March 22 (16° Aries) – April 15 (4° Aries)
What is Mercury retrograde? Is it really going backwards? If Mercury turns around, do we go back in time?!?! No, that’s not going to happen! Could be fun for some, but unfortunately, we have to keep moving forward. But… we can feel like we’ve gone back in time. We can become sentimental and flip through old photos, or we might run into old friends/lovers, maybe reminisce about our high school sweetheart or possibly worry about unpleasant past situations coming back to haunt us. But that’s about as far as it goes.
Even though Mercury isn’t actually changing speed, it appears to stop, move backward for about 3 weeks, stop again and then move forward. We see this because all planets, including us, are moving around the Sun, rather than Mercury orbiting the Earth. Many astrologers practice geocentric astrology, putting Earth at the center of the chart instead of the Sun. Therefore, Mercury retrograde and its apparent backwards motion is very significant indeed. And most of us can attest to its effects on our everyday lives.
How is all of this going to affect you? This is a time when we turn inward and process deep within ourselves. Making outward expression more difficult. Many associate it with communication issues, technology breakdowns, mail/shipping delays, etc. Mercury rules over these areas. Most people do not understand why this is happening though… it’s not to annoy, irritate or test our patience! That’s just an unpleasant side effect. What we really need to focus on is taking time for ourselves… to process the changes that are occurring while Mercury takes a few steps back to look at itself as well. Our lives are so busy, and the pull to look inside is so strong, that we forget to mail that medical bill, or miss signing page 3 of that contract or don’t take the time to clearly explain ourselves.
This is also a time where we may experience revelations about previous assumptions and expectations that were invalid. The nature of these revelations depends upon other planets’ positions in relationship to Mercury, the sign it is in and where it falls in your chart. In this current cycle, we find our swift planet in fiery Aries, stopping first beside Venus and making angles to Pluto and Saturn along the way. Are we being assertive in our relationships, or controlling? Can we play the role of the peaceful warrior and fight for compromise, or are we demanding we get our way? Those acting without nobility will have to face Saturn’s consequences at the end of the period.
So, now we understand the purpose behind Mercury Retrograde. A few things to remember: avoid making commitments, signing contracts, having important discussions or even travelling when Mercury stops and changes direction. This occurs at the beginning and end of the period. If you can, try to wait until retrogradation is over to move forward. To find out which areas of your life this retrograde cycle is impacting, get your chart read today!