A Mercury Retrograde occurs when the observable course the planet Mercury makes through the sky appears to slow down, stop and then reverse in the opposite direction. In actuality though, this is just an optical illusion. Mercury’s course around the sun never really changes direction. It just appears to do so from earth. The reason for this is because from our position in space we can only observe Mercury’s movement from the side, in two dimensions, instead of three. So what looks like a back and forth course to us is, in fact, a circular orbital course similar to our own. There is one big difference however. Mercury circles the sun much more rapidly and closer than we do, taking only 88 days to complete a full orbit. For this reason, we can observe a Mercury Retrograde three to four times each year.
In astrology, a Mercury Retrograde is a very significant event because any movements of the planets can have dramatic influences on our lives here on earth. Mercury rules communication as an astrological sign. For this reason, it is thought that everything can go haywire.
What to Expect During a Mercury Retrograde
During a Mercury Retrograde expect the unexpected. In particular you may find that communications with others can break down. This includes both technological and human forms of communication. Systems of communication you count on as being reliable may begin to fail you in some way. Cell phone calls may get dropped or an important email you have been waiting for may end up in your spam folder. There may also be simple misunderstandings between people. Someone may tell you one thing yet you hear something completely different.
On a positive note, a Mercury Retrograde can be a good time for you to hold back on making any important decisions. If you are about to make a big commitment or enter into an important agreement, it can be a good time to step back a bit and further evaluate your intentions. Ask yourself if what you are about to do is really a wise decision. At times, a little introspection can often work wonders. When the Mercury Retrograde has been completed, move forward with you plans as normal, but do so with confidence because you have taken the time to really evaluate your decisions.
Also, if you can, try to be conscious through which sign a Mercury Retrograde is being cast because these can often hint at what kinds of issues are the most pressing. If it lies within Aires, for example, there may have underlying issues that could be clouding your creativity or insight. If, on the other hand, a Mercury Retrograde falls within Cancer then their may be issues concerning miscommunications with family members. This is because Aires typically represents our creative abilities while Cancer often refers to our family and domestic life.
Love and Relationships During a Mercury Retrograde
The same holds true for relationships. If you are thinking about making any major changes to your love life, you will also want to take a pause and consider the ramifications of about your intentions. What are your motivations and feelings about your relationships? Does your partner share them with you as well? More importantly, a Mercury Retrograde tells us to examine these issues very closely to make sure that we are not missing an important truth that we may be intentionally or unintentionally trying to avoid. We must be honest with both ourselves and our partner so we can clear the air of any issues that may be lying just beneath the surface. Once the Mercury Retrograde is completed, you can move forward with your plans but with a much better understanding than before.
What this all means is that whenever a Mercury Retrograde occurs, we should be reflective and look deep within our selves and those around us before we make any assumptions. It is definitely a time to take action or make any big decisions. However, once you have had some time to assess your motivations, you can then feel free to move forward once the Mercury Retrograde has been completed.