If you’ve heard the term “Mercury retrograde,” odds are you don’t have good feelings about it. Take heart! Even if some people react to it as if the sky is falling, Mercury retrograde is not the end of the world. It’s a regular phenomenon that happens three or four times every year.

What does it mean?

First, the technicalities: Mercury is retrograde when it’s traveling backwards. That’s an optical illusion, of course, and comes from a change in that planet’s orbital speed in comparison to the earth’s. (Think of it as the planetary equivalent of speeding up, passing a car and seeing it fall far behind after you in the rear view mirror.)

How this works: When Mercury is moving in reverse, the areas of life it governs do not play by the usual rules. Pay extra attention to anything related to communication and travel --  including phones, computers and electronic devices, the mail (remember that?), cars, public transportation and commutes.  

Messages go astray; misunderstandings and confusion abound; technology malfunctions; traffic snarls; travel gets delayed. Postpone launching major projects, signing major contracts and buying big-ticket items. Double-check fine print, backup your data and allow lots of extra time when you’re on the road.

The good news? This is an excellent time to investigate and research, finish old business, clean up paperwork and get in touch with people you haven’t talked to in a while. Pay attention to who surfaces from the past, in person or in thoughts. Their reappearance could help tie up loose ends or resolve lingering business. Organize and prepare so you’ll be ready to move ahead when Mercury does!

The bottom line? Life goes on; you make the best of situations. You may not always have the option of postponing; circumstances may require signing a contract or replacing a car or piece of technology while Mercury is retrograde. Don't make assumptions. Investigate as much as you can. Take the action you feel needs to happen to address the immediate situation. Anything that you've instigated under a retrograde will likely come back up again later, to be renegotiated, repaired or undone -- which can give you the flexibility to get out of an arrangement that isn't quite right. 

Mercury retrogrades in 2014

Mercury is retrograde from:

 February 6 - 20, going from 3 Pisces to 18 Aquarius
    June 7 - July 1, going from 3 Cancer to 24 Gemini
    October 4 - 25, going from 2 Scorpio to 16 Libra

It’s common to feel communication and transportation matters start slowing a couple of days before a retrograde begins. Once it ends, the change is not instantaneous. Wait a few days before resuming business as usual, to give the planet time to get moving again.

All of this year’s Mercury retrogrades start with the planet in a water sign and backing into air. The difference in element is important.  

Air makes the best of a tricky situation, because he’s naturally suited to flying about in that element. Water is not naturally comfortable for the winged messenger, who prefers an environment that allows him to move nimbly and quickly.  When he’s in water, confusion and mistaken thinking will intensify. It will be easy to pick up undercurrents or other people’s thoughts and assume that they are yours.  

You could be more intuitive than normal, too, especially at the beginning of the February and October retrogrades. The June retrograde, starting in Cancer, may encourage a brief rise in expression of emotions, sentimentality, tenderness, touchiness, crabbiness and taking things personally.

In all three, you may get a second go at exploring how you or someone else felt about recent events. Thanks to the sonar properties Mercury has in water, you may effortlessly soak up a lot of useful information -- or catch it as it floats by you. When each retrograde takes Mercury back into an air sign, it will be easier to apply mental distance and objectivity to the feelings and information that have come your way.

Kathy Biehl is a professional astrologer and Aquarian who has lived on the bridge between intuition and the rational mind for more than 30 years. Visit EmpowermentUnlimited.net for her podcasts, recordings and information about her services. You can also follow her daily insights and whimsical photos on Facebook, and find her at the Professional Aquarian YouTube channel.

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Replies to This Discussion

I wasn't sure whether to post this here or in the forum for general submissions. Please note that it is relevant throughout the year.

Hi Kathy - recommended to the publishers for inclusion in one of the forthcoming multi media editions of OM Times. It is indeed relevant to the year ahead


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