When is Mercury in retrograde, and what does it actually mean?

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  • Beware all air signs…

    Mercury in retrograde is a phrase that all millennials have come to fear.

    Literally, it means that planet Mercury is appearing to go backwards in its orbit for three weeks. While spiritually, those three little words have come to mean that life is going to turn to shit.

    Periods of the year when Mercury is in retrograde are often linked to bad decision making, workplace dramas, ex partners resurfacing, relationship problems (duh), travel delays and just general life being out of whack. In fact, when anything goes wrong nowadays, at least someone will ask, “Is Mercury in retrograde?” – particularly if you’re a Gemini.

    The astrological phenomenon has gone viral over the past few years, joining the popular heights of crystals and star signs, and it looks like the obsession is here to stay. But what does it all actually mean?

    If you are one of the baffled few who are not subscribed to Co-Star and have never slept with Rose Quartz under your pillow, this article is for you.

    Mercury in retrograde

    Getty Images

    When is Mercury in retrograde?

    Mercury in retrograde is said to usually occur three times a year, but in 2022 we’re getting four. The current period just started on May 10 and will last until June 3 2022. After this, the next Mercury in retrograde cycle won’t be until September 9 and expected to last until October 1 2022.

    What is Mercury in retrograde?

    Mercury in retrograde quite literally refers to the time period when Mercury appears to go backwards in its orbit – seemingly moving from West to East. This moment – when fast-moving planet Mercury goes “retrograde” – happens three or four times a year, following its 88-day circle around the sun.

    For believers in astrology, the “retrograde” is thought to turn everything on its head and is often considered to be a time when things go wrong. With the planet Mercury ruling communication and intellect, a Mercury in retrograde is thought to be a time for communication mishaps, technology failures and travel problems.

    Mercury in retrograde 2022

    The 2022 Mercury in retrograde cycles are reportedly coming for Air signs, falling in time with the Gemini, Libran and Aquarius zodiac signs this year.

    What does Mercury in retrograde affect?

    Mercury in retrograde is thought to predominantly affect communication, technology and travel – areas that are usually ruled by the planet, according to astrologers. But culturally, a Mercury in retrograde season is reported to mean general shit hitting the fan. Over this time, there are reports of relationship challenges, from infidelity to unfounded arguments, workplace struggles, financial difficulties, messages from exes, friendship dramas and just general miscommunication.

    How long does Mercury in retrograde last?

    Mercury in retrograde lasts approximately three weeks in full as the planet laps Earth, in between its 88-day orbits around the sun. It has been reported however that the two weeks preceding and succeeding it will also have effects, as the cycle ramps up and winds down. This is known as the pre-retrograde and post-retrograde shadow.

    Well, that’s that.

    With that in mind, good luck over the next month – especially if you’re an air sign.

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