Time to celebrate—the first Mercury retrograde of 2021 is ending on February 20! After a tumultuous start to the year, we’ll finally get a break until the next retrograde, which happens in the sign of Gemini from May 29 through June 22.
For decades, Mercury retrograde has had quite a bad reputation. What was once an obscure cosmic event understood only by expert astrologers has now become one of the most popular excuses for, well…everything. Though Mercury retrograde doesn’t explain all of life’s problems, there are definitely challenges that can be blamed on this planet acting up.
Mercury retrograde sucks. I won’t pretend otherwise! During retrograde, Mercury—the planet that rules speech, travel and communication—looks like he’s flipping around in the sky, changing his course. Yes, retrogrades can be easily explained by astronomers, but they are still believed to have a serious impact on people’s energy. There is magic in myth and symbolism, friends.
The energy of Mercury retrograde reflects what’s happening visually to Mercury; he’s getting all flipped around and moving backward, just like we do during this planetary transit. The vibe of Mercury retrograde throws a wrench into verbal and technological communication as well as travel and formal agreements (Think job offers and leases).
For the past few weeks, if you’ve noticed that you just can’t get your words in order, your laptop is breaking down, your car is stuck in the shop or your new landlord is leaving you on read, you know why. When Mercury is unhappy and in his acrobatic retrograde period, he has to tell everyone that he’s pissed off. He’s the planet of communication, after all.
If you have important placements (Think natal Sun, Moon, rising or Mercury) in Aquarius (where Mercury’s been chilling this whole time), you’ve probably been feeling it extra hard. People with Sun in Aquarius have likely felt this in all areas of their lives, while people with Moon, rising, and/or Mercury in Aquarius have been sensing retrograde energy in their emotions, self-image and speech patterns, respectively.
Even though post-retrograde energy tends to linger for a while, expect to feel much lighter this coming week when Mercury goes direct. Now’s the time to reach out to anyone you’ve been fighting with these past few weeks—but tell them you’re sorry and try not to blame your bad behavior on the stars, OK?
When Mercury retrograde ends, it can feel like taking a breath of fresh air. Retrogrades make us feel confused and stagnant, and once we’re released from that energy, life starts to fall back into place and move forward.
The last week or so of February is going to be a lot more chill than the first half. The Sun just drifted his way into Pisces, an energy that serves as a balm for the soul after a cold, harsh Aquarius season. We’re all still recovering from the Aquarius stellium (planetary alignment) on the 10, so don’t be surprised if you need to take this coming week or so to breathe deeply and re-center.