What Is Mercury In Retrograde? 17 Facts, 2017 Dates & Survival Tips

Mercury Retrograde, Astrology, Science

Mercury in retrograde begins Dec 3rd!

Well, folks, Here we are. Mercury retrograde season runs from December 3rd - 22nd, 2017. You've already short-circuited a few electronic devices, or dropped your new cell phone and cracked the screen.

You may not be into things involving the zodiac or horoscope, and perhaps you have no idea what the Farmer's Almanac has to do with astrology or retrograde season, either. But one thing is for sure, you more than likely have heard someone blaming a tech problem or a communication glitch on "Mercury in retrograde."

No, you're not losing your A-game or accepting some cultish belief system that has your thoughts going to the dark side. It's Mercury retrograde season and there's a reason why some people imagine it to be less than true. 

If you are like me, (and I'm dating myself) when you hear about Mercury going into retrograde certain imagines jump to your mind. Perhaps you imagine an old-fashioned mercury thermometer being placed under your tongue to see if you had a fever.

Or maybe your scientific brain thinks of the energy that mercury as a source brings. Perhaps you remember those pesky Mercury batteries that are difficult to replace, and such a hassle to find when you need one. 

Rarely does the term Mercury come with a positive mental image There's a reason for that. Mercury has earned itself quite a reputation as the bad boy of astrology when it goes retrograde. It's known to empower communication, but when it's illusion influences the planet, well... you kind of want to know why, don't you?

RELATED: How Mercury In Retrograde REALLY Affects Each Zodiac Sign (Because YES, It's BAAACK)

Sad for such a tiny little planet. Mercury was once commonly called Hermes, the messenger of the Gods, in Greek mythology. So, is it any surprise that communication would be involved when Mercury enters the picture? In fact, there are many smart people who believe if not handled carefully, decisions made during Mercury retrograde isn't just poor judgment, it could ruin lives.

Mercury is also positioned closest to the Sun, and as you already know...it's hot there. As much as a tiny little planet with no life form may seem harmless to planet Earth, there's something about retrograde that makes an impact on our energy.

Call it cosmic influence. Oh, and did you know that zodiac signs who have fiery personalities and strong senses of independence (— ahem, Aries...) has Mercury as their influencing planet in their ruling Sun, rising moon, or other house where communication is affected. 

People with strong and erratic personalities are often described as "mercurial" described as unpredictable, quick, and even a bit restless, by those who know them. A mercurial person is a person who is hard to predict.

Is it any wonder that any sentence that includes the words "retrograde" and "Mercury" would raise caution? 

Now, that you're aware. You have been warned. Pay attention because Mercury in retrograde starts on December 3rd and ends December 22nd. It's time to get ready.

Want to know how to best prepare for this time of Mercury season? We've gathered up the 17 most popular questions and survival tips about Mercury in retrograde. So, this time around, you can survive it like a pro.  

1. What does it mean when people say "Mercury is in retrograde?"

When Mercury moves in opposite direction to planet Earth, it is in retrograde. Planets typically move from East to West, but during the retrograde season, Mercury moves from West to East instead.

2. Is Mercury in retrograde a real thing?

No. Mercury's change in rotation is actually considered a type of illusion. As Earth moves past the planet Mercury in its orbit around the sun, it looks like Mercury has changed directions, but that's because the planets are moving more slowly. 

A good example of this can be when a person is sitting in a car and the car beside it starts to slowly reverse out of their parking spot.

At first, it may appear that your car is slowly moving forward, when in fact you're not. The same can be said about Mercury moving in retrograde. When used as a season to confront illusion, Mercury retrograde season can be a real tool for self-improvement.

RELATED: The Crazy, Reckless Things You Do After A Breakup, According To Your Zodiac Sign

3. What's the science behind Mercury in retrograde?

The science of Mercury in retrograde is centered on astrology. But traditional science does not support the theory of Mercury retrograde.

Science has not proven that Mercury retrograde creates a negative influence on communication or creating problems with technology (as is often blamed).

4. How does Mercury in retrograde work?

If you ask an astrologer, they will tell you that Mercury in retrograde impacts communication. They will tell you that you are likely to have problems in your relationship in the area of communication.

Perhaps you might have problems expressing how you feel. Some admit that Mercury in retrograde is an illusion but at the same time appeal to persons who sense the change in energy to heed the warning and brace for releases of change until it's over.

5. How many times a year does Mercury go into retrograde?

According to Live Science, Mercury in retrograde typically happens 4 times a year and can last up to 20 days each cycle depending on the season. 

