A planet’s normal motion is moving from East-West around the sun and this is when it is considered to be ‘direct’. When the planet nearest to the sun is retrograde, it appears to move “backwards” (East to West rather than West to East) across the sky. This apparent reversal in Mercury’s orbit is actually just an illusion to the people viewing it from Earth. This happens 3-4 times a year for all planets at individual times and they each affect us in a slightly different way. Right now, everyone is freaking out because Mercury is in retrograde until November 3rd. But what does that mean and how can you successfully navigate through it?
The planet Mercury rules communication in all forms as well as activities closely related to communication such as travel and learning. Therefore, specifically when this planet is in retrograde, people relate it to bad omens. During this time, it is important to try to remain flexible, patient, understanding, and allow extra time for things. Avoid any new commitments that you are unsure of and wait until Mercury is direct again before you make major decisions. Be sure to plan ahead and have back up plans because this is a time when things typically go wrong (like oversleeping for your interview or pop a tire on the highway). Also, prepare for peoples shorter fuses and miscommunication because everyone is going to be on edge.
It is not uncommon for some to blame Mercury in retrograde for all the problems in their life. Instead, use this time to question what you give you energy to. Ask yourself if you are putting enough energy into the things that are important to you instead of overextending yourself to things that are less important. This balance is crucial. Take a moment to reflect and rebalance and you will surely survive the chaos.
This year, Mercury retrograde happened from Feb 17-March 10, June 18-July 12, and Oct 14-Nov 3. Next year it will be from Jan 30-Feb 21, may 29-June 22, and Sep 27-Oct 23.
Side note: It is important to know that your zodiac sign also has an impact on how you will be influenced during this time. If you are interested in understanding how you will specifically be affected, I suggest that you do some research on your own.