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Mercury In Retrograde Effects

Of all the planetary movements and energies going on in our cosmos, the Mercury Retrograde is one that everyone (even someone not into astrology) should be aware of. Knowing how mercury works and why this retrograde is important and the ways it affects us is an enormous help for us all. So in very simple terms so as not to bore the non-astrologers, I wish to explain why you should know about this retrograde and mark it on your calendar.

mercuryMercury is the planet that rules Communication, the Mind and Perception so when it's retrograde, there can be marked problems in all of these areas. It is a time that is marked by miscommunication, misunderstanding, and also technical problems such as computer glitches, emails that disappear, phone mishaps and all kinds of travel bungles or breakdowns.

It is also a time when new projects simply don't take. If you are thinking of starting a completely new project or idea, wait out the retrograde period and begin a week after or you may find whatever you start is never finished. Do not sign any contract during this retrograde. Don't start a business or make any large purchases, wait this period out. Strangely enough, we can become restless during this quiet period and try to start more projects than usual.

What is Mercury Retrograde Good For?

Whilst new projects are ill advised, this period is excellent for continuing projects already begun, for carrying on your normal tasks and using the time for research. It is also the best time to review or look back and analyse things that aren't working for you. I find this time to be one where I can naturally look back on things and reflect. For those carrying a lot of unprocessed emotional baggage, this is when it will invariably 'come up' in your mind to be processed. Whilst this can be arduous if you do it for the whole retrograde, it is temporary, and when Mercury turns direct again, you will once again be making forward momentum.

Interestingly, if you are starting a new project that is ongoing from something you have started or established earlier, there will be no marked affect. It is when you try to take on an entirely new energy that you can find it won't 'take' or last. Anything to do with a continuation of an existing energy should be okay.

Throwing a party or celebration during this retrograde may be a more quiet, subdued affair, and this would apply to a vacation away also.

When Is Mercury Retrograde and for How Long?

This phenomenon occurs because, relative to our position on Earth, the planet Mercury appears to be going backwards in it's path. No planet can actually go backwards, but from our perspective, Mercury does indeed move backwards and may even more back into a house (sign) it has just moved through already. It can backtrack into that house, stay there for a while before it once again begins to move forward out of the sign. Each retrograde lasts approximately 3 weeks and we have roughly three of these retrogrades each year. The dates for retrogrades:

flying star
  • April 9 - May 3
  • August 12 - September 5
  • December 3 - December 22
  • March 22 - April 15
  • July 25 -  August 18
  • November 16 - December 6
For a few days (up to week) before and after the retrograde, you can feel the energies either heading into or out of the slowdown. Be cautious on these days also for miscommunications or technical glitches and patience may be needed.
Tip: Bookmark this page so you can check when the next retrograde will be.

Who Knows About Retrogrades?

You might be surprised to know that most of big business, ie large corporations and businesses, hire and regularly consult astrologers. This is because it is the astrologers who know how to chart, plot and interpret the prevailing energies of the planets. It is the astrologers who know how to go with the flow, know when the flow starts and stops (varying retrogrades of planets) and all about transits, conjunctions and oppositions of planets. Of course big business takes advantage of this because they know it works and that is is wise to use prevailing energies that can help rather than going forward during negative energies or oppositions etc. Farmers also take advantage of various astrological data to plant at times that will produce the highest yields.

Why Have Retrogrades?

You might ask why the universe, in her wisdom, has set periods of 'downtime' as it were. If you think about it, downtime serves us as it gives us a time to stop, think, process, plan, become aware and still, and find ourselves again. If the universe was constantly set on 'go-go-go', we would burn out, get jaded and eventually stop anyway for a rest. What Mercury Retrograde gives us is a set cycle of rest and slowed-down energy. Why not take advantage of it and, yes, even plan for it. It is worth it since if you fly in the face of this retrograde, things will turn out wonky and not as planned, and energy spent trying to push forward will be wasted anyway.

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