What is Mercury Retrograde?


Mercury Retrograde is an astrological event that happens several times a year.

When is Mercury in retrograde in 2024?

Mercury is in retrograde three times in 2024:

1 April to 24 April: Mercury will go into retrograde of the Aries sign, with this being an apt time to carefully consider your actions before making any major decisions to avoid running into issues down the line. Pre-retrograde shadow starts a way before on 18 March, with the post-retrograde shadow period finally ending by 13 May.

4 August to 27 August: August will see Mercury in retrograde under the earth sign Virgo, with it shifting into fire sign Leo after 14 August. This is a period to be particularly conscious of your romantic relationships and doing all you can to prevent any misunderstandings. While its pre-retrograde shadow begins on 16 July, it leaves on 11 September.

25 November to 15 December: The last retrograde of 2024 will be under Sagittarius again. With it falling over the holiday period, it’s an important time to double check plans, allow extra time for travel and do all you can to avoid unnecessary falling outs. Pre-retrograde shadow begins on 7 November and Mercury leaves its shadow by 2 January.


So, what is it, exactly?

When a planet goes retrograde, it just means that it appears to move backward in the sky relative to the zodiac. For Mercury, that happens three times a year.

What happens during Mercury retrograde?

In astrology, Mercury is the planet that rules our communication and thought processes. It is the planet of our everyday forms of expression and communication - the way we talk to each other and form our opinions.

During Mercury retrograde, the illusionary backward movement of the planet affects us in the same way the pull of the moon’s gravity affects the ocean tides. Instead of things going smoothly, our conversations and communication often end up muddled, distorted, and unclear. This is a time when big decisions often go awry, technology often goes wonky, and we are all generally feeling off.

What can you do to combat the energy of Mercury retrograde?

Well, since we can’t make the planet appear to go in the right direction on our way, we simply have to ride it out. During Mercury retrograde, avoid making any major decisions if you can, give yourself extra time to travel from one place to another, and don’t upgrade your IT equipment if you can help it.

Instead, use this as a time of self-reflection. Since Mercury is a planet that rules our communication and expression, think of ways that maybe you could improve those aspects in your life. Is there something you can do to help you speak more clearly?

Take the time to pause, especially when you’re faced with big decisions. Some decisions you can’t help but make during Mercury retrograde, but when you can hold off for a bit, I recommend doing so. You might find that your thoughts are clearer and easier to understand once Mercury moves out of retrograde.

Funny Story?

So, when I worked in the corporate world, I worked for a local hospital system here in Central Oregon. During a Mercury retrograde last year, our hospital system decided to upgrade its electronic medical record system. Long story short, that was a big nightmare full of technical problems, glitches, and errors.

Also, I’m getting ready to do my first ever podcast live stream on YouTube as I type out this article…so hopefully Mercury retrograde leaves my technical equipment alone! I spoke too soon. Guess who just got an e-mail that their website is experiencing technical difficulties?! This girl!

How does Mercury retrograde affect you? Do you have any other suggestions on how to avoid the nightmare that a retrograde can be if you aren’t prepared?

Sources and Other Reading


Thanks for this very informative post!

I like to think that Mercury retrograde won’t affect me (it doesn’t ALWAYS have to, right?) but this week I’m having a really hard time making decisions, and struggling with a bit of anxiety too. :grimacing:

I’ll follow your advice and try to be more self-reflective and not self-deprecating. I prefer to believe that Mercury retrograde is not a “good” or “bad” time, but just a challenging phase. :muscle:


I wish it didn’t affect us, but it tends to, even in ways that we might not notice at first. But yes, being more self-reflective is always a good idea when Mercury is in retrograde - it helps pass the challenging phase with as much ease as possible.


My two friends and I always chat throughout the day on Facebook in private messages…the three of us have been friends for over 30 years…and one of us always…without fail starts complaining about things breaking, or going wrong and then one of us, without fail…asks…when is mercury in retrograde? lol

AND…unfortunately it has already started to rear it’s ugly head in my home…we had a small corner in our bathroom with mold starting to grow…and said, well we will take care of it when it gets warmer here so we can open windows, etc…last night we turned the exhaust fan on…which worked for about 3 seconds and then water started dripping from it…UGH.

And, one of the girls in my chat group got side-swiped on the highway yesterday…her car is totaled…thankfully she is OK but the car not so much…so far 2 out of 3 of us…third’s a charm? lol…I laugh because otherwise I’d cry and technically it doesn’t even start until tomorrow…BLAH!!!


