What is Mercury in retrograde?

Alyssa Bunde
Staff Writer

The common view of Mercury in retrograde is that it’s when all s!#t hits the fan and in a way, that’s fairly accurate. Mercury in retrograde is a time of reflecting and changes, and whether they’re negative or positive depends upon your zodiac sign.

 Specifically looking into space, retrograde is when a planet appears to reverse its direction. It doesn’t actually reverse its orbit, it just appears that way from earth, it’s an optical illusion. In astrology, Mercury is the planet that rules communication. Therefore, this optical illusion of Mercury moving backward symbolizes chaos. The planet enters retrograde between three and four times a year, hence the reason your coworkers and friends regularly blame their problems on it.

Since the mid-18th-century astrologers have been discussing this phenomenon. In the late 19th-century, there were publications like The astrologer’s Magazine that connected Mercury in retrograde to heavy rainfall and described it as an “ill omen.”

Despite the negative connotations regarding this phenomenon, some view it positively, I am one of those. While Mercury might be shaking things up in your life, it offers a chance for change and a new perspective; because we cannot grow as individuals if we constantly stay in our same routines. Mercury in retrograde is a time to reflect on your past, and accept and grow from the challenges life or the stars throw at you.

Header photo courtesy of NASA.

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