Mercury has traditionally been associated with communications. When Mercury turns retrograde, or appears to move backwards in its orbit, we may encounter a higher than normal occurrence of disruptions, delays, breakdowns and upsets in all fields relating to and involving communications, from transportation to negotiations. (See retrograde motion explained below.)
Upcoming Mercury Retrograde Dates:
- Dec 19 2016–Jan 8 2017
- Apr 9 2017–May 3 2017
- Aug 12 2017–Sep 5 2017
- Dec 3 2017–Dec 22 2017
Typical Mercury Retrograde situations: labour disruptions and strikes, rallies, marches, protests, breakdowns in negotiations, labour relations and peace talks, computer hardware and software crashes and slowdowns, loss of mail, loss of luggage while travelling, car problems, delays in receiving mail and communications, loss of documents, mix-ups and errors in written and verbal communications, unreliability of email, (except for spam of course, which seems to proliferate like wildfire!) or loss of mail or shipped items.
When Mercury slows down and appears to reverse it’s course, it is an invitation to pay attention, to turn our attention to the still small voice that lies within, and to listen. This requires a choice for peace, and a deep trust in the inherent intelligence of all Life expressions. Ultimately, communication errors are a result of inattentiveness. To ensure that your retrograde Mercury period goes smoothly, both personally and professionally, here are a few tips:
- Since the greatest level of intelligence is accessible while in a state of quiet peacefulness, try incorporating more meditation and quiet timeouts in your day. In the quiet mind, deeper learning, as well as greater awareness, is possible.
- Reread important documents clearly, especially quotes and pricing for business transactions. All business, commercial and financial communications and documentation should be carefully edited and revised before signing and releasing.
- Follow-up on business communications, either with an email or telephone call. Avoid making assumptions. Confirm appointments before setting out for meetings. Bring a book or magazine to read if you expect to wait for an appointment.
- Give yourself ample time for mailing and shipping letters and packages. Now is not the time to take chances with important deadlines!
- If possible, postpone the signing of important documents such as leases, especially car leases, important sales orders and offers. If you must sign, REREAD carefully!!! DOUBLE-CHECK! Misplacing a “0” on a quote could spell disaster!
- Keep an eye on your luggage while travelling; keep your passport and important papers on your person.
- When on the road, pay attention to road signs and signals. Watch for distracted drivers. No matter how good a driver you may consider yourself to be, if the “other guy” isn’t paying attention, you could be in trouble.
- Make sure your car is in top condition before going on a road trip.
- Clearly, this is not the best time to begin a new business venture. But if you must sign during this period, revise all contracts carefully. Otherwise, it is best to wait until Mercury returns to direct motion.
- Obviously, this is not the best time to purchase important communications equipment such as computers, phones and automobiles! If you must make such a purchase during this time, obtain an outside, independent evaluation, and consider an extended guarantee.
- This cannot be said often enough: back up your important data, every day, more often if you are working on important documents! Keep your filing and paperwork up to date. It doesn’t take much to lose your work!
- Due diligence! Take the time to think things through, do your homework, revise your plans and don’t be in a hurry to finalize important deals or matters, whether personal or business.
- This period is more favourable for introspection than for quick decision-making. Remember, don’t rush, be still and check in with inner wisdom.
- This is a great time to engage in intensive study and research or pursue a subject in-depth.
- This is an excellent time to correct previous mistakes, especially those shopping errors you made just before Mercury turned retrograde. Don’t be shy to return those mistaken purchases to the store!
- If all else fails, practice the gracious art of “not thinking” by going into the silence within, listening, paying attention and experiencing conscious awareness. You may be surprised at how good it feels to not think and try to figure things out!
Retrograde Motion Explained
Retrograde motion is the apparent backwards motion of a planet as it revolves around the sun. It is akin to the optical illusion that occurs while riding in a car on the highway alongside a train. Due to variations in speed, the train appears at times to be moving backwards, relative to the speed of the car in which you are riding. Likewise, from the perspective of the faster-moving planet, the slower planet appears to be moving backwards.
All the planets have retrograde periods. For example, Mercury retrogrades approximately 3 times each year for 19-24 days; Venus retrogrades 43 days, about once every 18 months; Mars, for approximately 80 days, every 2 years. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto retrograde for 4-5 months a year. So far as business and day-to-day activities are concerned, the retrograde periods of Mercury, Venus and Mars are the most important. For example, when selecting dates for new projects, or business ventures, it is important that Mercury, Venus and Mars be in direct motion.
The following illustrations show how the planets appear to move forwards and backwards.