Grammar of a Retrograde: Mercury's Do's and Don'ts

Mercury is the great messenger of both mythology and astrology. He is the ruling planet of expression and communication, with the action to take things apart and put them back together.  He's also the bad boy of the planets with a rap sheet over a mile long. 

Mercury, not only rules communication, he represents coordination of thought and language. That translates to technology, processes, information and more. Mercury analyzes, sorts, groups, and makes sense of things. How do we handle nervous energy? How we express and convey our thoughts. How do we approach others and information to learn and exchange ideas?

Even though Venus rules relationships, we typically 'meet' people first through Mercury. Be it email, dating apps like Tinder or Scruff, or social media like Facebook and Instagram. Mercury can be our 'best face' and also our worst nightmare. When things go wrong in our lives all too common there is a tendency to ask "is Mercury in a retrograde?"  What does that mean? And more importantly, is it always bad, and what can we do about it, it anything?

What is a Retrograde:

Retrograde is an optical illusion. Planets in our solar system move in a prograde motion, west-to-east, through the stars at night.  The motion changes, east-to-west, when planets are in a perceived retrograde.  They appear to do so because of the relative positions of the planets and Earth and how they are moving around the Sun. 

While Mercury may not physically be moving backward, due to the proximity of the Sun, the influence of the Sun on Mercury is magnified.  Mercury goes retrograde about three or four times each year, for about three weeks each time. Mercury in retrograde is why many experience distress with communication, travel and more. It needn't be troublesome.

Grammar of the Retrograde:

 If you’re doing something that begins with “re” such as revisit, refresh, recall, reconnect, reassess, refresh, restore, you’re right on track. If you are not, then stop. Now.  

The key to any retrograde is the prefix "re" from the Latin root for "again; anew"  If you're doing something that begins with "re" such as revisit, refresh, recall, reconnect, reassess, refresh, restore, you're right on track. If you are not, then stop. Now.  

Slow Down, Reflect.

As we know, Mercury rules communication, travel, and technology, so all of these things are often disrupted during a retrograde. With it comes the bane of misunderstandings and arguments, difficulty with technology and machinery that breaks down. 

Life slows down during the retrograde --  the universe is blocking our forward momentum. Now is the time to start reflecting and looking back instead of moving forward.  This is why Mercury Retrograde is a bad time to start new projects, go on first dates, get married, travel, sign important papers or legal documents, or make big purchases. Now you know. 

Do's and Don't of a Mercury Retrograde


DON'T initiate. DO finish what you've started.

I bet you have a  fantastic new idea! It might be brilliant. No matter how clever it may be, hold off on the launch. In a retrograde, you will miss crucial information, and those you pitch to will not hear what you are saying. 


Instead, use Mercury's Retrograde to reflect, reinvest, and reexamine whatever you've already got going on and do your best to polish up and finish existing projects.

DON'T sign contracts. DO renegotiate


This is most known. In a retrograde, we don' sign new contracts.  But more than the dotted line, all agreements, verbal, handshakes. New commitments are avoided.  

Now is the time to renegotiate. Shop around. Prepare proposals for something better once Mercury turns direct.

DON'T purchase big. DO comparison shop.

Now is not the time to spend big. Seriously, no computers, phones, cars, travel tickets. If it has moving or electronic parts, there's a good chance that you'll find a glitch. 

Repairs are fine on existing equipment. Now is the time to comparison shop and spend more time thinking about what you really want. You might find that you've changed your mind completely by the time Mercury turns direct!

DON'T stop living. DO expect delays and hassles.


Patience and preparation are essential during retrograde cycles. Life keeps moving, and we stop living. Instead, consider the added potential for mishaps and prepare accordingly.  

Anticipate delays, recheck, and when possible be prepared for the added hassles of miscommunication. 


Mercury Retrograde is part of an ebb and flow that is the cosmic experience that affords an opportunity to either resist or reexamine our true self.  The retrograde is the perfect time to reset and reflect on where you have been on the journey and where you might be headed on your journey.  Tarot is a great way to connect with that.  If you are looking for clarity, you have come to the right place.  Now is the holy moment. 

Special Mercury Retrograde Digital Readings