Batten down the hatches: Mercury is in retrograde again
Don’t blame it on the sunshine, don’t blame it on the moonlight, don’t blame it on the good times — blame it on Mercury retrograde.
Have you been uncharacteristically snappy lately? Scattered, disorganised, and just all-round exhausted? Well, that is obviously not your fault and should categorically be chalked down to this eternally-unwelcome astrological event.
Coinciding with a new moon rising, a hybrid solar eclipse, and the beginning of Taurus season, celestial spectacles are nothing if not abundant this month. Mercury will also still be in retrograde during the Full Flower Moon on Friday 5 May, so the stargazers and moonwatchers among us will have quite the busy schedule.
Mercury going into retrograde and, in turn, throwing the lives of many into chaos and intense inner turmoil has become something of a meme in recent years, but what does it actually mean?
Each of the planets within our solar system orbit the fun at different speeds and distances. Where it takes Earth 365 days to complete our spin around the sun, Mercury does it in 88, and on an almost quarterly rotation, it goes through a three-week retrograde cycle where it appears to switch direction and move backwards.
Put simply, retrograde basically means that the planet looks like it’s moving in reverse. Of course, it’s not actually doing that, it’s something of an optical illusion from our vantage point. This, however, doesn’t make the havoc it wreaks any less apparent.
This Mercury retrograde – which takes place from Friday 21 April until Sunday 14 May — is happening in the sign of Taurus, which is the first earth sign in the zodiac and closely associated with materialism, hard-headedness, and tenacity. Hence the inclination towards stubbornness during this period of time, and the feeling that nothing is going your way.
Mercury is the ruler of communication, which can take the shape of human interaction, virtual contact, or monetary transactions. So, when it’s in retrograde, all of these elements require much more time and effort to do to a satisfactory degree. It’s for this reason that astrologists advise us to be much more hesitant when making big decisions like accepting a job offer or engaging in arguments because miscommunication and hastiness reign supreme during this time.
Essentially, Mercury being in retrograde can be quite the stressful time. It can feel a lot like the universe is planting rogue banana skins for you to slip on at every turn, but as with every celestial phenomenon, there are lessons to be learned.
Instead of holding up your hands and accepting defeat for the next three weeks, treat this time as a personal challenge. Allow yourself to reframe your own frames of reference, think outside the box, and try to look at things from multiple perspectives. If you feel pushed out of equilibrium, give yourself the chance to find your footing and rebalance yourself before reacting. It can be a stifling time, but as they say: this too shall pass.
The first of three instances where Mercury will go into retrograde throughout the year, we’ll be thrown back into disarray from 23 August to 14 September, and again from 13 December to 1 January 2024.