Strange tales from Mercury’s Retrograde Realm….


Capricious Mercury

Capricious Mercury

Mercury – isn’t he gorgeous?! However….

….in the spring, summer and autumn/winter of each year, the planet Mercury does something strange. It appears to slow down in its orbital pace, stop, then start to move backwards. This is known as retrograde motion. It is of course an illusion. Otherwise, we’d have fallen off the solar system aeons ago.

However, the effects down here on Earth when Mercury is in its 2-3 week retrograde phases are anything but illusory. For years, I studied this phenomenon in my own life, the lives of family, friends, and astrology students. In sum, communications of all types become strangely awkward and hard to manage during those times.

I learned to look forward to having some rest during Mercury Retrograde, since my referral rate dropped. Normally clients always turned up for appointments, MR periods being the exception. Cancellation rates increased.

Once, a client called to cancel because her house had just caught fire (yes, she called the Fire Brigade first!).Two clients often turned up at the same time. Cheques invariably got lost in the post, or clients forgot to bring cash.

One summer I moved office during MR, becoming involved in a dispute of byzantine complexity with the telephone company which took almost a nervous breakdown on my part to sort out.

As MR periods approached, I used to entertain my students by looking at their individual horoscopes, which enabled me to be more specific regarding possible MR effects. I told one student, a lawyer, that a female helper in his workplace was likely to have communication problems which would impact on him.

His feedback?  His secretary sprained her wrist, and was unable to type during the entire MR period.

Mercurial people, ie those with the sign Gemini strongly emphasised  or the planet Mercury  dominant in their horoscopes,  are most affected  by Mercury’s retrograde phase. Anyone involved in the business of communication can look forward to a less than smooth three weeks.

A good example is my old friend Ronnie who runs a first rate copying and web design business here in Glasgow; Mercury’s retrograde havoc wreaked on his computers one year convinced him that “There’s definitely something in this astrology business, Anne!”

What can mercurial folk do, then, to maximise advantage and minimise disruption when Mercury is retrograde? MR is a positive time for going back over all matters to do with communication, and cleaning up.

Some examples: if you’ve been putting off a purge of your filing system, do it now. If your accountant has asked you nine times for your last year’s papers, use this 2-3 weeks to update them.

Dig out and finish some of those half-worked articles if you are a writer.  If you’ve been writing furiously and the brain/wrist is seizing up, have a break. Catch up with some reading. As we know, fallow time is creative.

The don’ts? If it is not feasible to avoid or delay taking important new initiatives or completing existing processes, eg signing contracts, leases, etc, try to accept complications or thwartings philosophically.

Also – be prepared for delays, eg when travelling, especially long distance.  Don’t sit under the mailbox waiting for cheques. And please, don’t arrange for a phone installation!

“Come on then !” I can hear you shouting as you search for my phone number or email. “Tell us WHEN !”

….oh, all right. I’ll tell you.

The Mercury Retrograde periods for 2016  are:

i) Retro 05/1/16, Direct 25/1/16

 ii)Retro 28/4/16, Direct 22/5/16

iii) Retro 30/8/16, Direct 22/9/16

The Mercury Retrograde periods for 2019 are:

March 5 – 28, 2019 in water-sign Pisces
July 7 – 31, 2019 starts in fire-sign Leo, ends in water-sign Cancer
October 31 – November 20, 2019 in water-sign Scorpio

Enjoy the next three weeks! And do let me know YOUR strange tales….

Gorgeous Mercury

Gorgeous Mercury


600 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014/Mercury Retro Periods updated 2016
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

14 responses to “Strange tales from Mercury’s Retrograde Realm….

  1. Pingback: Miscellaneous Mercurial Mayhem! | Writing from the Twelfth House

  2. Laughing hysterically! To prove your point, I wrote a different comment to this post and when I hit the “post comment” button, I got the message, “Sorry your comment could not be posted at this time”. Happy Mercury Retrograde!


