In Greek mythology and astrological analysis, Mercury also known as Hermes, is a rather rowdy celestial character who is quite clever, cunning and full of tricks. Mercury functioned as an enabler of all kinds of endeavors that broke down barriers, whether for good or ill. He helped healers and robbers alike.
He was also revered as the ruler of merchants, trade and profit, and travelers. Mercury literally means mercalus "market" and commercium "commerce."
Held in his left hand, Mercury's symbols are the caduceus staff, which shows that we find the middle way of truth by reconciling opposites. In his right hand, he holds a scroll, to guide true wisdom in which our advancement of insight can lead us.
Bright Mercury brings us illuminating guidance and amazing connections. Under its influence, sparks of insight blaze about our mind's eye, seeking and perhaps, attaining true wisdom. In astrology, Mercury represents our way of thinking, speaking, writing, and how we communicate in general.
During a planetary retrograde, a planet in the distant skies will appear to be moving in a backward motion when viewed from Earth. The word retrograde stems from the Latin word, retrogradus, which means "backward step."
All planets in the Solar System travel along the same journey around the Sun, never pausing or turning backward in the opposite direction, though occasionally they all appear to do just that. This appearance is actually an optical illusion brought on by that planet's particular rotation around the sun.
Because Mercury is the closest to the Sun and completes its orbit in just 88 days, the planet is in retrogression three or four times each calendar year, lasting about three weeks at a time. (see a list of dates below)
Now that you know what Mercury is and how retrograde works let's mix the two together and take a look at the effects of this astronomical event and some tips to consider during the next retrograde cycle.
Astrologers suggest that as Mercury moves through its retrogression stages, our ideas and decisions can change radically. Remember Mercury is that tricky clever governor of thinking, speaking, writing, and communication. This retrograde time is a breaking down of barriers and that requires paying extra attention to details. Being mindful and taking things slow can transform what may be a disadvantage to an advantage.
The following crystal stones and mala beads are great for use during a Mercury retrograde as they are associated with finding calm, communicating well, and our insights:
Pictured Above: Slices of Agate, the gemstone crystal for Mercury.
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From 2020 until 2025 below you will find a list of dates Mercury will be in retrograde.
February 16 – March 9, 2020
June 17 – July 12, 2020
October 13 – November 3, 2020
January 30 – February 20, 2021
May 29 – June 22, 2021
September 27 – October 18, 2021
January 14 – February 3, 2022
May 10 – June 2, 2022
September 9 – October 2, 2022
December 29 – January 18, 2022
Dec 29, 2022 – Jan 18, 2023
April 21 – May 14, 2023
August 23 – September 15, 2023
December 13, 2023 – January 1, 2024
December 13, 2023 - January 1, 2024
April 1- April 25, 2024
August 4 – August 28, 2024
November 25 – December 15, 2024
March 14 – April 7, 2025
July 17 – August 11, 2025
November 9 – November 29, 2025