Mercury Retrograde: What to Know



Gwen Brown, Staff Writer

We’ve all heard the expression “Mercury in Retrograde,” but where does that come from, and what exactly does that mean? How could a planet have an effect on our daily lives?

To understand Mercury retrograde, what it means, and why it happens, we need to go back in time. Humanity has governed its affairs using the stars since the beginning. Ancient astrologers would take note of the stars in times of harvest and famine, determining the drought or abundance that they might encounter. This cataloguing of movement eventually led to charts and tables that were used for insight. This developed into modern day astrology such as horoscopes, natal charts, and our zodiac system. 

Each zodiac sign has assigned planets. For example, the ruling signs of Mercury are Gemini and Virgo, Gemini being the chatty outward expressive side while Virgo introduces the organization and analytical aspect. This is important to know to understand the personality of Mercury. 

Mercury is the planet of communication. He controls the way we organize, synthesize, and transfer data. This includes mobile devices (cell phones, computers), scheduling, and transportation. In astrology, moving backwards (retrograde) implies that the negative effects of a planet are brought out. Therefore, under Mercury retrograde communication becomes incredibly difficult. Auspicious movements of Mercury have even been used to determine times to finalize contracts. This is why when Mercury enters retrograde you’re heavily discouraged to sign legal paperwork or plan business notions. 

So how does this affect us? You might find yourself becoming disorganized or experiencing poor time management. Relationships might even be hindered from a lack of conveying feelings.

Mercury retrograde will occur four times this year opposed to the usual three. The most recent one took place from September 27-October 18.  

Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram had a global shutdown during this recent retrograde. Do you think it’s simply coincidence, or was this because of the effects of Mercury on communication?