Mercury Retrograde

So What Is Mercury Retrograde Anyway?

Mercury is the messenger planet.  It rules communication, our conscious mind, thoughts, speech and writing.  To keep it simple I call it:  Messenger Mercury.  It also rules commerce, ground transportation (cars, trains, and buses), siblings, community and neighborhoods.

This tiny planet, closest to the sun, is the ruler of both Virgo and Gemini.  Those of us born with the Sun in either of these signs are particularly affected by Mercury.  Yet for everyone, where Mercury is by sign and house placement in our natal birth chart indicates how we communicate.  Our style of communication.  No small matter this!

For example, a man with Mercury in Cancer in the 12th house may be shy about expressing himself, given to music, meditation, writing, and find his inner life to be rich with treasures to plunder.  Rather different than the woman with Leo in the 10th house.  She has no difficulty with self-expression, dotting her speech with humor and a boisterous laugh, and easily steps into the spotlight.

A marked contrast between these two for sure!

Just around the corner in early March, Mercury will turn retrograde for the first time in 2019.  Some of us are aware of when this will occur and actually prepare for it as much as possible; others caught up in the midst of this activity wonder why their calls aren’t being returned, their tech devices are going haywire, their packages are delayed.

Here’s the deal:

Except for the Sun and Moon, all planets turn retrograde.  Why?  The cycle of natural order. In modern life, very few of us like to slow down or hit snafus, delays in our push for progress.   If every sector of our life pressed forward, constantly and unceasingly, we would exhaust ourselves.  Think of it this way:  if you never slept, could you function?  Adequately or at all?  Probably for a day or two.  Then your life may start to unravel.  Decision making would become fuzzy, your body refusing to cooperate until it lay down for rest.

Our need to slow down and rest a bit is similar to a planet’s retrograde passage.  We have all experienced that sleepless night with our minds racing with thoughts, whether driven by problems at work, at home, or certain relationships.  Mercury retrograde is the cosmos’ way of saying:  let go, let your mind wander, get some necessary R and R. Since Mercury rules our rational/conscious mind, our thoughts and communication, it is essential that this facet of ourselves takes time off, gets a break every now and then.

Every calendar year, Mercury turns retrograde two to three times, for weeks each cycle.  In 2019, Mercury will be retrograde:  March 5-March 27th; July 7-August 1st, and October 31st to November 20th.

Best practices during Mercury retrograde involve any RE words:  rest, research, reflect, review, restore, renew, revisit, remember, retreat, return, revive, refresh, reunion, and so on.  These are excellent periods for cleaning out clutter from closets, cabinets, our residences; spending time in nature, preferably alone; going on RE treats; visiting with old RE-lationships; sleeping; spa time; playing hookie; journaling; puttering.  In short:  any time spent letting the mind off the hook…


The following are suggested Do’s and Don’ts for Mercury Retrogrades.  Remember, as always, we must live our lives, pay our bills and so forth.  But if you find yourself in the mood for shopping, may be wait a bit for Mercury to turn direct.  You may end up with better merchandise bought on sale!


Rest and sleep

Research any major planned purchases (cars, homes, appliances, tech devices)

Research travel plans

Review major documents

Clean out closets, cabinets, files, basements, attics

Purge/donate/RE cycle what you no longer need

Spa visits

Nature walks in woodlands or on/around water


Visit with relatives and old friends

RE treats

Meditation/yoga/journaling/spiritual endeavors


Buying any tech device:  laptops, cell phones, tablets

Buy major items:  appliances, cars, homes

List a house for sale

Sign documents of major significance

Go on a first date

Get engaged or married

Launch a business

Book plans/make deposits on vacations and travel plans