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Mercury Retrograde is an Astrological Scapegoat--it Gets too Much Blame

Updated on April 20, 2013

Mercury is retrograde May 26th to June 19th, 2008 in the sign of Gemini. Mercury retrograde, which occurs a few times each year, is one of the most talked about astrological events, especially by astrology hobbyists and novices.

Although Mercury doesn't really do a 180 and backtrack during a retrograde, Mercury appears to reverse direction for less than a month. The illusion of Mercury retrograde is due to the orbit of Earth in connection to Mercury's orbit. After retrograde, it goes "direct," when it appears to turn back around and go in the right direction, continuing to progress through the astrological signs (e.g., Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc.).

Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune all retrograde as well. At least one of these planets are retrograding at any given time and the further the planet from the Sun, the longer it retrogrades (e.g., Neptune for over 155 days).

Astrologically, all planets and the Sun and Moon can be classified as masculine or feminine, nocturnal or diurnal, or challenging or rewarding. But Mercury is an oddity because it can be either in every situation depending on which planet it accompanies, which makes it the hermaphrodite of the solar system.

Depending on Mercury's condition and to which heavenly body or bodies it's connected, it can be related to the following: communication, conversation, thievery, deception, mercurial disposition, messages, information, intellectual pursuits, and education.

Mercury retrograde is notoriously known for such things as communication screw-ups and misunderstandings, computer and other technology glitches, travel delays, scheduling conflicts, machinery break-downs, and complications with new project launches.

Mercury retrograde doesn't make such things happen, it's just symbolic of these things. As above, so below.

Mercury retrogrades are known for being good times to go more deeply into existing projects, re-examine already discovered prospects, re-do things, and finish things already in motion. It's a time to slow down a bit and be more cautious.

Although Mercury retrograde (or any retrograde for that matter) is an affliction, it's only one of many possible indicators.

In our view, too much emphasis is placed on Mercury retrograde and it's often blamed for circumstances when it shouldn't be, where a dozen or more other astrological or numerological considerations are more closely related to the situation.

Also, your natal astrological indications may suggest that you have an easier time with Mercury retrogrades than average. For instance, if Mercury isn't a major player in your natal charts, it's less of a concern for you.

How Mercury retrograde symbolically affects you also depends on where in your natal charts the current transiting Mercury retrograde falls. If it falls in a weak house for example, and is unrelated to the matter at hand, it could be even more of a non-issue for you.

Here's our view on Mercury Retrograde timing based on our observations since the 1980s: up to 17-28 days before Mercury goes retrograde can be "worse" (communication issues, etc.) than the actual retrograde period. Also, the second half of the actual Mercury retrograde period generally runs more smoothly than the first half.

An example of a Mercury retrograde happening is to think of a seemingly great idea during retrograde, but then later you learn of additional information that changes the equation, thus that great idea is altered considerably. We've learned to be patient with new ideas during Mercury retrograde, put them on the back-burner temporarily, and wait a few weeks for a clearer perspective.

We suggest going ahead with anything you have planned during retrogrades and not worrying too much about the phenomenon. Just make sure you're a little more thorough and cautious in your dealings, especially with new or important plans. Assume nothing, take nothing for granted, and be ready for some delays.

Copyright © Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo

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