Every few months, Mercury reaches a stage in its orbit about the Sun where, from our perspective on earth, it appears to slow down to the point where it stands still then move backward through the zodiac. Mercury really doesn't do this of course, but nevertheless this apparent retrograde motion is one to watch out for.

Mercury's retrograde cycle is approximately 22-24 days. During this period, you can be sure that communication breakdowns are the norm! Messages are garbled or misunderstood, directions given often send you down the proverbial garden path. Files are lost, items misplaced. Expect delays with travel plans or with the postal service - all typically Mercury ruled activities.

The Mercury retrograde periods are not good times to sign contracts or enter into any agreement with another person. With contracts, there may be some small print that you overlook that proves at some later date to be crucial to the process. Or you may simply change your mind. This is a typical scenario - what seems like a splendid idea at the start of the Mercury retrograde cycle often is no longer appropriate three weeks later; circumstances change or new information comes to light that leads you in an entirely different direction.

Mercury rules commerce - so not a good time to open a business for the first time. And be on the look out for misleading advertisements - not necessarily intentionally misleading, but misleading from the point of view of giving incorrect contact phone numbers or address for instance. I remember one particular series of advertisements for a huge festival being held on the north shore in Auckland - it gave the dates loud and clear but no-one knew where to go. The advertisements didn't say where the festival was being held! To add to the confusion, there were absolutely no contact details given either - the local paper was consequently inundated with irate members of the public wanting this information.

On a lighter note, if you have Mercury retrograde in your birth chart or horoscope, you may feel that you are on a different wavelength from anybody else, that your way of perceiving the world around you is at odds with everyone else. When Mercury goes retrograde by transit, suddenly the world is in sync with you for a change!

How best to use these Mercury retrograde periods? Do anything with a 're' in it - revision, rewriting those notes, reviewing, re-evaluation. It's an excellent time for preparation, do that research for that project you have your heart set on - but don't launch the project until Mercury turns direct.

For those who like to plan ahead, for the next three years Mercury is retrograde during the periods:

19 December 2016 - 8 January 2017
10 April - 4 May 2017
13 August - 5 September 2017
3 December - 23 December 2017
23 March -15 April 2018
26 July - 19 August 2018
17 November - 7 December 2018
5 March - 28 March 2019
7 July - 1 August 2019
31 October - 20 November 2019
17 February -  10 March 2020
18 June - 12 July 2020
14 October - 3 November 2020

Enjoy Mercury retrograde as a time for respite, a time of reflection. Great for catching up on all those tasks that have been allotted to the too hard basket - you'll see them from an entirely different perspective now!

© By Carol Squires, PMAFA, DTASNZ.

Do you have a Mercury Retrograde story?
I invite all who have had a memorable Mercury Retro experience to share your story with us - just email me to be part of our ongoing awareness of the up and downsides of working with its energy.  For your enjoyment  here are some of those stories. Thank you.

Would you like to know more about the fascinating world of Astrology?
I'm looking for good keen students who want to do just that!
Do you have a yearning to understand more not only about your Star-Sign but what other factors in the birth chart - like the Moon and the Rising sign - explain so much more about who you are, what makes you different from everyone else who shares the same sign?

My Beginner page explains the first steps that take you down the astrological pathway. I'd love to work with you and share your astrological journey with you.

Carol Squires

© Carol Squires, 2018
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