Mercury Retrograde Explained

What is Mercury Retrograde?

You have probably heard heaps about Mercury (and other planets for that matter) going retrograde, but maybe you are not quite sure what it means (you are not alone). Mercury is probably the most «famous» planet going retrograde simply because this lovely little planet may cause quite a havoc when it seems to go backwards.

When a planet goes retrograde it does not mean that it stops and goes the other way around (thank the goddesses and gods for that), but it looks like it is going backwards to us meat suited souls on Earth when they passes us. Astrologers Yasmin Boland and Kim Farnell describes this optical illusion that Mercury show a couple of times every year:

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and its orbit is shorter than Earth’s – a mere 88 days compared to our 365 days, which means that Mercury experiences for years in the time it takes us to complete one orbit of the Sun. Mercury’s shorter orbit creates an optical illusion in that it appears to speed past Earth, slow down and then move in a backwards loop, giving Mercury retrograde. It’s the planetary equivalent of runners on a race track: the inner track is shorter that the outer track.

Boland & Farnell (2019). p. xiii).

Mercury retrograde are not bad, but it can bring interesting challenges (and opportunities)

Mercury is the planet of communication and when it is in retrograde state there can be issues concerning communication. Suddenly it’s not as easy to communicate, or understand what others are trying to tell you. Typical issues that might arise are these:

  • You misunderstand someone or get misunderstood
  • Cancellations or postponement of projects, plans etc.
  • IT-equipment breaks down
  • Text disappear (remember to do heaps of back-ups)
  • You e-mail/ mail never gets through, or you send it to the wrong person
  • Your website crashes

Not only can everything related to communication be challenging, sometimes we also get visited by «old ghosts» or «sins». Don’t get surprised if you also experience anything like this:

  • An ex or an old friend suddenly comes back to your life
  • An earlier problem you thought where over, suddenly blooms again (or get solved for good)
  • Your keys get lost
  • you need to redo a job

As Boland and Farnell stresses in their book, all of these incidents can happen at anytime, but it happens at a higher frequency when Mercury is going retrograde.

During a mercury Retrograde it’s a perfect time to:

  • Finish that book you started, or re-read it!
  • Online course waiting? Take it and finish it.
  • Edit text.
  • Look over contracts again. How are your deals with the bank or insurance?
  • Renovating, perfect time to look over the details.
  • Rethink and reflect on something important for you, contemplate and analyse.
  • Do research for you projects.
  • Repeat and revisit old themes, maybe you can repair some old mistakes?

Keep your vibe high with humour:

I love the internet and it has connected us all, also us spiritual souls (yay)! And thanks to this more and more of us know more about astrology as well. There are tons of super funny memes about Mercury Retrograde, here are one of my resent favourites:

Comunication can be hard during the Mercury Retrograde.

A vast majority of these memes of course focus on the challenges and irritating stuff that the retrograde can bring up (I love them since I have a weird and dark sense of humour). I firmly believe that a sense of humour helps us keep the vibe high during more challenging energies.

It is important to remember that there are many opportunities that comes with the retrograde as well. Without going to deep into the matter (I let the experts do that) I have made a little overview over do’s and don’ts during a Mercury Retrograde:


  • Review
  • Rest
  • Analyse
  • Revisit
  • Recuperate
  • Listen
  • Be patient
  • Wait
  • Finish projects, books, courses
  • Reflect and meditate
  • Plan good time for your travels (near and far)


  • Rush
  • Start new projects, sign contracts etc.
  • Stress
  • Push your self
  • Expect no delays on travel
  • Talk before you think

Hope you enjoyed this little article! Feel free to comment and share! I wish you a lovely retrograde filled with possibilities✨

Love and blessings from Ragna🧙🏻‍♀️

Have a lovely Mercury Retrograde!


The Mercury Retrograde Book by Yasmin Boland and Kim Farnell (2019).

I highly recommend this book if you want to deepen your understanding and see all the possibilities that Mercury Retrograde brings!

Ragna er tarotekspert, skribent og stolt heks. Hennes hovedfokus er tarot, heksekunst og spirituell utvikling. Hun holder kurs i tarot og har en medlemsside, Lunation, for moderne hekser.

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