You may have heard something about Mercury retrograde and wondered what it is and what is does, and what to do and what not to do, or you may have even thought, “So what?”
If you are interested in finding a job or growing your career see what to do when Mercury is retrograde so you can make the most of every moment.
To make the best use of planetary energy it is all about going with the flow and that means taking the meaning of the planet and noticing if it is holding up a “stop” or “go” sign.
One example of planetary energy that you can see is the Moon and the tides.
The Moon pulls the waters of the Earth and creates two high tides and two low tides each day. As each day moves on the times for the tides constantly changes. But every day there will be two incoming tides and two outgoing tides.
It is at the incoming tide that you can yell “Surf’s up!” and trot down to the beach to practice your surfing. Well if you live on the coast and have a surf culture perhaps like in Hawaii, but you get the picture.
You can only surf when the tide is coming in. There is no point in paddling out to hope to surf in if the tide is going out. Right?
Each year Mercury will be retrograde three times at around four-month intervals and for about three weeks each time. Each year the dates are different.
You can find the exact dates when Mercury will be retrograde for the next few years below. You can mark these dates in your calendar now and lock out this special time.
Apparent retrograde is the optical illusion of something going backward and in this case, it is the planet, Mercury.
Imagine you are on a train and moving along at a fair pace then suddenly you come upon another train on the next track. The other train is going slower than you are so your train overtakes it but the other train seems to be going backward.
Both trains are driving forward but one seems to be going in reverse. That is the illusion of retrogradation.
That a planet is retrograde can be interpreted as a time to change the pace and adjust your approach to things.
When a planet is not retrograde it is direct.
Mercury’s Retrograde Periods for 2019
March 5th to 28th from 29° to 16° Pisces.
July 1st to August 1st from 4° Leo to 23° Cancer.
October 21st to November 20th from 27° to 11° Scorpio
In everyday life, this means all your shopping, buying and selling, texts, phone calls, emails and general chatting, as well as gossip, comes under Mercury’s influence.
In the workplace, Mercury covers resumes, recruiters, interviews (by phone and in person).
It also is concerned with paperwork and anything you sign, like a job offer.
Timing is Everything
There is a sequence in each retrograde cycle.
It starts when Mercury is direct, then comes a shadow period of about ten days before the actual retrograde starts, the retrograde period itself, another shadow time of about a week and a half after Mercury has been retrograde, and then Mercury is no longer retrograde and is back to normal.
Before Mercury goes retrograde (and is direct) do the following:
Write your resume crafted for each specific job
Compose targeted cover letters
Apply for jobs via email and snail mail
Call companies on the phone
Reach out to your contact list and tell them you are looking for work
Take the initiative to let your family, friends, and others know you are searching for a new job
Start a short course on something you need in your job to build your marketable skills
Join professional societies and attend Meetups in your field
All of the above should be done when Mercury is not retrograde and preferably not in its shadow period.
When Mercury is retrograde do the following:
Revise your resume
Refresh any cover letters
Get your filing up to date of jobs for which you have already applied
Write a list of companies and people with whom to follow up and contact them again
Research current thinking in your industry
Set up alerts for leads
Schedule second interviews (phone and in person)
Review job offers
Prepare your paperwork for jobs you plan to apply for after Mercury is retrograde as you wait for it to go direct
During Mercury retrograde periods you can follow up and work on things that you have already done when Mercury was direct.
Don’t start new things when Mercury is retrograde because if you do they will most likely be reversed when Mercury goes direct.
Sometimes you have no choice because a job advert or interview comes up when Mercury is retrograde and you need a job so you have to go. In these instances be aware that the terms will change.
As Mercury goes direct after the retrograde period, and if you did apply for a job or had an interview during the retrograde time, you can expect to return again and again for further interviews, or the job itself is shelved, or the job is morphed into something else altogether.
Don’t start new things when Mercury is retrograde, because if you do, they will most likely be reversed when Mercury goes direct.
