Is Mercury Retrograde Always a Bad Thing?

Everybody is aware of Mercury Retrograde, and quite a mythology has been built up over it. When Mercury goes retrograde, phones, computers, and anything technical is supposed to go haywire, and communication is supposedly riddled with misunderstandings, and you’re advised not to sign any contracts.

From the Vedic astrology point of view, Mercury does not act like a trickster like this, and it doesn’t affect everyone the same way at the same time. Mercury’s effects are stronger when retrograde, because it is orbiting between the Sun and the Earth and is, therefore, closer to Earth.

The reason why it seems that things go wrong during this time for some people (not everyone), is because Mercury is showing the flaws in the systems we’ve been relying on, and is giving us a chance to go back and fix it, rethink our positions, or slow down and be more grounded.

Why would Mercury do this?

Because Mercury is of the Earth element, in the Vedic system, not the air element as it is in the Western tradition.

The Earth element is concerned with details and making dreams, ideas, and plans tangible. Mercury is the planet of manifestation, and is the great manager among the planets. Mercury is required to bring about concrete realization, and is therefore important in all activities. When Mercury is strong in your birth chart, you are naturally more organized and very detail oriented, and more aware of what is required in order to make make an idea work in the real world.

Mercury is exalted in the sign of Virgo, because it is an Earth element sign. Mercury can be strong in other signs too, but it depends on its house placement in the chart.

In my last corporate incarnation, I worked with two people who have Mercury strong in their birth charts, my former boss and a another co-worker. My former co-worker has Mercury in her ascendant, which as you know by now, is basically the Self (Mercury is in his joy in that position), and my former boss has the Sun and Mercury in the sign of Gemini (the other sign ruled by Mercury) and another planet in the sign of Virgo.

Both of them were the “eagle eyes” in the company and they proofed my work. I am not that detail-oriented and would get preoccupied by the arrangement of the elements on the page (I did graphic design) and the concept of the piece I was working on, and I relied on them to find my mistakes even though I didn’t enjoy it (in a future newsletter, I’ll tell you how Mercury people can drive you crazy). Their eagle eyes helped me to polish the piece for publication.

Now that I work for myself, I drive myself nuts because I am NOT naturally organized or detailed-oriented, and my office is organized just enough that I can do my work, but I know it can be way more efficient than it is. Eventually, I will hire someone to help me with what seems like millions of details involved in running a business. Exactly the kind of person who sometimes annoyed me when I worked in a corporate setting.

A strong Mercury person will enjoy managing the day-to-day details of business and will be very organized naturally (what I used to think was ‘anal’). I will pay this person very well to do this, so long as they’re cheerful, and not gleeful, when pointing out my mistakes.

Now, why you would care about any of this?

Because Mercury is retrograde for almost the next three weeks, but stays in the sign of Leo until September 10th, and this will, or will not, affect you depending on the sign that your natal Moon is in (natal means the sign the Moon is in your birth chart).

Planetary Transits Are Different in Vedic Astrology

Transit forecasts in Vedic astrology are considered from your natal Moon, not from your natal Sun sign as they are done in western astrology. The Moon is used because it represents how we feel about everything in our lives, and is the part of us that adapts to our environment. When Mercury is retrograde and in a favorable position from your natal Moon sign, the good effects of the Moon’s adaptation and receptivity are magnified, because Mercury is closer to the Earth then.

When Mercury is not in a good position from your natal Moon, that is when Mercury will point out where you are not adapting to the conditions of the environment, or to the needs, or demands, of other people. Of course, you may choose NOT to adapt, and willingly pay the price, which is your right as a being with free will. The trick is in realizing that that is what we are actually doing, and not that we are being picked on by the planets.

The truth is, within limits, we can have whatever we want if we are willing to do everything necessary to make it happen, but we often just don’t want to. Besides, sometimes it good to let something go, it’s just easier when it seems that it’s being taken away from us, rather than admit it was because we didn’t want it bad enough, or that we couldn’t accept that it was out of our control in the first place (we can’t control other people, for instance).

Below are the forecasts of how Mercury Retrograde is likely to affect you, based on the sign your birth Moon is in for the next several weeks.

NOTE: I’m using the Tropical Zodiac, not the Sidereal Zodiac that is usually used by Vedic astrologers, and the ayanamsa is the Galactic Center, not Lahiri or Krishnamurti.*

Mercury Transits From Your Natal Moon

ARIES Moon: Mercury is in the 5th position from the Moon, and normally this would cause quarrels with your spouse or significant other, and children, but because Jupiter is in the sign of Taurus, the negative affects of this position are neutralized.

TAURUS Moon: Mercury is normally in a good position from here, and your family would progress in their affairs, but because Mars just entered the sign of Cancer, these good effects are blocked, and there is no extra trouble, things just go on as usual.

GEMINI Moon: As of the 9th of this month, Mercury’s good effects will be available for this natal Moon sign until the 10th of September. The good effects are making new friends (Mercury rules friends in general), and your enemies will trip themselves up (hoist themselves on their own petards, so to speak).

CANCER Moon: Mercury will bring some extra money your way, or will increase your influence and general prosperity, but there will be something about the circumstances of your good fortune that you wish were different.

LEO Moon: Watch out for thieves on all levels, people telling lies behind your back, and expect people to be irritable. You may get a summer cold or flu (my husband is still getting over the flu), and traveling will be more difficult, or expensive, than normal. Double check to make sure you don’t violate any kind of copyright laws in your work or personal life (it could cost you a lot of money), and your relatives may be more argumentative.

The good thing is that this is short-lived, because Mercury moves fast and will be in a more favorable position starting September 10th, so maybe you can just dodge everyone’s calls until then, unless you’re willing to adapt to whatever it is people want from you in order to keep the peace.

VIRGO Moon: The results of Mercury are neutralized for you because Mars is in the 11th position blocking the negative effects that Mercury in the 12th position (the sign of Leo) would normally cause for you. Even though Mars is in the sign of his debilitation, he is still managing to rescue you from undue annoyances.

LIBRA Moon: This is a great time all around for you. You will be even more charming than usual, there will be fresh gains, and happiness in pretty much everything.

SCORPIO Moon: Your enemies will have setbacks, you will make gains in your finances, your love life will be steamy, and you will enjoy especially yummy foods and sweet words.

SAGITTARIUS Moon: The effects of Mercury in Leo (whether retrograde or not) are neutral for you because Jupiter is in the sign of Taurus. Normally, this position would cause some health issues (stay hydrated anyway, just in case), and obstacles of all kinds, but Jupiter is protecting you.

CAPRICORN Moon: This is a good time to buy new clothes, and to study or increase your knowledge and skill set. You will overcome any obstacles in your way, enjoy success, peace of mind, and will have joy in your abilities.

AQUARIUS Moon: You may feel that you’ve lost your luster or are a bit off your game, and that you are having more quarrels or misunderstandings than usual. Try to be detached and just listen more, it’s not a good time to try to solve everyone’s problems. Maybe you can even manage to get some needed time alone. If you’re not there, an argument is impossible.

PISCES Moon: You will make good progress in general over the next four weeks. You will be more popular, lucky, and may even get a promotion of some kind.

Remember that these forecasts are very general and the other planets are having effects too. This is not tailored to you individually, but to everyone who shares the same Moon sign as you.

*If you want to know more about why I do this, go here and download the article, The Mystery of the Zodiac, in PDF format,  explaining why I think this is the most accurate way to calculate astrological charts.

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