We can many times hear the cliché phrase “Mercury turned retrograde” and see people blaming their bad luck on the planet, while also showing signs of fear; without them usually knowing at all what this phrase means. So, what exactly happens during these days, and all the people go mad about it?
Mercury, as we know, orbits the Sun quicker and of course is located nearer to the star of our Solar system. Therefore, there is no a real backwards movement; it just appears to be like that from our point of view towards the skies. This is due to the Earth’s slower movement than the Mercury, and it creates an illusion of him turning backwards. Of course, this is in comparison to his apparent distance from the Sun – and don’t think that he is walking backwards the ecliptic. He is still following the Sun’s trail in the skies, but he allows the Sun march forward and leave him behind.
Mercury can never be more far than 28 degrees from the sun, and when he reaches that degree he changes his phenomenal direction. His backwards movement, which is called retrograde, lasts about three weeks; this happens at three or sometimes four times a year, and follows a stable cycle. People must notice that with 9 or more weeks retrograde movement per year, Mercury is sometimes even 20% of the year’s time in this condition!
So, what are actually the effects of Mercury getting in a retrograde movement?
The backwards movement changes the patterns of events, disrupting the regular cause and effect sequence. As Mercury rules the intellect, communication and a lot of other categories, issues and situations that fall under his rule are functioning differently than they usually do. Information, even if sent correctly, is misinterpreted or does not arrive. Perception changes and mistakes concerning data are more frequently done. This affects speaking, sales, contract signing, negotiating, traveling and everything else connected to transfers, primarily of data. There can be delays, difficulties or crucial mistakes whose correction might lead to even more mistakes. This is because correcting something under Mercury being retrograde, might work in this surroundings; on the other hand as Mercury will turn direct the new (normal) surroundings will be of different pattern for the corrected thing/situation.
A strange pattern that appears is that when someone is born under retrograde Mercury, he functions a lot better in such an occasion! During the rest of the time, he has more difficulties in adapting to the “normal” way of things. Of course, the normal way is defined by the masses, by that 80% of people who have been born under a direct Mercury! So, if you have this natal aspect, you should chill down- maybe this period will be a lot better for your communications. Maybe your communications fail during the rest of the time, and you just consider yourself unlucky- or just don’t notice it at all!
The backwards movement gives to the people tendencies of rethinking ideas, and the best thing one has to do is re-organize and pass a short introspection. Check in which house of your natal chart this movement is taking place, and you will understand what you should reconsider. This period is actually great for exiting your natural order of things and looking at the big picture. Leave the decisions for later; this is the time of rewinding, understanding mistakes, thinking of possibilities and creating your strategy. Do not choose your strategy and next steps now. Wait until Mercury turns direct- or even better until his direct movement surpasses the degree where he started his retrograde movement. Your mind will be then ready to use the new insights it gained in a constructive way. In any case, do not make some decision that will permanently have an effect on you.
Even if Mercury being retrograde does not personally affects you, he loves playing his not-so-funny games with our technology. The winged messenger god becomes Loki, the cosmic Joker, who just adores crashing electronic equipment. Always back-up before such a movement, and expect emails never being sent, delays in traveling and mistakes in legal papers. Oh, and get prepared for being called by an old good friend, or even some ex-boyfriend/girlfriend- especially if your natal Mercury is connected with your natal Venus. These phenomena of people from our past can happen also if the retrograde movement of Mercury is happening in the 5th, the 7th , the 8th and the 11th house of your natal chart. Depending on which house the movement takes place, such type of a person might invade (for a little) back to your life. Usually, such reconnections do not last long.
In any case, do not get into any types of hysteria. You can read our article about Mercury Retrograde Survival Tips, to know which things you should focus on. Understand that this pattern was, and will forever be an ever-happening phenomenon in your life. You have learnt to live with it, you might even be born under it. You will continue living with its presence, and there is no need to be afraid of it. The best one has to do, is cooperate with this different function of the planet, and get the best out of it.