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  • Lio Salazar

What does Mercury being in retrograde even mean?

By: Lio Salazar, Features contributor


If you follow zodiacs and astrology in any capacity, you’ve heard the term “retrograde.” If you don’t follow astrology closely, then you’ve probably at least heard or seen memes of Mercury being in “renegade,” “microwave” or “Gatorade.” It’s helpful to note that astrology is a pseudoscience and isn’t meant to be taken terribly seriously, but you can pick and choose which aspects of astrology you believe and which you don’t. Sept. 14 marked the end of Mercury being in retrograde, but what does retrograde even mean?


A person’s zodiac chart consists of different signs, and different signs have different celestial bodies of influence. Someone’s “big three” are made up of their sun, moon and rising signs. Some other important signs are Mars, Venus and Mercury. Each of these signs influences different aspects of a person’s life and/or personality. When referencing someone’s “big three,” their sun is who they are at their core. It determines what kind of person they are in life and how they build relationships with others. Their moon reflects how they feel their emotions, feelings and moods. Someone’s personality when they’re alone and comfortable is what’s closest to what their moon reflects. A person’s rising sign is how people perceive them.


All of these planets and bodies have energy that is put out into the world. Think of it like a fountain's water that leaves the fountain and can be seen by passersby: when a planet is in retrograde, there’s an astronomical and astrological meaning. Astronomically, it means the planet appears to be moving backward (don’t worry, planetary orbits aren’t going wonky: they’ve been doing that for full eons). From an astrological standpoint, when a planet is in retrograde, it means that the energy that is typically being expressed is being reverted back inwards.


In astrology, Mercury is the planet that rules over how a person communicates, learns, processes, etc., so when Mercury is in retrograde, the metaphorical water flows in reverse and goes back into the fountain. All of the good communication vibes that we put out are suddenly reversed, and Mercury retrograde is a good time for us to look within ourselves and see if we’re being true to ourselves. The good communication vibes being reversed doesn’t mean we all of a sudden can’t communicate properly, but miscommunication is more prone to happen during this time — and can even affect how we express our thoughts to others.



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