The reason for their interest is clear – this phenomenon is one of the few that affects everyone in a fairly uniform way, and its effects are always obvious. Once you begin to pay attention to how events in your life change during these phases, you will soon see how important it is to take note of them.
Keeping track of Mercury retrograde periods can allow you to increase your productivity and avoid at least some of the frustration they can bring about. Let’s look closely at Mercury retrograde and what it means to you.
MERCURY RETROGRADE AND THE ZODIAC SIGNS
IN ARIES: Expect to be frustrated and frazzled. Assertive, impulsive Aries wants to move ahead, and all of the energy is going backward. Watch what you say and how you say it. Pay attention to what people say to you; you might be pleasantly surprised.
IN TAURUS: Take time to formulate your thoughts. Taurus, an unhurried sign, slows down the mental processes. He also governs banking, so delay money matters. Review financial matters, and position yourself for growth.
IN GEMINI: Because Gemini rules communications, be prepared for miscommunications when Mercury is in this sign. Expect lots of phone calls or none, and lost or misplaced mail. You may not articulate clearly, and gossip abounds. Old friends may reconnect.
IN CANCER: Expect annoyances at home with baking, gardening, and household duties under domesticated Cancer. Complete repair projects that weren’t finished or done correctly.
IN LEO: Avoid speculative investments. It is not a good time to buy and sell or do any trading. Instead, analyze your investment portfolio. Use your know-how and advisory skills to help friends and associates.
IN VIRGO: Challenging situations arise, especially in the workplace. Expect product delays and equipment breakdowns, as well as crankiness among coworkers under finicky, detail-oriented Virgo. Double-check your work before you call it finished.
IN LIBRA: Accept your physical attributes; do not have a makeover. Indecision reigns, so limit purchases—or risk returning them. Libra, representing beauty, grace, charm, and diplomacy, is out of balance. Refresh, relax, and rejuvenate.
IN SCORPIO: Emotions rule—not common sense—so beware. Avoid affairs of the heart. Passionate Scorpio is also secretive, and your secrets may seep out. Keep them in a diary.
IN SAGITTARIUS: It is not a time to travel, so reschedule or expect delays, lines, and lost directions. Instead, take care of local affairs. Patience and a sense of humor are needed.
IN CAPRICORN: Avoid buying, selling, or renting real estate un der Capricorn, the sign that governs property matters. Expect problems with paperwork, packing, and movers. Reunite with family or vacation at home.
IN AQUARIUS: With Mercury retrograde in Aquarius, the sign that governs relationships, friendships are put at risk. Petty squabbles, misunderstandings, and miscommunications abound. Know who your friends are.
IN PISCES: Foggy thinking, daydreams, and escapism are the norm; day-to-day realities confound otherwise clear heads when Mercury, the planet that rules logic, is in Pisces, which governs illusion. Practice creative pursuits—writing, dancing, photography, film, or painting.
Does Mercury Really Move Backward?
Mercury doesn’t actually move backward. If you do a bit of stargazing, you will see that Mercury appears to move backward, just as the ancient astrologers perceived thousands of years ago. After a while – in Mercury’s case, a three-and-a-half-week period – the planet will reverse itself and move “forward” again.
Because Mercury is the planet situated closest to the Sun, its orbit is much shorter than Earth’s. About three or four times a year, Mercury speeds past Earth, and that is when we experience a Mercury retrograde period. If you were in a car and another car passed you, you could tell it was going faster than you. But if it slowed down and you then passed it, it would appear that that car was actually going backward. Then when the other car speeds up and passes you again, it kicks up all of the dust in the road. As Mercury speeds by, it is like a train flying past, creating a powerful, turbulent gust of “wind” in its wake. The turbulence and disruption Mercury creates when it retrogrades can affect what we feel on Earth in our everyday lives.
In astrology, we always believe the following rule is true: “As above, so too below.” By that we mean there is a fractal relationship between the orbits in the heavens and human activity down here on Earth. This idea pervades all of astrology and is a very good concept to keep in mind.
Areas of Life Mercury Rules
Mercury rules all types of communication, including listening, speaking, learning, reading, editing, researching, negotiating, selling, and buying. Mercury also rules all formal contracts and agreements, as well as important documents such as book manuscripts or term papers, agreements, deeds, contracts, leases, wills, and so forth.
Included under this planet’s domain are all types of code, including computer codes, as well as transportation, shipping, and travel. When this planet retrogrades, these areas tend to get scrambled or spin out of control.
Why does this happen? When a planet retrogrades, astrologically it is in a resting or sleeping state. Therefore, while Mercury naps, the activities that it governs don’t have the benefit of a well-functioning, wide-awake planet to supervise them. Expect a certain degree of pandemonium to ensue!
What You Should – and Should Not – Do During a Mercury Retrograde Phase
Don’t make any important moves when Mercury is retrograde. Nothing will be settled successfully for the future during these periods anyway – you will find it nearly impossible to nail down a plan. During a retrograde period, it is hard to get decisions from others. Even if a decision is made, it will be subject to change, either just after Mercury turns to direct motion or much later.
Mercury retrograde periods would not be good times to do anything involving communications, such as launch a magazine, website, or an advertising or publicity campaign.
These phases are also considered poor times to launch any new endeavors, even if they are not related to the communications industries.
Similarly, a retrograde period is not a good time to sign any contracts or even to shake hands on any new agreements. Do not close on a house during this time nor sign a lease. Verbal agreements are considered the same as written ones. The environment will be quite fluid and changeable, no matter what you are told or what you think.
It’s not that the people you are dealing with are necessarily duplicitous. It’s just that nobody can fully predict what conditions will be like later. If you start a new job, it won’t necessarily be the position you thought it was when you accepted it. If you are a manager, you will have difficulty choosing the right candidate for the job, so, if you can, hold off hiring anyone. If you buy a house, problems could crop up later that were completely unanticipated.
What Else Should You Do During Mercury Retrograde Periods?
It would be a great time to reorganize your files or closets. Pack up clothes you haven’t worn in a while and give them to charity. Polish your shoes and decide which ones need repair, and while you are at it, decide which appliances need to be taken in for repair as well. Oddly, as busy as we are, during these phases we always seem to find more time to get things done. When you clean your closets, you will find treasures you thought you lost or had completely forgotten about, always a bonus of going through things you have not seen in a while.
Mercury rules anything that begins with “re”: redo, reassess, repair, repeat, redesign, or revisit. It’s always human nature to want to hear that new opportunities are coming our way, but we really do need to focus on the quality of our work and improve it to the best it can be. Often this is a better use of our time than continually chasing the newest idea. Mercury retrograde allows you to be thorough and to perfect your performance.
Don’t assume everything goes wrong during Mercury retrograde – sometimes things work in your favor. If you are self-employed and turned down an assignment because the price the client was willing to pay was too low, this same client may come back after the retrograde (after he sees many others turning down his offer) – and you get the project after all, at the right price. People reconsider their stance when Mercury is retrograde, and in some cases, conditions turn out to be more favorable to you than they might have been before.
As you can see, Mercury retrograde is not all bad – you can count on it!
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