You’ve likely heard one of your friends say, “Oh, it must be Mercury Retrograde.” And while you laugh and nod your head in agreeance, you were probably left wondering what the heck they were talking about.
The astronomical phenomenon referred to as Mercury Retrograde most recently started on July 26, 2018 and will end on August 19, 2018. As seen from Earth, all the true planets appear to periodically switch direction as they cross the sky. Though all stars and planets appear to move from east to west on a nightly basis in response to the rotation of Earth, planets generally drift slowly eastward relative to the stars. This motion is normal for the planets, referred to as direct motion. However, since Earth completes its orbit in a shorter period of time than the planets outside its orbit, we periodically overtake them, like a faster car on multi-lane highway. When this occurs, the planet we are passing will first appear to stop its eastward drift, and then drift back toward the west. This is described as Retrograde Motion.
Mercury in Roman mythology (Hermes to the Greeks) is the winged messenger of the Gods and thus in the archetypal sciences such as astrology and tarot, the planet Mercury governs all things that have to do with communication. While it only appears that Mercury is going backwards during its retrograde period, many will tell you that its affects can make one feel like everything is indeed going backwards. Computers and electronic gadgets may seem persnickety, lines of communication may become jumbled and misunderstandings abound.
With over twenty years of astrological study I have come to recognize that during any Mercury Retrograde period we are given an opportunity to tune into a Universal message. While we take the time each spring to clean our garage, we rarely take the time to do the same type of maintenance in our ethereal lives. If I could don the winged shoes and the caduceus I would tell people that this is a time to mentally relax, reflect and most importantly, pay attention to the words that swirl around in your head, and out of your mouth. Our words are incredibly powerful and yet we throw them around carelessly more times than not. However, we can use the power of words to help us learn to listen more effectively to our intuition, which will always provide us with the answers we most seek.
The following words can serve as a guide to navigating the murky time of Mercury Retrograde:
Mercury is retrograde several times a year. Use the schedule below to make to time to tune into the Universal messages…
In 2018, Mercury retrograde occurs during the date ranges of:
- March 23 to April 15
- July 26 to August 19
- November 17 to December 6