Bumping to the top because Mercury Retrograde is here!


There is a Mercury :astrology_mercury: Retrograde starting May 10 & ending June 3, 2022!

Mercury Retrograde
3 Crystals for Mercury Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde of 2022


Oh goodness, the retrograde starts today :sweat_smile:

Good to be aware of it- thanks for the heads up, @Susurrus! :astrology_mercury: :sparkles:


Today is the start of the retrograde:

  • Mental pursuits & connections break down
  • Business plans/pursuits or new decisions should be postponed & instead reflect on your current situation
  • Quietly observe your inner process & carry forward pre-existing plans

Ask yourself: Where am I heading in my life at this particular juncture? - Then try to move forward with new directions once Mercury has gone direct - maybe a “fortnight” beyond when Mercury :astrology_mercury: has left it’s shadow.


We’re currently in a Mercury Retrograde period so I’m bringing this post back!

Retrogrades of 2023

December 29, 2022 - January 18 - 2023

Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn
Keywords: rethinking your goals + legacy, logically minded, future-oriented, work-life balance

April 21 - May 14

Mercury Retrograde in Taurus
Keywords: delays in money matters, revision of values, relationship dynamics, material possessions, the natural world

August 23 - September 15

Mercury Retrograde in Virgo
Keywords: miscommunication, disruption of daily routine, work-life balance, setting boundaries, criticism

December 12 - January 1, 2024

Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn and Sagittarius
Keywords : rethinking your goals + legacy, logically minded, work-life balance, shifting perspectives, travel delays

Mercury Retrogrades 2023 - Horoscope.com


We’ve had loads of problems with our broadband. It keeps kicking us out of things, like tv or websites. Hubby actually sat there and watched on the speed checker, it went up down up down down for ages - never actually got up to where it should be.


'Tis the season!


I really feel that i am all over the place at the moment. Broadband not working, washing machine breaking, car not starting! Cant seem to get the words out to say what i want either! Im in a slump!

Got my little reminder poster on display :rofl:


I was on the phone yesterday- a very important phone call too- and had been on hold for 30 minutes when I finally connected with the representative… only for cell service to just cut off entirely :upside_down_face:

I was completely baffled as to what happened- service had been fine all morning, the weather wasn’t nearly that bad?

But of course… Mercury Retrograde :sweat_smile:

I feel you, @Jacky! I hope it improves for you soon :pray::heart:

I LOVE your reminder poster, @Cosmic_Curiosity! :heart_eyes: The cute pictures made me smile- it’s the perfect thing to have close by during retrograde time! :sparkles:


I should have taken heed and really reflected and thought about whether i had to go out today! Travelling behind a van which threw up a stone and cracked my windscreen. My orcale card today also warned me of an unexpected bill!:tired_face::tired_face::tired_face::sleepy::sleepy:


Oh geez – hopefully you were able to get back on the phone quickly! Silly Mercury Retrograde :unamused:

Oh no! I hope it doesn’t cost too much to repair!


It took another hour on hold to get to another representative, but I got through in the end! Silly Mecurucry Retrograde indeed :sweat_smile:

Oh dear- that’s awful! I hope you’re safe and that it turned out to be an easy (and inexpensive) fix :pray:


We’re freeeeee!!! :joy: :astrology_mercury:

Looks like the next Mercury Retrograde isn’t until August- until then, I know I’ll be enjoying Mercury going direct! :raised_hands:


Thank the Gods! :astrology_mercury: :free:

I’m so ready for Mercury’s energy to start making an exit lol


Fun fact: May 15, 2023 (today) thru May 31… we are in Mercury Rx Post Shadow. It’s when Mercury (or any planet) basically speeds up to start moving forward again to the next sign. In this case Gemini :gemini: During the next couple of weeks anything that came up for you that you’re dealing with, you should start finding some sense of a resolution to them :hugs:

Pre Retrograde Shadow is about the 2 weeks before Retrograde as the planet slows down to move backward through the signs. During that time, it’s not uncommon to sort of get a hint of what’s to come once Mercury (or another planet) is in Retrograde.

The shadow period pre & post really pertains to any of the planets Retrograde movements. :hugs: It just so happens right now its Mercury Post Retrograde Shadow :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


Music to my ears! :laughing: :+1: There’s been a lot going on lately, and I’d love some peaceful resolution. Time to move forwards!

Thank you for this wisdom, Siofra! :raised_hands: :star2: