Your car broke down, some weird anomaly at the bank has frozen your checking account, your computer keeps making an ominous grinding sound, and things at work have devolved into total chaos.
What the heck is going on? But what in the world does that even mean, and why is it associated with a series of unfortunate events in your life? Sometimes, when the Earth moves past other planets, those planets appear to be moving backwards in space, from certain vantage points.
So why do we to we make a big deal about Mercury retrograde, which happens around three or four times a year, from an astrological viewpoint? In astrology, Mercury is the ruler of a number of different aspects of our lives, including communication and travel. Remember, though—and this is important—that Mercury is not actually changing direction in the skies. Some people see Mercury retrograde as a period of reflection and cooling off. Use this period to get rid of things that have no value, use or meaning to you anymore.
Instead of letting the idea of Mercury retrograde freak you out and cause panic — which, as we all know, can breed its own disaster — use it as a time of rejuvenation and self-assessment. The lists below show when Mercury will appear to be in retrograde for the next few years. Keep in mind that these dates are based on Eastern Standard Time, so if you live in a different part of the world, there may be some variation.
Mercury can never be more than 28 degrees from the Sun, and whenever it reaches its furthest distance from the Sun, it changes direction. Jupiter through Pluto are retrograde for large periods of the year. When a planet or body is retrograde in the birth chart, its energies are turned inward.
Perhaps for a Saturn retrograde person, there was a lack of discipline or structure, or possibly an authority figure in the childhood, and the native feels awkward in a situation that calls for specific rules or protocol as a result. On the flip side, there may have been overly strict influences in youth, and the end result is similar — the native often feels guilty and worries excessively about meeting responsibilities, how others think of them, and how to play by the rules.
With retrograde Venus, perhaps the child was discouraged in some way when he or she expressed loving feelings or attempted to make themselves more attractive; or possibly there was a lack of money and resources. When Mercury is retrograde at birth, the thinking processes are generally more acute, and the sense of humor rather quirky. People with Mercury retrograde take in information differently than those with Mercury direct in their natal charts. How many people are born with a retrograde Mercury? Some people with this position struggle with doubts about their perceptions or their ability to learn, and there can be a lot of thinking, double-checking, and reviewing of thoughts and ideas before communicating them.
When Venus is retrograde at birth, the feeling nature is deep. Socializing is taken seriously, and rarely lightly.
They can be somewhat shy in youth, as there can be an awkwardness felt concerning small talk and social graces, and an aversion for superficialities. Love is extremely important to a person with a retrograde Venus, but they may not be explicit about it enough for others to know just how deeply they can love.
There is always more to this person than meets the eye.
Their love life and sometimes financial life can be hidden in some manner. People born under Venus retrograde have to watch for self-sabotage in love relationships. Deep insecurities can be present.
Self-love can be an issue. Fears can lead them to overcompensate, such as overeat, serial date, etc. The same person can swing from both poles in one lifetime. A balance, of course, is ideally sought. Standing up for yourself or asserting yourself may be a challenge, as it can stimulate fears of being ineffective when Mars is retrograde at birth. There might often be roundabout ways of going after your desires.
The desire nature runs deep, but is often misunderstood by others. Timing might often be off, or you could express your desires or anger in bursts rather than more flowingly, whereby you keep these things to yourself and let them build until you explode. Competition can unnerve you, and you are usually better off setting your own pace than working by schedule or with others. You might come up with very creative ways of expressing yourself physically as you mature, or channel your energy into unusual but effective areas quite effectively.
As we move further out with the planets, retrogrades occur more frequently, and it is more common for people to have these planets retrograde in their charts. People born with Jupiter retrograde in their natal charts tend to have different or unusual perspectives, belief systems, or sets of morals.
So yes, Mercury has affected me in so many ways. Then suddenly we may hit a roadblock or a rough area of road, forcing us to slow down, proceed more cautiously, change direction, or stop what we're doing. Even the flimsiest explanations, like the idea that the gravitational pull from Mercury influences the water in our bodies in the same way that the moon controls the tides, are easily deflated by science. The question, then, is whether disruption is in and of itself a bad thing. This announcement was made 3 days after Mercury had stationed retrograde in late Sagittarius conjunct Saturn. This article is about the apparent motion of planets as observed from a particular vantage point. I went and got that fixed.
They prefer to learn from their own experiences and reactions to them, rather than from others. They may need to learn that they deserve what others might naturally feel entitled to.
There can be more than usual experiences of guilt and self-doubt when Saturn is retrograde in the birth chart. There can also be a strong fear of letting others down or of not filling their responsibilities — essentially of making poor choices.