Companies usually act in good faith when they place an advert for an opening in their business, but the effect of Mercury retrograde changes the terms or the agreement and thus they may no longer need the person that they were originally looking for when Mercury was retrograde.
This cuts both ways for people looking for work and recruiters.
Companies and career consultants are better off only placing vacancy adverts when Mercury is direct and communications are clear.
If a recruiter seeks a candidate during the retrograde period they will have to spend three times as long emailing back and forth and interviewing people that cancel and can’t make it for whatever reason.
All of this time-consuming effort is due to the Mercury retrograde effect which impacts communications, trade, and agency.
Mercury has more retrograde cycles than the other planets. Mercury goes retrograde three times each year. This occurs roughly at four month intervals and usually coincides with the same element for three consecutive retrograde periods.
Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun. It moves the fastest of all the planets. Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo.
All the planets except the Sun and Moon have retrograde periods every year. The exception is Mars which turns retrograde every two years. you can see that it affects many planets and that there is almost always one planet retrograde at any given time.
Pop culture and Mercury retrograde
As the details of Mercury retrograde permeate through to the general public the words, “Mercury retrograde” become a catch phrase and is diluted down into basic, and often most inflammatory words. You will hear things like, “don’t buy computers, cars or phones when Mercury is retrograde.”
Well yes, certainly those things can be said but astrologers know there is a more subtle effect to the apparent reversal of direction for the innermost planet.
Your natal Mercury condition
As with all astrology good forecasting and interpretation for yourself hinges on your own chart. If you have a well-placed and robust Mercury you will withstand the influence of Mercury retrograde (or any retrograde depending on the planet) and still be standing as other folds under their weaker Mercury placements.
A broad generality is like saying, “All cars reverse (or back-up) badly” when really it is more that, “some drivers can’t reverse very well.”
You know yourself that you are better at some things than others and certainly you will do some things way better than anyone else. So saying we all suffer the same way when Mercury is retrograde is simplistic.
If you have Mercury retrograde in your birth chart you will withstand the negative effects of any Mercury retrograde period now and in the future.
How Retrogrades Affect Your Chart
Whichever house in your natal chart this retrograde occurs will be the area of life that is affected.
For example, if this Mercury retrograde period occurs in your fourth house then you will revisit family and home issues and you will need to go back and attend to them and drains, leaks and plumbing come to mind.
If it happens in your seventh house your marriage will need further discussions and conversations and yes it will be about dragging up past issues (like affairs) to be aired again as these things just won’t stay buried.
The Illusion of Aparrent Retrograde Motion
Retrograde motion is the apparent backwards movement of a planet.
The analogy I use when I’m teaching a class is that when you are on a train moving forwards then another train pulls alongside going at the same speed, if the second train slows down it appearsto be going backwards, although it is still moving forwards albeit slower than your train.
This is an optical illusion and clearly demonstrates planetary apparent retrograde motion.
As astrologers we can look at each year in many ways. During any given year there are the natural planetary cycles.
We also note the retrogrades as a background ebb and flow similar to radio static from the Big Bang.
On top of this, we can consider more specific movements of the transiting planets and then drill down to a closer inspection of your particular chart, it’s unique placements and the personal effects that you experience.
Retrogradation of the Planets
Retrogradation is the optical illusion of a planet stopping and moving backward and after a while turning and going forwards again. We see this because of our moving viewpoint from planet Earth.
A planetary station is the exact time and position that a planet turns direction either from forwards to backward (stations retrograde SRx) or from backward to forwards (stations direct SD).
All planets except the Sun and the Moon have retrograde periods.
Note: Having a retrograde Sun is an old astrology joke so don’t get caught nodding sagely to that old chestnut.
During the whole year, there is always at least one planet retrograde. It really is a natural state for us to experience and not the dreaded time that many believe.
Embrace each planet’s retrograde period and make the most of the natural slow down that all planets experience during any given year. As above so below.