On Mercury in Retrograde

I first published this post on a now-defunct domain, but as we all know, the domain may get hosed, but the Wayback Machine prolly has a copy. 🙂

I’ll repost the relevant portions below, redacting the bits about that year’s Mercury Retrograde schedule. If you’re curious, I’ll post this year’s information below, along with anything I feel is lacking after I re-read and resist the urge to edit beyond redacting the schedule.


Let’s talk about Mercury in retrograde for a minute, because it’s on everyone’s minds.

Most people view Mercury in retrograde as a bad thing, but I think we have to look for the positive.

What Is Mercury Retrograde?

To start with, Mercury is the planet in our solar system that is closest to the sun. It only takes about 88 of our days (here on Earth) for Mercury to complete a full cycle around the sun. About three or four times a year, Mercury does something strange from our vantage point here on Earth. It looks as if it slows down and even backs up. This is an optical illusion, but it’s unnerving. So we gave it a name: Retrograde.

The retrograde period can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to closer to three weeks. There’s also a “shadow period” before and after, so the effects of Mercury in retrograde might hit you a little earlier or seem to last a little longer than the actual dates.

Mercury–named for the Roman god Mercury, the Messenger–rules over quite a bit, astrologically speaking. There’s communication, for starters, based on that whole “messenger” deal. But there is also intelligence, the mind and memory, and self-expression, among others.

So What’s the Big Deal?

OK, so when Mercury goes into retrograde, the implication is that whatever Mercury rules or affects goes a bit haywire. That means there are:

• Mixups
• Delays
• Technology goes wonky
• Messages get lost
• Misunderstandings brew
• Contracts and agreements are iffy
• Dreams and goals can get lost

Most people who talk about Mercury in retrograde have some Big Advice on what you should avoid. These tips include avoiding:

• Big purchases
• Big repairs
• Big changes, like marriage, divorce, etc.
• Traveling
• Starting a new job
• Making agreements
• Starting projects
• Holding important meetings

This might make you feel better, but come on. That’s usually two to three weeks out of your life. Let’s lighten up a bit.

Looking for the Positives

Mercury in retrograde gives you a chance to slow down and pay a little bit more attention. Say you know that messages can be delayed. So you slow down and give yourself extra time to craft them and to send them accurately. It allows you to take a break. Observe what’s going on around you. Contemplate life a bit.

This period of retrograde is perfect for second chances, redoing something—anything with “re” in front of it, really. You can catch up on all those time-consuming tasks you’ve been avoiding because you didn’t have time for them before.

It’s also perfect for this time of year. You can reflect on what you’ve already accomplished and then review your goals and plans. Then, when Mercury goes direct, you’re ready.

Helpful Tips for Surviving Mercury in Retrograde

If you’re determined to carry on with life full speed ahead during Mercury’s retrograde, go for it. But some of these tips might help you feel you’ve got a better handle on things.

Check your plans over and over and over again, especially travel plans. And bring carry-on luggage.

Always be prepared for delays! They’re gonna happen. Bring a book.

Mail packages and letters early. And double check those addresses before you send them off.

In fact, double check everything.

Keep your receipts. Especially if you’re determined to buy something big.

Keep your tech charged.

Remember to BREATHE.


So when is Mercury going Retrograde in 2020? Glad you asked.

  • Shadow: February 2 – 16, Retrograde: February 16 – March 9, Post Shadow: March 9 – 16
  • Shadow: June 2 – June 18, Retrograde: June 18 – July 12, Post Shadow: July 12 – July 26
  • Shadow: September 23 – October 13, Retrograde: October 13 – November 3, Post Shadow: November 3 – November 19

That should help you to get through this year’s Mercury Retrogrades. Remember, this doesn’t have to be scary or something you develop a phobia about. Mercury just wants you to pay closer attention.

What gets you through Mercury in Retrograde? Feel free to share below!

Like this and wanna buy me a coffee? You can do that and hey, thanks, friend! We writers run on coffee. 🙂

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