Astrology 101: Making the Most of this Mercury Retrograde in Virgo!


Updated: August 20, 2010

mercury-retrogradeIt’s that time again… Mercury Retrograde! If you just got frazzled at the mention of this planetary cycle, take a deep breath. Today I’m going to share my insight into the Retrograde and help you make the most of the next three weeks.

From August 20 through September 12, Mercury is retrograde at Virgo, the sign of fine-tuning. Mercury Retrograde happens three to four times per year, when the planet Mercury slows down and appears to stop and move backward. It’s an optical illusion, since there is forward movement, like speeding by a slow-moving train—as it recedes, it appears to go backward. The purpose of Mercury Retrograde is to review and revise our life and our connection with reality. In many ways, this time helps us prepare for the future by propelling us to re-align and re-evaluate our plans and ideas. Since Mercury rules communication, things most often go haywire in that area—computers go on the fritz, miscommunications abound, and the internet goes down. For example, right before my radio show yesterday, the internet went out in my house! Of course, we worked through it and the show went on, but frustrating things like this are common during the Retrograde. Communication impacts almost all areas of our lives, whether business, relationships, or health. So Mercury Retrograde can be a powerful and frustrating time.

magGlassGenerally, retrograde planets present us with a series of events over which we seem to have little or no control, relating to the sign in which the retrograde occurs. For example, this Mercury Retrograde in Virgo presents different conditions from a Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn, which will happen in December. Virgo is an earth sign and often considered detail oriented, methodical, analytical, quiet, perfectionistic/critical, and work focused. So this retrograde is likely to bring up details in all areas—for example, past problems you need to reevaluate and let go of, business errors that need to be corrected, or details that need to be taken care of for the future. It’s a great time to tie up loose ends, go over things again and again, and read the fine print. It’s also important to be clear in your communication and not take any thing that’s said to you to heart. Minor frustrations may add up, especially in the work place. Delays are also common during any Mercury Retrograde—so give yourself extra time.

Ultimately, the next three weeks are time to focus on words that start with “Re”: review the details (even the small ones), reassess what’s happening in your life, relate to others in a clear manner, rest and relax (even in the midst of a frustration), and rejoice in the good fortune in your life now.


prayingWoodsReview the details of your life! Take some time to journal today about everything that’s happening in your life now. What do you need to let go of? What things have you been putting off? What are you most thankful for? I also recommend doing some of the journal exercises in my book, Remembering the Future.

Create a new calming ritual for this retrograde. Perhaps you’ll commit to sitting quietly by a tree each morning or eating breakfast in bed. Or, you might decide to take a bath or go for a walk each night. Just choose something to commit to doing for the next three weeks that will help you stay grounded and at peace. If you’re “too busy” slow down, breathe. Make order in your home as a ritual exercise, breathing slowly repeating the affirmation “ all is well, all is well.” You’ll be amazed at how great you’ll feel.

And, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Mercury Retrograde. Please share them with us!

In service and love,


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