What does it mean, and what is the fuss all about?
Even if you are not up to date in the astrology culture, chances are you have heard someone blame all their misfortunes on Mercury being in retrograde. This started, for the last time this year, on September 27th and will continue until October 18th. But what exactly does it mean and how can you make this occurrence work for your advantage?
For all you nerds out there, let’s start this discussion by talking science! Mercury is the first and smallest planet in our solar system. And, like every other planet, it moves around the sun continuously in the same direction, without much change. However, when astronomers trace Mercury’s path around the sun, they experience a glitch in certain positions due to the placement of the light coming from the sun against Earth. This causes an optical illusion where Mercury appears to be moving in a backward motion, famously named a “retrograde.” The issue lies mainly in perspective, because of the difference between Mercury’s and Earth’s speeds around their respective orbits - Mercury is much faster. Thus, when it catches up to Earth, it creates the illusion of retrograde.
Now that we know what a retrograde is in terms of astronomy, let’s discuss what it means for astrology. Lying in the third house (the house of communication), Mercury rules over the intellectual signs of Gemini and Virgo, and in Greek mythology Mercury is associated with Hermes, the messenger of the gods.
When in retrograde, therefore, Mercury projects the opposite energy: trouble in communication and intellect. That can include miscommunication as well as technology issues. (Funnily enough, as I am writing this blog, Facebook and all its assets - Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.- have stopped working.) As this retrograde only ends on October 18th, chances are things will continue to be difficult until then. For that reason, most astrologists will advise you to focus on your present and try not to make any new plans. Always double check if you’ve clicked ‘send’ on that important email, and most importantly, don’t text your ex!
Although this all seems a bit scary and out of your control, don’t worry! I am here to give you tips on how to make it better, and maybe even use the retrograde in your favor.
I hope this blog has been able to clear any confusion over this inescapable phenomenon and given you the tools to survive it. Most of us go through life avoiding the uncomfortable as much as we can. Mercury retrograde will allow you an opportunity to take accountability for whatever you may be running or hiding from. Moments like these give you the chance to grow in ways that will benefit you in the long run. So, next time you feel anxious about this famous astrological illusion, go grab your crystals and always remember that you have the tools to go through it unharmed!
By Ana Martins (@clarinhas.cam)
Feature photo by NASA