If you have any interest in astrology at all, know an astrologer, or simply travel through astrology sites on the web, you know what a Mercury retrograde is! We hear so much about it…we worry about when it is coming, how long it will last, and what in the world will happen to us this time! First hand experience and awareness through the years can only serve to testify to the power of this little fast moving planet and his affects for us here on Earth.
For those who do not know what a Mercury retrograde is, I will give a brief explanation of what a planetary retrograde is in general. Retrograde means ‘backward’…the planets appear to move backward from our Earth-bound perspective.
All of the planets have retrograde periods, with the exception of the Sun and Moon - which aren’t really planets at all but ‘lights’…however, for simplicity’s sake, they are often referred to as planets. I am guilty of this myself, but they don’t seem to mind! When the planets are appearing to move backwards, what is really happening is an illusion created by the orbital rotation of the Earth. Our planet is either moving faster or slower than the retrograde planet and because most of us are not aware of Earth’s movement underneath our feet, we call the other planet retrograde.
Mercury retrogrades generally occur three times a year. A Mercury retrograde affects some of the most important aspects of our lives…difficulties and mix-ups with communication in all of its forms (the internet, telecommunications, postal service, even face to face conversations!), travel, and in truth, if we think about it carefully, we can find a mercurial connection to nearly every part of our life. Most astrologers tend to focus on communications and travel, but Mercury really does burrow quite deep into our lives. He rules our intellect, affects any creative projects we are working on, has his say in our education, influences our relationships (which depend, believe it or not, on communication in order to be healthy), and I am sure you can come up with plenty more to add to this. It is a good time to try to find people and reconnect with those from our past. In short, we can expect hassles, hassles, and more hassles when Mercury is retrograde…or at least we will think they are hassles, even if they are doing us some good! It is best not to take anything for granted, to leave ourselves plenty of ‘extra’ time (is there such a thing?) to get to our appointments and particularly while traveling at all, and to take everything we hear with a grain of salt. Don’t jump to conclusions about anything, don’t make major purchases if you can help it, and avoid signing contracts unless they‘ve been in the works for quite some time and you’ve gone over every detail with a magnifying glass and emotional restraint. Wait and see what develops after Mercury turns direct, as bad news may not really be so bad at all and good news may contain more elements of fantasy than reality.
So…now that I’ve said a bit about Mercury retrograde difficulties, I must also pass out the good news. Mercury retrogrades are full of mixed blessings! Yes, we will struggle with some things - I have no doubt about that - but we will also reap the benefits. Mercury retrograde periods offer us the opportunity to think about issues that have been weighing upon our mind and actually see new aspects regarding the situation. We may hear news from old friends or an old lover may suddenly appear back in our lives. Items that have been lost could be found! Developments in ongoing criminal cases and exciting breakthroughs regarding mysteries are possible. We can restore, replace, renovate, rewrite, repair, and return to things that we really need to take care of and have been putting off. A Mercury retrograde allows us to clean up our act and thus, we will be better prepared for the future. It is often said that those born with Mercury retrograde in their nativity are not as affected by Mercury retrogrades…but I beg to differ. I have a Mercury retrograde in my birth chart, and the past three retrogrades have given me all sorts of problems and headaches (including my car breaking down one week prior each and every time!)…so for those of you who are tired of hearing that you aren’t affected, well…you won’t hear me saying that! You have to put up with it just like everyone else.
The graphics on this site were created exclusively for Through Night's Fire Astrology by Ginnie EL Fenton, Dena L Moore, or used with permission from Sssh.com. All text and content is the original, copyrighted work of Dena L Moore.
from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg
Dena L. Moore's poetry seems to have the ability to change the motions of the stars. Moore rearranges primal thoughts -- much like the gods rearranged the constellations to tell humanity new stories. Such efforts as "Closure" and "Here I lie...Waiting" give us a more intense light to follow when we have lost our way in the darkness. ...
