How to Handle a Mercury Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde is Coming
by Kathy Biehl
If you’ve heard the term “Mercury retrograde,” odds are you don’t have good feelings about it. Take heart! Even if some people react to it as if the sky is falling, Mercury retrograde is not the end of the world. It’s a regular phenomenon that happens three or four times every year.
What does Mercury Retrograde mean?
First, the technicalities: Mercury is retrograde when it’s traveling backwards. That’s an optical illusion, of course, and comes from a change in that planet’s orbital speed in comparison to the earth’s. (Think of it as the planetary equivalent of speeding up, passing a car and seeing it fall far behind after you in the rear view mirror.)
How this works: When Mercury is moving in reverse, the areas of life it governs do not play by the usual rules. Pay extra attention to anything related to communication and travel – including phones, computers and electronic devices, the mail (remember that?), cars, public transportation and commutes.
Messages go astray; misunderstandings and confusion abound; technology malfunctions; traffic snarls; travel gets delayed. Postpone launching major projects, signing major contracts and buying big-ticket items. Double-check fine print, backup your data and allow lots of extra time when you’re on the road.
The good news? This is an excellent time to investigate and research, finish old business, clean up paperwork and get in touch with people you haven’t talked to in a while. Pay attention to who surfaces from the past, in person or in thoughts. Their reappearance could help tie up loose ends or resolve lingering business. Organize and prepare so you’ll be ready to move ahead when Mercury does!
The bottom line? Life goes on; you make the best of situations. You may not always have the option of postponing; circumstances may require signing a contract or replacing a car or piece of technology while Mercury is retrograde. Don’t make assumptions. Investigate as much as you can. Take the action you feel needs to happen to address the immediate situation. Anything that you’ve instigated under a retrograde will likely come back up again later, to be renegotiated, repaired or undone — which can give you the flexibility to get out of an arrangement that isn’t quite right.
Mercury Retrogrades in 2014
Mercury is retrograde from:
- February 6 – 20, going from 3 Pisces to 18 Aquarius
- June 7 – July 1, going from 3 Cancer to 24 Gemini
- October 4 – 25, going from 2 Scorpio to 16 Libra
It’s common to feel communication and transportation matters start slowing a couple of days before a retrograde begins. Once it ends, the change is not instantaneous. Wait a few days before resuming business as usual, to give the planet time to get moving again.
Mercury Retrograde and Air and Water Signs
All of this year’s Mercury retrogrades start with the planet in a water sign and backing into air. The difference in element is important.
Air makes the best of a tricky situation, because he’s naturally suited to flying about in that element. Water is not naturally comfortable for the winged messenger, who prefers an environment that allows him to move nimbly and quickly. When he’s in water, confusion and mistaken thinking will intensify. It will be easy to pick up undercurrents or other people’s thoughts and assume that they are yours.