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Mercury Retrograde in General.

Normally, Mercury retrograde is the cycle for which I don’t pay much attention because it happens at least thrice a year. Not because it doesn’t impact us or it is immaterial but it happens so many times that we all are just used to all the chaos and confusion a Mercury retrograde causes. But as we are covering all the retrograde cycles, I didn’t want to discriminate against discriminating Mercury. So, I just thought of making an article which can be used in almost all Mercury retrogrades as there will be some common themes during every Mercury Retrograde. So, let’s begin –

Mercury - Mercury represents communication skills, marketing, calculative ability, younger siblings, hobbies, skills with hands, intelligence, quick decision making, logical thinking, youthfulness etc.

Retrograde Period – Mercury always retrogrades for about 21 days after every 3 months time. That’s why; it can have at least 3 retrogrades in a year. It normally transits through a sign in about 20 days but when it retrogrades, it stays in a sign for about 3 months.

Shadow Period – Shadow Period is when the planet is although moving ahead after completing its retrograde cycle but still gives the results of retrograde motion till it reaches the same degree from where it started retrograde motion.

Element – Mercury usually retrogrades in same element of signs. Like this year, it is getting retrograde now in Pisces (March-April, 2018) and its next 2 retrogrades will be in Cancer and Scorpio. So this year, it will retrograde in all water signs. Next year, all retrogrades will happen in some other element.

Retrograde Planets – Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn go through retrograde phases every year. These phases are of different time periods from 21 days to about 4 to 5 months. Retrograde is actually when a planet is closer to Earth and that’s why, while looking from Earth, it looks like planet is moving backwards as it is slower in its speed than Earth. So, retrograde is actually an optical illusion. Planet doesn’t move backwards but it only looks-like moving backwards. So, 1st thing retrograde time brings is confusion related with the planet that is retrograde. Also, as retrograde planet is closer to Earth, the best way to understand a retrograde planet is to imagine someone just standing right next to you and looking at you. How would you feel? You will definitely be impacted by the intense energy of that person. The same ways, when a planet goes retrograde and come closer to Earth, its rays are reaching us with great intensity. That’s why; retrograde season when most planets go through retrograde cycle can be the most intense time on Earth. It also means that retrograde planet will almost push/force us to act in matters related to the planet or house/sign where it is retrograde by creating one or the other situations. As retrograde time is about moving backwards though only as an illusion, retrograde motion of a planet also shows that we reflect back on things related to that planet or house/sign where it is retrograde. Basically, during direct motion of planet, planet gives us many indications about things to correct or sort-out but if we don’t take any proactive measure then planet is forced to create some events and circumstances during its retrograde motion under which we will be forced to take actions in those matters. So eventually, retrograde cycles are good which force us to take actions which were long overdue. Last but not the least, a person born with retrograde planets also follows the same path where in early life he makes mistakes related with retrograde planet and in later life, he improves or corrects those mistakes.

Retrograde Mercury impacts – Now, Mercury retrograde can impact us in following ways –
  • As per Karaka – If we just reflect at our lives these days, we live a totally Mercurial lives now. Communications, Travelling, Internet Social Media, News & Marketing etc are all parts of our daily life. So, it is impossible to save yourself from Mercury retrograde impact totally. It will impact you one way or the other. So, its most basic impacts are like miscommunications, re-scheduling of travelling plans, re-analysing, re-assessing, re-doing something. “Re” is the most common prefix with every retrograde and with Mercury retrograde, it is like the soul of it. We can be called upon to re-do almost everything which Mercury represents. They also say that if you are signing any contract or papers during Mercury retrograde then review it as many times as possible. Think a lot before communicating anything, either oral or written. Internet connectivity problems will be there. It can be basically termed and seen as the most irritating time when you commit mistakes or forgets the smallest of things and you have to re-do those things. It can bring the biggest of confusions due to miscommunications or due to communication-gap.
  • As per Sign – Then Mercury retrograde can create confusion with things related to the sign it is retrograde in. Like, if it is retrograde in Aries then Aries lord Mars and Mercury together makes a technology oriented combination. So, there can be technical issues in communications or mis-communications. It can also bring lots of anger or fire in communications and can lead to serious fights. If it is retrograde in Taurus, then your financial dealings can get messed up. If it is retrograde in Sagittarius, some mis-communications related with religious or philosophical beliefs can cause trouble. Like now, it is going to retrograde in Pisces where it is debilitated too. So, some big mis-communication can take place in the matters of spiritual beliefs and values of people. But I always consider Mercury in Pisces as good placement for Creativity. So, if a person is creatively inclined then it can be a great time for him in his creative pursuits.
  • As per house lord – Also, Mercury retrograde season will make us reflect on the houses ruled by Mercury in a particular chart with its signs Gemini and Virgo. Like, a Sagittarius person will reflect on relationship/marriage/spouse/business (7th house/Gemini) and career/work/father (10th house/Virgo). But a Cancer Ascendant person will reflect on spiritual values/beliefs/foreign travels (12th house/Gemini) and communication/business/marketing (3rd house/Virgo). Like this, whichever houses are ruled by Mercury as per your ascendant, you will reflect on those things and matters of those houses will be intense.
Lord’s position – Whichever sign Mercury retrogrades in, we need to take into notice the position of its lord in birth chart and transit both.

Other Retrograde Movements – Many a times, Mercury retrograde happens along with other planets going retrograde at the same time. So, we need to keep an eye on those planets. If many planets are retrograde at same time, it shows that energy will be too intense and we have to take further care in our communications.

Mercury’s Aspects – Mercury aspects only 7th house from its place. So, during Mercury retrograde, Mercury will also impact the house it aspects and make us reflect on communications or information related to that house.

Dashas – Person under Mercury dasha will have more visible effect of Mercury retrogrades.

Planet in Sign – Last but not the least, if a planet is placed in the sign in which Mercury is retrograde then we may be required to reflect on things related to that planet too.

Conclusion – Like this, more or less every Mercury retrograde works. Only difference will come in the energy of the sign and house where it is retrograde. As I said, these can be the most irritating times of the year.

Hope this helps. Please post any comment or query you may have.


Vishal S Saxena – Astrologer

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