OH NO! It’s Mercury Retrograde

Let’s face it, Mercury retrograde periods have a reputation for disruption. Some suggestions here on how to navigate the chaos.

It’s great to have something to blame for daily woes and a prime target for that is Mercury retrograde periods. That is when the planet Mercury appears to go backwards against the movement of the sun and the other planets.


The astrology books say it “disrupts communication”.

Misunderstandings abound, feelings get bruised. You just miss an important phone call. Letters don’t arrive (bills still manage to get through, however…) and connections just don’t happen.

It’s Mercury retrograde.

But hold! Start thinking like that and you’re on your way to negativity.

You remember the rules: if you go around with the idea in your head that something “bad” or “unlucky” is going to happen then you’re going to create some sticky situations for yourself just through believing that.

So let’s have another look at what’s going on.

When a planet is moving direct in the sky, its energy is just that, direct.

When it appears to be moving retrograde its energy operates indirectly.

Now that’s more difficult to handle if you like, but it’s not “bad” as such. It’s like if I throw a ball directly to you, you catch it.

If I bounce a ball off the wall it’s coming at you indirectly but you can still catch it.

Now Mercury is about communication and communication is something we like to take for granted. We expect words to convey the meaning we intend. We expect trains to run on time and letters to arrive.

Sometimes they don’t and there is a mistake, a misunderstanding. You thought I meant something but I meant something else, there was confusion because we were working on different assumptions.

But communication is not reality (a word is not a thing if you like) It’s a dance around reality. It’s not something solid that you can build on. Remember the story of the Tower of Babel in the Bible (Genesis Chapter 11 verses 1-9).

As man pushed his structures higher and higher, God showed that they were based on the shaky foundations of shared language. As soon as that was shown to be an illusion, the tower fell down.

If it wasn’t for Mercury retrograde we would believe that words were things.

But because we have periods when that relationship gets strained we have to adjust. We make mistakes and those mistakes are the right mistakes because they make us look at what we’re saying.

To step back from the conversations and look at what’s going on. To see how we mean things differently, for example how men and women see the world and communicate differently.

Or different generations or different cultures.

During Mercury retrograde periods the mistakes and misunderstandings are valuable because they make us look at what we’re saying and check that all sides understand what’s going on.

Hints for handling Mercury retrograde periods

1. Check Information

Check and double-check the address, make sure you know the route, the time of the last train.

2. Allow extra time

Don’t get trapped in time-critical activities. Allow extra time for the journey so you don’t have to rush. Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst, traffic jams and so on. Have a Plan B.

3. Don’t assume

The other person may have a completely different point of view and completely different expectations in the situation. You have to take into account other people’s subjective reality.

4. Remember Murphy’s Law

Murphy’s Law states that if something is going to go wrong then it will go wrong at the most inconvenient time. So, during Mercury retrograde periods double-check equipment and make sure your data is backed up.

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