Mercury is in retrograde: so what?

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Ciara Higgins
Writer

Ciara Higgins asks you to be a bit more down to earth when talking about Mercury’s retrogrades.

I’ve never had a particular interest in how the sky above me pertains to my life, other than when it starts raining unexpectedly and I’ve forgotten my umbrella. At least that was the case until recently when I learned that Mercury is in retrograde. I had no idea this was anything beyond a meme on Twitter until I started to read about it. Upon doing so, I still think the most influence that Mercury has on us is the little nose exhale we might offer to a tweet about how Mercury being in retrograde made Kaitlyn from Sheffield’s boyfriend cheat on her.

According to my most reliable sources (Wikipedia), a planet is in retrograde when its orbit appears to go back on itself when viewed from the Earth. If you were to stand on the face of Mercury during a retrograde period (without immediately meeting your demise in a gruesome fashion), you would be able to witness the sun rise, retreat, and rise again before setting, all within one day, which is pretty neat if you ask me. A day on Mercury is longer than a full year (88 Earth days) due to its position in orbit, so this would make the day appear exceptionally long – probably a prime time for Mercurians to have a barbeque day if they happen to exist. For us Earth-dwellers, it kind of looks like Mercury slows down and goes backwards in the sky, before speeding forward as normal once again. Essentially, Mercury drives past us and makes us eat its dust.

Now, for someone on Mercury, I understand how that may affect your mood, behaviour, plans etc., but on Earth, what do we actually feel when Mercury speeds past us? Surely, at a push, the only thing we would feel is a weird shift in gravity, which I understand could probably affect someone’s day; but even then, I find it hard to believe. This isn’t to say that I’m not keen on the idea of astrology: it’s fun to find out via Buzzfeed which baked good you are based on your star sign – Libras are cinnamon buns, FYI – but it seems quite irrational to believe that the stars or planets have an overbearing influence on your behaviour or the behaviour of other people in your life.

It seems to be the case on Twitter and amongst my friends who believe in Mercury’s power, that people find it apt to use this period of retrograde as an excuse to be an arsehole, expecting no repercussions. Not only this, but some belittle themselves by believing that others are acting in a specific way because of Mercury. It should come as no surprise to anyone that sometimes people make mistakes; they might act out because of personal issues, they might project their current insecurities onto their friends, and sometimes people just have bad weeks – it’s not unusual! There are so many ongoing forces within our environments that cause changes in behaviour and mood, so why resort to forces so far out with our world? Instead of immediately blaming the planets for your state, perhaps consider other things, such as how much you’ve been drinking, maybe you’ve tried a new drug and it doesn’t affect you well, maybe you’ve given yourself too many responsibilities at once. Perhaps even your awareness of Mercury’s retrograde has given you a negative outlook on your month? It’s worth it to sometimes step out of your head and look at your life realistically.

If you truly cannot let go of the idea that Mercury will mess up your plans when it’s in retrograde, please, for the sake of yourself and others around you, don’t just whine about your life being a mess. Instead, take some time to reflect on your situation: what would make you happier? Is there anything in your life with which you’re dissatisfied? Is there anything making your life feel stagnant? Is your hair on top form? Ask yourself whatever you like! It benefits everyone to have some periods of reflection throughout the year. Take these 25-day periods to regard how your life is going, and think about what you can do better.

And, for the love of God, please stop blaming your dickhead behaviour on the universe.