When Mercury Goes Into Retrograde, What's Really Happening?

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and its orbit is much shorter than Earth’s. 3-4 times a year, Mercury’s orbit speeds up, causing it to speed past Earth. It appears to move backward, due to the positions of the Earth and Sun, but the truth is that it doesn't actually move backward. Rather, it’s moving faster than Earth's speed. The additional energy we get from Mercury orbiting the Earth can go a number of ways, but often times it makes us feel off, at risk, or overall uncomfortable.

  

Paralleling said false appearance (of Mercury backtracking), the periods of time Mercury retrogrades can often be associated with false appearances, resulting in confusion, miscommunication, frustration, and askew plans. Because Mercury is the planet that affects “Communication, intellect, and awareness... logic and reasoning, our manner of thinking, and how we create and express our thought processes,” as Mercury retrogrades, so too do the aspects of life associated with Mercury. (Quoted section via https://www.astrology.com/astrology-101/planets/mercury)

Regarding the astrological significance of Mercury going into retrograde, the traits of the zodiac sign(s) that correlate(s) with the Retrograde are amplified. For example, right now Mercury is in retrograde while the sun is in Aries. [For reference: the sun is in Aries from March 21-April 19 and the retrograde lasts from March 22-April 15.] I can affirm that, in fact, (in my life, at least) things have been a significant amount more intense than usual lately. I've had more decisions, more responsibilities, more feelings, more realizations.

Aries is a fire sign, and Aries are typically immediate in all that they do. They often possess highly physical energy, also, which they need to express. In other words, they can't simply let life happen to them. The Mercury retrograde's added energy to the already high-energy time period the sun is in Aries will affect everyone differently, but nonetheless, affect everyone, and can cause--to be blunt--some s*** to hit the fan.

Want to know something else SUPER fun? All three of the Mercury retrogrades of 2018 are in fire signs: the current in Aries, the second in Leo, and the third in Sagittarius.

The good news is that fire signs don't simply wreak havoc (well, if they're in certain planetary aspects, they kind of do). Mercury being affected by the fire signs' energy can bring productivity, efficiency, bravery, and long-yearned-for change. Use the energy to your advantage, but be cautious. Having a vision for your future, your goals, your life, your relationships, etcetera is extremely healthy-- just remember not to do anything rash or against your better judgment. Most importantly, DON'T project the insecurity and unrest that the retrograde can arise in you onto other people. It's okay to need assurance, but remember that you are your own worst critic. As a general rule, try not to end any relationships during the retrograde or act on an impulse you've been holding out on. Whatever sign you think you're getting, if you're using it as an excuse, it probably isn't really a sign.

Fire signs are notorious for doing literally everything I just warned against, I'd know-- I'm a Leo. So I'd say my advice comes with some value, but hey, you do you. *stilettos heard walking away*