Here are some laymen’s thoughts about Mercury Retrograde from someone who isn’t an astrologer. 

Just like Venus is the planet that represents romantic love and Mars the planet of physicality, Mercury is the planet of communication and travel.

The planets and constellations are constantly in motion. It is a fact that we typically sleep when the sun goes down and are awake when it is shining. We feel a heightened sensitivity to the cycles of the moon, and the tides are directly affected. Whatever your belief is about astrology, it is undeniable that the movement of the planetary bodies such as the sun and moon do have an effect on us. Whether you believe in astrology or not, just entertain the thought that the other planets such as Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, etc. could also have a possible effect on us. 

When astrologers say that Mercury is in retrograde, the planet has the appearance of moving backwards. What’s really happening is that it just isn’t currently going FORWARD. Since this is the planet of communication and travel, it often feels like things are not moving in an easy, forward flow.  In a society where we are used to everything going our way immediately, we tend to not like this. 

Any good astrologer will remind you not to sign any major contracts or make any big life changing decisions during this time because, well, you’re not likely to experience a smooth, forward flow because the planet appears to be going backwards during this time. 

What you do want to do is align with the energy of Mercury retrograde instead of fighting it. 

Here are some ways that Mercury retrograde is actually incredibly positive.

1.  Be careful and thoughtful in your communication with others. 

Because Mercury rules communication, speak kindly to everyone (including yourself).  As the Four Agreements state, do your best to be impeccable with your words and don’t take things personally. 

2.  Quietly communicate with yourself and observe.  

Mercury retrograde is the perfect time for personal reflection. Take some time to quietly assess what is going on in your life.  What is going well?  What isn’t going so well?  What are you liking and not liking? Keeping a neutral observation about it all, write your assessments down. 

3.  Get clear on what is no longer in alignment for you. Release it.

This is a good time to de-construct things that no longer serve you. This can be as simple as recycling old clothes you never wear, cleaning up the basement, having a yard sale, or as big as ending a relationship or business that is no longer working.  

4.  Be grateful for what’s NOT working.  

Yup. You read that correctly – I’m suggesting that you be grateful for all the things that have been challenging for you. They were here to teach you. EMBRACE their lessons.  Say ‘thank you’ for the learning opportunities as you make the decision to bring those lessons to completion. 

5.  Save all good parts and re-use them in a new way.  

There are many beautiful things in your life. As you clear the clutter of things you want to remove, the wonderful ones should become more apparent. How can you make them even better?  Maybe there’s a new way that you can amplify those skills?  Perhaps you can be even more loving towards someone who is a blessing in your life? 

6.  Align with the planetary energy instead of fighting it. 

Remember that this is a time that is best used for quiet reflection and assessment. It is NOT the time to make big decisions or commitments. For example, if you’re planning a new project, spend some time brainstorming and getting your ideas down on paper and allow it all to simmer. Wait to take action when Mercury has gone direct. 

The approximate dates of Mercury Retrograde this year are: 

January 30 – February 20 in air-sign Aquarius

May 29 – June 22 in air-sign Gemini

September 27 – October 18 in air-sign Libra