Looking Back at Mercury Retrograde

Whenever Mercury goes retrograde, which is about three times a year, astrologers across the globe write articles and blogs warning about miscommunications and other communication-oriented mishaps.

At www.astrology.com, Robert Tillett writes this about Mercury retrograde:

“Mercury retrograde gives rise to personal misunderstandings; flawed, disrupted, or delayed communications, negotiations and trade; glitches and breakdowns with phones, computers, cars, buses, and trains. And all of these problems usually arise because some crucial piece of information, or component, has gone astray or awry.”


When a planet goes retrograde, as many do, it means that from earth the planet appears to be moving backward. The planets are always moving forward but because they are far away from earth, the distance between earth and the planet makes earth appear to move ahead and the planet move backward.

In astronomy it’s called parallax.

Last Mercury Retrograde

Mercury was retrograde last from March 12, 2012 to April 2, 2012.

Think back to that time. Did you have lots of communication problems?

I didn’t. Those astrologers are mad.

But I’m having a lot of problems now.

Data Gone Mad

I work with data. I love the feeling of finishing a project and moving onto the next one.

What I dread are those times when everything seems to go wrong at once. Now is one of those times. It seems everything done in the last couple months has come back like a boomerang with a problem attached.

Is Mercury retrograde?

It’s not retrograde now but it was when the originating data was produced – four to six weeks ago.

The miscommunications of Mercury retrograde appear not to be simply the miscommunications themselves, but even the knowledge of the miscommunications.

Mercury retrograde is like a Dear John letter sent in the mail that gets stuck in the side of the mailbox. “John” goes off to war thinking his bride loves him only to find out from his family’s letters six months later than his love has gone off and married the butcher.

The letter is found stuck inside the mailbox a year later after John has returned home from duty.

Mercury was retrograde when the letter got stuck to the box. The communication was extant but John did not know it.


Mercury is the messenger of the gods. Pantheon.org tells me that he also delivered the dead to the underworld.

Mercury retrograde is the messenger traveling backwards. The image that comes to mind is of trying to walk up a down escalator. I suppose swimming upstream is the same effect.

I also imagine the messenger, a constant traveler, getting distracted by the lovely scenery in all the places where he travels.

Maybe Mercury goes retrograde because we need to stop and take a rest from our messenger-ing.

Or maybe Mercury retrograde is like leap day in leap year. It’s a gap in time that always exists and is rectified in a day every four years. Mercury retrograde may rectify various speeds of communication by halting activity for a short period through mishaps.

Astrologers are not Mad

It’s my own humble opinion that astrologers are not mad. The warnings about Mercury retrograde are not heeded because average folk don’t see that the post-Mercury retrograde problems were actually caused by Mercury retrograde.

Astrologers, then, should hold on Mercury retrograde communications until AFTER Mercury has gone direct (appears to be moving forward again).

Astrologers can then say, “Ok folks, take a look at last month’s bank statement. You may find a problem.”

Astrology is associated with prognostication so we astrologers want to be ahead of the curve with a warning about the future.

But with Mercury retrograde, we may serve humanity more by warning about the past.


About ohioastrology

I'm just another soul trying to make sense of the world. As I've grown, so has my understanding of astrology. I'd like to communicate that astrology is not occult and not fortune-telling but that it is a fluid, creative description of the life we choose to live.
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1 Response to Looking Back at Mercury Retrograde

  1. Pingback: Happy Watergate Break-in Day | Ohio Astrology

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