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Mercury Retrograde - What is it & When is it

Mercury Retrograde

MercuryThe word retrograde applies, in Astrology, to the apparent backward motion thru the zodiac of a planet. This happens three to four times per year, when the planet Mercury slows down, and appears to stop (station) and move backward (retrograde).

In the Encyclopedia of Astrology, Nicholas deVore, Philosophical Library, 1947, describes this retrograde motion as ‘the effect of a slow-moving train as viewed from another train traveling parallel to it but at a more rapid rate, wherein the slower train appears to be moving backwards. However, in the case of the celestial bodies it is not a matter of their actual speed of travel, but of the rate at which they change their angular relationship.’

All the planets, except Sun and Moon, have these retrograde periods, but Mercury is most famous for them, probably because Mercury represents our very essential communication abilities.

While people speak of Mercury Retrograde periods that screw up computers and television sets, today’s astrologers believe the mishaps happen in more personal realms (Uranus is the planet that rules television and computers).

Mercury Retrograde SolarSince Mercury rules communication, it’s said that everything goes haywire in that area. You could miss appointments, your computer equipment may crash, checks get lost, and you find the car you just purchased during Mercury retrograde is a lemon. Projects will demand more time and money than anticipated during these times.

There will be countless delays, cancellations and postponements. All machinery and things with moving parts–such as computers, VCRs, camera equipment, garbage disposals, and so forth, will reveal any weak links now.

It’s typically not considered a time not to make any important decisions or start anything new. Avoid signing any new contracts, including buying a house, car, or work related projects.

Though Mercury retrograde may be viewed as a negative aspect, we have to realize in order to move forward it’s sometimes necessary to backtrack and reconfigure our paths in life. It actually gives us an opportunity to catch up with ourselves, and to look back.

Something from the past might return in a different form.

This can mean people, ideas or buried insights that need to surface for you to move forward. Often it’s felt as a contemplative time, depending on the sign, a chance to go over old ground again, to claim what you missed the first time. Mercury forces us to slow down and fix what’s broken, and in so doing, rethink things. It also gives us time to get to projects we have put on the back-burner.

Know that these ‘inconveniences’ will benefit you in the long run. Don’t fight them, although your frustration level and feeling of restlessness will be hard to cope with at times. Don’t forget that Mercury is the Trickster who brings messages and learning lessons in round-a-bout ways that we attract by synchronicity.

During these 3 1/2 week periods it is best to just relax and go with the flow…

Mercury Retrograde Periods for 2023

  • Continued from December 29, 2022 – January 18, 2023- started and ends in the earth sign of Capricorn
  • April 21 – May 14 in the earth sign of Taurus
  • August 23 – September 15 in the earth sign of Virgo
  • December 13, 2023 – January 1, 2024

Mercury Retrograde Periods for 2022

  • January 14 – February 3 starts in the air sign of Aquarius, and ends in the earth sign of Capricorn
  • May 10 – June 2 starts in the air sign of Gemini, and ends in the earth sign of Taurus
  • September 9 – October 2 starts in the air sign of Libra, and ends in the earth sign
  • December 29 – January 18 in the earth sign of Capricorn, and ends in the earth sign Capricorn

Mercury Retrograde Periods for 2021

  • January 30 – February 20 in the air sign of Aquarius
  • May 29 – June 22 in the air sign of Gemini
  • September 27 – October 18 in the air sign of Libra

What Do You Think?