    • Thanks, BP! Yes, hysterical laughter is probably the best response to current Mercurial Mayhem. I sent three text messages to my nephew yesterday – the first two vanished. I’ve just had an on-line site reject a valid password. Three days ago I couldn’t get into any of my docs for a whole day because unbeknown to me, my Mac had decided to route me through an old word processing application. And I’ve had one client cancellation so far, and one postponement after the client saying the first appointment offer suited them perfectly…..par for the course!!


  3. My gosh. I’ve gotten that “your comment could not be posted” notice here and there over the past few days myself. Of course it’s a WP glitch, and of course…well…maybe… Can whole institutions be affected by Mercury going retrograde?

    As for your “do’s” for this period, they certainly would be appropriate for anyone, mercurial or not. If our weather doesn’t clear up, I’m going to have even more time to fiddle about with file cleaning.

    I hope you’re not suffering from the latest bout of weather over there. From what I can tell, it’s southern England and Wales that’s taking the brunt of it. Enough, already!


  4. Yes, there’s been a series of London Underground transport strikes called in the UK : two days last week, and more to come….

    And I have just had a day of backwards mercurial torture trying to upload “Wisps from the Dazzling Darkness” onto Goodreads…almost unbelievable range of vicissitudes. But then, Mercury is my ruling planet! And at least I can spell ‘vicissitudes’, so things could be worse!

    We had a hail shower here today, from which I had the pleasure of seeing a small girl build a tiny snowman, then squat down and photograph it with her smartphone. Such is childhood, 21st century style.


  5. Tell me about it! We are selling our house and having a dickens of a time getting through the agonizing bumps and delays, and battles with the buyer’s agent. The fact that Mercury will go direct eventually is keeping me on an even keel. 28 February can’t come soon enough!


    • Hello Rian
      Good to hear from you


    • Hi Rian

      yes, Mercury seems especially tricksterish this time around….I tried three times to answer your comment last evening, and gave up when the fourth one also disappeared in mid-composition!

      So sorry to hear of your hassles. I’ve found the best approach when in the midst of Mercurial foul-ups is philosophical resignation, cast iron sense of humour (not always, however, possible to achieve this one! ) amid the exasperation and thwarting – and knowledge that it will indeed pass.


      • You are so right, Anne. We remain steadfast in our pursuit of the dream. I knew when we got the offer and the documents were slid across the table for us to sign that it would be a bumpy ride, but there it was. Having the knowledge that it will pass does indeed help. Otherwise I might just tell that agent to bug off! Instead, I’m hanging in there!


  6. Just you do that – and for our research, do let us know when things ease up, bearing in mind the ‘shadow period’ of Mercury’s getting back into his stride which lasts until 21/22nd March. On this occasion, however, Mercury ‘catches up with himself’ still conjunct Neptune at 6 degrees Pisces, so it may take from going direct on 28th February until Mercury enters Aries at the end of the first week in April for things to get properly into their stride. Hanging in there is the way forward!


    • Hi Anne, just to report in, everything clicked like magic on 4 March. No “hangover” period at all (thank you very much)! We still have one possible bogey with the sale of our house on 10 March, but I’m not very worried. My neighbor down the street, her sewing machine kept skipping stitches and she was going to take it in to be repaired. On 3 March I asked her how it was doing now and she said it had miraculously fixed itself.


      • Hi Rian

        many thanks for this! It’s been a really tricky Merc Retro for me this time – blog posts vanishing, emails not getting through, scheduling client appointment times becoming complicated, etc etc…..and other people to whom I have spoken have had similar tales to tell. Mercury’s retrogradation conjunct Neptune did not help, methinks! Many thanks for your comments and useful feedback and hope the house sale goes through smoothly.


  7. Ah yes, those retrogrades…communication problems seem to be the norm these days. Just got finished sorting out a problem with my Internet, now my browser bars changed mysteriously and thrown off my WordPress browser.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.