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Mercury in retrograde comes about three to four times yearly when the planet appears to be traveling backward. The Old Farmers’ Almanac notes retrograde is an illusion that the planet is moving in reverse. This event occurs because our view from Earth and Mercury has a shorter orbit; about 88 days. 

To make it easier to understand what retrograde looks like, picture yourself in a car, and a vehicle next to you passes you because they are going faster. Then, you get a competitive urge to pass that car and speed up; passing that vehicle from your perspective looks like it is driving backward, but in reality, you are traveling faster than the car.

Mercury retrograde has been mentioned more frequently due to its position as the ruler of communication. “Mercury rules all types of communication, including listening, speaking, learning, reading, editing, researching, negotiating, selling, and buying,” astrologer Susan Miller said in an article. It affects anything involving communication, causing issues for people. Once the planet returns to its regular orbit, everything becomes more transparent. 

The other reason for the frequent discussion of Mercury’s retrograde is how frequently it comes in the year. Some other planets enter retrograde about once a year or every three years, but Mercury’s retrograde happens more than the rest. 

As it happens more frequently, Mercury affects all of the zodiac signs–some more than others–depending on which month and year it comes on. There are misconceptions about this event. Some portray it as an evil entity to make life horrible. However, astrologers Kyle Thomas and Susan Miller ensure people that it is time to evaluate your life, the decisions you made, and the people in your life. Here are some common misconceptions answered.

Is Mercury Moving Backward?

The planet is not shifting backward. While it may look like it, Mercury is still orbiting normally, and it is only an illusion from our perspective.

Communication Chaos

Since Mercury is known as the ruling planet of communication, there is a strong belief that anything dealing with communication will go into meltdown.

Lost e-mails, mail, texts, contracts and many more things could feel stagnant or tense. While it may feel like that, many astrologers, like Kyle Thomas and Susan Miller, implore you to take your time and be aware of your future decisions and life.

Is Getting Things Done Difficult?

Getting tasks or goals done during a Mercury retrograde is usually tricky, or an obstacle will get in your way. However, everything does not always go as planned; learning how to adjust to these obstacles and continue the plan is necessary.

What Not to Do

“Don’t make any important moves when Mercury is retrograde. Nothing will be settled successfully for the future during these periods anyway – you will find it nearly impossible to nail down a plan,” Miller said. 

It is a high risk to make agreements during the event. There is a possibility of something going wrong. Before making an important decision, think about it thoroughly.

What to Do

“We cannot move into the future if the past is holding us back, so use this time to review and reflect,” Thomas said.

Mercury being in retrograde is a time to examine your life. Stop your pace to physically and mentally look around your surroundings. You may have been on the go, rushing yourself to try and accomplish your goals.

You may need to reflect on your current friends and reach out to those who you haven’t been able to connect with. Take the upcoming retrograde to release the tension you have been holding onto.

Which Signs are Most Affected?

The third retrograde from August 23 to September 14 will affect the earth sign, Virgo, according to the Old Farmers’ Almanac as well as astrologers Thomas and Miller.

There is no need to panic and worry if you should cancel your plans. Instead, take this time to reflect on your life and make any necessary changes. Come to terms with the conflicts and issues that arise during this period. 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s warning for Virgos is, “Challenging situations arise, especially in the workplace. Expect product delays and equipment breakdowns, as well as crankiness among coworkers under finicky, detail-oriented Virgo. Double-check your work before you call it finished.” 

This same advice applies to the fire sign, Sagittarius. They will be affected by the fourth and last retrograde event for Mercury from December 13 to January 1.

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