Mercury retrograde is a phrase that can send most of us into panic and fear, even if you’re not all that into astrology. And to be honest, while Mercury retrograde can be a tough time period, it. In episode 276 astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo joins the show to talk about Mercury retrograde and what it means in astrology. Mercury retrograde periods occur when the planet Mercury begins moving backwards in the zodiac for about three weeks every few months. Mercury in Astrology Mercury is a celestial anomaly and a singularly disruptive, tricky character, in both mythical and astrological interpretation. Infinitely clever and full of wiles, Mercury in the natal chart embodies the ways we think, speak, and write, as well as the ways we use our cunning to bend the truth and sidestep responsibility. What does Mercury Retrograde mean? The term retrograde comes from the Latin word retrogradus, which literally means “backward step.” As the name suggests, retrograde is when a planet appears to go backward in its orbit, as viewed from Earth. Astronomers refer to this as “apparent retrograde motion,” because it is an optical illusion.
What Is It?
Many people have heard the phrase Mercury Retrograde, but may not be sure what it really means. It is not something to worry about, but it can be very helpful and save you from mix-ups and misadventures if you are aware of the dates it is in effect.
In astrology the planet Mercury is associated with the mind, the nervous system, speaking, learning, thinking, reasoning, memory, education, reading, information, communications, transportation, travel, commerce, buying and selling.
About three times a year from our perspective here on Earth, Mercury appears to slow down, stop, and then start to move backward and retrace its path in the sky. (It isn’t actually moving backwards, it just looks that way to us.) This apparent backward motion continues for about three weeks. During this period, we say Mercury is Retrograde (Rx). Then Mercury once again slows down, stops and resumes its forward movement, which is described as Mercury going Direct (Dir).
What to Do?
When Mercury is retrograde it is time to pause and go back over things, rather than begin something brand new. Be alert in all forms of communication, transportation, travel and mental activities. it does not mean that everything will get mixed up. It just means we need to be more aware and not take things for granted. Misunderstandings, miscalculations, mistakes, lost messages and delays can occur more easily. Things started now may need to be redone later. Be clear in all communications and double-check your information. Don’t assume that others perceive the situation in the same way as you do. Stay flexible and be prepared for some surprises. You may find out that something you thought would turn out one way ends up being totally different than you expected.
Mechanical and technological devices like your vehicle or your computer may be a little wacky or need repairs. Large systems involving communication, transportation and commerce may experience breakdowns or delays. However, it doesn’t mean all travel, technology and communications are affected, just that it is more likely now. Don’t take anything for granted. Drive cautiously. If you must sign something, be sure to read the fine print and verify that everyone understands and agrees on the terms. As long as you are clear and careful, you will be fine.
When Mercury is retrograde, stop and look around at your life. See what needs to be finished, repaired, researched, revised or reevaluated. It is also a good time for cleaning, sorting, organizing and clearing out. It can be a serendipitous time, too, when fun, surprising and exciting events happen.
The effects of Mercury Retrograde are often the strongest around the beginning and the end dates of the retrograde phase. The four days just before the retrograde phase begins and just after it ends can be quite unsettled. It also can take up to three weeks after the retrograde phase ends to tie up all the loose ends of the activities that occurred during the retrograde phase.
Sound the alarm because this month, Mercury stations retrograde on June 18.
Mercury retrograde is a phrase that can send most of us into panic and fear, even if you’re not all that into astrology. And to be honest, while Mercury retrograde can be a tough time period, it doesn’t have to be as scary as everyone makes it out to be. So let’s break down what it means and assess how you might be able to move through it with a little bit more ease. After all, knowledge is power, right?
When a planet is retrograde, it appears to be moving backward in the sky, traveling back into the sign it was previously transiting. Any retrograde is always a period of review and reassessment. So when Mercury goes retrograde, you can expect misunderstandings, technology failures and in general, some roadblocks in life. This is why it has become the astrological scapegoat of modern times.
Mercury is one of the faster moving planets in our solar system, and about once a month, it changes signs in the zodiac. Mercury rules communication and can affect our technology, our conversations, the words we use and the big contracts we enter into. Mercury not only affects the way we speak to others, but also how we speak to ourselves and the way we think.
'Anytime a planet goes retrograde, it's an invitation to slow down. In that stillness, we can be taken back to where we skipped a step or missed seeing a vital piece of information,' astrologers Brandon Alter and Angel Lopez of The Spiritual Gayz told us. 'Because Mercury rules communication with ourselves and others, it immediately invites us to slow down our response time. This isn't the time to rush into decisions.'
Related: Brace yourself: NASA published a blog post earlier this year explaining that the Western zodiac has shifted.
'It's also a time to be gentle with yourself. Things may take longer than you want, and that's OK. If you're feeling like you made a mistake, now is a great time to forgive yourself. And know that if you're feeling frustrated, everyone is experiencing this on some level, so remember that you're not alone.'
Astrologers also warn that Mercury retrograde is not the best time to make a big purchase or sign major contracts. And while you can definitely do these things during a phase when Mercury goes retrograde, know that it might be a little frustrating or maybe take a little longer than you expected.
And the best advice is to proceed with caution: Back up your work, read the fine print and know that while misunderstandings are bound to occur, they can also be easily cleared up with a little patience, not only with others, but also with yourself.
Oh and word to the wise, 'Mercury isn't ever IN retrograde, Mercury GOES retrograde. Retrograde is a direction, not a realm. It's like saying 'Mercury is in backwards' as opposed to 'Mercury goes backwards.'
The more you know.