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Mercury Retrograde: What Is It, and Dates For 2021

You may have heard people complaining about, or dreading, something called Mercury retrograde. But what is it? And when are the dates? We have the answers.

If you have friends who reference astrology but don’t follow it much yourself, you may have heard people complaining about, or dreading, something called Mercury retrograde. But what is it?

Mercury Retrograde Dates for 2021

  • January 30 – February 19
  • May 29 – June 21
  • September 27 – October 17

Mercury Retrograde Dates in 2020

Below were last year’s dates:

  • February 16 – March 9
  • June 18 – July 12
  • October 13 – November 13

What does Mercury Retrograde mean?

The term retrograde comes from the Latin word retrogradus, which literally means “backward step.”

As the name suggests, retrograde is when a planet appears to go backward in its orbit, as viewed from Earth. Astronomers refer to this as “apparent retrograde motion,” because it is an optical illusion.

The opposite of retrograde is direct or prograde motion. Prograde motion is the term astronomers prefer, while astrologers are more prone to use the term “direct” motion.

Backward Motion?

Every planet in our Solar System travels in the same direction in its journey around the Sun, and none of them ever pause and turn back in the opposite direction. Yet, all of them appear to do just that from time to time.

Solar system set of illustrated planets. Planets of the solar system solar system with names.

Because of the Earth’s daily rotation, the objects in the night sky appear to “move” from east to west through the night sky. While the location of the stars relative to the Earth is fixed, at least from our vantage point, the other planets in our Solar System all orbit the Sun at varying speeds.

The outer planets — Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune — all take longer to orbit the Sun than the Earth does, because their orbits are larger. Because of this, the Earth often laps these planets in its journey around the Sun.

When the Earth overtakes an outer planet, that planet appears to travel backward, as compared to the stars, for a time.

Picture two cars on the highway going in the same direction in different lanes. If one car is driving faster than the other, the slower car will appear to go backward from the perspective of a person in the faster car, even though the slower car is still going pretty fast in the same direction.

For the inner planets, Mercury and Venus, the mechanism that causes them to turn retrograde is the same, but in reverse. Mercury and Venus appear to go retrograde when they lap us.

Because Mercury completes its orbit around the Sun in only 88 days, the Swift Planet becomes retrograde three or four times in a calendar year, for about three weeks at a time. Outer planets have less frequent, but longer-lasting, periods of retrograde motion.

Why Dread It?

So what does all of that have to do with people wanting to hide in their rooms for weeks at a time?

Astrologers believe that the Moon, stars, planets, and Sun affect happenings here on Earth, and that each planet in our Solar System rules a different aspect of life.

Like the Greek messenger god it was named for, Mercury is said to govern transportation and communication.

Those who dread Mercury’s retrograde motion say that, when the planet travels backward, its power to positively influence these domains is stifled, leading to chaos.

Believers in the malevolent power of Mercury retrograde blame the phenomenon for everything from arguments to lost mail or luggage to automobile accidents and warn people to hold back on conducting important business during this time.

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silxdo

i’m a taurus dating a leo and i can’t tell much if the retrograde has been affecting my life but we’ve been arguing with each other back to back almost everyday since december what should i do ?

Sid

the stars don’t affect your life, instead of blaming them you should work on your relationship through communication

June

Find a new boyfriend, there are 280 million adults in the United States. 1/2 are men. Life is too short !

Charlotte Hanna

Finally. Everything is going in the right direction for me again.

Annie

I’m a Leo 8/21/55.

Everything is going wrong. Are Leo’s more strongly influenced?

Jam Jameson

I’’m aLeo too and I know what you mean. It’s been a rough couple of weeks.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jam Jameson
Jamie

I’m an Aquarius moon, and Mercury in retrograde has been causing so much chaos for me. I need to be on skates for the play I’m currently doing. We are beginning tech week and i have just now started tripping and falling, which never happened before! I wish i had the time to do some intense energy work, but I don’t. Anyone have advice?

Last edited 2 months ago by Jamie
nya -

hi Jamie!
wannabe pro skater here, as far as the play remind yourself to keep your eyes up & slightly bend your knees, less is always more. i feel any energy work is def worth it, i found talking abt what i hope to succeed in in past tense really works for me. like in your case, affirming yourself that “i rocked that play, i’m so happy i didn’t make any major mistakes. i’m grateful for the peace i retained during my performance. i’m much more confident skating now” may work in your favor! any energy work could b that little sprinkle on top! wishing u thee absolute best 😀

Tara

Try the power ritual from thought field therapy.
It takes 6 mins. Do it 2x before skating.

Rae

I’m a libra. I can’t say I’ve been negatively affected with the retrograde. If anything, I feel like I was pushed back into the path I need to be following. I’ve noticed the back steps that shifted forward again within a few days. Maybe staying positive can change a perspective of this time.

LOLs

Taurus Sun and I absolutely agree!

john

nice

Am d

I’m a Cap and someone actually knocked my car’s side mirror off while my car was parked. Crazy.

Erica

My boyfriend is a cap we got hit on the side of his truck the door needs replaced light and love be grateful

Nadine

I’m a Pisces and my husband is a Cancer. I don’t know my rising. I’m being effected by this Mercury Retrograde. I’m anxious and combative. How can I best manage this? Thanking you in advance.

