Mercury Retrograde Explained: Everything You Need To Know To Get Ready!

Mercury Retrograde Explained: Everything You Need Know To Get Ready!
© Kishan Patel -

How To Survive This “Mercury Retrograde” Thing You Keep Hearing About?

Are you familiar with Mercury Retrograde?

If “Yes”, then I am sure you know how powerful it is!

And if “No”, then don’t you worry!

I have found the most trusted resources and set out to creating this article for you .

Consider this your one-stop-shop dedicated to understanding everything you need to know about Mercury Retrograde and how to navigate through it with easy and grace.

The key is to be prepared and ready for it, ready mentally, emotionally and energetically!

I learned about the MR “Mercury Retrograde” back in early 2016 and have been fascinated by the topic ever since.

As most of you know, my mission is to help end human suffering. And the MR can be quite an event to live through.

I always felt the need to share what I know about this powerful cosmic event and how it works with the world, but I always fell short on time and totally didn’t get to do it.

Today, I decided it’s now or never – so here we go!

let’s dive in!

During the MR retrograde, communication skills go awry, so it’s no surprise that I didn’t get to write this article till now 🙂

This retrograde, I am prepared!

So here we go, get ready to get the education of your life on the subject of the Mercury Retrograde.

What is the Mercury Retrograde?

Mercury planet of communication
Mercury, the planet!

Three or four times per year, the planet Mercury goes into retrograde.

When that happens, Mercury moves in the opposite direction to planet Earth.

Also, when Mercury is in retrograde, it moves from West to East which is not the path that Planets travel when not retrograding – the regular path is from east to west around the sun.

This is what retrograde means.

What happens when Mercury is in retrograde?

Mercury Retrograde affects everyone on the planet.

It doesn’t matter what astrological sign you were born with; the MR will affect you.

When Mercury retrogrades, it seems as it’s moving backward in the sky and when that happens your life events will start to go backward as well.

MR is associated with periods of absolute chaos, confusion, lack of communication or miscommunication and simply lots of trouble!

But if you pay attention to when Mercury is retrograding and how events in your life change during MR, you can’t help but notice that this is an important time to pay close attention.

I personally keep track of Mercury retrograde periods so that I can be better prepared and equipped to move forward with more clarity and focus and to avoid not all but some of the frustration that the retrograde periods bring about.

Let’s dive into Mercury retrograde and get a closer look at what it means to you.

Below you’ll find the Mercury Retrograde Periods from 2019 to 2020 – I told you this article would give you everything you need to learn about the MR phenomenon.

MR Periods 2019
2019 Periods
MR Periods 2020
2020 Periods
MR Periods 2021
2021 Periods
MR Periods 2022
2022 Periods

How Does Mercury Retrograde Affect Your Life? [1]

Astrologers believe that Mercury Retrograde has an effect on life here on Earth. Especifically within the realm of communication and technology.

In astrology, Mercury governs communication, learning, and travel.

For this reason, Mercury retrograde is being blamed for everything under the sun:

  • From miscommunication to technological bugs,
  • Botched business deals to missed flights,
  • A mechanical issue with your car or even broken cell phones.

Astrologers believe you should take extra care during this time!

  • Don’t buy a new phone, computer or car
  • Take extra care to protect your electronics (keep your phone in its case, be sure to keep your water bottle far away from your computer)
  • Double check your flight times
  • Don’t sign any business deals
  • Avoid relationship-defining conversations

I personally don’t subscribe to all of that. Instead, I look at the retrograde as a time to take a breather and recalibrate.

It’s time to reevaluate life up to the point the retrograde took place and hold off on any life-changing decisions.

I love Gala Darlings‘s quick and dirty guide to surviving the Mercury Retrograde – Read below: [2]

Quick and dirty guide to surviving the Mercury Retrograde
Navigate the MR with Ease!
1. Be sure not to take things too personally.

People will often say offensive things they didn’t mean around this time because their thinking is clouded and their communication skills are on pause! If your best friend suddenly became the most insensitive person in the world, give her/him the benefit of the doubt.

2. Back up your data! It’s only smart 🙂
3. Don’t purchase any big-ticket items.

Because they will often have flaws or issues that you weren’t aware of!

Of course, life doesn’t stop just because of wacky planetary movement, so if you absolutely have to get that car, computer or iPhone, TRIPLE-check all the paperwork, and make sure you have a warranty!

