Retrograde Mercury occurs for a three-week period three times a year. It is an astronomical phenomenon during which Mercury appears to be moving in backward motion which is caused by the positions of the Sun, Earth, and Mercury. Think of Mercury retrograde periods as similar to studying for final exams when you have to review the work of the whole semester. Mercury in retrograde is a time to stop and take stock of your life, holding off on forward movement and major life decisions. It’s a really good time for a vacation.

When Mercury turns retrograde, it means that contemplation should take precedence over doing. When Mercury, the mythological messenger of the gods, the planet that rules communication and transportation, is in backwards motion, you must be aware that your logical thinking process will take a back seat to your intuition. It’s a time to consider other options as you sort things out. Think about Mercury retrograde as a positive time to rearrange your thinking and get rid of the stuck and stuffy places in your mind.

Notice how an unresolved issue or problem that was not settled during the last Mercury retrograde period will surface as soon as Mercury goes retrograde. Something that you’ve been ignoring shows up in your life and demands resolution. Try to think about it, gather information, research options, read, make notes and prepare to find an answer. You have to focus on this task at hand and give it your full attention. Listen as your intuition gives you a different perspective on the situation.

When you want to know if something is appropriate behavior for retrograde Mercury, see if it begins with “re-” (the Latin prefix meaning ‘again’). Those are the verbs you want to use. Remember that relax, recreation, rest, retire, revel, reward all fit this description. Remember that being able to relax is especially important when the frustration of misplaced communication and missing packages get to you.
You’ll also want to review, revise, rebuild, research, redo, as well as recreate, relax, and renew yourself. Don’t buy big-ticket items such as houses, cars, or computers or you may have to return them. You have to double-check your work before you send it off, as it’s an easy time to make mistakes.

Remember that Mercury retrograde times are excellent for some activities such as researching, editing, proofreading, and revising your written work. It’s also useful energy for meditation, in depth self-analysis, and all kinds of inner work. New activities can be planned out now. Look at the area in your chart where Mercury is moving through. That is the area of your life that is under review.

There’s a deeper purpose to the cycle then just causing a lot of annoyances. It gives you a chance to get in touch with your intuition and true inspiration. By making you break up your everyday patterns and responses Mercury in retrograde motion helps you learn the value of your own creativity and spontaneity. It is a time to experiment with new ways of doing and being to find what satisfies you.