Mercury goes retrograde, May 10 – June 3, 2022

‘Mercury goes retrograde’ has become an ominous catchphrase. But what does it actually mean?

The term ‘retrograde’ literally means ‘moving backwards’, which is confusing since the physical planets in space NEVER actually go backwards around the sun. But, from our vantage point on planet earth, they APPEAR to be going backwards. So, retrogradation is a perceptual phenomenon, not a physical one. Mercury, the smallest and fastest planet in our solar system, goes ‘retrograde’ three times a year.

Astrological significance of Mercury retrograde

Astrologically, Mercury rules communication, travel, trade, and trickery. Its retrograde periods tend to trigger much vexation. But, while some people refuse to do anything of consequence, others welcome the change of pace.

We can often observe some mercurial crises during Mercury retrograde periods: communication chaos and transport delays, strikes, postal services problems, volatile stock markets etc. or personal problems with email, deliveries, lost documents, misbehaving computers, or the car developing mysterious symptoms. You get the idea.

But these periods do not always have to turn out badly. It may just mean that things are not quite working out as planned. Stuff might go missing, or misunderstandings create awkward situations. If you are planning anything important, keep a flexible mindset. Things may change.

In the world of politics, retrograde Mercury can manifest in a stalemate, diplomatic faux pas, or filibuster. Decisions made at this time are likely to be revisited later and may ultimately be overturned.


Easy does it

How this Mercury retrograde transit will pan out in your personal life depends on the house it is passing through and the aspects it makes in passing.

On the upside, Mercury retrograde periods are great for taking time out. Disconnect for a while, especially from the busy digital world, and re-charge your batteries. While it is not healthy to self-obsess, practising mindfulness helps us become more self-aware.

Take time out to tidy up loose ends, clear out old clutter and finish off dangling projects. If need be, restructure your routines and time management to better serve you and your goals.


Share your Mercury retrograde experiences in the Astro-Insights Facebook group, so we can all deepen our understanding.