What It Actually Means When Mercury Is In Retrograde

And why everyone's obsessed with it.

Warning: don’t book that plane ticket to Mykonos, don’t sign a lease for your next apartment and whatever you do, don’t book that Botox appointment because… mercury is in retrograde!

At least… that’s what you’ll hear from a large proportion of the (Instagram, mostly) population. But what exactly is mercury retrograde, and what does it really mean?

Allow us to explain. Mercury Retrograde is a period that occurs a few times a year, more often than you know (FYI, it’s happening right now until September 14, 2023).

(Credit: Image: Getty)

Mercury Retrograde is a time when Mercury appears to be moving backwards, along its circuit around the Sun. After a three-and-a-half-week period, the planet will ‘reverse’ itself and move ‘forward’ again.

Keep in mind, the planet isn’t actually moving forward or backward… it is closest to the Sun and its orbit is much shorter than Earth’s. About three or four times a year, Mercury speeds past our little planet, hence the appearance of moving backwards, and the associated period of “WHAT IS HAPPENING?”

The idea is that the planet Mercury rules all types of communication, travel, formal contracts, agreements and networking with people. During retrograde, the planet Mercury is said to be sleeping or resting – therefore making it a time for mistakes! This is why it feels like everything that could go wrong, does go wrong during retrograde.

Basically, how we’re destined to feel during Mercury retrograde. (Credit: Image: ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’)

The most common problems associated with Mercury retrograde are communication errors, misunderstanding contracts or agreements, and errors of judgement. It’s for these reasons that subscribers to the theory caution not to make big purchases like cars or houses because it is easy to miss the finer details, don’t book plane tickets because you’re more likely to miss your flight, and stay away from getting plastic surgery as your doctor could put a little too much filler in your lips. It is a key time for small mistakes that can make your world turn upside down.

When it comes to personal relationships, Mercury retrograde is also a time of increased bickering and fighting over small issues due to miscommunication. Rather than letting this get the best of your relationships, take this time to practice listening to each other and fine-tuning your communication style.

Don’t let Mercury retrograde do *this* to your relationships. (Credit: Image: ‘Friends’)

Are There Any Positives To Come From Mercury In Retrograde?

Yes: Mercury is all about giving ourselves second chances, so now is the time to hash out your goals, and re-evalute what you want out of life. Retrograde is a time for a major self-reflection and understanding any worries or doubts you may have. Many people increase their exercise, meditation or just reflection during this time. A clear mind equals a healthy mind!

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