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Is Mercury in retrograde right now? Here’s what the planetary shift means for you.

Mark your calendars, Mercury is almost in retrograde.

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Free November December To January Calendar Printable

Maybe you’ve heard people lament over the astrological phenomenon, blaming their woes on the planet’s movement. But what does it mean for Mercury to be in “retrograde” and how can one planet disrupt day-to-day life?

“If we didn’t have Mercury retrograde, who would people blame their disorganization on?” astrologer Wade Caves jokes. Don’t ignore the planetary shift though, he urges.

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December Calendar Templates for Word, Excel and PDF

Here’s a guide on Mercury retrograde and where you might feel the greatest impact in your life.

When does Mercury go into retrograde?

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November December Calendars – Printables Printabulls

Mercury retrogrades more often than other planets, usually two to three times a year, Caves says.

2024 kicked off with Mercury in retrograde on January 1.

As for the remainder of the year, Mercury will be in retrograde:

From April 1 to April 24

From August 4 to August 27

From November 25 to December 15

A picture taken in Kuwait’s capital Kuwaiti City shows the planet Mercury, top left, transiting in front of the sun on November 11, 2019.

Is Mercury in retrograde?

No, Mercury is not retrograde. The next retrograde begins on August 4.

While it is popular to say “Mercury is in retrograde,” this is grammatically incorrect, some say. The phrase “mercury is retrograde” would better describes the planet’s movement since retrograde is an adjective.

Mercury retrograde: Several planets appear to ‘step back,’ and here’s what that means.

When does Mercury retrograde end?

The next Mercury retrograde, which begins August 4, will end on August 27.

What is Mercury retrograde?

The planets that fall inside Earth’s orbit around the Sun – Mercury and Venus – mostly appear to be moving in the same direction as the other planets. But every so often, they perform an optical illusion.

When completing an orbit, these planets will look like they are traveling backward in order to position themselves between Earth and the Sun, Caves explains. This movement is called “retrograde.”

The planets are not moving backward. Instead, the planet’s orbit speed is to blame. Mercury travels at a faster pace than Earth. So when our planet is closest to Mercury, it seems for a moment as if it is moving in reverse, Caves says.

Despite it being a planetary illusion, Mercury retrograde holds great weight in astrology. “It’s a metaphysical principle that the way things appear convey meaning,” Caves explains. “It’s a subjective reality.”

What happens during Mercury retrograde?

In astrology, Mercury retrograde symbolizes change and often interrupts the normal flow of life, Caves reveals.

“On a global mundane level when everything is distributed kind of equally, you’ll feel a little bit more institutional chaos than normal,” he shares. People may experience delays, hesitations, things breaking down, or exhaustion of energy, he adds.

How does Mercury retrograde affect you?

When Mercury is retrograde, it can directly impact people’s communication and interpersonal relationships, Caves says. Working effectively and efficiently might become difficult during the planetary period as well.

You may have heard that exes come back during Mercury retrograde. “Because things are moving backward, there’s very often also symbolism of things returning to us,” Caves explains. He uses the metaphor of trying to swallow something and feeling it instantly travel back up your throat.

But the planet is not to blame for this.

“Mercury retrograde isn’t the one causing it,” Caves shares. If something returns to you during this period, it’s likely that the relationship or situation wasn’t properly sorted in the first place, and the universe intended for you to settle the score, he adds.

What is Mercury retrograde good for?

In bringing back issues from the past, Mercury retrograde might force you to slow down and be more intentional, Caves says.

What should you not do during Mercury retrograde?

Don’t make big changes, Caves cautions. Retrograde is the meditation period, not the action period.

“Avoid making new agreements or finalizing agreements,” he warns. “It’s good for revision, it’s not good for executing.”

What signs are affected by Mercury retrograde?

“Not every retrograde hits everybody,” Caves explains. It depends on the retrograde and your birth chart.

In any given Mercury retrograde, some signs may have no connection to it, he says.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Is Mercury in retrograde? A guide to astrological phenomenon for 2024