WTF Is Mer­cury Ret­ro­grade?

Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - GET INTO IT - BY L ISA K ATZ

If you’ve heard the term ‘Mer­cury Ret­ro­grade’ but are to­tally in the dark as to what it ac­tu­ally means, keep read­ing, girl. We chat­ted to astrologer Dianne Gar­ven about what it is, and what you should be do­ing about it First, let’s talk about Mer­cury

Mer­cury is com­monly iden­ti­fied with Her­mes (not the de­signer la­bel, bbz, the Greek mes­sen­ger of the gods). So since way back, Mer­cury has been the planet that’s said to rule com­mu­ni­ca­tion – how we speak, what we say, and how we al­low our­selves to ac­cept and take mean­ing from things. On top of that, Mer­cury also rules travel, trans­port and tech­nol­ogy.

So what is Mer­cury Ret­ro­grade?

Mer­cury Ret­ro­grade refers to the way in which the planet seems to con­stantly move back­wards and for­wards. Sure, Mer­cury isn’t ac­tu­ally mov­ing – but the il­lu­sion has a deeper mean­ing for as­trologers: tur­bu­lence and dis­rup­tion while Mer­cury is in this phase of its or­bit. This takes place three times a year, and usu­ally lasts two to three weeks. In fact, as you read this, we’re cur­rently deep in Mer­cury Ret­ro­grade (26 July to 19 Au­gust). The third (and fi­nal) Mer­cury Ret­ro­grade of 2018 will take place from 17 Novem­ber to 6 De­cem­ber.

How does it af­fect us?

Be­cause Mer­cury is the planet of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, travel, trans­port and tech­nol­ogy, these are the ar­eas as­trologers be­lieve will be af­fected dur­ing its ret­ro­grade cy­cle. For ex­am­ple, some­thing you say could cause a lot of anger and dif­fi­culty dur­ing this time, or your lap­top may give you trou­ble.

Be­ware of con­tracts or agree­ments be­tween peo­ple dur­ing Mer­cury Ret­ro­grade, too. ‘ You have to slow down and back­track be­fore you can move for­ward, just as Mer­cury ap­pears to,’ ex­plains Gar­ven. For ex­am­ple, if you’re en­ter­ing into a con­tract for a new job or buy­ing a house, read and un­der­stand it, and only then sign it. If you don’t, there’s likely to be a de­lay or com­pli­ca­tions, says Gar­ven.

Mer­cury Ret­ro­grade af­fects star signs in dif­fer­ent ways, and the sever­ity of its ef­fect also de­pends on your natal chart and other vari­ables, in­clud­ing where Mer­cury is in your in­di­vid­ual chart and where the signs of Gemini and Virgo (the two signs the planet rules) are in your chart. While these vari­ables are highly per­sonal (you’d need a pri­vate read­ing to fig­ure out the de­tails), there are gen­eral rules for how Mer­cury Ret­ro­grade will likely af­fect you, ac­cord­ing to your star sign.

How to sur­vive Mer­cury Ret­ro­grade, ac­cord­ing to your sign

In gen­eral, Mer­cury serves as a gen­tle re­minder that ev­ery­one should slow down and not rush into things to avoid dis­as­ters or un­nec­es­sary con­flict. It also teaches us that we have to be more aware of what we say be­cause mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion is more likely to hap­pen dur­ing Mer­cury Ret­ro­grade cy­cles.

How each star sign deals with Mer­cury Ret­ro­grade de­pends on the po­si­tion of Mer­cury in your chart at the time, says Gar­ven. If the event oc­curs when Mer­cury is in your star sign, then you may ex­pe­ri­ence changes or dif­fi­cul­ties. If you want to know where Mer­cury is in your chart, you’ll need to look it up at the time of a ret­ro­grade, be­cause it is cycli­cal and con­stantly chang­ing.

Turn the page for some gen­eral guide­lines you can fol­low to cope with Mer­cury Ret­ro­grade.

Mer­cury Ret­ro­grade af­fects star signs in dif­fer­ent ways – and the sever­ity of its ef­fect also de­pends on your natal chart

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