It is barely a week now that Mercury has been in retrograde and social media is drowning in information on how to survive this cosmic event that will unleash havoc and chaos over the next three weeks.
So what exactly is Mercury in retrograde and why does it scare people to the point that they blame every single thing that goes wrong in their lives on a planet that is 48 million miles away?
The planets do not move in perfect circles around the sun and from our view point on Earth they sometimes look like they stop in their tracks and then move backwards. This is called retrograde motion. It is just like when you are overtaking a slower car which is still moving forwards, but appears to be falling back. So you could say that this is an optical illusion. But no planet actually slows down, stops or changes direction.
Mercury is not the only planet that goes retrograde, but somehow over recent years it has unfortunately earned the worst reputation out of them all. Some people believe that when a planet is in retrograde everything goes out of sync, affecting all the areas that the planet normally governs, so in Mercury’s case that would be commerce, travel, communication and information. And because Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and has an orbit of only 88 days, we are overtaken by it three to four times a year. Which means three to four times a year we have Mercury in retrograde.
If people get the idea in their heads that something bad is going to happen then this is more than enough to actually make something bad happen. It is a self fulfilling prophecy. If we actively look for something to go wrong then we will absolutely find it. Mercury in retrograde is an easy excuse to blame our woes on. Your doctor’s appointment was cancelled? Must be Mercury in retrograde! Your train was late? Mercury in retrograde! This planet is a scapegoat if you will and Mercury’s influence is vastly overestimated by people; even astrologers. How can an optical illusion have this much control over someone? It’s because they allow it to.
You do not need protecting from a planet in retrograde and please do not be scared by all these posts on social media declaring things like. “Do not travel, do not purchase a computer, do not buy a car or sign important documents.” This is scaremongering.
When a planet is in retrograde especially when it is in your birth chart it is a chance to go within, to meditate or journal, to think about lessons you can learn from and to cultivate self love and patience. Be mindful of self talk and how you interact with others. Your mindset is your most powerful tool. We cannot always have control over what happens to us, but we can control how we perceive it. Remember, don’t react, just act.