The dates for Mercury retrograde in 2017 were and are:

  • January 1 to 9
  • April 9 to May 3
  • August 12 to September 5
  • December 3 to 23

For 2018, the dates are:

  • March 22 – April 15, 2018 
  • July 25 - August 18, 2018 
  • November 16 - December 6, 2018 

6. Is Mercury in retrograde a good thing or a bad thing?

At the end of the day, Mercury in retrograde is what you make of it. Some say that they have had some really bad experiences during its season.

Astronomers believe in retrograde season recommend that people exercise caution and to give time to the things that require your careful and thoughtful consideration especially in areas of your life that might be life-changing. 

7. What should I expect to happen when Mercury is in retrograde?

That depends. If your zodiac sign has Mercury influences, you may sense it more than others. In general, you can expect there to be a greater need for flexibility. Plan ahead when it comes to travel, or if you're about to sign a contract. 

8. What are the phases of Mercury in retrograde?

There is actually a shadow period before Mercury retrograde takes place. It's believed that this creates what's called a backspin into Virgo and Leo.

9. What are the positives to Mercury being in retrograde?

As people refer to Mercury retrograde, it can be considered a call to action. For example, if you knew that you might have a problem up ahead, you'd prepare in advance.

Likewise, if there are things in your life that are more fiction than fact, you can use these statements as reminders to work on false beliefs in your life. 

10. Is Mercury in retrograde worse when there's a full moon?

This year, not only does Mercury enter retrograde during a full moon, but there was a lunar eclipse during the shadow period the retrograde period. There can be energies that influence a person during this time that make things feel more challenging than usual.

In December's Mercury retrograde's time frame, there's a Full Moon in Gemini and even a final meteor shower, called The Geminids.

RELATED: How October's Meteor Showers Affect Each Zodiac Sign's Personality

11. How does Mercury in retrograde affect relationships?

In areas of ego or past problems, when conflicts take place, happen naturally in a relationship. So, if there are problems in your relationships especially in the area of communication, then you can work on it. A relationship that partners together at this time will grow stronger. 

And, relationships that choose to neglect each other during this time may not. 

RELATED: The Kind Of Guy You Should Wait For, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

12. Is it bad to get married when Mercury is in retrograde?

Some say that this time period causes a lot of frustration because people feel more hesitant. There are individuals that question their choices. There might be a tendency to cancel major decisions and plans for travel.

However, if your marriage plans are agreed upon by you and your partner, you can revisit what makes your relationship unique. You can confront problems with open eyes and an open heart. 

RELATED: How Your Wedding Date Affects Your Marriage, According To Astrology

13. What does Mercury in retrograde do to communication?

According to many astrologers and astrology sites, Mercury creates crossed signals. However, if you pay attention to this time as a reflection of ego and confrontation of personal illusions there's room for growth.

RELATED: How You Really Talk To People, According To Your Zodiac Sign

14. Do couples breakup more when Mercury is in retrograde?

Some say that Mercury retrograde impacts relationships most because of problems that can occur in communication. Of course, if your relationship already struggles with communication, then you are likely to be more at risk than others. 

However, there's an opportunity here, too. If your relationship is important to you and both partners are aware that communication problems are coming, you can work together and spend more time trying to clear misunderstandings when they happen.

RELATED: How You Know He Wants To Leave You, According To His Zodiac Sign

15. Is it okay to buy a house, or car, or anything tech when Mercury is in retrograde?

You can make any decisions like you normally would; however, it's advised that you take extra time to ensure that communication is clear.

It can't hurt to pay more attention to the details during this time, and since this year Mercury retrograde will last nearly 20 days, there's an opportunity to increase mindfulness, too.

RELATED: How Much Of A Saver Or Spender You REALLY Are, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

16. What can I do to survive when Mercury is in retrograde?

Some astrologers suggest using a handy-dandy planner or what's called an ephemeris astrological planner aka like this one.

17. How do I learn more about Mercury in retrograde?

You can take courses that teach about the subject on sites like Udemy, read books, or watch several YouTube videos on the subject. 

But just in case you need it here are some tips on surviving communication problems during Mercury retrograde this time around:

  • Use this time to be flexible.
  • Practice forgiveness. 
  • Allow room for quality communication.
  • Take time to decide big decisions.

And remember, you have control over how you respond to this time period in your life. 

When Aria Gmitter isn’t exploring the meaning of life with help from the universe, she can be found stargazing or in search of the next great cup of tea. Follow Aria on social media. You can ask Aria any question about astrology, horoscopes, zodiac, relationships, and love on Mondays at 10:20 pm on Facebook Live. 

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