How to Understand Mercury Retrogrades from Astronomical & Astrological Standpoints!

The Mercury Retrograde is around the corner. (March 22 – April 15). I sat down with the awesome Obi – who describes himself as an amateur astronomer – to discuss this phenomenon and how it affects you, from both astronomical and astrological standpoints!

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What’s a mercury retrograde anyway? Why should I care? Is it Science? Or Woo-woo?

What does it mean when you say Mercury goes Retrograde?

Just like the earth, Mercury also revolves around the sun, along with the other planets. When Mercury is moving and you look at it from the earth, it points to one of the zodiac signs. As it comes closer to Earth, instead of moving towards the next sign, it seems mercury has slowed down in that sign. As it goes past it, for a brief period of time, it feels that it’s traveling in the opposite direction. This is Mercury retrograde. When seen from earth, its apparent motion with respect to the stars in the background appears to be slowing down and, as it slows down, it turns back before continuing in its path again. From an astrological standpoint we know that with Mercury Retrograde, we experience delays, we arrive late places, and get stuck in more traffic jams than usual. Everything seems to slow down in life as well. We imagine mercury is napping or is on vacation and this is why things go haywire for us, and from an astronomy aspect this correlation makes complete sense, that things are “going backwards or slowly”.

Do all planets retrograde?

Yes. This happens with all the planets but since mercury is closer to the sun, it’s revolution around the sun is shorter. Mercury retrograde happens more often (3-4 times a year) compared to Jupiter or Saturn, which are located much farther out into the solar system. For those planets, this happens only once in decades. However, those retrogrades are longer and slower as a result. Since Mercury, and all other planetary orbits are not exactly, perfectly round, they vary in sizes and lengths meaning that the duration of a retrograde can also vary a bit in timespan as well. In some sections of the celestial plane it’ll be longer because the orbit is more an oval than a circle. If we’re on the shorter side of the oval, the retrograde will be quicker. And if we are on the longer side, it lasts longer.

Why should I give AF about Mercury Retrogrades? How many happen this year?

 From an astrological standpoint, we have lots of reasons to care about Mercury Retrograde. It wreaks havoc on our lives, basically… This year has three of them, but some years have four and some years have only two. This particular Mercury Retrograde on March 22nd, 2018 through April 15th is in Aries. If you look up at the sky from the earth, you’ll see that Mercury is pointing to Aries when it starts its motion onto the other side. It comes to Aries and starts slowing down as it moves closer to earth. And so it slows down in Aries and turns to the other direction towards the previous sign we may feel some of the Aries aspects of the zodiac. We can be particularly impulsive during this retrograde period and are smart to do some self-monitoring to avoid snapping at people. Take a deep breath and think about things before you speak or throw something when you’re angry! Mercury is all about communication. So when it goes retro, you can expect crappy communication, text messages and emails to get lost or not go through and misunderstandings to happen. You will find it harder to focus and learn things in this time period as well. Speaking gaffes, errors and communication gaps will be common. Always double check your work and make sure you edit everything – even for spelling errors. It will be hard to do research to find the things you need. Your Internet might not work well, and even if it did, finding the right web pages may not be as easy as usual.

Mercury retrogrades are a poor time for negotiations. Ideally, don’t buy anything expensive. Wait until April 15 to get your hands on that much desired iphone X. It might just get delivered to the wrong address, since mail and delivery services can be adversely affected by the retrograde. Even if it is delivered to you correctly, chances are you will drop and break before the end of this retrograde period. Technology and plumbing tend to break down with much greater frequency in these few months a year. When possible, wait until after April 15th (or whatever Mercury Retrograde period you may schedule one) to get that elective plastic surgery. Unless it is medically necessary, it’s in your better interest to wait a couple more weeks. No one wants a bad boob or nose job. It’s a very expensive and regrettable expense.

Traveling becomes a challenge in Mercury Retrograde periods as well. It’s common to experience traffic delays and flight cancellations or delays. Navigation systems can go wrong as well, or re-route you very slowly.

Exes often reach out or attempt to come back in your life during Mercury Retrograde periods. Of course, whether this is a good thing or not depends on your past history with these exes, so, some people look forward to this and some don’t. The problems experienced in the past though are likely to arrive as well with the ex, and they may even be magnified as Mercury moves closer to Earth. So, if you partner was a liar before, and that’s why you broke up, this time the lies will be of even greater grandeur and may seem even more believable so tread carefully!

Is Mercury Retrograde always completely horrible?

The majority of people familiar with Mercury Retrograde energies think of it as a negative thing, but it doesn’t have to be. Ideas, people, feelings and things can come back to you, but some of those things are great! It’s a time period of nostalgia, or to reconnect with long-lost friends and family members. Remember when you lost your great-grandma’s necklace? You might find that during a retrograde!

Retro starts with ‘Re’. It’s a good time to ‘re’ anything. Reevaluate, refocus, redo, redesign and revamp things. Any project that you started but did not develop the way you wanted, this is the time to make it right. Since Aries is all about creativity, you might just come up with some really cool creative solutions!

 What does it mean when Mercury Retrograde happens in two signs? How is that possible?

The next Mercury Retrograde cycle from July 7th to July 31st, 2018 will occur in Leo and in Scorpio. The 12 zodiac signs we are familiar with are made up of stars in the sky. These are further divided into 36 constellations in total, which means that the constellations we are identifying are therefore shared by two zodiac sign constellations. So, as a constellation might be part of two signs, or rather, on the cusp of it, the entire retrograde period can span over two or multiple signs. Since Leo and Scorpio are next to each other in the sky, the retrograde in July falls in both of them.

Hope you loved this post! If you did, share it! Love always- Tarot-blee Accurate, Obi & Sanjay XOXO

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