Mercury Retrograde: dancing backwards and in heels

by Lady Deane

Sometimes—and I swear this feels true—it seems as if the planets are out to get us.  If you’ve ever looked up to heaven and wrung your hands at the powers that be, imploring: “Why me, God!?!” then you know what I’m talking about.  If you haven’t, then you are leading a charmed life and should put this article down and look up a copy of Cinderella.  Because when it comes to retrograding planets, it can seem like all hell is breaking loose and the sky is falling. Suddenly your dance partner steps on your toes or crushes your (insert your own word here): corsage, ego, heart, dreams, etc, and generally ruins your day.

But, as clumsy as the retrograde dance can seem at first, it really is a dance worth learning.  Because the planets aren’t really out to get us, they’re just trying to teach us better footwork.  Mercury will be the next planet retrograding—from September 17th thru October 8th in the sign of Libra.  Libra is the sign of balance and rules the 7th house of marriage and partnership, so we will all continue to do a tricky 2-step dance with the significant people in our lives now—with both business and personal relationships.

When Mercury retrogrades, we are processing information as well as trying to get our communication systems on board. So, information systems of all kinds tend to be affected, and sometimes we have to “re-think” the way in which we communicate to begin with. For example: we can have computer problems, our messages can be lost, our conversations can be misinterpreted and we can feel generally misunderstood. Should we just become hermits and unplug everything?  No, but simple awareness is a very important skill to have during any retrograde.  So, the first step is to become aware of the real messages underneath all the chatter. And, perhaps the most important conversation to have during the retrograde is the one we have with ourselves.

Many times astrologers warn us not to start something new during retrograde periods.  This is mainly because the retrograde energy supports behind-the-scenes or tie-up-your-loose-ends types of activities. But I find that it’s also helpful to think of Mercury retrograde as a “try it and see” time.  It’s true that you probably shouldn’t launch a brand new business then, but you could research the kind of business you hope to launch one day.  In general I think we should use this time to “sample” what life has to offer.  Think of it like a celestial smorgasbord of sorts.  “I’ll just take a bite of that new dish and see if I like it” or “I think I’ll try this chair in that corner for a week and see if it works out.”  At this time, we shouldn’t get too attached to the outcome of things (or to whatever it is you’re searching for).  We shouldn’t commit just yet. But it is a really good time to have a try-it mindset or a wait-and-see attitude.  If you can manage to stay open to new things but not attached to new things (harder than it seems) you will do well.  Then, when Mercury goes direct, you’ll know what you want (as well as what you don’t want) because you already tried it.  Experimenting and trying things out helps us know what will work for us in the long run.

MERCURIAL THEMES:  flitting about hither and yon, running daily errands, increased paperwork, communication mix-ups and misunderstandings, repairing or replacing electronics, troubleshooting, multi-tasking, researching, tying up loose ends, having a blast from your past, connecting with someone you haven’t seen in awhile, catching up on old times, playing tricks (or delivering treats!).


  • Don't talk over everyone. Others might have important information for you, but you’ll miss it if your gums are constantly flapping.
  • Don’t just talk about yourself. Other people might just know something you don’t. Besides, no one likes a bore.
  • Don’t rush around, that’s when accidents happen.
  • Don’t purchase major electronics just yet (phones, TV’s, DVD players, etc). Although you can research them now.
  • Don’t sign major contracts now (cars, real estate, rental agreements, partnership agreements, etc) unless they are very short term.
  • Don’t marry now (although an engagement or dating period is fine).


  • Do listen more than you talk. This is the time to remember that your ears are more than just holes in your head.
  • Do try to keep your feet on the floor (and out of your mouth). Those wing-ed Mercury boots can be wicked fast!
  • Do think before you speak.
  • Do give yourself extra time to get anywhere (because you’ll need it).
  • Do plan to arrive just a teensy bit early.
  • Do remember to fill up your gas tank!
  • Do repair (or replace) major electronics now.
  • Do research all contracts now (read the fine print, ask questions etc.).
  • Do give another the benefit of the doubt.
  • Do reconnect with someone special from your past.
  • Do try it (just don't buy it).
  • Do be willing to experiment.  Variety is the spice of life. 
  • Do keep an open mind.

Do you have a Mercury Retrograde story to share?   I’d love to hear from you!  Leave a comment.