Mercury in Retrograde

Mercury in Retrograde! Strap yourself in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

I have heard this forever. When Mercury goes into retrograde, the world as we know it will be chaos. Electronics will go haywire, hold off on any big decisions, etc.

Anything that goes wrong during that time, can be blamed on Mercury in Retrograde. It is the new excuse of the millennium. “No, teach, I don’t have my homework. See, my computer crashed because Mercury is in retrograde.” Much more plausible than “the dog ate it”, I suppose 🙂

So this may be the current state of explanations, but something is missing in translation- a very important something! What exactly is a retrograde and is Mercury the only planet that has this event? What happens during a retrograde? Let’s break it down.

There are three definitions of a planets rotation and/or movement – Retrograde, Station, and Direct.

  1. A retrograde is when a planet appears to be moving or rotating backwards. This is really an optical illusion of sorts created by the orbital rotation of Earth in relation to the other planets’ locations. The best example I have heard is to compare a retrograde to driving down the highway. A car is beside you in the next lane. All of a sudden, it slows down while you continue the same speed and motion. The car that slowed down may appear to be going backwards. Of course, it is not really going backwards – it is all an optical illusion. The Earth is simply speeding by, passing the planet and making it appear to be going backwards.

2. Station is when the planet appears to slow to a stop, with no visible movement (another optical illusion).

3. Direct, or “going Direct” is when the planet appears to change direction and rotate properly once again.

Mercury is not the only planet that goes retrograde, in fact, they all do! For instance, Mars goes retrograde just one time every couple of years, Venus every eighteen months, and Mercury retrogrades usually three times a year. Every planet has its own retrograde.

Each Retrograde will affect us, but in varying degrees. Each retrograde is shaped by the sign through which it is moving at the time of its retrograde. If you are seriously into astrology, you can find information about the dates of the retrogrades, as well as the houses and astrological sign the retrograde is moving through. All of this plays into the energy of that retrograde.

In general, a Mercury in retrograde is simply saying, slow down. I would like to recommend some crystals and stones that you may want to use leading up to, during and the winding down stages of Mercury in Retrograde.

You’ve checked your calendar and know that the dreaded Mercury in Retrograde is coming. We have all done it. That sinking stomach feeling you get when you realize it is coming. That little twinge of unknowing and fear…what is going to happen THIS time??

A few crystals/minerals to aid in your Mercury in Retro journey

Step one- let go of the fear and dread. You have the ability to create a new and exciting outcome. In other words, retrograde does not HAVE to be a bad thing. State and create a new, positive intention instead.


Keep Nephrite Jade, Amazonite and/or Prehnite close by. These stones will help remove fear, anxiety, and release those butterflies in the tummy.

Make sure to add Cavansite, Larimar and/or Blue Topaz to help bring in the energy of your new and improved, positive intent. For instance, my new intent is, “Mercury is a wonderful time to reflect on my experience, release that which no longer serves, and rejoice in the coming of a new day.”

While I personally take a more laid back, less fearful approach to Retrogrades, using the information of planets, houses, dates and locations as talked about above, there are always those who feel that there are very specific, “bad things” that are going to happen.

“Bad Thing” #1 — All communications and electronic devices will go hay wire or cease to work all together. Emails or phone calls get lost in the black hole of cyberspace, letters are returned, phone lines go down, etc.

tree moss agate
Tree Agate

OK, so you are convinced that everything is going to go wacky. There’s an app for that…an application of crystals and stones, that is. Use Tree Moss Agate or Obsidian to stabilize and balance your electronic devices.

To keep you and your electronics grounded, use some Red Jasper, Hematite, or Black Tourmaline.

lapis lazuli
Lapis Lazuli

To keep those lines of communication opened and cleared, try using Blue Kyanite, Blue Calcite, Labradorite or Lapis Lazuli.

“Bad Thing” #2– Be non committal or you will be sorry! Avoid making plans, scheduling important meetings, starting a new partnership or relationship, or signing any type of contract or legally binding documents.

Plans gone awry? Missed that meet and greet you planned for months? Do you keep having to cancel appointments or having others cancel on you? Ah, must be that Mercury in Retrograde! With a little crystal help and a lot of determination, you can get through.

What you need right now, short of an amazing assistant, are some crystals to help you organize your time efficiently, focus on the task at hand and keep you on schedule, no matter what may try to take you off course.


Pyrite helps to remove the energy of chaos from around you, which in turn will give you a more calming environment.

Howlite, Lepidolite, Moonstone or Rutilated Quartz will help to ease anxiety and allow you a greater sense of organization.

Rainbow Fluorite

Ametrine, Fluorite and/or Ruby will help you to focus and bring you back to focus any time you find yourself wandering in a different direction.

If everything seems to be a mess and nothing is working out as it should, take a step back, take a deep breath, and hold on to some Selenite. You will be amazed how quickly you become re-centered.

Final word

I personally like the idea that, “Mercury retrograde gives us time to catch up with ourselves, and to look back. Something from the past might return in a different form. This can mean people, ideas or buried insights that need to surface for you to move forward. Often it’s felt as a contemplative time, depending on the sign, a chance to go over old ground again, to claim what you missed the first time.” Molly Hall

So instead of dreading the coming of a retrograde, think of the positive aspects it brings–a chance to reflect, release, and move forward.

For a quick reference guide, grab a copy of The Handy Little Crystal List Reference Guide via PDF Download here or in my Etsy Shop.

The information contained in this article is not meant to replace diagnosis and treatment by a qualified and licensed medical practitioner. ALL recommendations herein contained are derived from article research, various crystal healing reference books and intuition. No expressed or implied guarantee as to the effects of their uses can be given nor liability taken.

This article was originally written by Kristi Hugs in November of 2009 for and has been shared freely all over the web since. I decided to bring it back home.

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