What is Mercury Retrograde?When Mercury goes into retrograde, it moves backwards in terms of zodiacal degrees, as seen from the earth. Mercury does not actually move backwards on its orbit, though - this is just a visual phenomenon. Mercury goes into retrograde about three times a year and for about three weeks each time. (Gemini is the third sign of the zodiac and it is ruled by Mercury, just like the third house! Another cool astrological synchronicity)
What are the effects of Mercury Retrograde?What happens during this time to the energetic influence of Mercury has been described as that feeling or weird visual effect of seemingly moving backwards in a train that is actually standing still when the one next to you starts moving forward.
I really love this metaphor. If you consider that Mercury is associated with communication and speach as well as travel and technology, you might be able to guess what happens when it goes into this moonwalking direction - the whole exchange of information will be a bit funky and messed up!
There will be misunderstandings, problems, delays, things will go lost and you might have to repeat yourself more often or redo certain things because they break or can't be found anymore.
Generally speaking, it is said to not sign any contracts and avoid short distance travel, to double check whether you have saved data and to be aware of misunderstandings and other conflicts in communication.
Letters and packages can go lost or you could reconnect with an acquiantance. The whole exchange of information is backwards.
This is not necessarily a bad influence, it's just different! You will see why later.
Mercury Retrograde in the birth chartPeople born during a Mercury retrograde aren't less intelligent, they simply have problems putting their thoughts and opinions out into words or on paper and they might constantly overthink.
From what people with this placement have told me, a transit of Mercury retrograde does not affect them as strongly as others, because they have become used to this indirect, backwards and internalized energy of their thoughts their whole lives!
Will I be influenced? If yes, how?Mercury retrograde affects everyone. Some, however, stronger than others.
If you have a prominent influence of Mercury, Gemini or Virgo in your chart, for example, you will be especially affected by this transit.
It generally depends on the part of your horoscope that the Mercury retrograde falls into: if you have a lot of planets (or at least an important planet like the Sun or Moon) in the sign that the Retrograde is in, you will be more strongly affected by it.
The house it transits also indicated the specific life area in which you will experience these issues and delays with communication.
When are the Mercury Retrogrades?There is also a pre-retrograde and post-retrograde shadow period, in which we feel the effects of the retrograde before it has begun and after it has ended.
January 21 - February 11
May 18 - June 11
September 17 - October 9
January 5 - January 25
April 28 - May 22
August 30 - September 22
December 19 - January 8 (2017)
April 9 - May 3
August 12 - September 5
December 3 - December 22
What to do during a Mercury Retrograde?The importance or significance of Mercury retrograde tends to be blown out of proportion since it has seeped into pop culture.
If we stress about it too much it simply turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy
Here's some ideas on how to use this energy to your benfit:
1. Reminisce (take out the dusty photo albums)
2. Review (long term goals, break them down into steps, yet smaller steps, and so on)
3. Revise (you will have a hard time learning something new but you can go over previously learned information and put it into your long-term memory)
4. Reconnect (talk to pals you lost out of sight, they will reenter your mind)
5. Renew and renovate (your room, your social media accounts,...)
I hope you get through this period well!