Gird your loins - Mercury Retrograde is coming.
Our second Mercury Retrograde of the year arrives at the end of May, officially starting on May 30 for those of us in Australia. This three-week period is one that can bring with it travel delays and communication breakdowns. For some, making it through Mercury Retrograde can often feel like wading through waist-high mud but for others, it can be incredibly freeing. Even a source of creative inspiration. It all depends on what else is going on in the sky - and your own sign of course.
To find out more about what this Mercury Retrograde, we spoke to astrologer Jules Ferrari. She explains what you need to know, how to survive and which signs are affected the most.
What is Mercury Retrograde?
It’s an event that happens approximately three times a year, for up to six weeks at a time. From the Earth’s perspective, as we move in our orbit around the sun, it appears as though Mercury is moving in an apparent retrograde motion (aka backwards).
Why do some people claim that it's responsible for travel delays and problems with technology and social media?
In astrological terms, Mercury is the planet that rules the mind, communication, travel and technology. When in its apparent retrograde motion, we can enter a period of breakdown in these areas. The computer or phone kicks the bucket, emails seem to disappear into the Bermuda Triangle, clear lines can become blurred. It’s worth noting though that a lot of people also find this time very creative and stimulating.
What can we expect from this particular Mercury Retrograde? Are there any key themes to be aware of?
There are a number of factors that make this Mercury Retrograde significant. The dates are May 30th - June 23rd and worth noting. A few days on either side of this retrograde we have Full Moon’s, the first being a huge Lunar Eclipse and Full Moon in Sagittarius. Right in the middle of this Retrograde we have a New Moon and Solar Eclipse in Gemini (June 10th) perfectly lined up with and including Mercury. Mercury is retrograde the whole time within its home sign of Gemini. Astrologically speaking, that’s action packed.
Here in Gemini, we need to be honing in on, reviewing and refining how we curate our perspectives - on self, others, the world. In its highest form, Gemini is curious and open minded. In its lowest it is duplicitous and gossipy and living in a world where the grass is always greener elsewhere. As an archetype, it represents how we label our reality and thus, how we create our perspectives. This is a brilliant, brilliant time to really observe how we curate the data and information that we allow into our lives. It's a great opportunity to take part in an experiment with yourself and look at the social media accounts that you follow. Which one’s enliven you and educate you and which one’s drain you or bring you into comparison mode? Can you unfollow the latter? Or if your screen time is escalating, can you place boundaries around the time you spend here? Another experiment you can take part in for this period: don’t gossip. Watch your words. My screensaver (I am a Gemini) is the title of a book by Florence Scovel Shinn, ‘Your Word is Your Wand’. Become aware of the reality you are creating with your words.
Are there any signs that might be influenced more so than others?
This is a collective event and married in with the eclipses in May and June, we will all be, on some level, looking at our relationship to all types of data (conversation, mass media, social media, our echo chambers etc) and how it informs our beliefs and opinions. On a more personal level, the archetype of Gemini is certainly under the spotlight here. I would look at your natal charts and see what planets, if any, you have in the sign of Gemini or its opposing sign of Sagittarius. Planets in either of these signs will potentially have a more dialled up experience of this retrograde.
As an astrologer, what is your advice for "surviving" Mercury Retrograde?
Well, I feel that these celestial events are always spotlighting particular parts of ourselves or the collective and that it is our perspective that colours and informs these events. As events, they are objective. A Mercury Retrograde is a period to review and perhaps even redirect our energies. It can be very strategic, we can see things from new angles. Here in Gemini, it has a lot to do with how we form our perspectives, curating and even putting boundaries around the data we fill our time with as well as our relationship to our words. All very necessary and important areas of life to review.