What exactly does it mean when a planet is said to be retrograde? A planet is described as retrograde when it appears to be moving backwards through the zodiac as we view it in the sky from Earth. Mercury retrograde is perhaps best known of all retrogrades, and to take the “mystical” out of it, basically you just have to think of it like this. The moon, planets and sun are all generating many different types of frequencies and vibrations of energy all the time due to such things as the natural disruptions of the body itself (volcanoes, quakes etc), their odic mantles (the atmospheric field around the celestial body), their temperatures, gravitational forces, and even just the motion of the body through space (because come on, even the smoothest riding car vibrates when in motion vs not). Combine this with the fact that as they move, they also disturb the molecules that we consider “space”, in much the same way a boat does as it cuts through water and creates wake. So because the Earth is within the same molecular soup that is solar system, it isn’t a leap to assume that these energies are received on Earth, and do affect us in some way. And because each of these celestial bodies is very different in size, shape, and temperature, with different types of phenomenon occurring upon each, and each moving at different speeds with varying proximities to Earth at different times of year, it doesn’t take a degree in astronomy to deduce that each body in our solar system would affect our planet very differently. Soooooo, just as the moon affects the water on this planet (the tides of the ocean, the growth of plants and animals, the estrus cycles of mammals etc) for thousands of years humans have recognized that the other celestial bodies in our solar system have areas of effect as well, with impact depending on the size of the celestial body, and where they are in space in relation to the Earth and the other planets (is a planet blocking “line of sight” to earth, so to speak).
That all said, what has been “observed” for a few thousand years now is that the planet Mercury seems to affect “flow” on our planet, how things “stream” from one person/place to another. The areas of communication, travel, and the transmission of information in various forms are the impacts most readily observable, including the way we listen, learn, teach and speak. Perhaps Mercury influences the way the synopses in our brains fire or how new connections are formed, how electricity moves through equipment like computers, electronics and phones, or even within and above the Earth, who knows, but when Mercury goes retrograde, and the energy that reaches Earth changes in whatever way, these things are affected, sometimes adversely, sometimes for the better, but generally speaking in an opposite or perceivably different manner than when Mercury is direct.
Now, during this period of Mercury Retro (Jan 21 – Feb 11) what can you expect? Computer and phone issues, internet, cable, really all manner of “wiring” disruptions, and difficulty with forms of communication of all types are going to be your first and BIGGEST clues…. like hmmmm your company gets hit with a major virus, LOL. Misunderstandings might happen because you aren’t being heard, or not being understood the way you mean something to be. Logic seems to go out the window, or maybe you just flat out don’t tell someone something or they don’t tell you. Technology issues manifest in things like mis-sent emails, texts or other electronic posts are misinterpreted, delayed or just don’t go out at all (check your sent folders people). Electronics like phones, tablets, controllers are suddenly not charging, computers crash, your check engine light goes on and off and on… you get the idea. In addition, travel and transportation is also affected. It could be as simple as a traffic jam because the signal lights are not working, but it can be as bad as your car breaking down in the middle of traffic affecting everyone else’s flow. Also because Mercury rules the astrological signs of Gemini and Virgo (meaning it has a prominent position in the sky in relation to the Earth at time of birth), these people often show noticeable changes in their personalities. Sometimes its mild, like they feel or act “off”, but sometimes it’s a complete Jekyll and Hyde transformation. My best friend, and my hubby, both Virgos, get downright PMSy…. I am NOT kidding.
So what can you do? While it’s happening, use active listening skills, ask questions for clarification, explore all angles, and use the system of RE: by taking the time to use review, reword, revise and reexamine because if you don’t it’s going to mean repeating, rerouting, and REWORKING. Don’t sign contracts, make business deals, do anything with legal implications because invariably you will find errors later, and not always in your favor, and give other people a break when THEY seems to be having trouble communicating or understanding. On the positive side, it is a great time to reorder the areas of your life you’ve been wanting to, revisit something that you put aside, or reconnect with people you’ve been missing. Sometimes we need a break from our electronic lives, so RELAX as well. And for those less skeptical, wear amethyst and/or put a piece of it on electronic equipment, like your CPU, to help. If I had to go science on this, I’d say there is probably a vibration that the particular collective of molecules and atoms we call amethyst gives off that interferes with or filters whatever vibration Mercury flows towards us… but whatever…. I like it, and it HAS worked for me when *Ive* used it during meetings/conversations or placed it on my computers. Hmmm I might have to bring some with me to work!
In addition, Mercury also has a “shadow period” which is about a week+ before and after the actual retrograde, where the effects can be mildly seen as well. I mean think about it, these are big celestial bodies, and they don’t just BLINK into position, so of course there is going to be a gradual coming ON of effect and waning OFF of effect as the planets move, so factor this into your planning. Good Luck!!!