by Ellen Zucker
The concept of Mercury Retrograde is very well known even among non-Astrologers.
It is an excellent example of use of Astrology as a planning tool. By working with ebb and flow of planetary energies your life can flow more smoothly and efficiently.
WHAT IS MERCURY RETROGRADE?
When Mercury turns retrograde, it is time to look backward. This period is an excellent time for any activity that entails review, reexamination, and revision.
Astronomically, it refers to a period when Mercury appears to be traveling backwards in sky – when viewed from Earth.
This is an optical illusion. It is produced by differences in distance and speed of its orbit relative to that of Earth. Like a moving car on a highway in lane next to yours that appears to be traveling backward, Mercury is not really moving backwards. It just looks that way.
Mercury begins its retrograde motion by appearing to slow down its forward motion. It will appear to come to a dead stop, or station, then move backward. It picks up speed for a time. Then, again, it slows, then station and move forward.
This period lasts approximately three weeks.
Mercury rules, among other things, our mental functions, communications, and transportation. When Mercury turns retrograde, it functions less well in our day-to-day lives. That is because its energy goes inward.
Ideally, you would take a mental break. But most of us do not have this luxury.
And so, as Mercury forces you to restructure your thinking and reveals flaws in your planning, you are likely to feel frustration.
This is often experienced as personal misunderstandings and communications snafus. Missed appointments, telecommunications and computer glitches, missing mail, transportation delays, blocks in negotiations are other common examples.
These things do happen when Mercury is direct. But they happen much more frequently when Mercury is retrograde.
That is reason for that common piece of Astrological advice to be conscientious about such things as backing up your computer, double-checking schedules and appointments, and allowing more time in your travel.