Hello!!! I recalled having Mercury Retrograde in my natal chart...so I googled that and came to your site. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your insights into Merc Retro people...you are so right...I have trouble focussing, I feel I'm looking over time all the time...I have always viewed things differently, and relate differently, than most. It's a
bitch...but to read your words help me so much. Awesome site. I will reread the section on Merc retro in a natal chart several times, and realize it's there for a reason. Namaste!!!
Retrogrades and Karma
Retrogrades may at times seem to herald the arrival of fated, inevitable events. We may feel powerless with situations that arise during important retrograde periods, especially if the retrograde planet is conjunct, opposing, or squaring one of our personal natal planets by transit. These events may be joyous, positive occurrences, or they may bring bad news and negative situations into our lives. Each planet will affect us differently of course, with Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto ushering in the greatest aspects of change. Indeed, if you investigate and go back over the roughest periods in your life, it is quite likely that a retrograde planet was contacting your natal Sun, Moon, Venus, or Mars.
Many of us have retrograde planets in our nativities. These are karmic indicators that literally force the person to regress back over time again and again as they struggle to come to terms with what has occurred before…whether in this lifetime, or a prior one. We carry strong memories of previous life situations into the current life when we have a retrograde planet in our birth chart. Wherever the retrograde planets appears in the natal chart, the individual has great difficulty in separating the past from the present, and finds it even harder to stay in the present in that area of life. All planets, signs, and houses will reflect the energy differently. Because of the urgent need to rehash the past, some astrologers feel that retrograde planets are a detriment in the natal chart. I do not feel this to be the entire case. It does represent a weak point, yes, but I feel that the retrograde planet offers great opportunity for personal evolutional growth. Without the retrograde planet, the need to resolve the karma would not be so powerful. The retrograde can help the soul to make amends and set things right for future growth. Yes, there is a pull to the past…but it is there for a reason, and a quite significant one. It may not make the current life all fun and games, it may bring in great difficulty, but it is also an element of growth and I can only see that as a positive aspect. If we have all settled our past issues, we wouldn’t really need to be here at all, would we? So many of us do have a retrograde planet in our charts (or two or three of them!)…work with it, develop it, and don’t be afraid to tackle the difficult issues in your life.
Those of us with a Mercury Retrograde in our natal chart are likely to have difficulty focusing on the now. His or her conscious mind may go in and out of other dimensions without even realizing it…this ability may only be recognized after a dramatic incident makes it clear that his or her way of thinking is NOT the general way of thinking, even if they thought it was for many years. Once this ‘difference’ is acknowledged by the Mercury retrograde native, it may cause issues with self-esteem or feelings that he is the odd one out. It is really a matter of perspective. Most of us try to fit in with what society deems as the appropriate way of thinking, feeling, and being…but if you have a Mercury retrograde, your entire inner consciousness is indeed different from a person who has a direct Mercury in his or her chart!
You may have difficulties in your relationships, particularly with your family and relatives, simply because you think differently than they do. Your ideas and visions may have been ridiculed or slammed in your youth. You may be forced to question yourself over and over again throughout life, as you can see many overlays and dimensions for every situation that makes it very difficult for you to see life as others see it. It is hard to focus on simple, mundane tasks when your conscious mind is recognizing so many things at once and picking up subtle nuances that others do not have the ability to recognize. Your thought patterns may be obsessive at times, but as you go over and over things in your mind, you are actually learning to focus better.
In the past you may have been punished or killed for the thoughts and ideas you brought into the world…ideas that others were not yet ready to accept. This may leave a huge fear of communicating with others for some, while for others it simply makes them more determined to have their ideas acknowledged and heard. Obviously, relationship difficulties may manifest for the individual with Mercury retrograde no matter how they handle the energy. If you are unable to communicate openly without fear or if you push your ideas down other’s throats, that will make for difficult relating. It is something that must be worked on continuously.
You are now learning to focus more on the mundane issues, no matter how boring they may be, in order to establish a point of reference in your life that will give you the ability to share your insights and discoveries with the world. The most difficult aspect of the Mercury retrograde in the natal chart is self-acceptance…for you have a need to understand that it is a wonderful blessing to be unique and have the ability to see on different levels, despite the difficulties the retrograde may bring into your current life.