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Mercury Retrograde Explained

mercury retrograde

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 that 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 during Mercury 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 vice 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 informal 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 absurd, nonsequiturs and the surreal, or particularly sadistic humor. They also tend to find humor in things others don’t and maybe 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.

What is a Retrograde?

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.

What is the significance of mercury?

Mercury is the planet of communication and connectivity on this material plane of existence. It represents our ability to express and share ideas, feelings, and thoughts. Mercury is related to speech, communication, vocabulary, clarity of speech and words, expressiveness, intelligence, maths, algebra, IQ, our involuntary reflexes, organizing information, and sharing it in a presentable and understandable format, information itself is also the domain of mercury, and it represents logic and mathematics in general. (although maths needs a good Saturn as well).

Mercury helps to organize and utilize all the information we have. It helps people connect with each other out of fun, excitement, youthfulness, joy, pleasure, and lust. Mercury’s role is to manifest and bring ideas, meaning & feelings (Jupiter & moon) to words and expression (mercury). It is also the expression of the will (sun).

So now as we have an apt understanding of the Significance of mercury in the cosmic code, let us try to understand what will be the effects of such a planet going retrograde in transits or the natal chart.

Effects of Mercury Retrograde:

Retrograde mercury enhances the abstract abilities of the planet but at the same time puts obstacles in terms of achieving the physical or material manifestations of mercury.

As per the abstract qualities, people with a retrograde mercury have a very smart and logical mindset inside, they know the various types of expressions and expressional skills, good at planning managerial tasks and managing people. good at calculating the outcomes of a situation quickly. But, there’s a big but. When it comes to showing off or with the material manifestations, they may face a lot of trouble at expressing what they really wish to express and say. They may be poor in vocabulary or choice of words and expressing themselves to the world. They may shy off from showing off their abilities and skills to others or even overthink on a lot of small things. They may feel it is unnecessary to show off or display their abilities, they would show off themselves from the results of their hard work.

In severe cases, if some other combinations like the 3rd house and lord are not well placed, problems like stuttering and stammering can occur. Difficulty expressing one’s actual ideas and thoughts. problems in running one’s business especially when it comes to advertising or promoting it. Delays and interruptions in seamlessly sharing and communicating ideas and business goals can be seen.

In addition, a general retrograde transit of mercury can cause delays or interruptions in communication systems or networks on a mundane plane with internet or telecommunication services and devices malfunctioning depending upon the placement of Saturn and venus as well.

Effects of Mercury Retrograde on various Zodiac signs:

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 rules the 3rd and 6th house for an Aries ascendant. This would mean a retrograde mercury in natal chart or transits can lead to miscommunications with siblings and near circle friends as well as delays and problems in connecting with them on a deeper plane. Also, this can cause difficulty in finding a stable job or winning in a competitive exam. Of course, many other combinations matter to give a final picture. So keep trying to manage and handle these issues if you are facing any.

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Mercury Retrograde in Taurus:

A retrograde mercury for Taurus means afflictions or difficulty in managing the energies of the 2nd and 5th house. This means they may find it difficult to save money and manage their finances properly. The inflow of money may stop or reduce for a while. In addition starting new projects or completing them can be difficult in such transits. Romance and love life can have a temporary setback or a need to reconsider and review the relationship. As aforementioned, everything needs to be seen in a holistic combination with all other planets in the chart to be sure.

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini:

This could be tricky based on the position of mercury in the natal chart. But a retrograde mercury for Geminis can mean they find it difficult to gather the confidence to be in a limelight or center stage position. They may shy out on their Opportunities at times. There may also be excessive overthinking or nervousness at times at mercury is their ascendant lord as well. They may not be the typical expressive Geminis we usually see. There may also be some problems with home and motherland. One may have to leave their place of residence a lot or move to a distant place away from their homeland again and again. As one gain maturity and wisdom, these things start to get managed better.

Mercury Retrograde in Cancer:

A retro mercury for Cancerians is not a big problem. They usually handle it well unless other things are adding to the problem. There may be small miscommunications with siblings and some problems with advertising your business or connecting nearby clients if you are in business. Based on the transits these effects may be temporary or long term. Mostly it is a smooth journey for those with a retro merc with a cancer ascendant.

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?

A Leo with a retro merc face some struggles with their finances. Erratic income flows, change in sources of income and difficulty having a savings and safe deposit of money is seen. If Jupiter is well placed and some planets are occupying the 11th or 2nd house then these difficulties are waived off and it is easy to manage this retrogradation.

Mercury Retrograde in Virgo:

Mercury is one of the most important planets for Virgos. Well-Placed mercury can be a massive boon while a misplaced one can render many difficulties. A retro merc could mean a nervous, overthinking psyche and shyness from showing off or coming in the forefront to say things clearly. There could be problems in career or job front as well. A change in current role, designation or department, as well as changes in jobs, can be seen in a retro merc Virgo’s life more often than usual. A transit can have similar effects in small magnitude for the short term.

Mercury Retrograde in Libra:

Libra may face some difficulty in terms of long-distance travel and proper execution of their plans in case of a retro merc. Unexpected things may occur more often and frustrations may arise out of things not going smoothly as planned. They may have to put in some extra effort for the same amount of success compared to their peers.

Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio:

Scorpions have an interesting situation with a retrograde mercury. It is both a beneficial situation in some areas as well as a tough one in some areas. A retrograde mercury avoids any undue unexpected hitches or problems for scorpions. But at the same time, this placement also causes difficulty in maintaining a steady regular stream on financial income from one source. Their income sources may keep changing and they may find it difficult to make big networks or connections easily. May face some difficulty in business owing to these placements.

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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.

Sagittarians may feel a tough time with this placement. Difficulty in terms of career and job stability may be seen. Other than that relationships, especially committed ones are another area to look for challenges and reforms. One may need to reconsider the dynamics of their relationships and partnerships a lot more than usual. Reconsideration can be repeated a lot of times in both the career and relationship arena. Although other placements and combinations also have an important role and they can mitigate or negate any such negative effects completely.

Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn

For Capricorns mercury rules the 6th and 9th house and thus lead to delays in getting a stable job or career life. Multiple shifts and changes in career and lack of satisfaction at one place may be seen. Capricorns may find it difficult to fulfill their goals and plans easily or in the first go. They need to plan and organize things very meticulously in order to handle this placement of mercury.

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius:

Aquarians will need to reconsider and rethink on their romantic endeavors in this placement. New projects may get delayed and there may be difficulty finishing them. Betting, Stock market or such activities should be avoided in such placements or transits for Aquarians.

Mercury Retrograde in Pisces:

Pisceans have mercury controlling very important aspects of their life including family and relationships. One may not have a stable place of residence and the relationship with the mother may be a bit distant. Making long term and stable committed partnerships and relationships may face setbacks and need attaining a certain level of maturity and understanding before things work out well and better.

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Jetta Moon

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