Is Mercury retrograde a real thing?

Find out what impact Mercury in retrograde really has as it moves for the fourth time - on Silver

Mercury in retrograde is simply an optical illusion. Why then does it bring so much chaos?

Computer broken? Phone crashing? Conversation with friend not going well? These things (and many more) are being chalked up to Mercury retrograde. But is the chaos associated with Mercury retrograde actually a real thing?

So here we go again, Mercury going retrograde. The solar system’s smallest planet will appear to move backwards – although it’s really not going backwards at all. It’s due to an optical illusion created by Mercury, Earth, and the Sun orbiting at different speeds. 

Every planet goes retrograde throughout the year, but the physical effect of Mercury’s retrograde on people is an increasingly well-noted phenomenon. And whether you believe in it or not, there’s been enough anecdotal evidence to fund scientific studies, dedicate websites, and publish articles. Even lofty tomes like Time magazine have been asking. Is there more to Mercury’s retrograde than just coincidence?

Let’s talk about communication

Astrology tells us that planets and astrological signs carry a distinctive energy that can be felt when they reach the positions they were in when we were born. This is your birth chart, and everyone’s is different. Astrological readings will tell you that the planets all bring their own energies into play.

You may have heard that Leo brings strength, and Mars brings action into our lives, for example. But what about Mercury, the so-called ruler of communication and technology? Which, despite moving through different astrological signs, will go retrograde at least three times every year. 

Facebook famously crashed during a retrograde in 2022

Millions of people report malfunctioning electrical appliances, delayed contracts, plans changing unexpectedly, and disagreements flaring up during the retrograde period. So much so that Mercury retrograde has become a scapegoat and slang word for misunderstandings and misfortune. 

Facebook famously crashed during a retrograde in 2022, and there’s enormous anecdotal evidence of commercial websites and apps suffering costly outages during retrograde periods. Can so many documented and undocumented occurrences like these be chalked up simply to coincidence?  

Why do we need to know? And what the hell can we do about it anyway?

Perhaps recent events have given us more pause for stargazing. Google reported that “What is Mercury retrograde” has been searched more times in 2022 than ever before. It seems we are searching for answers.

Perhaps recent events have given us more pause for stargazing

And we can see Mercury retrograde being taken seriously from a commercial standpoint too. Some of the FTSE’s top 250 businesses claim to highlight Mercury retrogrades in their team calendars. This is so that people can check their plans and make sure communications were received and interpreted in the way they were intended at these times. 

Regardless of whether the Mercury retrograde phenomenon is real or not, people want to understand their motivations and behaviours, their actions and emotions more than ever before. There’s a desire to understand what might be influencing personal choices, so we can affect a different outcome, even if that means considering the astrological influence of the planets and different energies.

the impacts of mercury in retrograde and what to expect -

Maybe there are greater forces at work

Maybe you dismiss the influence of Mercury retrograde on your life. Or maybe you totally believe it, and that ‘forewarned is forearmed’! But if you’re in the former group, you might want to ask what the planets are doing next time you lose important paperwork, or have a falling out with someone. 

We aren’t suggesting that you postpone a house move, or delay a wedding to avoid Mercury retrograde (although people probably do). But you might want to check whether Mercury is at rest or in transit before you start a new project, or buy something electrical.

How returning to the old ways can help us now

A final little word about this pretty planet

Mercury is one of our closest neighbours, and has been a fascinating mystery for centuries. Wild theories and gossip have circulated about Mercury, such as the claim that it struck Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs. Or that a collision on Mercury 4.5 billion years ago caused debris that led to the formation of the moon.

But these claims have been discounted by scientists. However, it remains a ‘planet of interest’. Because despite surface temperatures of 450 C, Mercury’s desert landscape also appears to contain water and ice; and for astrologers and non-astrologers worldwide, Mercury still holds a fascination.

To check Mercury’s action (and other astrological activities), check the Old Farmer’s Almanac

Read all about it

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About Josie Jakub
Josie writes from her cottage in a historic, pirate village by the sea. She shares her life with Mimi, a beautiful Ragdoll cat, and the dazzling variety of garden birds and sea birds who come to visit them every day. Josie writes about the world that we can’t see, drawing from her life experiences as a Tarot card reader, astrologist and healer

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