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October 31, 2019

WTH Is Mercury Retrograde and Why Does It Always Get Blamed?

From crashed phone to breakups, Mercury retrograde has been blamed for a lot of things. Here’s some basic things about it.

by Shafira Amalia

Mercury retrograde is often blamed for bad days, broken phones, breakups and bad blood with your besties. But do we really even know what Mercury retrograde is? Or are we just looking for justification for our life problems?

First, the basic. Retrograde is what we call the motion of a planet that seems like it is moving in an opposite direction to planet Earth. Normally, planets move from east to west around the sun, but when it seems like the other way around, it means that the planet is in retrograde.

This motion is actually an illusion. The planet is not really moving backwards, it is just moving way slower than we are. Astrologers believe that this gives a very confusing effect in our lives at Earth.

Now why is Mercury retrograde so bad? This confusing effect of the retrograde affects certain aspects of our lives, but Mercury stands out because in astrology, it governs communication, travel and learning. So basically, astrologers believe that Mercury retrograde is the reason behind miscommunication, technical difficulties, failed business projects, missed train or anything related to that.

This is not the right time to buy new gadgets. You also have to be very extra careful with yourself and your schedules and also to avoid serious life-changing decisions or conversations.

That is the reason why people have been believing that Mercury retrograde is the reason for intense emotional breakdowns and complex misunderstandings. It is also pretty known for the past creeping up on us during this time. Simply put, be prepared for the bad days that may happen

Okay, so now that we know what Mercury retrograde is, when is the next one coming for us? Well, in the spirit of Halloween, the universe really does pick trick over treat because Mercury retrograde starts exactly on the 31st of October itself up until the 20th of November. Better yet, it is also going to start during Scorpio season, which is one of the most intense signs there is.

Also read: Reading Astrological Birth Charts 101

Survival Guide to Mercury Retrograde

So do we have to lock ourselves in our room and delete all our social media accounts? Nope, but there are some great tips to face it.

    1. You can misunderstand the people around you and also yourself, so take time to process your emotions before explaining it to other people.
    2. Pause and breathe before speaking. It’s okay to explain according to your own time.
    3. If the miscommunication or misunderstanding has already happened, remind yourself that it’s an effect of the retrograde and see the problem with a bigger picture.
    4. Review and re-read all your contracts, documents, emails and other important texts. Double check if possible!
    5. Tune up your car, motorcycles, bikes and don’t forget to bring a roadside kit to help you in case of a flat tire or other mishaps that might happen.
    6. Backup your files, photos, deadlines, contacts, files ASAP
    7. Confirm all dates, plans and appointments
    8. Leave early for appointments, who knows what might happen to the schedule and also your vehicles along the way.
    9. Expect to hear from or even run into people from your past.
    10. Unresolved problems will resurface. Practice patience and forgiveness.
    11. Try not to start a new relationship, a new job or buy new gadgets during the Mercury Rx, it is known that it won’t last.
    12. Reconnect with yourself, your emotions, your self-expressions.

Actually, there may be a silver lining to Mercury retrograde. It is actually the perfect time for positive personal growth, when we can learn to forgive, forget, understand and to have better emotional maturity and pure intentions.

Okay, maybe that’s just another way to say you’re going to learn to be a better person the hard way. Nevertheless, good luck and have a creepy spooky season indeed!

Shafira Amalia is an International Relations graduate from Parahyangan Catholic University in Bandung. Too tempted by her passion for writing, she declined the dreams of her young self to become a diplomat to be a reporter. Her dreams is to meet Billie Eilish but destroying patriarchy would be cool too.

Follow her on Instagram at @sapphire.dust where she's normally active.