What does Mercury in retrograde mean for you?
If you’re an observer of astrology, or know someone who is, you’ve probably heard about Mercury being in retrograde. Between looking at today’s free horoscope or free astrology report, you may have seen speculation on what Mercury in retrograde means for you.
Some people tend to blame Mercury being in retrograde on every bad event that happens to them. If they end up maxing out their credit card, it was Mercury’s fault for being in retrograde. If they lash out on their coworkers, Mercury made them do it. Poor Mercury, always getting the blame. For the casual astrology observer or the skeptic, they may not know what being in retrograde means and how it supposedly affects people. In this post, we will explain it.
What Does Being in Retrograde Even Mean?
We obviously know what Mercury is. It’s the closest planet to the sun. Therefore, when you look at the stars at night, you’ll be able to see Mercury. As the Earth turns, Mercury appears to move in a west-to-east direction. The west-to-east movement is known as prograde motion. Retrograde is when Mercury’s direction appears to move from east-to-west. This may happen for a few days, and then it goes back to its west-to-east motion.
Why does this happen? Does the planet decide to turn back on its own? Not quite. You see, Mercury moves at a faster rate than Earth, so when Earth manages to catch up, there is a bit of an illusion going on and Mercury appears to go in a retrograde cycle for a few days.
You can see it for yourself if you want. The dates for Mercury retrograde 2019 include March 5-28, July 7-August 2, and October 31-November 20. So for quite a bit of the year, Mercury appears to be in retrograde.
Why Does it Affect You?
Okay, so now we have a layman’s understanding of Mercury being in retrograde. Great. Now, we need to know why exactly it appears to affect people. What is the basis in this, according to astrology? Is it an observable phenomenon that goes back thousands of years?
In the grand scheme of things, Mercury retrograde as an astrology phenomenon is not that new. It goes back to around the mid-18th century, where British almanacs were talking about it. You can thank the Victorian era for the mainstream interest in it. That’s where the observation of the astrology phenomenon began to take effect. It started to say that Mercury retrograde is to blame for everything. In the late 19th century, you would see connections to Mercury retrograde with raining too much.
Some history on astrology
Astrology became even more popular in the 1970s. Everyone was asking what your sign was as a pickup line. People were looking to papers to find Virgo astrology, Capricon astrology, Scorpio astrology, and looking for their Chinese horoscope compatibility.
Mercury became an even more important legend in the astrology world. This is a combination of Roman myths with modern astrology myths. In the Roman mythology, the god Mercury was the god of wealth, travel, communication, and various other events that have a connection with Mercury retrograde.
Of course, astrology enthusiasts tend to blame Mercury being in retrograde for more than just what the god governs. Hardcore astrology lovers will blame tripping while running to Mercury being in retrograde, for example. They will let astrology take over their lives and won’t take risks or travel much.
There isn’t much scientific explanation for the phenomenon. Some will say that when Mercury is in retrograde, the gravity from it can affect Earth, but Mercury is so far away that many will doubt that claim. Besides, if we look at Mercury retrograde through a scientific lens, then it isn’t even in retrograde, but an illusion.
However, you will see some people claiming that all of these bad events are happening to them coincidentally at the time of Mercury retrograde. It is a bit eerie to the casual observer, and may lead credence to the Mercury being in retrograde phenomenon. How do you explain everything bad that’s happened?
One explanation that skeptics will have for the Mercury retrograde is confirmation bias. This is when someone is more mindful of and looks for information that agrees with their worldview. In today’s political climate, we see this a lot, where people will seek out stories that agree with their narrative while throwing out information that disagrees.
With the Mercury in retrograde phenomenon, people will be more mindful of their lives and bad events will be blamed for that. When Mercury is not in retrograde, however, they may be less mindful of the bad events that happen to them.
Should You Be Worried?
The simple answer is no. Astrology is definitely fun. Plenty of people look for their free daily horoscopes and go to astrology sites to see what today brings in store for them, centering their lives around what the stars bring them.
Instead, you should go about your business when Mercury is in retrograde. In the end, you are responsible for your own destiny, and nothing can stop you if you pursue it. Astrology is fun, but in the end, there isn’t much proving the Mercury in retrograde phenomenon.