You’ve heard about it time and time again — tales of the dreaded Mercury that always goes into retrograde just to fuck everything up. It feels like when one season of Mercury retrograde ends, another begins, in an endless cycle of fuckery.

But, what exactly does it all mean, and how can you ensure that you don’t end up making some cursed string of cosmic mistakes when it comes around?

The thing is, you’ve heard correct. Mercury retrograde is a bad time for everyone and their loved ones, but why? How is a planet so far away from us going to have any bearing on you and your proposed trip to Cancun in 2052? Let me explain.

What is Mercury Retrograde exactly?

We all know Mercury, the smallest planet in the solar system and closest planet to the Sun, right?

Well, sometimes it appears in the sky as going backwards in its orbit of the Sun. However, it’s nothing but an optical illusion that comes around three to four times a year and lasts around three weeks in a burst. We call this Mercury being in retrograde.

This happens because Mercury takes 88 days to orbit the sun, while Earth tasks 365, thus sometimes it can appear as if Mercury is going in the opposite direction. Not really, he’s just a speedy boi.

So using this, the metaphor has been created by astrologists that it’s almost as if, for three weeks under the illusion of Mercury’s backwards motion, things can become more illusive, less real, and we all start to move in the wrong direction.

Mercury is also the planet of communication, according to astrology, and when it comes to the Roman mythos, Mercury was pretty much like Hermes, a God of travel and communication, and a messenger.

What does Mercury retrograde mean for you?

Your birth chart and the star signs that govern your life are important to know if you want to better understand how astrology and Mercury retrograde applies to you. There is so much more to an individual than just their main star sign, such as their Sun sign and, you guessed it, their Mercury sign.

If you’ve never done your full astrological birth chart before, you’re either a straight man, or you’ve never been to a house party in Sydney’s Inner West. You can easily do it online, and I thoroughly recommend it.

Mercury retrograde

Each planet rules over something different in a birth chart, and if Mercury goes into retrograde, it could mean that a very vital aspect of your personality will start to regress for a short period of time.

Plus, the period that Mercury goes into retrograde could include the date that you were born.

When is Mercury retrograde?

In 2021 there were three periods of Mercury being in retrograde, each coinciding with a different astrological star sign. It just so happened that those three signs were all air signs, Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra (in that order).

For example, from Sep 27 – 0ct 23 this year, the third Mercury retrograde will occur. Being born under this time period makes you a Libra, and if so, you will feel the shift more than others. Star signs that are far separated from Libra? They’ll be fine.

What should I do?

Well, with the planet of communication going backwards, communication also goes backwards.

You can consult your birth chart to check for any Mercury, and that will give you clearer answers, but if you can’t be bothered to do that, here’s the basic gist.

Mercury retrograde is a time when big plans, relationship moves, and all kinds of lofty ideals can go sour fast. They say to never plan for anything in this time because there is a good chance that it can all fall through.

Surround yourself with the best people, reschedule everything you’ve got going on in the Mercury retrograde time period, and revisit all your best ideas at a later date.

Mercury retrograde

Try not to jump into a relationship in this time either, as with communication breakdowns comes the possibility for ghosting and other chaos. Everyone will be dealing with the drama of the retrograde time, they may not be able to answer your texts as swiftly!

Also, the two weeks after the Mercury retrograde period is something that astrologers like to call the Retroshade, which is a rather bothersome time for everyone. It’s when things are restoring to their normal, non-chaotic nature, but in a very slow way.

Think of it as a time when everyone and their Nonna moves like honey. Slow… very, very, slow.

So yeah, a lot to take in. When the time comes around, be sure to check how Mercury retrograde affects you and your star sign. We’ll be sure to write a yarn on it very soon, so keep your worried eyes peeled.

Safe travels!

Image: iStock / da-kuk