Mercury Is Retrograde, And Here's Why That Makes Everything Awful

by Joelle Wisler
Originally Published: 
NASA images / Shutterstock

Is Mercury retrograde?

This is a question I sometimes ask myself when I’m having a day where my computer stops computing things, and my car stops doing car things, and then I argue with my husband about paper towels and yell at my kids for simply being kids.

It turns out that from July 26th to August 19th, Mercury is indeed in retrograde, and people are freaking out.

I first started to hear about Mercury being in retrograde a few years ago. This is maybe because I had been living under an astrological rock, but then we moved to Boulder and now even our accountant reads chakras. And I don’t know if I’m just super suggestible or I’ve recently spent too much time doing yoga in yurts and shopping at Whole Foods, but things just seem to get a little more wack-a-doo when our neighboring planet scrambles up our energy.

The idea is that, three or four times per year, Mercury gallops past us because its orbit is smaller than ours. Mercury then appears to be going backwards or in “retrograde.” But as Mercury flies by, the energy it creates supposedly causes all sorts of short-circuits in certain areas of our lives, especially in technology, communication, and travel. Apparently, astrology is kooky and not always nice.

According to Astrology Zone, which I’m sure is run by our nation’s top-level scientists, “Mercury rules all types of communication, including listening, speaking, learning, reading, editing, researching, negotiating, selling, and buying.” Reading this, I’m thinking that the children in my life have decided that Mercury in retrograde is a constant thing.

Included under this planet’s realm of control are all types of code, including computer codes, as well as transportation, shipping, and travel. I can confirm the craziness on this one as we accidentally flew on the very day that Mercury turned retrograde this year, and it was a complete and total shitshow. Our plane was literally lost on its way from the hangar, and how does that even happen? It turns out that my children do not enjoy sleeping beside the baggage claim while we spend hours trying to figure out where our suitcases are, so we are going to try and avoid this next year.

Other things that can go haywire are memory (super awesome), romance (yay), all technology (perfect), and communicating with your loved ones (nice).

So basically Mercury being retrograde is just like having a newborn — you’re tired and confused, nothing in your house works, you can’t go anywhere, and you are unable to hold proper conversations with your partner.

Also, Mercury retrogrades in three different signs of the zodiac during the year. If it retrogrades in your sign, delays and frustrations will become even more pronounced than usual. I also believe this last one is true because I still remember the great Mercury retrograde in Leo this year that made my husband into a crazy person. He totally didn’t appreciate me constantly pointing this out to him, however.

These are the main rules if you want to avoid most of the insanity while Mercury is retrograde:

1. Don’t buy new technology.

2. Don’t plan a complicated trip.

3. Don’t sign important contracts.

4. Don’t start a new venture.

Am I skeptical about all of this being true? Maybe. But basically, I’m going to use it as an excuse to just sit home in my jammies for three weeks and read books and drink hot toddies. Cheers, people.

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