Mercury turns retrograde in the evening hours of March 22 and will remain retrograde until April 15, when it turns direct again. You have probably heard people talk about this or even speak of their dread of it. Of all the planetary aspects, this one definitely gets the most attention. When Mercury retrogrades, it appears to go backward. So, when the planet of communication retrogrades, those areas of life it rules are basically not functioning up to par.
Mercury rules all kinds of communication, both verbal and written, speaking, learning, even listening and thinking, as well as all forms of electronic communication. It rules formal agreements and contracts, buying and selling, travel, transportation, and shipping. It also rules pets and young people. You shouldn’t expect terrible things to happen, but on a certain level, chaos and confusion can and will occur.
A Retrograde on Fire
Each year retrograde Mercury favors a specific element — fire, air, water, or earth. This time around, Mercury enters retrograde in the fire sign of Aries. Fire signs are innovative, unusual, and love to think big! Look at the big picture and come up with solutions that involve fire element qualities: creativity, enthusiasm, forward thinking, communication, and most of all, action. Fire signs don’t let grass grow under their feet, and sometimes we must make decisions on the spot.
What to Expect
First of all, communication can break down, slow down, or stop altogether. People can become confused, change their minds, job interviews can slow down, and things, projects and people can change their course of direction, sometimes unexpectedly. Equipment can breakdown, whether it is a computer, a coffee pot or a car. It is hard to get decisions from others, and if you do, they could change their mind after Mercury turns direct.
Thoughts and inner conversation can be more negative during a retrograde. If this occurs, view it as though it were playing out on a screen. View it objectively, as though you are watching someone else. Step back, consider the possibilities, and consciously decide on a positive path to action, rather than listening to negative self-talk.
Retrograde Mercury can be a time of reconnecting with those from the past in some instances. This does not mean reconnect to a former, toxic relationship, but reconnect with those who have been tried and true. Go back to the things from the past that have served you well and reconnect. You could hear from relatives, old friends and on occasion old loves. It’s time to take care of those things you have put off, and clear your closets, both literally and figuratively.
What Not to Do
Don’t make important changes such as starting a new job or project, launching a website, buying big ticket items, closing on real estate, buying electronic equipment, getting married or engaged, having elective or cosmetic surgery, launching new endeavors, or signing contracts. Of course, there are some exceptions:
Let’s say you need a job and one comes up during the retrograde. Don’t turn it down, as a job on a retrograde is better than no job. Things may change after you begin. For example, there could be a shift in the direction of the job, or you may not have understood the nature of the job. If you have to have surgery under a doctor’s orders, go ahead. Surgeries are performed successfully every day of the year, and sometimes a retrograde Mercury is about correcting something. If you have to sign a lease or another document, ask a lot of questions. Go over things several times, and enlist the judgement of your trusted friends.
Your Secret Garden
This retrograde is the perfect time to reassess, reevaluate, revisit, redo, rethink, and even redesign our lives in some way. This is a time to stop, look, and listen to our inner voice, so that you may move forward with clarity and confidence when Mercury turns direct again. It is a time of personal realignment with the world. You may reach a sense of completion with something by the time this cycle ends. View this chapter of your journey as your private inner garden: now is the time to cultivate it and clear that which needs to be removed so that optimum growth can occur as Mercury turns direct in about three weeks.
There is no doubt frustrations can and do occur under retrograde. But, it is important to remember this is part of the natural cycle of life. This time is about reflecting on what we have done, and will do in the future, but not yet moving forward. Just like the crab that moves sideways, sometimes we have to take this approach and move sideways before we can really move forward. This, too, is part of the natural flow.
About the Author
Leslie began to study metaphysics at a very young age. After college she pursued a career in media but her passion for astrology turned into two decades of intense study during the 1980’s-90’s. Leslie joined Keen in 2002 and specializes in astrology, relationships, breakups, finance, and time-frames relating to specific life events.