mercury retrograde 2020

Mercury retrograde is here again, my sweet friends.

I always get a little bit nervous when I hear Mercury is going to be moving backwards again. A retrograde can be intense, exciting, chaotic, and passionate. If you aren’t familiar with this madness, yes, we are talking about planets. Mercury will pass the earth in orbit a few times a year, and it appears to move in a backwards motion, but it’s not actually changing it’s path. This first retrograde of the new decade (still SO weird to say) began February 9th and continues until March 16th. Over the course of 2020 we will have another retrograde from June 18 – July 12, and one more from October 13 – November 3.

Mercury is like, really far away. I mean, it doesn’t take an astrophysicist to know that. You may be asking yourself, how does the motion of this planet even affect me? Well, the planet Mercury is in rule of communication. This means it influences the way we communicate with others, in your personal life, in relationships, and in the workplace. Mercury is also in rule of technology and formalities like documents and contracts. For us earthlings, this means controlled chaos. During past retrogrades, I’ve noticed that I have the most difficulty with communication and technology. It’s not something to fear – Mercury retrograde issues are usually only mildly inconvenient. Just lay low, don’t make any big moves, and arm yourself with all the information you need to get through this retrograde unscathed.

What types of issues can you expect to deal with during a retrograde? 

Under the umbrella of communication issues, you may experience problems with your friends, your partner, family, or even coworkers. Mercury does NOT discriminate who it affects… 

Be hyperaware of problems that may arise regarding listening, speaking, or even texting. Conveying your thoughts and emotions may seem more difficult than usual during this time. Issues may arise preventing you from connecting with others – a common way this happens is plans unexpectedly getting cancelled. 

Another common disruption during the retrograde is chaos within formalities. Be careful in any academic or business setting when researching, negotiating, and working with documents. Now is probably not the best time to sign a formal contract for your career, or even to sign a lease or agreement. People also say not to publish any major projects during this time. Work diligently and re-read EVERYTHING. 

For me, the most stressful aspect of Mercury retrograde is technology – simply because it’s totally out of my control. I can pay special attention to my communication, relationships, and documents… but anything tech-related… forget it. This includes but isn’t limited to personal tech like your computer and phone, as well as travel itineraries, transportation, and even appliances. You may crack your phone screen, have a miscommunication in an email, need to repair your car, or lose a document. During a retrograde in 2019 I lost an 8 page paper I typed up for an immunology class. Gone, without a trace. I totally freaked out, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not that serious. Just frustrating AF. 

My close friends can vouch for me – I am a veryyy emotional person in general. I’ve realized in the past that my emotions are heightened during the retrograde. Last Wednesday night I had a liiiittle itty-bitty breakdown for no reason. Seriously, I had a really good day – totally conflict free and chill. I even got good news from a graduate program, ate dinner with my parents, and got to see my dogs. But that night… oh boy I started to cry (a whole lot) and couldn’t figure out why… in retrospect it had to be the retrograde. There wasn’t anything that could help me out of this funk. I just had to let it ride out. 

In the spirit of Mercury moving backwards, you may see past events repeating themselves. Whether this is a good or bad thing, that is totally dependent on the situation. Have you fallen back into bad habits? Blame Mercury. Has an issue from the past come back up? Hello, Mercury. Random urge to text your ex? Pssst… that’s Mercury. 


the bright side

The retrograde can be the perfect opportunity for a do-over. If plans get cancelled or travel gets delayed, look at it as more time to prepare. You may actually be very glad you get more time to gather what you need, because chances are that the universe is buying you more time. Another silver lining situation may be that you hesitated to accept a position at a new job or academic program, but an even better opportunity presents itself. 

You may get lucky and only experience the good parts of the retrograde. The universe could give you the gift of a second chance where you are able to reassess something from a different angle or revisit a past indecision. Another benefit of the Mercury retrograde is reconnection. You may find that you are reconnecting with an old friend, family member, or partner. During past retrogrades I’ve gotten texts from people that I haven’t talked to in ages – like, jaw dropping “LOOK WHO JUST TEXTED ME” moments. Use these opportunities to practice mindfulness and see what connection with this person can add to your life now. Good luck and see you on the other side!