At the moment, it seems like Mercury retrograde is everybody’s excuse for all of their problems (guilty).
But what is it? And what does it actually mean? Currently, I have pretty moderate knowledge on the subject so I thought it’d be insightful for us both if I did a bit of research for this post, whilst sharing my newfound knowledge in the process!
So in terms of basic layout of the solar system – the planets closest to the sun move faster and the outer planets move slower however, they all orbit in the same direction. Retrograde motion is when a planet appears to temporarily change the direction of its orbit. Though, it does not change direction – it just appears that way from Earth. Thus, an astronomical phenomenon!
This illusion of backwards orbiting unfolds over a matter of weeks or months and occurs when we lap an outer planet – like we do with Mars every 2 years. Or, when an inner planet laps Earth – like Mercury does every 4 months or so, lasting for around 2-3 weeks each time. So essentially, retrograde it’s the function of two objects (planets) orbiting in the same direction but at different speeds?
Ancient Romans and Greeks represented the planet Mercury as the “messenger deity” and often referred to it as the planet of communication and information. Similarly, in astrology it is claimed that Mercury rules over elements such as communication, analytical thinking, expression of ideas, as well as the processing of information. So in astrology terms – when a planet, and in this case Mercury, is “retrograde” these particular elements are argued to be significantly more scrambled and chaotic.. especially by those who believe in astrological / zodiac signs. Some people even go out of their way to avoid situations and/or events during retrograde periods, as is believed that negative challenges are a lot more likely to occur during this time of the year, relative to zodiac signs.
In sight of this.. it is believed that different Mercury retrogrades affect different people depending on which zodiac sign(s) Mercury is moving through. For example, in 2019, Mercury is retrograde on March 5th – 28th (water-sign Pisces and fire-sign Aries), July 7th – 31st (water-sign Cancer and fire-sign Leo) and October 31st – November 20th (water-sign Scorpio). Therefore, personality traits associated with these astrological signs are particularly affected.
Apparently, keeping track of Mercury retrograde periods can allow us to be more productive, whilst avoiding some of the frustration and chaos that comes with them. Some astrologers also claim that this retrograde is a fab opportunity for us to listen deeper and to take more time to state our opinions, seen as our usual approach to communication is a little all over the place. I suppose you could argue that if retrograde is just an illusion from Earths perspective then how is it able, or even possible, for it to negatively impact our lives at certain points throughout the year?? Well, in all honestly.. I’ve not found an answer to this yet. But then again.. how is anything to do with our world and our solar system possible??? Lol.
If you enjoyed this read I think you’ll enjoy my “Curiouser and Curiouser” post from a couple of months back. Also, if anyone has any more cool info on retrogrades and their alleged effects then please holla, I’d love to hear them!