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There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a crazy year. But is it about to get even crazier? The final Mercury in retrograde event of the year begins on October 13th and ends on November 3rd. Should you be worried? What does Mercury in retrograde even mean? Why does it matter so much? Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers to all of your questions. But first, let’s get back to basics.

What Does Retrograde Mean in Astrology?

In astrology, the term retrograde refers to a phenomenon wherein a planet can appear to move backwards across the sky during certain parts of the year. While the planets do not actually move backwards, to any stargazer’s eye it certainly looks like this is what’s happening – and the ancient astrologers were no exception. That’s where the concept of “retrograde” comes from.

So why do people make a big deal out of a planet being in retrograde? Well, in astrology, each planet is thought to govern certain aspects of life. When the planet enters retrograde, it’s sort of like it is sleeping. The problem is that while a planet rests, the aspects of life that it’s thought to rule over don’t have the benefit of a planet to govern them. It’s not uncommon for chaos to run rampant in these areas of life until the planet exits retrograde.

What Does Mercury Mean in Astrology?

In astrology, each planet has a specific meaning. Mercury is associated with communication. This includes the types of communication you might expect – such as listening and speaking; reading; and all forms of written communication, including books, letters, and the more modern messaging modes of texts and emails. But the astrological definition of communication also encompasses a much broader area of life than you might imagine – learning, negotiating, selling, and buying all fall under its purview. Related to this, Mercury is also associated with all types of contracts and important documents, from deeds to term papers. As if that weren’t enough, Mercury is also considered the ruler of all types of code – including computer codes, transportation, and shipping. Finally, Mercury is also the ruler of all travel.

What Does Mercury in Retrograde Mean?

Since Mercury is the planet that rules all forms of communication, when Mercury is in retrograde, we can expect widespread instances of communication breakdowns. Be prepared for regular miscommunications as well as technology glitches and travel mishaps. You should also be prepared for a certain level of stress. Because communication is such a singularly significant part of our day-to-day lives, when Mercury is in retrograde, it can feel a little like the world has been thrown into complete chaos. But don’t worry – Mercury in retrograde will end, and while it sounds like it’s all bad, it really isn’t. In fact, there are some good things about Mercury in retrograde!

The Positive Side of Mercury in Retrograde

Mercury in retrograde is a great time to reevaluate and check in with yourself. Instead of getting stressed out by all the negative events that Mercury in retrograde could cause, try to see this time as an opportunity for growth. It’s a great time to assess and reflect. Are you living true to your values? Are you happy with the various aspects of your life? Or do you need to make some changes? Mercury in retrograde can help you course correct if things have gotten a little out of balance. It’s a time to think deeply about yourself and your needs. This time of introspection can help you understand where you are currently at in life. While it isn’t the time for making big changes, the insights you gain during Mercury in retrograde can help you make future choices that move you toward the life you want to be living.

What to Do When Mercury Is in Retrograde

Mercury in retrograde can feel overwhelming, but there are a few activities that are safe and even beneficial to engage in during this time. When Mercury is in retrograde, DO:

- Take time for some self-reflection

- Double-check all your emails

- Use good judgement when texting

- Choose your words carefully

- Back up your data regularly

What Not to Do When Mercury Is in Retrograde

Mercury in retrograde is a powerful celestial event. There are some activities that should be avoided during this time, if at all possible. When Mercury is in retrograde, DON’T:

- Sign a contract or lease

- Buy a new device

- Close on the sale of a house

- Buy a car or another big-ticket item

When Is Mercury in Retrograde?

Mercury enters retrograde three or four times per calendar year. It occurs so frequently because Mercury is the planet closest to the sun, and its orbit is much shorter than planet Earth’s. Essentially, Mercury in retrograde occurs when the planet laps Earth. This speedy pass is what we’re actually seeing when we think we see Mercury moving backwards in the sky.

The dates for Mercury in retrograde change each year. In 2020, Mercury in retrograde will occur three times: from February 18 – March 9; from June 17 – July 12; and from October 13 – November 3. Want to look toward the year ahead? In 2021, Mercury in retrograde will occur three times: from January 30 – February 20; from May29 – June 22; and from September 27 – October 18.

What’s Special About the Final Mercury in Retrograde Event of 2020?

The final Mercury in retrograde event of 2020 is expected to be especially powerful because it will take place in two signs, not just one. When Mercury enters retrograde starting on October 13th, it will reside in Scorpio. During this time, you may find yourself feeling nostalgic or sentimental. It may be a good time to revisit old journals or photos. On October 27th, Mercury will enter Libra. During this time, people from your past may resurface, and you may find yourself having to resist the urge to reconnect with an old flame. The final Mercury in retrograde event of the year will end on November 3, 2020.

Should I Be Worried About Mercury in Retrograde?

It’s common to worry about Mercury in retrograde, but you don’t have to panic. While astrologers say that Mercury in retrograde can be a challenging time for many, it is also very important. It is an opportunity to reflect and inspect your inner self, your life choices, and your needs. The insights you gain during this time can help lead you toward a more fulfilling life when the retrograde period ends. Still nervous? While the outer world may feel chaotic when Mercury is in retrograde, remember that you do have control over your inner world. Maybe now is the perfect time to start that meditation practice or try yoga. Alternatively, you may want to take a warm bath or curl up with warm cup of tea and your favorite book. Mercury in retrograde doesn’t have to be scary – it can be an opportunity for picking up insights and deepening your practice of self-care.