What is Mercury Retrograde?
Mercury retrograde is the name we give to the period when, as seen from Earth, Mercury appears to be moving backward through the sky.
This is an optical illusion, similar to when we overtake a moving car and the car appears to fall backwards. No planet every really goes backwards, but in astrology symbolism is everything, and the symbolism of the backwards motion is what makes Mercury retrograde important.
Mercury turns retrograde several times a year, for approximately three weeks at a time.
Depending on its exact position when the retrograde begins, it may be retrograde only in one sign, or it may start retrograding in one sign and move backwards into the previous sign as well, before turning direct and moving forwards once more.
Why Does Mercury Retrograde Matter?
In astrology, Mercury retrograde is important for several reasons. Because Mercury rules our thought processes and thinking, Mercury retrograde periods can coincide with confusion and foggy thinking.
Mercury retrograde also slows life down a little bit and allow us the luxury of a pause button.
During the Mercury retrograde period, we can take stock and figure out where we’re heading and what we’ve learned from where we’ve already been.
Because communication is often more difficult during a Mercury retrograde period, it tends to get a bad reputation – but really, the limitations and problems Mercury retrograde can bring are outweighed by its benefits.
What is the Significance of Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio?
On this occasion, Mercury turns retrograde in Scorpio. Scorpio is a fixed water sign, and Mercury’s normal transit through Scorpio is characterized by deep thinking, analysis, research and a desire to uncover that which is hidden.
When Mercury turns retrograde in Scorpio, that same level of thinking, analysis and research is turned inwards. The result is an astonishing level of self-perception – which can be quite uncomfortable, as our own faults and issues are laid bare for us to see.
Mercury retrograde in Scorpio is a positive time for self-development. Because we can see ourselves so clearly, we become very aware of where we can learn and improve.
Psychologically, this is an important period for many of us. Although it can be difficult during a retrograde period to start anything new, the recognition of what needs to be done is important, even if the first steps cannot yet be taken.
We do need to guard against dogmatism when Mercury turns retrograde in Scorpio, however. It’s not easy to change our minds when this energy is in play, and even when backed into a corner, some of us may persist in obstinacy.
The other thing to watch out for when Mercury is retrograde in Scorpio is that words and language can be even more powerful than normal – but also even more hurtful than normal.
Mercury’s influence through Scorpio can sometimes result in cruel or spiteful communication. When Mercury is retrograde here, it’s all too easy to lash out at others in order to disguise our own discomfort.
Full-scale arguments are not Scorpio style, and when Mercury is retrograde in Scorpio we’re likely to see an increase in passive aggressive behavior, sulks and brooding silences.
Ultimately, however, it’s Scorpio’s capacity to ask searching questions which typifies Mercury retrograde – especially when the perhaps uncomfortably pointed questions are directed inwards towards ourselves.
Horoscopes: How Does Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio Affect Each Zodiac Sign?
During Mercury retrograde in Scorpio, each zodiac sign will feel the effects differently according to their individual natal chart. But all sun signs will find themselves thinking more deeply and more emotionally over the next few weeks, becoming more and more aware of their own weaknesses.
Aries Zodiac Sign (Aries Dates: March 20 – April 19) During Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio
Forgiveness is crucial now, both of yourself and of others, Aries. Look back through your past and send loving thoughts to anyone who has hurt or wronged you.
Do it for yourself, even if you don’t want to do it for them. By forgiving, you free yourself from an emotional burden.
Taurus Zodiac Sign (Taurus Dates: April 20 – May 20) During Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio
Mercury retrograde in your love zone is about learning to love yourself, Taurus. You can’t offer whole-hearted love to another person if you don’t love who you are.
Work on your self-esteem and self-confidence and learn to see the beautiful version of you that everyone else can see.
Gemini Zodiac Sign (Gemini Dates: May 21 – June 20) During Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio
It’s time for some deep thinking about your health and well-being, Gemini. Use this Mercury retrograde period to address all those things you’ve always wanted to get to ‘some time’ – a proper, healthy diet, enjoyable exercise, uplifting mindfulness and meditation.
Take care of yourself, first and foremost.
Cancer Zodiac Sign (Cancer Dates: June 21 – July 21) During Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio
With Mercury retrograde activating your creativity zone, Cancer, it’s time to get creative within yourself. Try different strategies now to help yourself overcome any fears and phobias.
Look up different self-help techniques or try different therapies. By thinking outside the box, you can do a lot of growing in this period.
Leo Zodiac Sign (Leo Dates: July 22 – August 22) During Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio
Turn your thoughts inwards regarding your family, Leo. Yes, there may be external issues, but what are you personally doing to be the very best family member you can be?
Focus on your own behavior, habits and intentions, instead of expecting others around you to change or to be better.
Virgo Zodiac Sign (Virgo Dates: August 23 – September 22) During Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio
Words have power, and you know this better than most zodiac signs. So, don’t use your words to harm yourself, Virgo.
Your own inner critic is on the loose during Mercury retrograde, but it’s vital that you don’t allow self-criticism to become harmful to your mental health. You are good enough. You are doing just fine.
Libra Zodiac Sign (Libra Dates: September 23 – October 22) During Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio
Use this Mercury retrograde period to examine your inner resources—your skills, your personal strengths—rather than focusing on your external resources like money.
You’re being guided to develop an under-used talent which could bring you great joy in future, Libra, even if it doesn’t create much, or any, income.
Scorpio Zodiac Sign (Scorpio Dates: October 23 – November 21) During Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio
Mercury retrograde in your own sign is a signal to do plenty of inner work.
Whether it’s a guided journal aimed at releasing your inner child, or self-help therapy to overcome a childhood trauma, or an analysis of what you bring to a relationship—focus on yourself and on being the very best you that you can be.
Sagittarius Zodiac Sign (Sagittarius Dates: November 22 – December 20) During Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio
You’re doing all the right things with regard to spiritual development—reading the books, attending the classes, doing the exercises—but Mercury retrograde reminds you that in order to truly develop, spiritually, it’s what’s in your heart that matters.
Stop spending some much time on the “stuff” that comes with spiritual development, Sagittarius, and instead spend more simply going within.
Capricorn Zodiac Sign (Capricorn Dates: December 21 – January 19) During Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio
You’re not the most gregarious of Sun signs, Capricorn, but during this retrograde phase it’s time to think carefully about what kind of friend you are.
You’re loyal, devoted and ambitious for your friends. Be proud of those traits, and work on your ability to trust others a little more, so that when this period ends, you can develop a better social network.
Aquarius Zodiac Sign (Aquarius Dates: January 20 – February 17) During Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio
Mercury retrograde in your career zone can lead to some delays or frustrations at work, Aquarius. If this is the case, ask yourself what unconscious blocks you’ve put in your own way.
It’s a good time for meditation or dreamwork to help uncover prosperity or success blocks – your own unconscious beliefs may be holding you back.
Pisces Zodiac Sign (Pisces Dates: February 18 – March 19) During Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio
Restlessness may be a struggle during Mercury retrograde, Pisces, especially if you’re facing delays or disruption with travel issues.
However, it’s a good time for study and education, so distract yourself by learning and expanding your mind. There’s no such thing as too much knowledge.
*Note: The exact date and time Mercury turns retrograde in Scorpio will differ depending on your timezone. This planet update was published the day before Mercury turned retrograde in Eastern Standard Time (EST) in the year 2020, which is October 14, 2020 @ 01:05 AM.