a retrograde, long-standing problems can be solved. This is a time to heal old wounds and release inner blockages. Meditation can be highly productive, with many new insights revealed.

Annie Heese and Adam Bank of write, “It is important to note that there is absolutely no reason to suspend projects or anything of the sort during the Mercury Retrograde cycle. It’s not an ideal time to start new ones or to sign contracts, simply because a change of mind is very possible once Mercury turns direct. However, it’s a fabulous time to do some “outside of the box” thinking. Acting on our ideas, however, might be best left for a Mercury Direct period.”

Life doesn’t stop under a retrograde! Just double check things. If you are hosting a conference, have several people edit the brochures to make sure the facts are printed accurately, test out the equipment to be used, confirm the conference site with the number of attendees, dates, times and rooms needed.

Remember to keep your sense of humor! Usually the glitches that occur under a retrograde are annoyances rather than disasters.

What about people born with Mercury retrograde? These individuals tend to take time in decision making, often doing their research while Mercury is direct and making the decision under the retrograde. They tend to flow well with the retrograde period and don’t have the delays and bumps in the road that others do. Mercury retrograde folks tend to be a bit more philosophical in nature and their sense of humor a bit unconventional. Their perspective can be unique and important in teamwork, as they’ll see things others may miss.