The increasing popularity and accessibility of astrological information has piqued more curiosity about the phenomenon called Mercury Retrograde.

Because it is a simple and common occurrence, it finds its way easily into pop-astrology columns, where it is laden with dramatic overtones, and it takes on unnecessarily ominous connotations in the public’s mind. The description, here, is intended to de-mystify the phenomenon, thereby putting it to more practical use on the everyday level.

Remember: there is a purpose to every season under heaven, even the “season” of Mercury Retrograde!

Technically speaking, retrogradation is, from earth’s perspective, the apparent backward motion of any planet due to change in its rate of speed. Think: watching IRT Local from a seat on the faster moving IRT Express.

Symbolically, the meaning and purpose of retrograde varies from planet to planet (and yes, they all retrograde), but superficially, they share one thing in common, within 24 hours or so of their retrogrades, when they are said to be stationed….well….that turns out to be one of those “interesting” days.

In the case of Mercury, the most common of all retrogrades (three or four times a year for three or four weeks at a time), we apply this image of “backward motion” to all things of a mercurial theme; that is, communication, organizational and informational systems and devices. And that’s saying a mouthful!

From your own telephone, on up to AT&T, and everything in between – answering machines, snail mail, e-mail, office procedures, commuting and so forth – all of go haywire, a little more than usual, during a Mercury Retrograde IF they are used for advancement, furtherance and overt progress.

So, should you hide under the covers for a few weeks? Well, that depends on who you’re with. No, seriously, of course not!

Go with the symbolism of retrograde; that is, backward, in order to be productive. Turn your gaze to the recent past and ask yourself what to be RE-done. Get it? Re-order, re-structure, re-organize.
Re-group, revise, repair. Regress with a specific task in mind and
go for it!

These can be very fruitful times if you are willing to make the “return trip,” and yes, you can take one literally when travel is concerned. And if you’re worried about air travel under Mercury Retrograde, relax! Mercury “rules” ground transportation, so you’ll have more of a problem getting to the airport than you will getting to the faraway place.

Mercury Retrograde periods 2010-2011:

December 25, 2009, thru January 15, 2010
April 17, 2010, thru May 11, 2010
August 19, 2010, thru September 12, 2010
December 9, 2010, thru December 30, 2010
March 30, 2011, thru April 23, 2011
August 2, 2011, thru August 26, 2011
November 23, 2011, thru December 14, 2011