People are becoming more familiar with astrological terms because of the increasing popularity of astrology and its integration to our daily lives. Even people who only have a superficial knowledge about astrology know a few things about the solar and lunar eclipses and the movements of the planets. Mercury retrograde is the most popular event!
Mercury is retrograde at least three and in some years four times in a year, yet life on earth goes on. Don’t be afraid of Mercury retrograde! You can even get benefit of these periods if you are conscious enough.
First of all, let’s have a look at Mercury retrograde in terms of astronomy.
Stationary and retrograde movements in astronomy
The planets never move backwards in their orbits. While we are observing the movements of the planets from the Earth, their apparent motion seems to be retrograding (going backwards). When we observe the sky at night, we witness how the planets move forward on their orbits within Zodiac. The planets move from the West to the East in Zodiac. This is what we call as direct movement that is counter clockwise. Sometimes a planet slows down and when we observe from the Earth, it looks as if it stopped and moving in the opposite direction of the Zodiac signs. Then the planet seems to move clockwise. We call this “retrograde”. When the planet seems to stop, we call it “stationary”.
The planet retrogrades for a period then again it slows down, comes to stationary position and again moves forward. We observe it as a direct movement. As mentioned before, this is what we see as the observer from the Earth. In fact, the planets do not go back in the sky.
The Sun and the Moon – the luminaries as we call in astrology – always go direct, they never have a retrograde appearance. Other planets travel from the east to the West for short periods and before turning direct they exhibit retrograde motion. Therefore, there are two types of movement. One of them is the basic movement which if from the East to the West. This is called “daily movement”. The other is the movement from the West to the East, which is called “secondary movement”.
What does a retrograde planet mean according to astrology
In classic astrology, Mercury retrograde is debility. This is an indication of unluckiness, damage, disagreement, contradiction and inconsistency.
When the planets are going forward, the events are also in track, however, when the planets retrograde the events are interrupted and some delays are experienced. Here are some points of famous astrologers from the medieval ages:
- According to Abraham Ibni Azra, a retrograde planet is indicates hostility and damage. A retrograde planet can be represented like a rebellious man.
- According to Guido Bonatti, retrograde movement is one of the four positions that debilitate a planet. It represents unaccomplished works.
Today we evaluate these retrograde periods as a trend that help us turning inwards and getting benefit of our inner knowledge and our own creativity. Of course, we are faced with some troubles in worldly matters however for solving all these problems we need to look for the energy and the guidance within us.
A stationary planet is as ‘stranded’ as a retrograde planet. It is a sort of debility or illness for that planet. However if a planet is stationary before turning direct then the difficulties and barriers begin to disappear. This looks like convalescence after an illness.
Abraham Ibni Azra compares a stationary planet with a man who does not know what to do. If the indicator planet is retrograde in Horary, then the answer is negative. This planet looks like a person who is afraid of the coming problems. If the planet is stationary before going direct, then it is like a person who has not lost his hope yet.
When the planets are in direct motion, they can reveal their full nature and the events flow without any interruption. During the retrograde period, the planets cannot fulfill their promises and some troubles are experienced. During stationary period, things go slow however they prove to be stable, permanent and strong. We need to pay attention to stationary planets. What is important is that if this planet is stationary before or after the retrograde and should be interpreted accordingly. I personally use the stationary periods for focusing on important matters, for exchanging ideas and for making important speeches.
The planets, except the Sun and the Moon, first stand stationary then go retrograde, however, particularly Mercury, Venus and Mars retrograde represent more importance in our daily lives and individual ventures. There is no doubt that Mercury retrograde is the most important one because it is repeated three or four times in a year.
Mercury is the planet of mind and logic. It is related to exchange of ideas. Mercury’s house and the sign in our natal charts show how we approach the events mentally and where we focus our minds generally. Mercury also rules daily routines and communication. It makes us speak certain words and think. It is also related with getting news and information and also with learning.
In astrology, Mercury is the planet of communication, contracts, agreements, written or verbal promises, buying and selling, negotiation and education. Some astrologers call Mercury retrograde the “Cosmic Juggler” because it indicates communication problems and chaos due to misunderstandings, distraction and forgetfulness. Mercury is also associated with calculation so during the retrograde periods we face with delays and problems in payments and possible calculation errors.
We should avoid starting new ventures, howeve,r we can repeat the ones from the past. Things like starting a new business or a new relationship, signing a new agreement, buying a new car should be avoided because we may see delays and drawbacks. Before we start something that we do not want it to be repeated, we should check if Mercury is retrograde or not.
Mercury retrograde indicates that the events will develop unexpectedly and deadlines will not be met. If we are about to sign an agreement, the conditions may change in an unexpected direction. Some necessary documents and information may be missing so it is not advised to take important steps during Mercury retrograde periods. In the case that we need to take a new step we should take precautions for possible problems, read the articles of the agreement carefully, check if there is something wrong with our purchase and be careful in money exchanges. Since Mercury rules the information, documents and the communication tools we should backup our files in our computers to prevent against a loss of data.
Another important theme with Mercury retrograde is that we may meet with the things or people from our past. This may be related with an unaccomplished works or relationships. On the other hand, we may be faced with some errors due to losing the documents or simply because of distraction. Therefore we need to revise all of our projects and see what’s lacking. According to the astrologer Barbara Watters, the ideas that occur during Mercury retro periods are very bright ones and when Mercury turns direct these ideas come to the surface more fluently. The astrologers advise focusing to creative ideas when Mercury is retrograde however for revealing these we should wait Mercury to turn direct.
How can we get benefit from Mercury retrograde periods?
First of all, I believe that this phenomenon is generally seen as a very negative one. We should not just wait without taking any step. We may even use these periods to our advantage.
When Mercury is retrograde, we may revise our existing projects and make corrections if necessary. We may also collect some new additional information about our business and we may get ready in a better way.
It is also a good period for exchanging ideas, for brainstorming and for discussing on new projects. However before presenting these ideas, it is wiser to wait until Mercury turns direct.
When Mercury is retrograde, we meet with the situations and people from the past. We may find the items that we lost before. We may re-organize our documents and closets at work and at home.
Mercury retrograde periods are the times to turn inwards, to use our own inner knowledge and own creative powers, to revise and to organize the worldly matters, to define if they suit the needs of our souls, to think, to design and to plan. After thinking and planning what to do, we wait for the direct movement of Mercury for applying our plans.
We have the opportunity to make detailed research and think deeper about and to develop our projects. We may revise and implement our old projects, re-evaluate, repair, re-organize and to re-discover the new ways of implementing these projects. We need to be flexible and think all the dimensions of the matter.
Mercury retrograde also carries the energy of reconnecting. During these periods, old projects may again enter into our agendas or we may meet our former friends or clients. We may have a look at our telephone book and get in touch with our old friends. We may reevaluate any misunderstandings from the past and find a common understanding to these problems. We may realize our faults and have the chance of repairing them. We may again attend to our former groups. For instance, we may renew our membership to a former club or subscribe to the magazine again that we were following before.
I hope you will benefit from Mercury retrograde periods.
Öner DÖŞER, AMA, ISAR CAP
OPA Satellite for Turkey, Member of APAI
Founder of AstroArt School of Astrology