Western Astrology: Mercury Retrograde and Mercury Direct. In Astrology, Mercury is the planet that controls communication and transportation. When Mercury is in retrograde, it is time to review and revise your life
The Roman deity Mercury was a messenger of the gods and was also the god of trade, particularly the grain trade, in his own right. Many of his characteristics and myths were borrowed from the Greek god Hermes. Both wore winged shoes and a winged hat, and both led the newly deceased to the afterlife.
The Planet Mercury
Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system, and is closest to the sun, which it orbits every 88 days. Mercury’s elliptical orbit is the most eccentric of all the planets, which means the speed of travel also varies the most. It travels fastest when it is closest to the sun, and slowest when it is furthest from the sun.
Mercury is normally not visible due to being lost in the glare of the sun, and can only be seen from the northern hemisphere at sunrise and sunset. Early Greek astronomers believed it to be two separate entities: they called the one visible at sunrise Apollo, and the one visible at sunset Hermes. The Romans named the planet Mercury, their equivalent god to the Greek god Hermes.
Mercury in Astrology
In Astrology, Mercury is the planet that governs communication, commerce, education, and transportation. Mercury is rational and objective rather than emotional.
Mercury rules how we perceive and interpret information from our senses and the world around us, and how we pass that information on to others. Consequently, Mercury rules such things as listening, speaking, and negotiating, buying, selling, and formal contracts, travel, shipping, and written and electronic communications.
Mercury is the ruling planet for both the Gemini and Virgo zodiac signs. People born under these signs are likely to be most affected by Mercury Retrograde.
Retrograde and Direct Motion of the Planets
When viewed from Earth, the paths of the Sun, the Moon, and all the planets progress from east to west because of the rotation of the Earth. Additionally, the planets appear to drift slowly eastwards against the backdrop of the stars, a motion known as the direct motion of prograde motion.
Due to the differing times taken by the planets to complete an orbit of the sun, there are times when the planets appear to move backward against the backdrop of the stars, a motion is known as retrograde motion, In Mercury’s case, its variable orbit speed, caused by its eccentric orbit, exacerbates the phenomenon.
The retrograde motion of the planets was not properly understood until it became accepted that the Sun, rather than the Earth, was at the center of the Solar System, as originally described by Nicolaus Copernicus in the 16th century.
Mercury Retrograde and Mercury Direct
Mercury’s period of retrograde motion lasts from 8 to 15 days and occurs every 105 to 129 days. This variability is caused by the planet’s eccentric orbit. So, as with the other planets, Mercury is in direct motion for the majority of the time.
Before Mercury switches from direct motion to retrograde motion, its eastwards movement against the backdrop of the stars appears to slow down. At the point that the apparent eastwards movement stops, Mercury is said to be at the retrograde station. The same cycle occurs as Mercury returns from retrograde motion to direct motion, with the point where it is motionlessly called the direct station.
Astrological Significance of Mercury Retrograde
Astrologers hold that Mercury’s influence on communication and transportation is affected when the planet is in retrograde motion, with a particularly strong effect occurring when the planet is at either the retrograde station or the direct station.
Mercury retrograde has effects like reducing the effectiveness of communication and negotiation, causing communication and transportation equipment to show any weaknesses and to break down, and disrupting shipping and travel plans.
Astrologers urge caution about decision making, signing contracts, and taking trips whilst Mercury is in retrograde. They advocate using the period Mercury is in retrograde to review your life, particularly with regards to the areas that Mercury rules. That might include reviewing your listening, talking, and negotiating skills, or revisiting contracts before you sign them.
About the author: Diane H. Wong is a content writer at essaywriter.nyc and family coach. So she prefers to spend her spare time working out family issues solutions. In this case, she has an opportunity to share her experience with others and keep up with advancing technologies.