Every three months he decides to walk backwards and talk about it. The told me-told account that his reverse gear makes his cell phone break, merchandise delay, e-mail come back or be sent without an attachment… The fact is that Mercury’s retrogradation is already part of the astrological folklore, and like every story narrated by popular wisdom, contains touches of fiction.
First of all, who is Mercury? In astrological language, we speak of the planets as people, or rather, as gods. Named as Greco-Roman deities, the stars correspond with mythical characters.
The Roman god Mercury is equivalent to the Greek Hermes, the younger brother of Apollo (Sol). Youngest son, without status, envied his brother, who had power, prestige and cattle.
What was lacking in clout was left in cunning, as a child Mercury played a trick on Apollo and stole his flock. Zeus (Jupiter), the father, punished his son’s mischief by entrusting him with taking messages from the gods. Hermes became a postman.
From the myth we can apprehend the subjects attributed to the planet: communication, uses of language, intellect, means of transport, transactions and business. In Latin, the term “merces”, from which Mercury derives, means merchandise. Hermes is the god of commerce, an activity to which speech is a great ally.
The symbolic retreat
Now let’s go to retrogradation. The backward movement that the stars eventually assume (except for Sun and Moon, which never retrograde) is apparent, that is, they do not retreat physically. It is an optical illusion caused by our reference of observers here on Earth.
The different planetary orbits make it appear that a celestial body is, in some periods, receding. In the case of Mercury, this happens when the planet passes between the Earth and the Sun. This phenomenon is not uncommon, it occurs about three times a year, which is why it is so well known and commented on.
And what do I have to do with it?
Retrogradation is a weakness. A planet in direct motion has more strength than a retrograde planet, which is symbolically going back to the past. It is boring when we have to return, for example, if we get to work and realize that the wallet was at home. With the head down (Mercury rules the rational processes), the chance of making a mistake is greater.
The planets do not produce events, the relationship is not one of cause and effect. Astrology’s look is one of correspondence, we observe the sky and establish correlations down here. The Earth reflects the celestial events as the sea mirrors the sky, “duplicating” what is going on up there.
When Mercury retrogrades, we can observe dysfunctions in its subjects. Speech, cognition, business transactions can be truncated, as well as devices used for locomotion and communication. The coming and going, the free flow of words, connections and business tends to be hampered by delays and failures.
It is false to say that retrograde Mercury causes a misunderstanding or causes your notebook to crash. You can’t blame him for the work he lost because you didn’t save it, or the email that didn’t arrive because his inbox was full.
If a device needed to be revised a long time ago and gives a blue screen during retrogradation, it is almost a heavenly decree: fix it there, the deadline is over! Only go forward again after the repair.
The reversed march informs that the time is to reevaluate, rethink and resolve issues. Our minds can also go back, remember old issues or change our minds. Thought gains depth and introspection. In direct movement, dialogue, social interaction and speech go “outwards”. In retrogradation, communication is introverted, the conversation turns “inward”.
Is it not appropriate to count on the blessings of a backward god, if Mercury backs up, what should our steps be? Read and reread everything we write with extra attention; leave the house in advance to prevent bottled traffic, or order the car through the transport app with a little time off. Give margin of error, you know? And be patient with delivery services. Orders, letters, meals by delivery can run into unforeseen events along the way.
As for purchases of electronics, cars and motorcycles, the ideal is to wait for the return of the planet to direct movement. Don’t delay, Mercury’s retrogradations last less than a month. If signing contracts, be very careful to check clause by clause. Mercury is rascal, and if we fool around, we end up buying cat in a poke.
This lesson is also in mythology. Apollo / Sol, the older brother, is furious at the theft of his cattle, but Hermes / Mercury soothes him with the sweet touch of the lyre, which he himself invented. Delighted, Apolo agrees to exchange his flock for the musical instrument, and falls victim to yet another ruse.
When happens? Next retrogrades in 2020
- From June 18th to July 12th.
- From October 13th to November 3rd.
Luisa Nucada is a journalist and astrologer at Nux Astrologia. Write daily horoscopes on your Instagram profile: @ nux.astrologia.