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Everything You NEED to Know About Mercury Retrograde

Updated: Oct 14, 2022

Here we go again, the dreaded Mercury retrograde!

My computer doesn't like me. My GPS has sent me to 711 instead of the bookstore. I can't find my cell, and when I do, the damn battery is nearly dead!


Does any of this sound familiar to you? Well, if it does, then you have probably been under the influence of a Mercury retrograde.

OK, but what is a Mercury retrograde and what does it mean and... how does it make all those annoying things happen?

So, let's break this down a little.

Let's look at this from an astronomical perspective...sorta.

If you remember those models of the solar system from when you were a little school-going gremlin, then you will remember that those solar systems had all the planets lined up according to their place in their orbit around the sun.

As you know we are on the third little marble minding our own affairs.

From an Astrological perspective things are a bit different...but the same--only way different. Astronomy looks at our solar system from a Heliocentric (sun-centred) point of view. Whereas Astrology views the solar system from a Geocentric (Earth-centred) perspective.

In other words, we astrologers acknowledge the mechanics of the solar system in terms of orbit, rotation and positioning; we just like to look at things from the "here on Earth" point of view, as this is the way we observe the celestial bodies that seem to travel around us.

Kinda... self-centered, aren't we? HAHAHAHA Lame pun quota met!

Anyhoozies, from our point of view on our little mud ball, the planets travel around us doing their own thing, irrespective of how it makes us feel. You see, in the case of Mercury, it rules communication, travel, contracts, automobiles, electronics and all sorts of stuff that involves communication and intellectual thought. When the planet is following its natural orbital path, these things tend to run rather smoothly on their own.

So what is Retrograde?

Well, my sweet, retrograde means that whichever planet we are observing from our Earthling POV appears to be travelling in reverse. (Que ominous music)

The good news is that the planet isn't actually travelling in reverse.

Phew! Cause that'd be weird.

What is happening is that the planet, in our case Mercury, is actually just doing what it always does. However, it looks like it has lost its damn mind and is moon-walking a la Michael Jackson style through the sky. The video below shows you what's actually going on in the solar system.

Ok then, why the hell does everything go freaking haywire then?

To put it in its simplest terms, it is because we, as human beings, are subject to the laws of physics and nature to a greater or lesser degree. When the planets are not in retrograde, that is what I would describe as their natural state. They are more or less acting within their own nature.

However, when an inner planet like Mercury goes retrograde, it has "lapped" us, and at a certain point provides us with the lovely optical illusion of retro-motion or going in reverse.

This natural phenomenon occurs about every 4 months with Mercury and lasts right around three weeks, and we freaking feel it. I believe this is because, on a natural level, the gravitational pull that each planet exerts on its neighbour is altered, thus altering our experience of its normal energetic influence. Sort of like how the Moon influences Earth... you know, the ocean's tides...werewolves, etc.

Now, this is where astronomy and astrology sort of break up and start seeing other people.

As mentioned above, Mercury rules all things related to communication.

I like to imagine the ancient Roman god Mercury waking up in the morning with his winged sneakers shoelaces in a giant knot. The laces are in such a big knot that it takes him three weeks to untie the stupid things and get back to normal.

So, when Mercury is retrograde, do your best to remain flexible and expect travel delays, so allow yourself some extra time. If you can, avoid signing contracts.

Seriously, this is a time when a lot of mistakes are made. If you can't stop the clock till Mercury gets its sh*t together, make sure you read, re-read and read again before you commit. Review and reassess projects and plans. Mercury retrograde is a great time to look for any little details you may have missed and correct mistakes.

ABOVE all, slow your roll! Take your time and really look at things. Mercury is a speedy little planet and likes to get stuff done. Trust me, if you take a few seconds or minutes more, you will not regret it.

The good news is Mercury will go direct and when it does, you will be just as relieved as the rest of us! Things will calm down and go back to normal. In other words, you'll only lose your keys or phone at the normal rate! YAAAAY!

I often hear people blame Mercury retrograde for anything and everything that goes wrong or if something bad happens. To be honest, that's not really fair or accurate. All planets will go retro at some point in their career, and you will feel those effects too. But because Mercury does it so often as compared to the slower moving exoplanets, it is an easy scapegoat for all manner of crappiness. Truth is, Mercury retrograde is generally the most talked about. It is not an inherently malefic, grumpy or otherwise spiteful energy, even in retrograde.

Also, you could learn even more about how Mercury retrograde is affecting you personally by looking at your progressed natal chart and see just where our little buddy Mercury is transiting your natal chart.

So, if you find yourself feeling like you just got your a$$ handed to you, take a look and see if there is anything you can do to improve your circumstances. You know, like SLOWING down.

That's all for now, thanks for reading!

Interested in learning more about Astrology? Essential Astrology Fundamentals coming soon!


Alysa is a professional mystic who teaches and works with spiritual seekers from all over the world. Her dynamic personality and passion for the mystic arts are infectious. She loves to bring her wealth of metaphysical knowledge and depth of experience to her clients and students through providing intuitive and spiritual services. Known for her ability to blend fun with professionalism, Alysa offers nearly 3 decades of esoteric experience which includes the co-creation of the Sirian Starseed Tarot & the Seekers Oracle.

In her professional practice, Alysa is a master tarot reader & teacher, second-generation traditional western astrologer, numerologist, certified professional past-life regressionist, Reiki Master Teacher, Certified Life coach, published author, artist, and founder of North Star Mystic Academy, which opened in 2019.

Alysa lives and works in Ontario, Canada

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