Mercury Retrograde

How and when will Mercury Retrograde affect you in 2017?

Is the bad reputation of Mercury Retrograde deserved? That may depend on where your car breaks down, how badly your travel plans are disrupted, how long you wait at the wrong restaurant or how much you need your computer. With a little preparation, you can help alleviate possible problems and even put these periods to good use.

From time to time, each of the planets appears to go in backward motion across the signs of the zodiac, depending upon the relative positions of the earth and the planet. That apparent backward motion is called retrograde motion.

When Mercury is retrograde, it is a good time to renew, revise, refurbish, rethink, reorganize, reflect, redo and get rid of anything that no longer serves you. As a Feng Shui consultant, I am always happy when the planets are helping us get rid of clutter.  When Mercury is retrograde, it is also a good time to complete long overdue tasks.  Many people have a heightened sense of inner awareness.

Whenever Mercury is retrograde, communications, contracts, machines and travel plans may go awry. For ordinary life, including communications and travel, I pay little or no attention to when Mercury is retrograde. I do, however, pay close attention to when Mercury is retrograde for important communicating, contract signing and passport vacation traveling. I will continue to go about my daily life and do what needs to be done, but I will not send any manuscripts to new publishers under a Mercury retrograde period.

Under Mercury Retrograde, take extra care while communicating with others. Make sure that everyone understands what the plans and expectations are. Signing important contracts to buy expensive items, applying for or starting a new job, or sending a manuscript to a new publisher may come to naught, have to be redone, or be short-lived.

If you travel when Mercury is retrograde, make allowances for changes in schedules and allow extra time to arrive. Mercury also rules telephones, computers, printers, machines and cars, so do everything you can to have them in good running order before Mercury goes retrograde.

Because Mercury also rules, or has a correspondence, with health, I would not have any elective surgery under Mercury Retrograde periods.  If you have to have surgery, go ahead.  There is never going to be a perfect time for anything and Mercury is just one of many planets that have an influence at any one time.

The effects of Mercury Retrograde are felt before and after the planet is actually going backwards through the signs of the zodiac as seen from the earth. These times before and after Mercury Retrograde are called shadow periods. A shadow period begins when Mercury is at the same degree of the zodiac where it will later go in forward motion again. A later shadow period is when Mercury starts going forwards again but is not yet at the same degree of the zodiac as it was when it first started going backwards.

Astrologers differ in their beliefs about shadow periods, but I think the shadow periods are not as strong as the actual retrograde periods. Recently, shadow periods have been affecting me and others strongly, so I may be paying more attention to them.  I will sign contracts in shadow periods but not in retrograde periods.

Mercury Direct is a good time for communications, signing contracts and traveling.  Astrology is about much more than just when Mercury is retrograde or direct, but it should be taken into consideration.  With really important things, consult a professional astrologer to explain to you all the planetary configurations than apply to you specifically.

If you have your Sun, Moon, Ascendant or planets in Mercury-ruled Gemini or Virgo, you will probably be more affected by Mercury Retrograde than will people who don’t have those placements in their birth charts.

People who were born when Mercury was retrograde often don’t feel the effects of when Mercury in the sky is retrograde as other people do.  If you have Mercury Retrograde in your birth chart, I would be interested in knowing how you feel Mercury Retrograde periods affect you.


Mark your calendars as to the times below.  Mercury is retrograde from the time it goes retrograde until the time it goes in forward motion. 

December 1, 2016 Mercury enters its shadow period

December 19, 2016 Mercury goes retrograde

January 8, 2017 Mercury goes in forward motion

January 28, 2017 Mercury is out of its shadow


March 26, 2017 Mercury enters its shadow period

April 9, 2017 Mercury goes retrograde

May 4, 2017 Mercury goes in forward motion

May 21, 2017 Mercury is out of its shadow


July 24, 2017 Mercury enters its shadow period

August 12, 2017 Mercury goes retrograde

September 5, 2017 Mercury goes in forward motion

September 20, 2017 Mercury is out of its shadow


November 14, 2017 Mercury enters its shadow period

December 2, 2017 Mercury goes retrograde

December 23, 2017 Mercury goes in forward motion

January 10, 2018 Mercury is out of its shadow