Mercury is the planet in our solar system closest to the sun. It has a very short “year” as a result. It takes just under 88 days (our days) to complete it’s trip around the sun. This means that it laps us, quite a bit. When it does so, from our perspective, it appears to be staying still, or sometimes moving backwards. This time is what is referred to when it is in retrograde.
Astrologically, Mercury is the planet which is mostly known for being the planet of communication, though is also of intelligence and intuition. Joanne Martine Woolfolk, in her book, The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need, describes the planet as such:
“It has been said that Mercury makes life understandable, for it is the planet of intelligence…From the very beginning of man’s observation of this elusive planet,Mercury has been associated with speed and agility. In ancient mythology, Mercury was the messenger of the gods. He was young, beautiful and swift as the wind, for his feet had wings. HIs province was communication, commerce, everything requiring skill and dexterity. Not only was he clever in speech, he also invented music, mathematics and astronomy.” (p. 194)
When it is prominent in your chart, you are likely to do well in communicating. If it is your Career House, then you’re likely to have a job involving such skill.
However, regardless of your chart, it is noticeable when this tiny planet goes into retrograde – a few times a year. During these times one might experience troubles forming words, brain fog, mental lethargy, writers block, or even bad sales.
The symbolism behind retrograde itself cause into observation of the past and inner reflection. Time of standing still or seeming to move backwards encourages us to meditate on the areas we need to face. Because Mercury is the planet of communication in an external manner, it might cause one to feel more introverted during this time, which lends hand to inner exploration and reflecting. Because of it’s general fast paced nature, Mercury in retrograde reminds us to slow down, take everything in, and ponder.
For 2015, you can expect this celestial occurrence:
- January 21 – February 11, 2015
- May 19 – June 11, 2015
- September 17 – October, 2015
- January 5 – January 25, 2016
- April 28 – May 22, 2016
- August 30 – September 31, 2016
- December 19, 2016 – January 8, 2017