Mercury Retrograde: Fact or Fiction?

Mercury Retrograde: Fact or Fiction? March 29, 2018

Mercury Retrograde: Fact or fiction?

Yep, I know – the phrase ‘Mercury retrograde’ usually strikes terror into the heart of many a pagan or planet follower.  It has a reputation for causing absolute chaos with machinery and equipment breaking down, computers going haywire and any mishap or accident gets blamed on this poor ole planet, but why?

Well…the science bit is to look at what Mercury Retrograde actually is.  This means the plant appears to be in retrograde or ‘directed or moving backwards’ so it seems as if the planet is travelling backwards through the sky in regard to the zodiac.  It is all to do with the way our own orbit interacts with the orbits of other planets.  A Mercury retrograde happens three or four times each year for about three weeks at a time.

Mercury is the planet closest to the sun, so its orbit is much shorter than Earth’s.  On the three or four occasions a year that the retrograde happens Mercury makes a mad dash past Earth.   As Mercury gets faster it creates a bit of a wild wake which is apparently the disruptive affect we feel.   From an astrological view point Mercury is pretty much asleep during a retrograde so it just isn’t paying attention!

As Mercury rules communication, technology and travel whatever goes wrong in these areas during its retrograde gets blamed for it.    It covers listening, speech, learning, researching, negotiations, selling and buying.  All sorts of official paperwork such as contracts and leases are also included under Mercury.  And of course, computers, transportation and machinery.

Playing it safe

If you prefer to play safe when Mercury is retrograde stay flexible, avoid signing any important documents or contracts and give yourself extra time to travel anywhere and perhaps take a map as back up in case the GPS fails.  Take the time to review anything serious but wait until the retrograde has passed before you make your final decisions.  Double check everything, don’t rely on your memory, write lists and check them twice.   There may also be a lot of miscommunication, don’t jump to conclusions, don’t listen to gossip (you should never trust gossip anyway) and make sure you seek clarity in any situation before acting or reacting, but then that is also good advice at any time. Don’t stop your entire existence dead, just maybe plan ahead a little when you know it is coming.

You may also find that a Mercury retrograde is strongest on the start and end date of its run.


There is a positive spin on Mercury retrograde because it brings with it the power of emotional healing.  Your intuition should be heightened at this time as well. The retrograde is a time to reflect and dig out old hurts and emotional blockages.  Forgive, forget and let go.  Chuck out those negative emotions and move forward.   If something untoward happens don’t just blame it on the retrograde, sit back and have a think about it, ask yourself what underlying reasons there were for it and whether you need to readjust something in your life or the way your energy is being directed to avoid it happening again.  Don’t let the retrograde take all the blame!

A Mercury retrograde also brings change, but you often can’t see it yet.  All kinds of things are ‘up in the air’ and you will need to wait until the retrograde has passed for them to settle into place.  It gives us an opportunity to sit back and take stock, to have a think about the direction we are going in and whether it is working or not.  It can also help bring closure to situations or issues and can also reignite relationships and make re-connections.  You may find that lost items suddenly appear as well.

Take time during a Mercury retrograde to reorganise and have a clear out.  Think of it as a ‘Retrograde Clean’.  Sort your wardrobes, clear out your cupboards, donate what you don’t want or use to charity.  Make a clean sweep.   Reassess your life and everything in it, redesign anything that doesn’t work, repair all that is broken.

Go with the flow

Personally, I will leave it up to you as to whether you believe Mercury is responsible for all the negative happenings during a retrograde.  I think possibly a lot of it is just coincidence and some of it is just us feeding the myth!  Not that I am suggesting you should ignore it completely… Just be prepared and make sure you are extra careful with backing up and mechanical items!



rachel patterson kitchen witch

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