Mercury is in Retrograde

Bernadette Locke

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Mercury retrograde is finally over, which means one of two things: an audible sigh of relief or a perplexed expression. Whether you try to guess what random stranger’s zodiac signs are, or you just don’t care, you probably don’t actually know what Mercury retrograde means. This is a breakdown of Mercury retrograde from everything to planetary explanations to how to prepare for the next retrograde.

So what happens during a Mercury retrograde? Mercury travels faster than Earth does, meaning that when Mercury travels around the sun and catches up with Earth, an optical illusion happens where Mercury looks as though it stops and moves backwards. Think about when you are in a car and another car drives past you; for a second, the second car seems to move backwards. This effect with Mercury happens for about three weeks, three times a year.

In astrology, Mercury rules communication, travel and technology. Professional Astrologist Cassandra Tyndall describes it as “a planet of the mind” where it describes “how we think, how we intake the information and how we process the information.” This, to a vast majority, means a constant lack of miscommunication and general mishaps. To Tyndall, this phenomenon is not entirely out of the range of possibility.

“We all know the moon controls the tides,” Tyndall proposed.

Another factor to consider is what Zodiac sign Mercury retrograde happens in, and this previous one happened in Pisces. Pisces, being a water sign, means a more emotional, compassionate retrograde so being sadder or more sensitive during this time is normal. Of the three water signs, it is the “mutable” one; think about how water, when poured into an open space, flows and spreads out, clinging to what it touches. Pisces is known for its natural ability to feel anything and everything. “It was a bit intense,” Tyndall describes the first retrograde of 2019.

If the moon controls the tides, it cannot be completely dismissed that a planet ruling communication would not be able to control people. My personal journey through Mercury retrograde was, for lack of a better word, overwhelming. Although it began with unfortunate events, my ability to communicate prolonged the inner turmoil I dealt with. Thanks to Pisces season, I had an abundance of emotions that I could not formulate into words, and for me, communication is necessary for my sanity. It felt like a vicious cycle of being fed bad news and not being able to process it clearly, and I don’t think that it was a coincidence that things started to feel calmer after March 28, the end of Mercury retrograde. This, for many people in my life, was a similar experience.

Since Mercury retrograde is unavoidable, one can prepare and plan before the cycle by making his or her schedule less hectic in order to anticipate any mental or technological setbacks. Although Mercury retrograde harbors a bad reputation, it can actually be a great time to focus on oneself, spend less time on social media and “chill out from the information overload” as assured by Tyndall.

The next cycles are July 7 to July 31 and Oct. 31 to Nov. 20.

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