We can often hear the cliché phrase “Mercury turned retrograde” and see people blaming their bad luck on the planet, while also showing signs of fear; without them usually knowing at all what this phrase means. So, what exactly happens during these days, and all people go mad about it?
Mercury, as we know, orbits the Sun quicker and of course is the planet located the nearest to the star of our Solar system. Therefore, there is not a real backwards movement; it just appears to be like that from our point of view towards the skies. This is due to the Earth’s slower movement than Mercury, and it creates an illusion of it turning backwards. Of course, this is in comparison to its apparent distance from the Sun – and don’t think that it is walking backwards the ecliptic. It is still following the Sun’s trail in the skies, but it allows the Sun to march forward.
Mercury can never be farther than 28 degrees from the Sun, and when it reaches that degree, it changes its phenomenal direction. Its backwards movement, which is called retrograde, lasts about three weeks; this happens three or sometimes four times a year and follows a stable cycle. People must notice that with 9 or more weeks in retrograde movement per year, Mercury sometimes even is 20% of the year in this condition!
So, what are the effects of Mercury getting in a retrograde movement?
The backwards movement changes the patterns of events, disrupting the regular cause and effect sequence. As Mercury rules the intellect, communication and many other issues and situations linked to these matters, they are functioning differently than usual with Mercury retrograde. Information, even if sent correctly, is misinterpreted or does not arrive. Perception changes and mistakes concerning data are more frequently done. This affects speaking, sales, contract signing, negotiating, travelling and everything connected to transfers, primarily of data. There can be delays, difficulties or crucial mistakes whose correction might lead to even more mistakes. This is because correcting something under Mercury being retrograde, might work in these surroundings or circumstances, on the other hand when Mercury will turn direct again, the new (normal) surroundings or circumstances will be different from the ones where the corrections were applied.
A strange pattern that appears is that when someone is born under Mercury retrograde, he functions a lot better in such an occasion! During the rest of the time, he has more difficulties in adapting to the “normal” way of things. Of course, the normal way is defined by the masses, by 80% of people who were born under a direct Mercury! So, if you have this natal aspect, you should chill down, maybe this period will be a lot better for your communications. Maybe your communications fail during the rest of the time, and you just consider yourself unlucky, or maybe you just don’t notice it at all!
The backwards movement gives to people tendencies of rethinking ideas, and the best thing one can do with Mercury retrograde is to reorganize and do a short introspection. Check in which house of your natal chart this movement is taking place, and you will understand what you should reconsider. This period is actually great for leaving your natural order of things and looking at the big picture. Leave the decisions for later; this is the time of rewinding, understanding mistakes, thinking of possibilities and creating your strategy. Do not choose your strategy and next steps now. Wait until Mercury turns direct, or even better until its direct movement surpasses the degree where it started his retrograde movement. Then your mind will be ready to use the new insights that it gained in a constructive way. In any case, do not make some decision that will have a permanent effect on you.
Even if Mercury retrograde does not personally affect you, it loves playing its not-so-funny games with our technology. The winged messenger god becomes Loki, the cosmic Joker, who just adores crashing electronic equipment. Always backup before such a movement, and expect emails never being sent, delays in travelling and mistakes in legal papers. Oh, and get prepared for being called by an old good friend, or even some ex-boy/girlfriend, especially if your natal Mercury is connected with your natal Venus. These phenomena of people from our past re-appearing can also happen if the retrograde movement of Mercury is happening in the 5th house, the 7th house, the 8th house and the 11th house of your natal chart. Depending on which house the movement takes place, such type of a person might invade your life (for a little) back. Usually, such reconnections do not last long.
In any case, do not get into any types of hysteria. You can read our article about Mercury Retrograde Survival Tips, to know which things you should focus on. Understand that this pattern was, and will forever be an ever-happening phenomenon in your life. You have learned to live with it, you might even be born under it. You will continue living with its presence, and there is no need to be afraid of it. The best one can do is to cooperate with this different function of the planet, and get the best out of it.
Each planets have a different effect on you, depending on which house and sign they reside in. In order to find out where they are located in your natal chart, you can use our free birth chart generator. Also, examine the aspects that they form with other planets in your chart. You will understand a lot more about the detailed role that they have in your horoscope.