Here we go again; time for another edition of Mercury Retrograde! What is that feeling? Oh, déjà vu. Why? Because Mercury will retrace its steps for the next three weeks. Prepare to review, revise, and other “re” words. But what is Mercury Retrograde? Why does it have a bit of a reputation? Here is your rundown.

What is Mercury Retrograde?

Three times a year (sometimes four), the planet Mercury appears to move backwards in its orbit. Do planets really move backwards? No. But a difference in orbital speeds creates the illusion of Mercury moving backwards.

Do other planets retrograde?

Yes! However, because Mercury orbits the Sun every 88 days, the retrograde happens more frequently.

What does Mercury represent in astrology?

In astrology, Mercury is the planet that symbolizes speaking, writing, critical thinking, information, the five senses, education, the mind, travel, transportation, movement, contracts, the market, duality, twins, and siblings. Mercury is the ruler of — aka the planet associated with — the signs of Gemini and Virgo.

Why all the hype?

Things tend to go a little wonky when Mercury shifts direction. The train is late. The car breaks down. The computer starts acting funny. Delays are all the rage.

What should I do?

Hide for three weeks. JUST KIDDING. Seriously, guys, some of you have a tendency to lose your stuff at the mere mention of Mercury Retrograde. But hey, life goes on during Mercury Retrograde. You just may have to retrace your steps before you can move forward. And it happens three times of year, so life would be chaos if everything came to a screeching halt when Mercury is retrograde.

What should I not do?

Of course I cannot tell you what you should and should not do, but as your astrologer I am duty bound to inform you of activities that are considered inauspicious during Mercury Retrograde. They include signing contracts, buying electronics, buying a car, and traveling — all Mercury ruled activities. Why tempt fate?

In a nutshell: Can you afford for something to not work out? No? Then wait.

I started something before the retrograde. Can I still sign papers etcetera?

Can you afford for it to not work out? No? Then wait.

But let’s be real — sometimes we don’t have the luxury of waiting till after the retrograde to sign papers or start a job. If you must move forward, double and triple check the fine print. Be prepared to make adjustments once Mercury turns direct.

Here’s a classic example of Mercury Retrograde in action: My brother bought a house during Mercury Retrograde and it was a nightmare. There were problems with the bank, the closing got delayed, and it took him months to move in because of one snafu after another. Obviously he does not listen to his sister.

Other things to keep in mind?

  • The retrograde is about review.
  • Mercury Retrograde should not cause anxiety. Don’t spend three weeks in total fear of making the wrong move. Fear is the lowest energy to create from and you are an aspect of the Creator made physical. Work with Mercury Retrograde. Go back to something that’s been on the back burner. Revise a manuscript. Try a different path. Meditate and reflect.
  • Trust your own intuition. If you’re not sure if now is a good time to do something, ask yourself how it feels. Can you afford to wait?
  • If something is not working out or moving forward, ask yourself if it is the right thing for you?