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What is Mercury Retrograde?

Posted by Victoria Reinertsdatter on

First, the prerequisite: “What is Mercury Retrograde, anyway?” 

Mercury is a quickly moving planet and as a result, 3 or 4 times a year it stations retrograde. Much ado has been made of this particular transit, but it’s really not as intense as many would have you believe. What happens is there is an optical illusion that creates the impression that a planet is moving backwards.

Where it happens for you changes what it means for you.

Looking at your natal chart can help you make the most of the beneficial aspects of Mercury’s station retrograde. When you figure out things like which house it happens to be transiting and if it makes aspects to your ascendant, mid-heaven or other aspects in your chart, you can actually use this much feared astrological boogie man to your advantage. The first step is in getting your natal chart here, and you can go from there to see exactly how to do just that.

Mercury Retrograde

Whenever Mercury stations Retrograde, it tends to impact the way you handle money. So, it’s more important than usual to be careful about your business decisions. Be careful when undertaking new business deals and be especially mindful when it comes to anything involving big money.

You may find that when you’re working on business and money issues, you do run into more than a few challenges during this retrograde cycle. The best way to get around all of that is not rushing ahead, not trying to force any issues, making sure you compromise and whatever you do, do not put anything off until the last minute. Avoid any pressures for last minute deals and changes. Risk taking, particularly in investments, not a good idea during this time. Nitpicking contracts down to the tiniest detail? Very good idea.

On a personal level, the retrograde cycle will challenge those stiff sort of my way or the highway modes of thought. The wanting things to stay the same, the tendency towards complacency... Well, that’s going to get wheedled a bit. The best thing you can do is to be more fluid in your thinking, more open-minded, more open to understanding and compromise when you can. Any kind of stubborn refusal to change may not end very well for you, but end, begin, explode, and otherwise, it may. Use the retrograde cycle to look at the patterns, plan, revisit, and clear some things up.

Emotionally, Spiritually, and Otherwise

Consider this a time when you can have a second or even third look at messages we got, but may not have quite picked up on. It’s time to think about where you stand, where others stand with you, and how you engage in that. All year long, we’ve got a whooooole mess of Earth sign Mercury retrogrades, and this is actually a great thing. The Earth sign influence on all of this will drive us harder to find our roots, our purpose, and when you throw Mercury stationing retrograde into that, our perceptions get a much-needed change.

Rather than bemoaning Mercury retrograde cycles, I have always looked at it this way: Mercury was a messenger God. What’s he trying to tell you? What about your past, about your systems, about the way you think, feel, perceive, and do things is he revealing to you in all those challenges? Always remember: These are messages you’re getting. Maybe they’re annoying ones; maybe they’re confusing life on this plane, but the Universe knows what it’s doing with you. It’s time for you to know, and that’s what Mercury stationing retrograde is all about.

This is about working on a future that was already set into motion. Things slow down a pace, and this is a good thing. It’s time to look at things and really figure out where they can be made better, dropped entirely, or simply revamped. You may be getting a look at how the past has changed things from the last retrograde. You may also be revisiting prior misunderstandings, and now better able to see what was really at play. Another thing that can often happen is that some of the things we cling to are no longer there to be clung to. These abrupt changes are sometimes painful, yes, but they are also liberating. If you think back on your past, think about on the way that you felt during a bad breakup, a job loss, or otherwise, and then, consider where the path went from there. You’ll see what I mean. Not everything you lose really is a loss. Though that’s easier said than felt during the transition. In time, it all becomes pretty clear.

Survival of a Mercury retrograde is a recurring theme, but I’ve never looked at it like “survival.” This isn’t because I sugar coat things or because I wear rose colored glasses. It’s because understanding the messenger nature of things helps. We often speak of “Universal Oneness,” and I think that at some juncture in our lives, we’ve all more or less begged: “Just give me a sign!”  You get a multitude of them, 3-4 times a year with the Mercury Retrograde.

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