4. Take things with a grain of salt.

Everyone is a bit confused, and people are much more inclined to change their mind once Mercury goes direct. Mercury can be a bit of a trickster 🙂 could it be that the next few weeks are a big karmic joke?!

5. Read the small print on any contracts. Ask lots of questions.

Again, you can’t put your life on hold just because of some silly planet. But adapt your lifestyle a bit so that things run more smoothly. Communication can be a mess right now, but do your best to get as much information as you can.

6. Finish things you started a while ago.

Home improvement projects? Wardrobe re-organization? Short stories? Love affairs?! This is an excellent time to tie up loose ends and file things away forever.

7. Get together with old friends, reminisce and laugh!
8. Double-check any information you’re given, especially as relates to travel arrangements!

During one particularly formidable Mercury retrograde, I actually caught a cab to the wrong airport! Check times, delays, baggage allowances, reservations… everything!

9. Allow Mercury to nudge you in unusual directions.

If you seem to find yourself “back to the future”, don’t just try to wriggle out of it. Look at what the universe is trying to show you. What can you learn from this situation? This is a fantastic time to re-examine, accept and move on.

10. Use the things you’ve discovered in the past to create a dazzling new vision. So that you’re ready to blast ahead when Mercury goes direct!

Ok, now that you know what the Mercury Retrograde is, when its going to happen for the next few years and how does it affect you, let’s take a look at why does it happen?

Astrologically, when a planet is in retrograde, it is taking a sabbatical.

So, in essence, the plant is taking a snooze 🙂

And in the case of Mercury, while its snoozing, the activities that it is associated with will be snoozing too.

So areas of communication, learning, and travel might malfunction while the planet that controls these activities is in a resting zone!

What You Should – and Should Not – Do During a Mercury Retrograde Phase? [3]

Don’t make any important moves when Mercury is retrograde.

Nothing will be settled successfully for the future during these periods anyway – you will find it nearly impossible to nail down a plan.

During a retrograde period, it is hard to get decisions from others.

Even if a decision is made! It will be subject to change, either just after Mercury turns to direct motion or much later.

Mercury retrograde periods would not be good times to do anything involving communications. Such as launching a magazine, website, or an advertising or publicity campaign.

The Planet of Communication
Retrograde affect on communication!

These phases are also considered poor times to launch any new endeavors. Even if they are not related to the communications industries.

Similarly, a retrograde period is not a good time to sign any contracts or even to shake hands on any new agreements.

Do not close on a house during this time nor sign a lease.

Verbal agreements are considered the same as written ones.

The environment will be quite fluid and changeable, no matter what you are told or what you think.

It’s not that the people you are dealing with are necessarily duplicitous.

It’s just that nobody can fully predict what conditions will be like later.

  • If you start a new job, it won’t necessarily be the position you thought it was when you accepted it.
  • Also, if you are a manager, you will have difficulty choosing the right candidate for the job. So, if you can, hold off hiring anyone.
  • And, if you buy a house, problems could crop up later that were completely unanticipated.

What Other Specific Things Should You Watch Out For? [3]

MR Explained: Everything You Need Know To Get Ready!
Specific Things Should You Watch Out For!

Since Mercury rules the mail and the conveyance of information, be extra careful when sending important documents.

If you send faxes, be sure to call the people at the other end to let them know your documents are waiting for them.

Otherwise, they may never see it.

If you work in an office and have to photocopy an important document, be sure to retrieve the original.

Be equally careful about whom you send email to

you don’t want to send a private email to the wrong person or have a sensitive email forwarded to others.

Your client may suddenly change direction on a project you have been working on and give you new instructions, which may require you to discard some of the work you did.

Miscommunications abound, so during these periods keep summarizing what you think the other person has just told you.

Go the extra mile – you will be glad you did!

Mercury retrograde periods are notorious for causing computers to crash and for machines, appliances, and other electronic devices to show signs of wear, requiring urgent repair.

Backup your computer in advance of any Mercury retrograde period.

If you had planned to install new software on your personal computer (or, if you work in IT, on your network), wait until the retrograde period is over to do so.

Weird things happen during these periods.

For example, you may suddenly discover that you were sold a defective hard drive, even though it may never have given you problems in the past, at least not until you created that vital document and your whole system went down.

Mercury also rules trade and commerce, so don’t buy or sell anything expensive during its retrograde phases.

Often you will find that the item you want is out of stock.

If you do buy something expensive, such as a car, computer, or jewelry, for example, you may regret your purchase later.

