Mercury Retrograde

Planets don’t actually move backwards, but, from an earth centered point of view, the planet Mercury will appear to move backwards in its orbit around the Sun.   This is but an optical illusion based upon our relationship in space as well as our different orbital speeds.  Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and usually moves about two degrees per day.  During the time it slows to change direction, its speed is only minutes of arc per day.

Mercury is the planet associated with communication, mental processes and reasoning.  Mercury is named for the Messenger God and shows how we make connections and assimilate information.  During the time it is retrograde or reversing course we are advised to slow down, reconsider our decisions, revise our plans, review our goals, repair, research, and renew.  Our lives often seem to be moving faster and faster with information inundating our minds more quickly than we can absorb it.  Every four months for about three weeks, the universe has scheduled in a cosmic down time.  While Mercury is retrograde it will be re-travelling the section of the zodiac that it has just passed through.  This month the degrees affected will be 29 – 16 Pisces.  On March 5, 2019 Mercury will appear to stop and begin moving back over space it has already traversed and on March 28, 2019 Mercury will appear to stop, turn forward and retrace its steps over that same area.  Pisces is a sign associated with the planet Neptune. Pisces has to do with idealism, dreams, vision and compassion. While the communications planet is zipping along here is a fine time to allow yourself to take care of your spiritual life.  Re-read an inspiring book or a journal from your past.  Spend time in silence.  Give yourself permission to dream.  Because Mercury will be retracing its steps over a portion of the zodiac, we too may be retracing or reconsidering issues which first came up beginning in late February, but we may not make a final decision or act on our plans until Mercury has passed out of this area towards the middle of April.  Pay attention to your thoughts during the retrograde phase.  If you have been thinking about starting or changing something, your decisions may shift along with the speed and direction of Mercury.  Remember, anything with the “RE” prefix is appropriate during Mercury Retrograde: repair, replace, renegotiate, renew, reflect, reorganize, or rewrite. If you were unsuccessful with something in the past, try again during the mercury retrograde.  It is a good idea to be diligent about checking for errors during this time, especially when writing or transcribing numbers or directions.  Sometimes during Mercury retrograde you will find that you don’t have all of the information necessary to make a decision or that new information will surface which causes you to change your mind.  People may back out of contracts. Plans are subject to change and you will be less stressed if you are willing to anticipate this.  If you must sign a contract, purchase a new car or communication devices or make travel plans remember to leave room for changes and adjustments.

People who first learn about astrology and Mercury retrograde often connect this phase with crazy time – people lose their keys, cars won’t start, computers crash, clients forget appointments or get lost on their way or someone misunderstands what you say.  Around the time when Mercury appears to change direction either reversing course or resuming forward motion it will appear to be moving very slowly.  Mercury isn’t happy slowing down.  Mercury has the fastest orbit in our solar system except for the moon.  Think about how quickly the neurons are firing in your brain and how many thoughts and ideas you can juggle at one time – then imagine that you experience a mental traffic jam.  Watch out for the sense of Urgency that seems to accompany this period. I have found that many of the mistakes associated with Mercury retrograde could have been avoided if we are willing to be patient or wait for a better time. Actions started under Mercury retrograde may be delayed or not completed until a future Mercury retrograde cycle.  Mercury will be retrograde again in July of this year.  Do not be afraid to act during this period.  Simply slow down and allow for adjustments in your plan. Mercury Retrograde is not a cosmic error but a natural and predictable cycle. We benefit when we learn to work with its energy.       

Mary Keswani is an astrologer with over 30 years of experience and is a member and former president of the Astrological Society of Kentucky.  Mary speaks with clients in person or by phone.  She has clients around the world and is available for lectures and workshops. You may contact her for a reading at 502-429-5119 or

The study, research and dissemination of astrological knowledge.