How Mercury Retrograde Affects Us

When there's a retrograde happening (like right now! February 6-28, 2014), I see a lot of comments, tweets and general complaints about malfunctioning computers. And guess what? There's a good reason for it. And retrogrades don't affect only computers. Read on to learn more...

What is a Mercury Retrograde?

This happens three to four times per year, when the planet Mercury slows down, and appears to stop (station) and move backward (retrograde). It's an optical illusion, since there is forward movement, like speeding by a slow-moving train -- as it recedes, it appears to go backward.

What does Mercury represent?

Mercury is the messenger, and rules your intelligence, mind, memory and, all types of communication ranging from talking and texting to writing. It also affects your self-expression, and communication style. In a more public sense, it rules commerce, computers, telephones, transportation and air travel.

Keywords: intelligence, language, communication, memory, expression, the mind

What happens during the retrograde?

When Mercury is in retrograde, communication can seem to slow down, misfire or go haywire with missed calls and technological snafus. This is why there’s a warning against signing contracts or starting a project during Mercury retrograde.

You miss appointments, your computer equipment crashes, checks get lost, you find the car you just purchased during Mercury retrograde is a lemon. (Or, you hate your haircut, the lamp you bought shorts out, your sister hates her birthday gift.) There will be countless delays, cancellations and postponements--but know these will benefit you in the long run. Don't fight them, although your frustration level and feeling of restlessness will be hard to cope with at times.

Why are there so many technical issues during a retrograde?

Since Mercury represents communication + technology, all machinery and things with moving parts--such as computers, VCRs, camera equipment, garbage disposals, and so forth, will reveal any weak links now. It is critical that you back up your data system and be more careful and vigilant than ever. Projects will demand more time and money than anticipated this month.

If you're a Gemini or Virgo...

Gemini and Virgo are signs ruled by Mercury, so if you are one of those born during those months, you will be complaining especially loudly.

If you work in the industries ruled by this planet such as sales, writing, public relations, advertising, publishing, air freight, the post office or express mail, any transportation industry, from the airlines to Amtrak, you'll also be especially vulnerable to this planet's weird motions in September. (If you are a Gemini, for example, who works in publishing, it's no use calling in for a month of mental health days--you can't escape!)

How can you take advantage of this time?

Focus on any verb with a preceded 'RE'.

Rethink, Review, Reflect

This retrograde time is perfect to slow down, take a time out, and truly think about projects, relationships and life. Once Mercury moves out of retrograde, move full steam ahead on ideas and projects and you'll feel much confident.

2014 Mercury Retrograde dates

Mark these dates in your calendar:

February 6- 28, 2014
June 7- July 1, 2014
October 4 - 25, 2014