During certain periods, the planets seem to be traveling backwards through the zodiac, yet this is just an illusion which is called retrograde motion.
Although a downside of Mercury being retrograde is that it can cause our plans to go awry, this is a perfect time to reflect on the past. Another two positive aspects of these periods are that intuition is high and coincidences can be extraordinary. When Mercury is retrograde, remain flexible and allow time for extra travel. Also, avoid signing contracts. It is okay to review projects and plans at these times, but it is recommendable to wait until Mercury is direct again to make any final decisions.
In 2013, Mercury will be retrograde between the following dates: February 23–March 17, June 26–July 20, October 21–November 10.
The origin of ‘Mercury’ is the Latin word ‘merx’, or ‘mercator’, which means merchant. The ancient Romans gave the name Mercury to the Greek mythological god Hermes. Mercury is usually portrayed as a male figure, having sandals and a winged hat, suggesting his ability to travel quickly. He governed communications, being the official messenger of the ancient gods and goddesses.
In 1782, Mercury became the first symbol of the United States’ postal service and, nowadays, he is the icon of an international floral delivery service.
In the field of astrology, Mercury influences travel, literature, poetry, merchants, and thieves. He is both cunning and witty, but he is also recognized as a trickster and inclined to misbehave.
Here is what you should expect when Mercury is retrograde in a certain sign:
In Aries: Expect to be frustrated and frazzled. Although assertive, impulsive Aries wants to move ahead, all of the energy is going backwards. You should be careful about what you say and how you say it, and also pay attention to what people say to you – a pleasant surprise might be in store for you.
In Taurus: Take time to formulate your thoughts – Taurus is an unhurried sign, who slows down the mental processes. Since he also governs banking, it is advisable to delay money matters. You should review financial matters and position yourself for growth.
In Gemini: Because Gemini rules communications, be prepared to meet with miscommunications. Lost or misplaced mail should be expected, as well as lots of phone calls or, on the contrary, none. It is possible that you may not articulate clearly. At the same time, old friends may reconnect.
In Cancer: Domesticated Cancer should expect annoyances at home with various household duties, such as baking and gardening. This period is great for completing repair projects which haven't been finished or done correctly.
In Leo: Considering that it is not a good time to do any trading, be it buying or selling, you should avoid speculative investments. Instead, analyze your investment portfolio, and use your know-how and advisory skills to help friends and associates.
In Virgo: Situations which will prove truly challenging may arise, especially at the workplace. Product delays and equipment breakdowns are to be expected. The finicky, detailed character of the Virgo may cause crankiness among coworkers. You should double check your work before considering it finished.
In Libra: Love yourself just the way you are, accept your physical attributes and say ‘no’ to a makeover. If you do not limit purchases, you risk returning them due to the fact that indecision resigns. Libra, representing beauty, grace, charm, and diplomacy, is out of balance. Follow the three ‘R’s: refresh, relax, and rejuvenate.
In Scorpio: Common sense is weakened under the power of emotions, so beware. Affairs of the heart should be avoided. Secretiveness is a trait of the passionate Scorpio, yet your secrets may seep out – better keep them in a diary.
In Sagittarius: It is not an appropriate time for traveling, so reschedule your trip. Otherwise, you should expect delays, lines, and lost directions. Taking care of local affairs is a good alternative to traveling. During this period, you will need patience and a sense of humor.
In Capricorn: Capricorn is the sign that governs property matters, therefore, you should avoid buying, selling, or renting real estate under this sign. Problems with paperwork, packing, and movers may arise, but take the time to relax – reunite with your family or take a vacation at home.
In Aquarius: Given that Aquarius governs relationships, friendships are put at a risk when Mercury is retrograde in this sign. It is a period which abounds in petty squabbles, misunderstandings, and miscommunications. Pay attention to the people around you and know who your friends are.
In Pisces: For Pisces, foggy thinking, daydreams, and escapism are the norm. When Mercury is in this zodiacal sign, day-to-day realities confound otherwise clear heads, because the planet Mercury rules logic and Pisces governs illusion. Practicing creative pursuits – such as writing, dancing, photography, film, or painting – is an excellent occupation at this time.