Here is a look at the Mercury retrograde dates for 2018 and what you can expect from them.
Mercury Retrogrades in 2018
What’s does “retrograde” mean?
Retrograde planets appear to be going backward in their orbit. This is an optical illusion caused by the Earth’s and these other planets’ revolutions around the Sun. Like the actual retrograde, the trouble we perceive during a retrograde is, in a way, an illusion.
First, retrogrades aren’t that bad. The planet still functions but just in a backward way that seems stifling because the energy is turned inward. For example, Venus retrograde may make people seem cold, but they’re actually giving the love to themselves and cultivating inner beauty. Likewise, Mercury retrograde is intelligence and communication turned backward, toward the self, being more concerned with what goes in your own mind than what you hear or read, thus missing things.
How do retrogrades work?
They don’t, or at least they don’t at the beginning. The planet appears to stop moving in the sky, or to go stationary. Then, it goes backward, then stops, then goes direct again.
Before that, however, the planet enters a shadow period, or passes the degree that it will retrograde back to before it goes direct again. For example, Mercury goes retrograde in Aries in late March this year, going from Aries at 16 degrees to Aries 4 degrees. Before that, however, Mercury is going direct and is at Aries 4 degrees on March 9. This is the beginning of the shadow period, and it ends on May 3rd, when the Moon is at Aries 16 again.
The shadow period is the entire time where Mercury retrograde’s effects start creeping in, getting stronger during the actual retrograde, then tapering off until the end of the shadow. Thus, the whole retrograde period can last almost a month, even if the actual retrograde is about three weeks long.
Who’s Afraid of Mercury Retrograde?:
It’s in fashion to blame Mercury retrograde for everything, even for things Mercury doesn’t rule, but Mercury really can’t affect that many things. Think papercuts, not stab wounds. Mercury is the planet of little things, so Mercury retrograde affects little things. It causes misunderstandings, misinterpretations, mistakes, and missing details.
That doesn’t mean than these little things could be the catalyst to a big problem, like not reading a contract thoroughly before signing, but it doesn’t cause tsunamis or deadly epidemics.
The best thing to do is to take on less and be patient. This isn’t a time to stretch yourself or juggle a lot of things. It is a time, however, to focus on fewer things that require more dedicated observation. Instead of completing all the tasks on your to do list and screwing them up, focus on one or two big things, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
What if you were born when Mercury was retrograde?
If you were born during Mercury Retrograde, you may have an unusual style of communicating or thinking. For many, speech may have come very early or very late, and/or wasn’t entirely clear to others. Some write much better than they speak or visa versa. You may have penetrating insights but have trouble expressing them or getting others to understand what you mean. People born during Mercury retrograde actually handle differently than others and tend to thus come to different conclusions. You may be very intelligent, but struggle in formal education, or you may find it much easier to teach yourself than to take instruction from another person.
Generally speaking, people with Mercury retrograde are no more or less intelligent because of it, but are likely (especially in their early years) to be mistaken for disabled, learning impaired, or neurologically challenged. Some may be autistic or misdiagnosed as autistic since Mercury retrograde also creates sensitivity to the details of life, including sensory ones.
These people tend to have an odd sense of humor. They may like the absurb, nonsequiturs and the surreal, or particularly sadistic humor. They also tend to find humor in things others don’t and may be laughing or smiling to themselves over their own humorous thoughts.
However, Mercury retrogrades don’t really bother these people. In fact, they can accomplish a lot because they know instinctively how to use retrograde energy and how to navigate the world through this type of fog. A lot of people who have Mercury retrograde in their charts may not even notice a difference. Some of them, however, find that they do their best thinking during the retrogrades.
Retrogrades in 2018
2018 Retrograde Guide
Mercury goes retrograde in all of the three fire signs this year. Since the fire signs are passionate, demonstrative, and creative, Mercury retrograde in these signs deal with expression, demonstration, and creativity. They also tend to have a more explosive or “hot” expression: even happy-go-lucky Sagittarius may indulge in a little too much sarcasm.
How to optimize the retrogrades:
Mercury Retrograde in Aries: Isn’t it a kick in the head for Mercury to go retrograde just before taxes are due? Everyone’s clamoring to be heard, and no one is listening to each other, but what is picked up may be taken personally, in a good or bad way. Otherwise neutral things may be taken as insults, compliments, aggression, or come-ons.
However, frustration with others can help you turn this energy toward something new (or in the early stages) that’s just for you, especially if it’s competitive or to vindicate you. Don’t present your magnum opus to the world until you’ve had enough time to edit and revise it after Mercury goes direct. Other than that, if you find yourself blurting things out or calling attention to the elephant in the room, it could be the catharsis everyone’s waiting for.
Mercury Retrograde in Leo: Mercury retrograde in Leo can be good or bad, depending on how demonstrative you are. Introverts may find this energy worse, since Mercury retrograde in Leo tends to make people more demonstrative in a counterproductive (obnoxious) way and for those who are normally quiet to stew in the thoughts they won’t share. Everyone thinks they know better than everyone else, and no one wants to share the spotlight, compromise, or brainstorm. This is a good time for solo work, especially anything creative.
What’s a crazy, creative idea you have that you would love to be known for? Go ahead and dream. Be crazy enough to start planning it. Who can tell you what to do when no one can get their thoughts straight, anyway?
Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius: Mercury is in detriment in Sagittarius. Mercury deals with smaller ideas, details, and our immediate world, and Sagittarius is the sign of philosophy, religion, travel, and higher education. So, Mercury is already at a disadvantage in Sagittarius, so when it goes retrograde in the sign, it’s actually not that bad, or comparatively so, and for some, a blessing in disguise.
It’s actually a great time to return to intellectual projects once put on the backburner. Those who have the Great Novel in their heads may find that this is the November they get their ideas down. Write now, edit later.
- More posts on Astrology:
- Sun Signs
- Daily Horoscope
- Planetary Aspects
- Sun-Moon Astrology Combinations