The Myth And The Reality Of Mercury Retrograde

“I’m sorry for what I said when Mercury was in retrograde”

There are many myths about Mercury Retrograde:

  • “When retrograde, Mercury moves backward – so does my life”
  • “Mercury Retrograde makes me say the wrong things, makes my computer crash, and locks me out of my email”
  • “Don’t pay attention to what happens when Mercury is retrograde – wait until life gets back to normal”
  • “If you do something when Mercury is retrograde, you will regret it later”
  • “Don’t start anything new when Mercury is retrograde”

But is Mercury Retrograde really the root of all astrological evil? Should you never sign contracts, meet new people, go on a trip, or buy a new smartphone when Mercury is retrograde?


Not really.

In fact, not only is Mercury Retrograde not as bad as its reputation, but Mercury Retrograde is, in fact, a great time to understand yourself and the world better, to make informed decisions, and to even start something new.

Let’s demonstrate this by debunking some common Mercury Retrograde myths.

Myth #1: When Retrograde, Mercury Moves Backward

Reality: Mercury only appears to move backward. Mercury only changes direction from our perspective, as seen from Earth. If we would look at Mercury from the cosmos, Mercury is still moving forward, circling around the Sun.

Yet, from here, we see it moving backward. This basically means that things are not what they seem when Mercury is retrograde. That is, from our perspective – as seen from the Earth. Seen with the Universe’s eyes, everything makes perfect sense.



Because things are not what they seem, that’s why astrologers advise not to make important decisions when Mercury is retrograde. Indeed, your perception of what’s really going on can be skewed.

But it’s one thing not to understand what’s going on – and another to put your life on hold because of that.

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If life brings you something when Mercury is retrograde, that’s because that thing requires your attention.

You can run, but you cannot hide from Mercury Retrograde. Best is to try to understand why things happen the way they happen when Mercury is retrograde, instead of building a wall around you.

Myth #2: Mercury Retrograde Brings Chaos In Communication, Makes Computers Crash, Makes You Sign The Wrong Contracts

Reality: When Mercury is retrograde, he’s slower than usual. Mercury Retrograde takes his time. Why does he do that? To points to those things that you may have overlooked when Mercury was direct.

These things that Mercury retrograde brings (back) into your life are nevertheless important. 

You may find yourself having to redo a lot of stuff when Mercury is retrograde, but that’s fine. Sometimes you need to take your time to understand something, so you can do it right.

If anything, Mercury retrograde is the helping hand of the Universe that makes sure you stay on track and do the right thing.

When Mercury is direct and has a high speed, we tend to overlook the details. Mercury retrograde is nothing else but catching up with what we’ve missed, misunderstood or overlooked.

Mercury Retrograde does not create chaos, Mercury Retrograde clears up the chaos.

Myth #3: Don’t Pay Attention To What Happens When Mercury Is Retrograde. Wait Until Life Gets Back To Normal

Reality: When Mercury is retrograde, Mercury is at its closest to the Earth. This means we have ‘more’ Mercury energy than usual. If anything, now is the time to actually pay attention to Mercury, if you haven’t had time to catch up with Mercury when direct.

You absolutely have to pay attention to what happens in your life when Mercury is retrograde – otherwise, the chaos will only perpetrate when Mercury goes out of retrograde!

Myth #4: If You Do Something When Mercury Is Retrograde, You Will Regret It Later

Reality: If you do something when Mercury is retrograde – and chances are you will not lock yourself in a cave for the next 3 weeks – that thing may not turn out the way you expected, but it doesn’t mean it will turn out bad.

In fact, because Mercury is so close to the Earth when retrograde – and more powerful than ever – that thing will turn out exactly how it should turn out.

Whether or not you’re happy with that, that’s a different story.

But in the big picture, whatever happens when Mercury is retrograde is exactly what needs to happen.

While you may regret what you did while Mercury is retrograde, your regret won’t last long. Rather sooner than later, you will realize that whatever happened while Mercury was retrograde served a higher good.

Myth #5 – Don’t Start Anything New When Mercury Is Retrograde

Reality: The short answer to this question is: don’t start something fundamentally new in the first half (usually the first 10-11 days) of Mercury Retrograde. However, it’s absolutely fine (and even recommended) to start new things in the 2nd half of Mercury Retrograde.

