The planet Mercury started its retrograde phase on May 18th/19th which will last until June 11th/12th.
This is an astrological phenomena that occurs roughly every four months for over a three week period. From an Earth based perspective, it looks as if Mercury is going backwards, but this is not the case. It only appears that way due to the relationship between both Earth’s and Mercury’s orbit around the Sun. Accordingly, astrologers observe it differently than when it appears to be forward moving.
How Does Mercury Affect Us?
Mercury rules over communication as well as communication technology. It also rules the intellect, transportation, learning, news, and information. It rules over the the analytical mind as well as how we mind the details of life which require thinking. Materially, it rules over anything with moving parts such as cars and appliances, as well as phones, computers, and devices. When Mercury goes retrograde there are noticeable miscalculations, misunderstandings, mistakes, disruptions, confusion, breakdowns, and sometimes chaos in these areas.
It is commonly known that this is not a good time to make an important decision and not a good time to sign any contracts. It is also not a good time for making important purchases, especially for electronic items or vehicles. I would advise keeping all receipts acquired during this period and even in the 2.5 weeks leading up to it. Starting something new is not recommended unless it is something that was first thought of in the past or first attempted then, and is now being worked or reworked somehow.
This is generally a good time to reconnect with old friends, finish up old projects, revisit anything work related, or finish a book you started reading a while back. Other types of revisitation are also advisable.
Mercury Retrograde & Personal Growth: Re-think, Re-do, Re-orientate, Re-calibrate, Re-connect
Mercury Retrograde is about making adjustments in our lives. These adjustments can be instigated by some of the themes mentioned above. The adjustments that are being made (or need to be made) are different during every Mercury retrograde that occurs. This depends on what sign Mercury is in, combined with the connections with other planets. The positioning of Mercury on the zodiac also influences each of the 12 Sun signs differently. For example, all Leos (or any other sign) will experience its effects in similar areas of their lives. However, the most accurate and specific way to see how Mercury retrograde (or any other planetary influence) is affecting an individual is to see how it correlates with a person’s natal birth chart. This will show you how the effects are unique to that person due to their specific birth date, time, and location. This is something that can be done by a professional astrologer.
Mercury is the ruler of Gemini, therefore going retrograde in its own sign will amplify its regular effects. Like Mercury, Gemini is associated with communication, information, and the mind. In medical astrology they both rule the brain, the hands, and the nervous system. Gemini is also associated with friends (especially from childhood), neighbours and neighbourhood, siblings, and in some cases, cousins. Gemini is about your social connections in your immediate environment and from childhood, and with Mercury retrograde in this sign, you may find yourself reconnecting with certain people in those categories. Short distance travel is also associated with both Mercury and Gemini, and many people can experience complications with their vehicles, bikes, and transit. In more extreme cases, potential problems with walking are a risk. However, this can also be a time where we need to make adjustments in how we make our commutes, and any related problems that occur during this period can help reveal what changes need to be made.
Another theme is the re-calibration of how we use our mind and how we communicate. If there is a certain way of thinking that you have, and if it needs to be adjusted, this can be a time to reflect on that. You may feel blocked or there could be other complications that push you to change. The same goes with how you communicate or write. The way we use language and grammar may need to adjusted. Gemini is associated with the twins, and a potential shadow that can manifest with Mercury is double-speak – when we say one thing to one person and another thing to someone else. If we have been gossipy or dishonest in our communications, then this can be a time where issues flare up.
Mercury Interacting With Other Planets
For each interpretation below, I put 2-3 dates. The early dates are more for those in the Western part of the world, like the Americas, Western Europe, and Africa. The later dates are for those in Eastern parts of the world, such as Eastern Europe, Asia, and Oceania.
Mercury Conjunct Mars in Gemini (May 26th – 27th) – The first planet in the path of Mercury is Mars. Mars is the planet of assertion and will, but having Gemini’s ruler Mercury going backwards on Mars until June 11th can result in different potential effects. It could thwart our will, or it can anger us by bringing up things from the past, perhaps related to gossip. Some people who have had some sort of action planned out for this period will need to stop to make adjustments after finding out previously unknown information. When Mercury and Mars join on May 26th/27th, these effects will be strongest, and it could make some people nervous. Verbal arguments are also a possibility in many cases during this period, and what is happening is that Mercury is bringing something to your attention that needs to be adjusted.
Mercury Square Neptune in Pisces (May 28th – 29th) – This can be a mentally challenging time and if you are able, it is best to try to avoid any heavy mental work. Problems with communication getting lost (like emails) or details getting overlooked are heightened during this period. For some people, this can also be a period where they find out that they have been deceived in the past. Or someone else’s words could possibly be deceiving on this day, so be aware. This period can also bring into awareness where you have been delusional in your thinking and/or when making decisions. This is a better time to go inward, meditate, relax, or do anything that gives your mind a break and helps you to reflect and be more open to your intuition.
Mercury Conjunct Sun in Gemini (May 29th – 31st) – Whenever Mercury retrograde joins the Sun, the effects are at their peak. Neptune is also still involved here, and therefore the themes mentioned in the above interpretation could still play out. This period is powerful for bringing anything to your awareness. This could be the most insightful time of this Mercury retrograde. It can help you look at things from a different perspective. It is best to let go on this day. You may experience issues with miscommunications, miscalculations, and lack of attention to detail. Don’t push too hard and try to be as reflective as possible.
Mercury Trine North Node in Libra (May 30th – June 1st) – Communications, new awareness, or adjustments made on this day can be positive for helping to achieve a new sense of harmony and balance. This period is strong for connecting with relationships of the past and making adjustments within those relationships to achieve harmony. Communications could come up to help us to be more considerate if we have been inconsiderate.
Mercury Sextile Venus in Leo (June 9th – 10th ) – This is a good time to do something fun or to finish a creative activity that you started in the past. It could also be related to performing and writing. If you are in a relationship, this day can facilitate helpful and insightful communications that could benefit your love life. For some people it could be related to individual needs and commitments, as the Moon in Aries, with Saturn in aspect, gets in on the action for a brief period.
Mercury Goes Stationary Direct (June 11th – 12th) – This is when Mercury appears to stop and slowly starts to progress forward. The issues that have come up in your life over last 3 weeks will start to resolve themselves, and over the next 2.5 weeks things will become more clear and a new perspective will help you move forward.
Things To Do For This Period
This retrograde period is from May 18th until June 11th/12th. Firstly, it is best to be as reflective as possible and to avoid making any important decisions. During this period, the Universe is showing you something which can influence your decisions and/or help you to make adjustments in your life. If you have any books or podcasts (or other source of information) that you have started and haven’t finished, this is a great time to see those through to completion. This is especially the case if these projects will help you develop Gemini traits such as communication skills or the use of the mind and brain.
Look for ways to help improve and sharpen your mental acuity. There are different modalities to help with this. Brain exercises are useful, and for some people, meditation can also be of great value during this period. Also, the last New Moon was in Taurus (which is associated with food and supplements), so you may want to consider consuming foods and supplements that boost brain power such as AFA Blue-Green Algae or Brain On. Most importantly, remember to be adaptable during this period and minimize your expectations.