Latrice Joefield

Lay low until the 19th

john

yep

James Eshelby

Stop using stuff like this to excuse your behaviour.

Rob McHugh

Completely agree. Began seeing a woman who’s behavior after one date was very intrusive, borderline deranged and completely unacceptable, and just got hit with the have you heard or mercury retrograde?

I couldn’t help but laugh before even googling this, where has accountability for ones actions gone?

KAndi B

I’m a saggy and my boyfriend is an Aries and my goodness we have been going through it since December to the present, he’s not speaking to me there is no communication it’s almost as if he’s confined into himself. He’s so confused and conflicted about a lot. I’m holding patience but it’s making anxious. HELP! Lol, I will have to gain more patience during this time. Thank you all it makes perfect sense why all of a sudden I’m emotional, cleaning and conflicted.

Susan Higgins

Hi KAndi B, perhaps you can gently suggest he speak to a professional, or the both of you can together. These are tough times and we have to look out for each other!

Jinky

I would not suggest that for an Aries male. Just stick with him during the silence. I enjoy not being bothered but having company

Tara

Watch John Gray videos on when mars and venus collide. Binge on them. You’ll get what you need.

Tallulah

I don’t know WHAT is going on but I’m a mess! Dropping things, clothes getting tangled in stuff and holding me back, constant interruptions and things blocking my path prevent me from accomplishing ANYTHING! Afraid to put my birthday in any site for risk of my info getting stolen to get my zodiac read. And no, I’m not a Boomer!

Gina

Its your date and time of birth and city. So the natal chart can give you a picture of the planetary happenings relative to when /where you were born. Im no boomer- I feared this too.. but nothing happened. Use a separate dedicated new email account, or a VPN if you are worried about it. If you use FB or Instagram- its just facts they track you more than anyone. Get your chart!! Its so fun, light a white candle and ask for protection over your info. You’ll be fine. I do it for my friends that are scared. Dont gi e your last name or anything more.

john

i know!

Toni Trombley

I’m a Gemini whose planet is rolled by the retrograde and I’m here to admit that I am honestly affected badly by this but my problem begins in the preretrograde. I can always tell but take into consideration that at least 4 other planets are Gemini also so its like when the computers, cell phone, and I have misunderstandings with others. I will be late or have extra problems especially during mercury retrograde. I wish I could remember all this information to see and understand it. Thank you my spirit guides. I am slow at picking things up but I understand and see the signs.i love you guys for your gentle assistance. I want to be the best I can be for those I love and care about.

anon</3

I am also a Gemini and I’ve been having absolutely what i would consider the worst week of 2021 and then my sister reminded me of the coming Mercury Retrograde and it just all checked out. 🙁

Not Katherine

Gemini moon here. My goodness you could be talking about me. I had the same experience when I saw someone mention the retrograde. It always hits me before it happens and then the retrograde itself isn’t as bad.

Kerrianne Rawlings

Wow are we all related or something, you seriously said how I’m feeling.

john

scorpio moon

john

my mom is a gemini

Lucinda

I love this sight for all information

Rotchie

YOU SPELLED SITE W R O N G!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, I love it too. Learn to spell.

Gina

Do you like people telling you what you need to learn? Since youre offering advice, I’d suggest manners or work on empathy. Do you know if LUCINDA is a child just learning words? And you just discouraged them? Maybe a new citizen learning ESL? (english as a second language) or someone using a text to speech app that has a glitch? Maybe A new mom that hasnt slept and is just tired of the world crapping on her constantly??a covid survivor experiencing cognitive symptoms causing them to mix words?? Have a heart, You never know what people go through, and never tell another adult what they should or shouldnt do. Im guessing youre a child, or a christian. 🙂 have a blessed day

Aimee

You are very kind, Gina! Thanks for reaching out!!!!!! <3

Covid Survivor

u shud get vacine it very god for helth

Bekind

You spelled the word “wrong” incorrectly. There are no spaces in between the letters!!!!!!!!!! Learn how to spell. Better yet, learn how to critique kindly, Ms. Less-than-Perfect!

Gina

Its cool right? I love it too. It’s giving me hope in this endless winter. Stay warm and well!

Bekind

Lucinda, good on you for the positive feedback. Always remember, you can not control what others do, think, or say, especially when they’re downright mean! Spelling / shmelling, we know what you meant. Wishing you an amazing 2021 with much happiness and success!!!!!

Eric ILDEFONSO

Me and my beautiful fiance really enjoyed the information provided and the Farmers Almanac about the full moon and the moon phases and the names of the moons but mostly the moon phases and the full moon that was pretty cool too. We hope that you all have a happy holiday season and try to enjoy the full cold Moon yaoi we’re ready. To celebrate the coming of the light and the leaving of the darkness but mostly the coming of the light. And even a little of the coming of the light and some of the darkness. And just so you know I’m not making fun of you guys I really love the Farmers Almanac you guys have been a big part of my life ever since I was a young kid you know about 45 years I’ve been liking you guys so thank you.

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