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The planet that rules all areas of communication

All planets go retrograde (Rx) except the Sun and Moon. Retrograde means to move backward. The planets do not actually turn around and move backward, but from our position on earth it APPEARS that they are going in a backward motion. When you are in a car and you pass a train it APPEARS that the train is traveling backward. This is what we call a sensory illusion. In actuality, the planets reach their farthest point in their orbit, so when a planet retrogrades it is coming closer to the planet earth.

What this means astrologically is that we need to slow down during retrograde periods. In other words, put "re" in front of everything you are doing.

The retrograde periods that I am questioned most about is with the planet Mercury. Mercury is the planet that rules communication, traveling, computers, conversation, books, planes, cars, fax machines, appointments, letters. Anything that deals with communication. This planet goes retrograde three/four times a year, and stays in the retrograde motion for three/four weeks.

It all depends on the house, aspects that Mercury is making to your natal planets and other transiting planets, and even to your progressed planets, as to how and where the retrograde period will affect you.

Mercury retrograde is really a good time to re-evaluate your thinking. Slow down and re-consider where you are going. Maybe you are writing a book, article or a special poem. This is a good time to edit the material. When traveling, expect delays and possibly car problems. Misunderstandings take place, so be sure to double check your motel reservations or lodging.

It is best not to purchase large appliances, cars, computers or a house at this time. If you do, you can generally expect them to mal-function or they will not meet your expectations. And, never sign an important document or contract during Mercury retrograde.

If you take a new job or start a new project during Mercury retrograde, there will be problems with it.

Now, I know this all sounds rather negative. But, the time periods of Mercury Retrograde can be very productive. Just remember that it is a time to slow down, think before speaking, organize, and double check any appointments or postpone them until after Mercury goes "direct" or foreward.


1. January 28, 2008 through February 19, 2008~~23 Aquarius 48

2. May 26, 2008 through June 19, 2008~~2 Gemini 31

3. September 24, 2008 through October 15, 2008~~22 Libra 49

Check your natal chart to see what house(s) that Mercury will be in, and to watch what planets he will be making contact with during these time periods. This will allow you to review what areas of your life that will be affected. Go to my Sun Signs page to review the traits. If you have your chart, you can see what areas will be affected the most during these periods of Mercury Retrograde. You can also go to my Houses or areas of life to review what each house represents.

One needs your own personal chart to see which house Mercury is located in to determine how the retrograde period will most affect you. Mercury retrograde seems to affect Gemini's and Virgo's with a bigger "wham" then the other signs because Mercury does rule Gemini and Virgo!

Click on Mercury to E-mail Elaine