From all myths, this one gets the most resistance, because it absolutely goes against what we know about Mercury Retrograde. How is it possible to start something new when Mercury is retrograde?

But if we look at the actual Mercury cycle, then the statement makes absolute sense. Mercury has a 116-day synodic cycle. Every planet has sidereal and synodic cycles. For example, the Earth has a 365 cycle (this is what we call a year), and the Moon has a 29-day synodic cycle (this is what we call a month).

Mercury Retrograde is nothing else but a New Moon or a New Year – we could very well call it “New Mercury”.  

In the middle of Mercury Retrograde, Mercury is conjunct the Sun (as seen from the Earth), and a new Mercury cycle begins. When Mercury is conjunct the Sun (half-way through Mercury Retrograde) we have the “New Moon” phase of Mercury.

And just as we are advised to start something new at a New Moon – when a new Moon cycle starts – in the same way, starting something new when a new Mercury cycle starts, makes absolute sense. So yes, it’s absolutely fine (and even recommended) to start something completely new in the 2nd half of Mercury retrograde (but not before).

The Current Mercury Retrograde Cycle

Here are the key dates of the Mercury Retrograde cycle:

  • Mercury goes retrograde on July 8th, 2019, at 4° Leo
  • Mercury goes back into Cancer on July 19th, 2019
  • Mercury conjuncts the Sun at 28° Cancer – beginning a new Mercury cycle – on July 21st, 2019
  • Mercury finally goes direct on July 31st, 2019 at 23° Cancer.

If you have planets or angles between 23° Cancer and 4° Leo, then you’re in the spotlight this Mercury Retrograde.

Read more about Mercury Retrograde here: How Not Only to Survive, But to Thrive During the Next 3 Weeks of Mercury Retrograde

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12 thoughts on “The Myth And The Reality Of Mercury Retrograde

  1. This was very useful and refreshing approach on the topic. It opened me for new practical way to see Mercury retrograde.

  2. Thank you for this very clear and concise explanation of the “features and benefits” of a Mercury Retrograde! So helpful❤️

  3. Thank goodness you wrote about this. I had one helluva time, including 3 weeks of detoxing with loose stools by inadvertently eating soups I was making from Chicken Bone Broth 3 times a day–(too much of a good thing). I’ve had transiting Chiron opposition my natal Jupiter at 27 degrees 28′ in 12 house, and I see that it’s been creating a T-square with my Juno in Gemini in the 9th.

    During this time I had a painful subconscious belief arise that has stayed with me and still occurs from time to time — the belief that I’m all alone, that I am unloved. As a baby, I didn’t cry and therefore my mom only came every 4 hours to change and feed me. . . . (writing this makes me aware of the connection to the loose stools for which I had to constantly wear a pad — i.e., a diaper!!).
    Natally, I have Saturn in Cancer and my North Node in Cancer, both in the 9th house.

    What you wrote really applies to me — “Whatever it is that keeps your lower mind stuck in old patterns of behaviors, needs to be fixed now. Now is the time to clean your mind of any outdated beliefs, negative thoughts, compulsive behaviors, preconceptions, and prejudices.”

    On Dec. 5 I listened to intuitive astrologer Robert Ohotto’s radio show — “Family Patterns, What Your Past Asks of the Present”. When he talked with and ‘read’ a Korean-American woman, I felt positive that I have the same Soul Destiny as her in one respect — namely, that I need to become my own Mystical Parent.

    I’m beginning to put all the pieces of the puzzle that you, Robert, other people, and recent experiences have been showing me, so that I can let go of these outdated beliefs and negative thoughts.

    I’d stopped my daily prayer and meditation for some days, but now I need to continue in order to pray for guidance in creating my Mystical Parent and then meditate as usual.

    This practice, plus switching to an organic whole food diet, are what pulled me out of 30+ years of severe depression in 2004 after I thought I was going to die — since what ensued after some 3 months was a series of 9 mystical experiences that finally put me on a conscious spiritual journey and restored my faith in a higher, unconditional loving power.

    Your intuitive understanding, added to your knowledge of astrology, is unparalleled. Thank you so much for being you ! !

    Love from Sally

    1. Thank you for your message Sally. Your introspection is incredible, thanks for sharing your experiences with us, we have so much to learn from you xox

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