Mercury is in retrograde. I’ve been hearing this phrase a lot lately. I’ve heard it before in reference to why things aren’t working out for people, but I’ve never understood what it actually means. This is a bit shocking to those who know me because, side note, I started my college years as a declared aerospace engineering major (I say “started” because I quickly realized I was in over my head and went the old business major route). Anyway, my curiosity was piqued and all things space still fascinates me, so I did some googling to figure out what this phrase really means and what is the belief behind it wreaking havoc on our lives.
All planets rotate around the sun in the same direction, but at different speeds. Since Mercury is closest to the sun, it orbits the sun a lot faster than us (My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas = Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, which will always be a planet in my mind….some things from elementary school science have stuck over the years!). About 3 or 4 times a year, Mercury “laps” the Earth. When this happens, from Earth we can see Mercury pass us by. As the Earth tries to catch up, it looks like Mercury is moving backwards in orbit. So while Mercury isn’t actually going backwards, it appears to be going backwards, or retrograde.
The first Mercury retrograde of 2021 began on January 30th and will end on February 21st. During this time, astrologists say that the turbulent “winds” from Mercury passing Earth has an effect on things here on Earth. Other planets can be retrograde as well throughout the year, but Mercury is the famous (infamous?) one that gets blamed for a lot of strange happenings.
Mercury is the planet of communication, so this could be anything from speaking, writing, and listening to technological communications of email, text and online messages. Because of this, it is said that we should be extra vigilant and really think before we speak and proofread as much as possible before pushing “send” during Mercury retrograde. Mail could be affected (hmmmm…..that would really make sense if Mercury retrograde started around the holidays!) so don’t mail anything timely right now. We also should not be making any big decisions or sign any big contracts. And because technology is a big part of communication, astrologists say to back up all your technology devices. So that’s why people will blame technology malfunctions on Mercury retrograde. But let’s be honest, technology almost always has its unexplainable quirks!
It was actually very fascinating reading more about this phenomenon and what astrologists have to say about it. I can’t honestly say how I feel about it. I am definitely more of a hard-facts type person but I am also very open-minded. There is so much we don’t know about our universe and I do believe that there are things out in space that affect us in ways we may not know yet, or just can’t imagine right now.
Future dates of Mercury retrograde for 2021 are May 29 – June 22 and September 27 – October 23. You’ve been warned! 🙂