How Does Mercury Retrograde Affect Your Life? do not panic

Some people panic about Mercury retrograde. Is the panic justified?

What Is Mercury Retrograde?

Have you already come across the phrase “Mercury Retrograde?” It’s interesting how many people are easily upset when they come across those words. They believe that if the planet Mercury goes retrograde, it’s a bad thing. But is it really? What kind of impact can Mercury Retrograde have on your life?

Getting to Know the Planet Mercury From a Scientific Viewpoint solar system

Mercury is the closest to the sun, and the smallest of the eight planets in our solar system. [image credit: Image Editor via Flickr]

To understand what Mercury Retrograde is all about, you first need to get to know and understand the planet Mercury.

Mercury is an airless planet in the solar system. It has the fastest orbit of all the planets, as far as circling the sun is concerned. It’s also the closest to the sun and the smallest of the eight planets in our solar system.

Mercury’s orbiting of the sun takes place within only 88 days, compared to earth’s orbit, which is about 365 days.

This means that if you were able to go to Mercury now, you’d immediately notice time seems to be shorter there, compared to the earth time to which you are used to.

All those facts taken into account, it would appear as if Mercury isn’t such a major planet, scientifically speaking.

However, in astrology, Mercury has a much different quality.

You could even say scientifically that the personality of Mercury is the complete opposite of its astrological meaning.

Getting to Know the Planet Mercury From an Astrological Perspective mercury in astrology

This is the symbol of Mercury in astrology.

In astrology, Mercury is one the “neutral planets,” the other two other planets being Neptune and Pluto. They are called neutral planets because they take on the characteristic of other planets to which they are connected, or aspected (an astrological term).

That means if the influence of a certain planet is “benefic” (beneficial) at any given time, then the influence of Mercury will also be beneficial or good.

Conversely, if the influence of a certain planet is “malefic” (negative) at any given time, then the influence of Mercury will also be afflicted or bad.

You’ll notice that I’m keeping the actual terms used in astrology to stay true to its nature, in particular the nature of planetary vibrations, as defined by old-time astrologers.

Bear with me, as it’s important to understand these vibrations without any kind of personal bias or judgment clouding it through non-astrological words.

Anyway, as I was saying earlier, Mercury is a neutral planet.

Still, even with a neutral characteristic, Mercury is a powerhouse in astrology when it comes to concepts and communication.

Got an idea? Want to spread that idea to others? Need to communicate a concept, idea, thought, or emotion? Mercury is the boss planet for such things.

So, what does it mean when Mercury is in retrograde?

Retrograde: The Flow of Moving Backward homeless man

Street people are often seen as “retrograde” by society at large.

The word “retrograde” has different meanings to different people.

Those in law enforcement may use “retrograde” to refer to a degenerate person, or someone who has lost his bearings in life and has become socially unfit.

The bearings referred to could be physical, moral, or mental attributes, considered desirable and normal by the rest of society.  Degenerates are those who do not conform to socially acceptable standards, mostly regarding behavior.

So, an unwashed drunkard sleeping in the alleys can be seen as “degenerate” or “retrograde” by people who enforce law and order.

They are retrograde because instead of moving upward in society (which is the common expectation among people), they move backward.

That’s about the only point shared by the astrological definition of what going retrograde means: to move backward.

But if in ordinary social conditions, to be retrograde means a drop in status, therefore a loss of power, it’s the exact opposite in astrology.

When Mercury goes into retrograde, its power over concepts and communication becomes hard to deal with. So with Mercury being retrograde, any of the following can happen:

  • People tell you that they will contact you, but they never do. In fact, it would seem as if they vanished completely from the earth.
  • If you are a writer, you hit a massive writer’s block. If you are a painter, you lose your inspiration.
  • You forget so many things, that you suspect you’re already at the edge of going senile.
  • Emails you send never reach the addressee. You see those emails as having been already sent (in your “sent folder”), but your addressee insists that he/she never received them.
  • Agreements you intend to enter into, particularly written ones such as contracts, do not become final. They keep on being revised repeatedly, much to the frustration of everyone concerned. Important documents are even forgotten.
  • Watches do not tell the correct time.
  • There are telecommunication glitches. SMS or text messages are not sent, or if sent, are not received by the other party, going into mobile phone limbo. Phone calls are often dropped or do not get completed.
  • Plans to meet, to travel, in fact, to do anything at all, hit snags of all sorts.
  • Websites do not function well; they go down due to various reasons. Laptops and desktops crash, their operating systems (OS) behaving erratically.
  • Appliances such as the stove, microwave, refrigerator, television, and radio, malfunction.
  • Cars stall or won’t start. The same with buses, trains, and even boats.
  • Electricity goes on the blink.
  • Planes do not arrive on time. Flights are unreasonably delayed.

Does it sound like complete chaos to you?

That’s what being under the influence of Mercury retrograde can do!

So, when does Mercury retrograde happen? Why does it happen?

The Dreaded Three-Week Cycle dread

Some people are so anxious about the coming of Mercury retrograde that their anxiety escalates into dread.

Those who have studied it but failed to understand it well, and also those who have experienced being hit by the effects of Mercury retrograde, most likely dread its arrival.

This is especially true because a Mercury retrograde period happens within only a week, but the week preceding it and the week after it is also affected.

That means three weeks of anxiety, frustration, and even anger.

The interesting thing is, Mercury does not literally go retrograde or move backward in the sky!

What actually happens is this:

  • 3 to 4 times each year, Mercury will pass the earth’s orbit.
  • As it nears and rounds the bend (the turn) of the orbit, Mercury seems to stop, and go backward. That is, however, simply an optical illusion, according to logical minds (scientists).

But many people know differently. They have felt the effects of Mercury retrograde.

You may have also already experienced it too, without knowing what it was. So, optical illusion or not, the breakdowns and confusion are real.

Protecting Yourself Proactively


During a Mercury retrograde period, avoid travel. Review messages that you send, and make sure that your appliances and vehicles are in good shape. Do not agree to anything contractual, until the period has passed.


You don’t have to experience the bad effects of Mercury retrograde for three weeks! Even just one week of chaos is too much, let alone three weeks of it. So to protect yourself, you need to be proactive.

Each year, astrologers identify the period when Mercury goes into retrograde. keep calm and carry on

Keep calm during Mercury retrograde. Remember that things will soon be back to normal again,

For the year 2016, here’s a simplified version of the schedule: January 6, April 29, August 31, and December 20.

By keeping these dates in mind, you can prepare early on to avoid the problems associated with this period.

Keep it simple. During a Mercury retrograde period, avoid travel. Review messages that you send, and make sure that your appliances and vehicles are in good shape. Do not agree to anything contractual, until the period has passed.

Use the downtime of the period to renew long neglected friendships. You may even be surprised how people from your past suddenly re-appear during Mercury retrograde, wanting to reconnect with you.

Stay calm. Things will soon be back to normal again.



If you want to know more details about the influence of Mercury retrograde on your sun sign, and how to cope with it, you can ask me more about this during your psychic reading. Click on the link to schedule a reading now

How did you feel about this article? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below! I enjoy hearing from you!

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