If you are buying or selling a house, expect problems, errors, delays, and setbacks to arise. The only times you can buy something expensive during a retrograde period are if you are returning something you already bought.

Computers, high-tech items, appliances, automobiles, and other machines and electronics are highly susceptible to Mercury in a retrograde period.
Transporting during Retrograde!
Retrograde Affect Transportation Too!

Mercury rules moving parts, so that can be one reason.

Yet, other things happen.

You buy an air conditioner and 30 days later discover it has gone on sale for much less than what you paid. Or you by an expensive smartphone during a retrograde only to drop it (and crack its screen) or lose it soon afterward. It really does pay to wait to buy electronics.

In years past, Mercury always seemed to retrograde during the holiday shopping season. For example, in 2011, Mercury was in retrograde from “Black Friday” (where retailers go into the black because everyone loves to shop on the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 25) until the end of the day on December 13.

If you are driving any significant distance during a period where Mercury is retrograde:

  • Bring extra maps (or make sure your GPS is up to date)
  • Make sure you have enough gas
  • Verify that you have the correct address and clear driving instructions.

If your car is making strange sounds, have it inspected before you leave; you don’t want a problem to emerge when you are on the road. If you are flying, check with your airline to make sure your flight is going to take off on time.

Have your luggage well marked so that it won’t get lost or sent to the wrong airport. And bring your iPod and a good book to the airport, as there could be lots of delays.
Traveling While Mercury in Retrograde!
Traveling While Mercury in Retrograde!

Some people do not travel when Mercury is retrograde, and perhaps that might be wise if your trip is business-oriented.

However, if you are returning to see a former client you’ve worked with in the past, traveling during the retrograde is fine.

Salespeople know that business is always most likely from former clients.

If you are in sales, earmark all your former clients for special attention during these phases.

You can take a trip for pleasure during these periods.

Actually, this could be a perfect time to go!

For you get away from it all, and everyone back at the office will “feel” the retrograde – they will miss your quick problem-solving ability and advice while you are away!

During a retrograde phase, you might want to travel to a place from your childhood that you loved but haven’t seen in a long time.

Mercury Retrograde Explained: Everything You Need Know To Get Ready!

It could be lots of fun because going back to places you knew is favored.

Forgetfulness can be a problem during the retrograde phases.

  • You’re more likely to leave your airline ticket or passport on your desk rather than put it in your pocket;
  • Leave your cell phone, sunglasses, or gloves in the back seat of a cab;
  • Or lock yourself out of your car or house.

I always advise that you tape your business card on the back of your computer or smartphone case. And slip your card into your case holding your eyeglasses in case one of these treasures is lost.

I also suggest that if you buy a gift card for someone, you photocopy the card’s serial number so that if you or your recipient loses the card, you can get it replaced quickly by the retailer. (Of course, keep your receipt stapled to the photocopy.

Some retailers can give you a gift receipt with the serial number on the receipt. So you don’t have to go through the trouble of having the card photocopied.

Even so, keep a copy in your records too, for your recipient may lose everything!) Tell your recipient that you are taking precautions, in case they do lose your gift and are too shy to tell you that they did! Often there is a comedy of errors surrounding Mercury retrograde!

While we are on the topic of photocopying important documents, photocopy your passport and give your family members a copy, too. If you ever should lose your passport, you will have a copy to show the passport office, and it will make things much easier for you! Do that today, while you are thinking of it!

Romance tends to go haywire, too, during Mercury retrograde periods.
Mercury Retrograde Explained: Everything You Need Know To Get Ready!
The Haywire Affect of MR on Relationships!

Couples tend to create miscommunications that in turn can cause a domino effect of errors.

Try not to jump to conclusions, and keep striving for clarity.

Your sweetheart or spouse could also have a sudden change of mind.

For example:

If your boyfriend or girlfriend says, “I want to break up.” he or she could say later, “No, let’s not! I didn’t really mean it!”.That’s because people aren’t always thinking straight during these phases.

Mercury retrograde is notorious for creating confusion.

Keep in mind that Mercury retrogrades in three different signs of the zodiac during the year.

It also affects all 12 Zodiac Signs!

If it retrogrades in your sign, delays and frustrations will become even more pronounced than usual.

In this case, try to be even more vigilant and double-check proposals, ideas, creative efforts, and other plans to root out flaws or incorrect assumptions.

Always go the extra mile to find errors during a retrograde.

These periods demand a slow and deliberate approach.

A Handy Truth About Mercury Retrograde: Things Are In Flux, But You Don’t Know They Are – Yet [3]
Change is near!

