Whether dreaded or welcomed, Mercury entered its retrograde state for the first time this decade on Feb. 16.
The “Mercury retrograde” refers to the period of time during which the position of Mercury appears to move “backwards” in its orbit as viewed by Earth, according to a 2020 article by Farmers’ Almanac.
From Feb. 16 to March 9, the optical illusion of Mercury’s backwards movement will take place. It will then perform this motion two more times throughout 2020: June 18 to July 12 and Oct. 13 to Nov. 13, according to a 2020 article by Almanac.
Mercury retrograde has become an infamous cultural phenomenon, particularly amongst those who closely follow astrology. This occurrence is often associated with times of frequent mishaps, especially involving miscommunications and travel.
Serra Jaggar, the founder and owner of Indie South, performs tarot readings in which she can give guidance to those in difficult situations. These readings correspond astrologically to different zodiac signs, which can play an important role in the interpretation of the cards, Jaggar said.
Jaggar has found astrology very helpful for herself and encourages those who are skeptical to look beyond their weekly horoscopes and dig deeper into different layers of astrology beyond the sun sign.
“I think that a lot of people really boil down astrology to horoscopes, and it’s so much more than that,” Jaggar said.
Your sun sign depicts your deepest self, your moon sign controls your inner emotional landscape and your rising sign shows your outlook on the world and the first impression you give to others. Jaggar emphasized the importance of learning more about these three factors to better understand your astrological placements.
Today, as opposed to 10 years ago, astrology is a lot more fluid, Jaggar said. People have reached a place where they can pick and choose what resonates with them in regards to astrology. This can apply to how people react to Mercury retrograde and how they identify and react to its correlation with their lives.
Heather Matherly is a forest therapy guide and women’s circle gatherer. Her business Stay Amazed aims to provide transformational experiences through engaging and spiritual nature walks and intuitive coaching.
Matherly grew up fascinated with the planets and astrology. However, Matherly says she doesn’t let astrology rule her life and stop her from doing anything. Though she still thinks it's important to take note of correspondences between events in her everyday life and the planets.
“Mercury retrograde affects me every time whether that be my car breaking down messing up a date on an email,” Matherly said. “ But the only thing I can say is that [Mercury Retrograde’s] not going to stop me from sending an email. It’s not going to stop me from driving my car.”
In contrast, Jaggar said she likes to be prepared and double-check what’s coming up on her calendar when Mercury is in retrograde. She doesn’t want to schedule any big commitments in fear that retrograde-triggered miscommunications could interfere.
“I’ve had major issues with my laptop and hard drive crashing when I was planning a really big event,” Jaggar said. “I’ve started to be more cognizant of when Mercury will be in retrograde because there are so many moving parts involved [in these events].”
Matherly wants people to remember than although retrograde comes with negatives, there are some positive takeaways from this phenomenon as well.
“It’s a great time for self-care,” Matherly said. “It’s a great time to slow down, and it’s a great time to reassess, revisit and redo things from the past.”
Having a similar point of view, Jaggar said that retrograde should be seen as an opportunity to take a breather, step back and be more mindful and conscious of your words and actions. This is especially important in the modern world where it’s nearly impossible to fully disconnect from technology and be fully cognizant of the world around you, Jaggar said.
“We’ve become so disconnected from ourselves, from our bodies and from the natural seasons of life,” Jaggar said. “That’s where a lot of the value of it [astrology] lies for me in that it makes me more conscious and observant.”