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As our spring Mercury retrograde period rolls around again, I’ve been imagining what it would be like for Mercury, if he was a person, to be so misunderstood. Can you imagine taking the bad rap for everyone’s tech glitches and miscommunications? As much as Mercury would be the sort to just let things roll off his back, it would still be challenging!

As we approach the next Mercury retrograde cycle, I invite you to think about this time in a new way. This period is about so much more than computers failing and communication going awry. You can make Mercury’s backward motion much more useful by understanding the sign he’s transiting and which of your astrological houses he’s moving through.

What Is Mercury About?

It is true that Mercury is the planet of communication and is traditionally associated with technology and electronics—although these are much under the rulership of Uranus today. Mercury is the planet of information, messages, any type of writing, research, and the “lower” mind—that is, facts, figures, and data (this is why contracts/proposals are notoriously wonky in a retrograde and often have to be redone).

During any retrograde cycle, the typical energy of that planet is directed inward. It’s a time for reviewing, revisiting, and realigning. You may be more introverted during a Mercury retro, so your ability to communicate may be stilted. As Mercury’s usual sharpness is softened, you might also become lost in an internal thought-world and miss important details on a contract or proposal. While this isn’t great for highly detailed communication in the external world, a Mercury retro is a great time to be in communication with yourself or your guides, and psychic readings during this period will help you see beyond the normal “just the facts, ma’am” approach of this literal planet.

But the way to really get the most out of a retrograde is to understand the signs the planet is moving through and where this motion is occurring in your chart.

This Current Retrograde: Determination and Inspiration

The spring 2017 retrograde cycle of Mercury occurs on April 10 at 4’51” Taurus and ends on May 4 at 24’16” Aries (dates give or take depending on your time zone). Mercury isn’t terribly at home in Taurus in the first place, so a retro period here will definitely slow down communication. If you are having challenges with a partner or colleagues, this won’t be the time to hammer things out. Likely words will come slowly, if at all, and there will be a stubborn and even sullen quality to important conversations. 

However, Taurus does lend a tempering hand to Mercury’s often slapdash ways, so if you are thinking about rebuilding the garden, redecorating your house, or making a business plan, this can be a great time to tinker with details before taking concrete action steps. Mercury’s inward motion can inspire the inner determination of Taurus to create a stable foundation for your projects.

And speaking of action, the dip back into Aries will have you revisiting actions taken in the recent past. You may be reviewing promises made in the heat of passion, actions taken on impulse, or angry words spoken weeks before. If you made some big leaps in the first energy of spring, now you have time to review and add details you may have missed. 

You may also find Mercury delivering inspired intuitive downloads—make sure to write them down, as they’ll be useful later. This is an excellent time to brainstorm, make vision boards, and map out plans and ideas for later execution. But remember—keep all this to yourself and make the planning process about you rather than putting it out there at this time.

Where Does Mercury Live?

Knowing what house Mercury calls home during his retro will give clues as to how the energy will work for you personally. Here’s a quick keyword list to help you think about this:

First House: Self-improvement, clarifying perceptions, personal growth

Second House: Career choices/change, investments of time and money, security needs

Third House: Writing, communication, research projects, interaction with siblings

Fourth House: Feelings, family, home, lineage/ancestry

Fifth House: Creative projects, new romances, games, children

Sixth House: Service, pets, daily routines, health

Seventh House: Relationships, clients, partnerships of all kinds

Eighth House: Sexual relationships, psychology, mysticism, joint finances

Ninth House: Travel, higher education, philosophy, legal issues

Tenth House: Career, reputation, outward image

Eleventh House: Your tribe, community, society

Twelfth House: Connection with spirit, dreams, visions

As you can see, the house will inform how you experience the energy. Mercury retro in the second house will ask you to review your long-term (Taurus) versus your short-term (Aries) investments. Don’t act, just consider. In the ninth house, though, this retro might look like gathering info about going back to school or planning an adventure-style trip. In the twelfth, you’ll be noticing your dreams more, and in the sixth, you’ll be considering how you want to shift daily routines. You get the idea. 

Mercury retrograde is common—it happens three or four times a year, in contrast to the rarer retros of Venus or Mars. Rather than just being afraid, you can take charge of retrograde energy and use it in productive ways. Understanding the general qualities of Mercury as well as the sign it is transiting and location in your chart will give you the maximum insight into how to benefit from Mercury’s retrograde cycle. 

An astrological advisor on Keen can help you make the most of planetary energy. Call today!

Image Source: Shutterstock user ARCHITECTEUR. 

Isabella grew up in a household of psychics and was working with spirit guides and her clairvoyant abilities from an early age. Her passions are expanding on her abilities, diving into personal growth, and helping others. A professional astrologer for over twenty years, Isabella incorporates the wisdom of the Zodiac, the Tarot, and spirit guides to help her clients navigate challenges, manifest their dreams, and grow spiritually.