When Mercury retrogrades, think of it as an instant signal that the wind is changing direction.

Something is in flux up on the road ahead, but the problem is, everything looks the same and unchanging.

What makes these periods so difficult is that you cannot see yet that they are about to change, often radically.

Let’s say you take a new position while Mercury is retrograde.

After you start, the company starts extreme cost-cutting procedures. And you suddenly discover you will lose some of the people who report to you.

On top of that, your title changes – not in a way you like.

In this typical example, you had no idea these procedures were being planned and had you known, you would have never taken the job.

Things like this happen all the time when Mercury is out of phase.

Do not take a job when Mercury is retrograde, and don’t start one during a retrograde, either.

A Key to the Solution to Any Mercury Retrograde Problem Lies in the Element Mercury is Found in.

There are four elements: Fire, Earth, Air, or Water

Each year, Mercury will favor one element over another.

If  Mercury retrogrades in fire signs: so that tells us we need to apply completely new, visionary, and innovative solutions to the problem that comes up. Fire signs are highly creative and also brave and pioneering – don’t be shy about suggesting a very unusual solution. Fire signs also think on a big, broad scale, so you should think that way when attacking the problem, too.

If Mercury retrogrades in an earth sign: be very practical about finding a solution, and strictly adhere to limits of time or budget. Money often plays a big part of both the problem and the answer when Mercury is retrograde. You would probably do best by not suggesting a blue-sky idea, which would have worked with Mercury in a fire sign.

Tools and Resources:

If Mercury retrogrades in an air sign: lots of discussions will need to take place, as air signs are highly communicative. Talk to a lot of people and poll their responses. Do a great deal of research, too. Air signs are analytical and modern. You may hear of a solution that is so new, you may not even have known it was possible. Use the answer that seems best for you after going through this process. And make sure you are objective and not emotional in choosing your answer.

If Mercury retrogrades in a water sign: use your intuition. Research can be driven by the way questions are asked. So if your research says to go a certain way, but your intuition tells you to reject the research, follow your gut. Intellect can only get us so far; often our emotional intelligence is more accurate. If Mercury retrogrades in a water sign, it’s an instant signal to start listening to that small voice within.

What If You Can’t Put Off a Decision Until a Later Date?[3]

Mercury Retrograde Explained: Everything You Need Know To Get Ready!

What if you can’t wait a few weeks?

In that case, you may have to proceed anyway.

Do so knowing that the conditions around the situation will probably change, so plan to be flexible.

For example:

If you are looking at a great apartment, you may have to sign the lease or risk losing it. However, before you do, ask lots of questions.

If you are buying a house, hire a top engineer to check it out, or get two engineers’ opinions.

Be ready for something to come up.

Do all you can to extend the process: Say your lawyer is out of town or in court. Say you will be in Paris during that time!

Are There Any Exceptions to the Rule: Don’t Plan Big Actions During a Retrograde”?[3]

Any Exceptions
Any Exceptions?

Yes, Indeed!

Despite what I have just said, there are situations where you can move forward, gingerly, during Mercury retrograde.

The main time you can is if you are going back to the past, either to correct something or do more with a person you know and admire.

If your editor gives you an assignment that was put on the back burner a year ago, and it has jumped to life again, proceed!

Here is another example:

Let’s say you are out of work and looking for a new job.

Your old boss (whom you enjoyed working with on a previous job) invites you to join the company he is at now, as a member of the team.

In this case, you will be going back to a former professional relationship that you actually started a long time ago, and this is simply an ongoing situation.

In this case, you CAN take the job.

What if you gave a bid on a house you loved and wanted but that was rejected.

Can you go back and put in a new bid on that same house during the retrograde? Even months later (assuming the house is not yet sold)?

Yes. In this case, you have a history with the house, the people who live there, and your broker. This would actually be a good time to “redo” your bid and send it in again.

When it comes to exceptions…

If you have a history with the person or situation, you can proceed carefully during the Mercury retrograde period.

What If You Were Born Under Mercury Retrograde? [3]

Mercury Retrograde Explained: Everything You Need Know To Get Ready!
Are you an MR Baby?

It has been said by some astrologers that people who were born under Mercury retrograde are immune from much of the mayhem of this phase, but I do not agree that this is true. (I was born while Mercury was in retrograde, and I always find these periods quite difficult, perhaps because I work in Mercury-ruled publishing!)

You can find out if you were born under these phases by checking your natal horoscope wheel.

