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Mercury Retrograde: Dysfunction in the Skies

Updated on January 16, 2015

Whether you believe in astrology or not, a planet's behavior in the universe has numerous affects on the human race, both good and bad. When a planet goes into a phase called retrograde, it seemingly slows and stops as it wreaks havoc upon everything under its realm of influence. The sun and moon are the only two planets that do not ever go through this cycle. Planetary retrograde occurs several times a year, although you most likely do not realize why you experience so much frustration in certain areas at times.

Planetary influences:

Saturn rules our responsibilities and limitations and the karmic lessons we learn in life.

Jupiter rules our potential for growth both spiritual and intellectual and the accumulation of assets.

Mars rules physical energy and efforts but also mental endeavors and emotions.

Venus rules social attitudes and behaviors and the principles of harmony, justice and equilibrium.

Pluto rules the forces of deep transformation and the principles of struggle and regeneration.

Neptune rules the oppressed and abandoned misfits of society also mysticism and ideals.

Uranus rules freedom and originality and sudden unexpected changes.

Mercury rules the way we think and communicate also perception, ideas, information and transportation.

The four phases of each retrograde cycle:

Retrograde phase begins as the planet starts to slow down.

Station phase is as the planet comes to a stop before slowly moving ahead again.

Direct phase is when it finally gets back to the exact place it originally went into retrograde.

Return phase is usually several weeks after going direct the planet returns to its normal activity

It is important to know that planets never actually travel backwards; they only slow down enough to give that appearance as the other planets speed past them.

The slowing of Mercury generally affects us the most because it creates miscommunication and friction three times a year for approximately five to six weeks each time. Being the planet that oversees the ways in which we send and receive every tidbit of information is a huge responsibility and it creates the biggest mess when it falls out of our good graces.

The Mercury retrograde seems to be full of inevitable or fated events, fall outs, misinterpretations and endings of all kinds. Beginnings are never recommended during this phase, as things will never turn out to be what they were believed to be originally. This is simply because a crucial piece of information was omitted in error.

Electronics, commerce and transportation are equally affected simply because of their roles in global communication. Misunderstandings, negotiation problems, electronics breakdown, flat tires, missed appointments, unforeseen events, road blocks and aggravations are also added to this lengthy list of communications gone awry.

Mercury's goal in all of this is to challenge and restructure our thinking and often it can be most demanding that we pay complete attention. Events in global history often have a way of sneaking in during this cycle as well. The best that we can do to crawl through this phase relatively unscathed is to focus on everything, read the fine print, don't begin anything new and always remember that this too shall pass.

How does mercury retrograde affect you?


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    • healthywholefoods profile image


      7 years ago

      I really liked your article, I read my horoscope, that's about it. It's nice to know that astrology is based on something and your article shed a little light on what it is based on. Keep writing, I keep reading.

    • moiragallaga profile imageAUTHOR

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for your comments everyone and I'm glad you like the hub. I just find it fascinating that despite all our advances in technology and science, there are still some interesting and intriguing facets to this world we live in.

    • suziecat7 profile image


      7 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I learned something new here. Thanks.

    • SylviaSky profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Excellent explanation.

    • Charlu profile image


      7 years ago from Florida

      Great hub on influences I never really think about to much. It's amazing how everything coincides. Thanks for sharing and voted up interesting and useful.

    • moiragallaga profile imageAUTHOR

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      I don't keep track of it either because if I do I might just find myself worrying too much about it and hibernate. I guess we just have to deal with it, and at least being aware about it kind of just preps us to be ready for the challenging times up ahead. The only time I usually think of mercury retrograde and would check on the dates is when the internet connection in our area is really bad, have a hard time being "disconnected." haha.

    • Theresa_Kennedy profile image

      Theresa Kennedy 

      7 years ago from Minnesota

      Love the title, but only because I hate when mercury goes retrograde. Communication and technology always seem to have glitches, relationships are often strained, and you're right it's not a good time to begin something new. I feel like mercury retrograde makes me go backward to resolve something that I avoided the last time, and occasionally I experience endings during that time. I don't keep track of when it's retrograde, but when things start going haywire in my life, I always ask, "is mercury retrograde AGAIN???"


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