Mercury Retrograde – What? Why? How?

Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde seems to be happening all the time if you follow most guru’s. But what exactly is it? And how does it really affect us? Let’s take a look.

When is it?


Mercury Retrograde

What is a retrograde?

In the world of planets and numbers, this word is thrown around a lot and I have to say, when I first heard it, I thought it meant something completely different. With regards to Astrology, you will often read that a planet is retrograde meaning it appears to be moving backwards as opposed to forwards or “direct”.

There is an element of illusion behind this term. The planets don’t actually move backwards, they continue to orbit the Sun in the same direction as the Earth. During a retrograde however, from our perspective on Earth, they appear to be moving backwards which is the effect caused by the positions of the Earth and the particular planet in their respective orbits within the solar system. Due to this ever-changing perspective, planets spend the majority of their time moving forward or in a direct motion going retrograde at certain intervals.

When a planets motion goes retrograde, it changes the physical and energetic dynamic between the Earth and that planet. On an energetic level, it reflects to us a retreating type motion and a feeling of energy retreating. It creates an almost inverse flow and the energy begins to flow inward and not outward in the area of your life represented by the archetype of that planet. This behaviour or law applies to all planets, not just Mercury.

When we are acting on the retrograde effect, we are effectively reviewing or revisiting something. This process allows us to observe something again, from a different perspective and often leads to us seeing something, which we missed in the first place.

So what is it about Mercury?

The archetype of Mercury reflects three things. Diversity, the action of gathering information and then finally, communication of the gathered information. It reflects the linear logical function of the left-brain – the analytical – and the ability to articulate.

In summary, the three main things that Mercury retrograde offers us are;

  • Diversity
  • Communication
  • Articulation

The message in Mercury Retrograde

When Mercury goes into retrograde, is it the messenger of the Universe allowing us to revisit situations from the past and allows opportunities missed to present again. The inward flow of the energy allows us to go within and reflect and review projects, experiences and choices we have made since the last retrograde cycle. During the core three-week cycle of Mercury retrograde, we are able to see our world in a different light and we might notice that old ideas come back and old conversations re-emerge. We have an opportunity to re-visit them and are given a chance for new perspectives to be taken and new decisions and conclusions to be drawn.

On a Karmic level, Mercury retrograde offers up old karmic blocks to be revisited and to be cleansed – through seeing them in a different light. Each and every one of us are energetic beings experiencing our own karmic journey, and the inverse flow of Mercury retrograde gives us the opportunity for old energy blocks to be identified and removed.

Another natural purpose of the Mercury Retrograde cycle is for the left-brain, or the logical mind to take a break for a while as it has been working furiously during the direct cycle. This is a period for left-brain respite and allows us to digest the information we have gathered since the last Mercury Retrograde into our intuitive aspect of our awareness.

So where does the miscommunication come from?

This is a part of Mercury Retrograde that I find really interesting. As individuals, we tend to communicate differently during Mercury Retrograde and Mercury Direct cycles. As the natural cycle of Mercury during a Retrograde cycle is inverted, which means that our energetic tendency can be to communicate less directly with our outer world, and to focus on considerations of the inner reflective world.

The well-known tendency towards miscommunication during Mercury Retrograde periods and the frustrations that it can bring are the result of our pull toward introspection during the “exhale” part of the information and learning cycle. Where we are all pulled into this inner communication period as opposed to the outer, it is only natural to expect that while people are spending time in their own heads and their own thoughts, that there are going to be some outward misfires of communication. Energetically speaking, Mercury Retrograde is a time to process information, not gather, so communication (in both directions) can be a challenge during these times. That is, unless we slow down and acknowledge the opportunity of new perspectives we are being presented.

I hope this has offered some insight into the current goings on of the cosmos.

4 thoughts on “Mercury Retrograde – What? Why? How?

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