What Is Mercury Retrograde? (No, It’s Not Gatorade)

The notorious Mercury Retrograde is back to ruin our lives once again! If you’ve not heard, Mercury Retrograde starts today, October 31 (perfect timing since it’s also spooky season) and ends on November 20. You might have come across the term “Mercury Retrograde” once or twice and wondered what it meant. There are other retrogrades that occur, but this one in particular affects everyone significantly. Knowing exactly what it is and the implications that it has can help you prepare for it, regardless if you believe in astrology.

The word “retrograde” is defined as something moving backwards. However, according to NASA’s “Star Child”, the retrograde motion is merely an illusion. Therefore, Mercury Retrograde is simply the illusion of the planet Mercury moving backwards.

Mercury rules communication, which includes listening, speaking and writing. During Mercury Retrograde, it can be difficult to express ourselves and communicate effectively. Misunderstandings are most likely to occur between family members and friends. Therefore, take a minute or two to calm down before you voice your opinion during this period. You do not want to say something that you’ll regret once Mercury goes direct. 

Apart from communication, Mercury Retrograde also affects travel and technology. If your phone’s GPS acts up or your computer suddenly crashes, you can blame Mercury Retrograde. Therefore, give yourself extra time to travel, backup your files and don't be taken aback if plans fall through or if rescheduling occurs.

Also, don’t be surprised if your ex sends you a “you up?” text. Since Mercury Retrograde is a period of time for self-reflection, it can cause us to feel nostalgic and miss people from our past. This does not apply to just past lovers. Old friends are likely to pop back into the picture. However, it is important to take a step back and reflect. Ask yourself if this relationship is worth giving another chance. If the relationship you had with them was toxic, do not think the universe is giving you a second chance to rekindle it. The universe may send you a message, but it is up to you to interpret it in a way that is most beneficial to yourself. 

With all this said, there are precautions you can take to ensure that Mercury Retrograde does not significantly destroy your life. One precaution you can take is not to make any significant decisions during this time. This can be anything from making a relationship official or buying a house. Significant decisions made during retrograde will most likely fall through once retrograde is over. This is because your judgment is clouded during this period of time.

Now, I am not asking you to nail down your doors and shut yourself off from the outside world. Instead, use this time to self-reflect on your past and work on your communication skills. Mercury rules anything that begins with “re,” including redo, reassess, repair and reflect. Therefore, run a warm bath (preferably with LUSH’s Mercury Retrograde Bath Bomb) and do some thinking. Since the ruling planet for both Gemini and Virgo is Mercury, this Mercury Retrograde will be harder for you to navigate. And with the retrograde occuring during water-sign Scorpio season, we will have no choice but to face our deepest emotions and explore ourselves on a more intimate level. Here’s to hoping that we’re all prepared for the rollercoaster ride that will be the next three weeks!