Strap in, folks—Mercury is going retrograde for the first time this year and it all starts on January 30! And before you freak out, yes, that is an exclamation of excitement, not panic or anxiety. Yes, Mercury retrograde has a terrible reputation, but I believe Mercury going retrograde should be celebrated, not loathed. Hopefully by the time you get to the end of this article, you too will be looking forward to this astrological phenomena. If not, then take your negativity somewhere else.
A few days before Mercury goes retrograde every few months, the internet overflows with articles about how everyone should mentally brace themselves for a host of cellphone malfunctions, computer crashes, delayed flights, lost reservations, misrouted emails and a bunch of other technological and communication-related horrors. This inevitably causes a great panic, urging astrology aficionados to consider spending the next three weeks hidden under their desks. The irony of this is, Mercury does in fact love to stir up a bit of stress while he’s retrograde, so the overreaction and panic in advance does half the job for him.
Astrologically and astronomically, a retrograde is defined as when a planet appears to move backwards in its orbit. The planet is not actually going backwards—it only appears this way because of our vantage point from earth. Mercury is always moving forward from its own perspective; it is only us earthlings that see otherwise. In astrology, when a planet is retrograde, it is a call for us to look within and focus more on our own inner world.
Use any perceived hiccups during Mercury retrograde to guide you to a deeper understanding of yourself.
Mercury, specifically, is incredibly effective in propelling this urge to look within for two reasons. First, he goes retrograde three to four times a year for around three weeks—just enough time enough to pause and assess our progress without spending too much time dwelling. Second, Mercury rules communication, technology, mental processing and transportation, all things that often dominate our time and focus.
When you take the nature of Mercury into account with the timing, you start to see that ~maybe~ Mercury retrograde is simply an opportunity that allows us a quarterly check-in to put the universe’s gifts into perspective, so we can be more productive, efficient and communicative.
Let’s take this a step further and discuss the communication blunders, lost packages, computer crashes, delayed flights and lost reservations that may (OK, probably will) occur. When Mercury goes retrograde, he has one goal: To help you understand yourself more deeply. With that, he wants to ensure you are paying attention to details, communicating in an authentic way and never running on autopilot. He will do whatever it takes to get you to look inward, so if he’s gotta throw in some spice to get your attention, he will.
The universe is always speaking to us, and the blunders of Mercury retrograde are just another way to provide valuable feedback.
When retrograde, Mercury is asking you to question the ‘Why’ behind all the mishaps that arise. Instead of being pissed off about a delayed project, ask what is needed to take the project to the next level. If your flight is delayed, ask why the trip didn’t work out the way you wanted. Was there something more important that needed your attention? Use any perceived hiccups during Mercury retrograde to guide you to a deeper understanding of yourself and an opportunity to slow down and reassess your current path.
The universe is always speaking to us, and the blunders of Mercury retrograde are just another way to provide valuable feedback—if you want it. Remember to take every opportunity (Even ones disguised as mishaps!) as steps forward towards a more aligned you.
With all this in mind, let 2021 be the start of a new relationship with Mercury retrograde, one filled with joy and excitement and a nice little break from the breathtaking speed of Mercury direct life. Happy Mercury Retrograde, y’all—enjoy it!