Mercury Retrograde gets a lot of press. In fact, even people who don’t know much about astrology have at least heard of the foreboding term. So what’s all the fuss over this tiny little planet?
Every planet has a periodic Retrograde or backwards cycle as part of its normal, healthy cosmic transit. Whenever a planet goes retrograde, it simply means that the planet’s characteristic energies turn inwards/temporarily slow down rather than being projective. Retrogrades emphasize the “re” aspect of our lives: reflection, revision, and eventual reigniting. We are called to pause and reinvent, rather than just pressing full steam ahead in the same way.
As the planet of exchange, Mercury transfers both the tangible and intangible from one place to another. In this sense, exchange is also about reciprocity. On a physical level, this is how we move our bodies from one location to the next such as in a car, airplane, or still good old fashioned walking. At the intellectual level, Mercury governs how we communicate which in today’s world most likely happens via text, social media, email and classic conversation. Considered under the light of reciprocity, this is about whether we are getting equal return on energies we are putting out.
May 18th– June 11th Mercury will take its Retrograde spin in the sign of Gemini. Naturally this could mean a delay or unanticipated reworking of events in communication or travel. But on a deeper level, Mercury Retrograde might signal certain endings. This period reveals whether or not you’re getting out what you put in, and where this planetary transit occurs in your chart reveals in what area of life you’ll be doing the reflective work.
For example, for those who are Gemini or Sagittarius rising, this Mercury Retrograde period affects your relationship axis. Are you and partners communicating effectively, are you being heard? Does a certain behavior or mindset within the partnership need cutting? Will illusions that hold the relationship together fall away? Will the relationship end, or need to be significantly changed in order to continue?
Often, retrograde periods pick up on each other meaning that any unresolved issues from the last Mercury Retrograde cycle may arise again until cleared. Do you recall what was going on in your life around January 21st-February 11th? This was the last time the messenger planet went reverse.
It is best to avoid making fast decisions or coming to any final agreements during the retrograde period; retrogrades are about fact-finding and thinking, not decisive action. Use this period to gather all the information you need to make confident choices, and wait until after June 11th to check the box. Mercury Retrograde’s energy is best capitalized if you slow down, make time for introspection, and accept the flexibility which may be necessary when changes arise. In doing this, you will feel a lot more centered about life choices when the planet goes direct again in June and the seemingly “crazy” planetary period might actually appear to make a lot of sense in hindsight.