The planet Mercury’s symbol will have a small “R” under it on the horoscope wheel.

People born under this phase are said to have philosophical and reflective natures.

And that helps them think through complex concepts quite creatively.

Never worry about having a baby during one of these retrograde periods. It is always a good time to have a child!

Mercury’s Impending Shadow Period[3]

As Mercury approaches its “switch point” (the day it actually turns retrograde), it will progress along a path that it will later retrace in the sky over the next few weeks.

The two- or three-week period prior to Mercury retrograde is called the “impending shadow period.”

If you initiate anything important during that shadow period – that is, in the time before Mercury begins to retrograde – you still may encounter problems.

If you have a choice whether to sign papers or initiate an action prior to Mercury retrograde or just after it is finished retrograding, there is no question that I suggest you wait and act afterward.

Try to secure a little breathing space (a few days or even better, two weeks) from the date Mercury goes direct, for safety.

It doesn’t pay to rush to do things before Mercury retrogrades. Waiting is always the wiser option.

Is Mercury Retrograde All Bad?[3]

Not at All!

Although these Mercury retrograde periods can be frustrating.

They are often useful too.

For they allow us to reassess, revisit, readdress, redo and redesign our plans.

Time To Redo, Re-access with retrograde

Sometimes we rush along in life without fully considering our basic assumptions or actions.

Mercury retrograde allows us to stop, look, listen, and redirect our energies more productively. Mercury also helps us find closure in certain situations.

Reconnecting with old pals and relatives is very common during retrograde periods, and that can be one of the most positive and fun sides of this planet’s retrograde orbit.

If you hear from an old friend or colleague during Mercury retrograde…I feel there is a potent reason for it.

It seems to me that there is something that the two of you are meant to do or plan together.

We can all benefit from taking a closer look at situations with greater depth, which happens when Mercury retrogrades.

Mercury retrograde periods are like walking through glue.

So they do tend to make us slow down, which at times can be a blessing.

Here are some examples of ways Mercury retrograde can help you:

  • Perhaps you have been working on a project that seems to have gone down the wrong path. When Mercury retrogrades, it could become evident that the project needs to be altered slightly or redirected. Even if you did not get your way originally, if you argue your case persuasively, things might go your way now.
  • You stall on accepting a job offer, and lo and behold, a better one comes your way in the meantime.
  • You refrain from buying a certain big-ticket item, and within a few weeks, the coveted item goes on sale and you will be glad you waited.
  • If a meeting is postponed or canceled, you have more time to gather additional information that probably will come in quite handy.
  • If you are in sales, go back to old customers and clients. You may do better by asking for more business from people who have always trusted you than by trying to extend your reach into new sales territory. Former customers like being contacted, and under Mercury retrograde, you will have the time to do so.
  • Missing objects are likely to be found. That beautiful bracelet wasn’t lost after all – it was on your bookshelf, behind your favorite book!

What Else Should You Do During Mercury Retrograde Periods?[3]

Time to clean house
Tidy Up!

It would be a great time to reorganize your files or closets.

Pack up clothes you haven’t worn in a while and give them to charity.

Polish your shoes and decide which ones need repair, and while you are at it, decide which appliances need to be taken in for repair as well.

Oddly, as busy as we are, during these phases we always seem to find more time to get things done. When you clean your closets, you will find treasures you thought you lost or had completely forgotten about, always a bonus of going through things you have not seen in a while.

Mercury rules anything that begins with “re”: redo, reassess, repair, repeat, redesign, or revisit.

It’s always human nature to want to hear that new opportunities are coming our way. But we really do need to focus on the quality of our work and improve it to the best it can be.

Often this is a better use of our time than continually chasing the newest idea. Mercury retrograde allows you to be thorough and to perfect your performance.

Don’t assume everything goes wrong during retrograde periods – sometimes things work in your favor.
Retrograde and computers

If you are self-employed and turned down an assignment because the price the client was willing to pay was too low, this same client may come back after the retrograde (after he/she sees many others turning down his offer) – and you get the project after all, at the right price.

People reconsider their stance when Mercury is retrograding, and in some cases, conditions turn out to be more favorable to you than they might have been before.

As you can see, Mercury retrograde is not all bad – you can count on it!

Here you have it, my friend! Well over 4600 words that literally explain to you everything you need to know in order to navigate through the MR or Mercury retrograde with ease.

Please share this with your friends and family members to help them navigate the mighty Mercury Retrograde!


Updated: July 1st, 2019

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