Benefits of Mercury Retrograde

Mercury went retrograde in Aquarius on the 6th of February, 2014 at 21:43 UTC.
It will stay retrograde for approximately three weeks, until it turns direct in Pisces on the 28th of February, 2014 at 14:00 UTC.
The pre-retrograde shadow will last from the 22nd of January, and the post-retrograde shadow will last until the 20th of March.

2014 Retrograde Dates

In 2014, Mercury will be retrograde during:
February 6–28
June 7–July 2
October 4–25

A retrograde is slowing planetary motion. This process is like a gradual inhale and exhale. Motion gradually decreases in speed, where its speed is approximately equal to the Earth's, then gradually increases in speed again. The stationary retrograde points are pauses in the action, taking one last look at a rapidly receding past.

This is where we learn to adapt to new rhythms and explore different ways of learning. The vision of what is yet to be has been seen in the span just before the stationary retrograde point. During the entire process a different point of view and a new comprehension unfolds. When a final crossing of the retrograde span of experience is traversed we understand and synthesize what was observed, evaluated, re-thought, and revised.

Things get chaotic, an extreme phase where we are thrown off balance. Plans become disrupted and current activity stops. By the end of the next phase, things begin to clear, becoming more concrete .

The last phase begins while Mercury is still retrograde, beginning to increased speed, and lasts until it goes direct. This is the time for planning and organizing. New activities, projects, ways of life are embraced and implemented. This is the time to follow through on what is already accomplished.

Things are seldom as they seem in a Mercury retrograde. These are times when alternative approaches present themselves. This may include the realm of Spirit, re-thinking ideals, service and spiritual truth.

Mercury retrograde is when we review health, on all levels, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, given Mercury's rulership of Virgo. Information we receive regarding health is an opportunity to grow beyond limitations and habits in thinking, feeling, and acting. A Mercury retrograde is great for reconsidering methods.

These spans of time allow heart-knowing, direct experience of an activity, freed from past perceptions. Our instincts supersede the mind, analyzing and compartmentalizing. These compartments of the mind become blurred. Mercury retrograde temporarily "alienates" you from old opinions, old judgments, old functions, and automatic behaviors from your past that are curiously out of step with the present situation.

Mercury retrograde periods are times when past opportunities are a second chance to see things, experiences, and people in a different light from the first encounter, and to understand the value of slowing down in certain areas of life, or to see why a situation was originally delayed.

This article was based on information from the book "A New Look at Mercury Retrograde", by Robert Wilkinson. ©1997.

How Mercury Retrograde Manifests

Mercury is retrograde 65 to 70 days a year. It operates directly and indirectly well after its exact retrograde period. Retrograde periods are times when its influence is the most obvious.

Retrogrades influence issues started in prior retrograde periods, bringing returns that force us to confront things left undone from previous times. Mercury retrograde forces us to deal with the loose ends in our lives.

Mercury retrograde in the natal charts is an influence on the way we do things, even though transiting Mercury may not be retrograde at the time we are doing it. People with Mercury retrograde are more accustomed to the slowed pace.


Mercury retrograde has bad vibes, paralysis of action, and generalized negative thinking are the most obvious downside associations with any Mercury retrograde period. I have observed that something initiated shortly before (or during) this period is frequently more trouble than it is worth, or may not turn out as expected. Activities involve distractions that impede progress, or scatter energies so that all effort amounts to "much ado about nothing." There is a lot of retracing ground already covered.

Distractions, delays, overlooking the obvious while focusing on irrelevant or putting the cart before the horse when making plans all seem to be present during Mercury retrograde. There may be an inability to see the forest for the trees, or the trees for the forest. Often things do not work out on first effort, necessitating a reworking of the idea, the plan, or the approach. Perhaps there is another stage of the work to be completed before the project can move ahead, or some part of the work has to be reconsidered before resolution can occur. Assumptions may have to be re-evaluated, or more information gathered in order for the project to be successful.


Mercury retrograde projects take interesting turns, have reversals that turn out unexpectedly, or involve ideas, people, or approaches from the past that return to fulfill the present work. These may involve updating antiquated information, giving them a new application. Since Mercury represents mind and the Sun represents life as an on-going process, when Mercury slows down (the real meaning of retrogradation) it gives life a chance to catch up to the mind's ideas previously put forth when Mercury was direct, and ahead of the Sun.

Mercury retrograde is the adjustment period where practical necessities must be accepted and acted upon. Theory takes a back seat to process.

During Mercury retrograde ideas long held are finally acted upon. Mercury retrograde is a good time for reflection and information gathering. These times when things take curious twists, not always with a clear outcome, and when symbols and perceptions are more important to understanding than facts. This is when new information comes to light, or old information can be utilized in innovative ways. This is the time for reorganizing data. These periods are good for reviewing assumptions drawn from old sources and applying them in new ways. Details can be seen in a new light, and may assist the completion or understanding of whatever is being considered. Mercury retrograde is a time for correcting mistakes, and finishing up whatever was left undone at other times.

Mercury retrograde periods are an excellent time for traveling, but with occasional delays, and the itinerary has to be changed.

Mercury-retrograde business trips take unplanned directions that work out to everyone's satisfaction. What was planned may not get done, but what does occur was revealing and fulfilling. Trips where a person was open to having unusual experiences, and adapting to circumstances, were successful.