Mercury retrograde: review, reorganise and relax

From 3:10pm Monday 27 September 2021 until 1:16am Tuesday 19 October 2021 Mercury will retrograde between 25 Libra28 and 10 Libra07.

Mercury retrograde in Libra will put balance back into your life. Use this energy to review, reorganise and relax. Mercury represents our capacity to progress and navigate the currents of time and space by communicating what we need. As the closest planet to the Sun, Mercury is an important source of cosmic energy for human development. Mercury’s energy is at work when you send and receive messages; travel out of your home and into the world; conduct financial or commercial activities; and decide which way to go when you encounter a cross-roads.

Mercury is named for a myth

Mercury may be seen as an evening “star” near where the sun has set, or as a morning “star” near where the sun will rise. The ancient Greeks called the evening star Hermes and the morning star Apollo, believing them to be different objects. The planet is named for Mercury, the Roman messenger of the gods.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

According to Greek and Roman mythology, Mercury or Hermes travelled between the Olympiad or heaven, the Earth, and the Underworld. Hermes was the soul’s escort on the journey after death. He brought souls back to life in the stories of Persephone and Prometheus. Mercury delivered messages and news between the realms. He invented language, mathematics and the lute. He wore winged sandals. These beliefs were inspired by the movement of the planet across the night skies.

Man in sandals and costume
Photo by Yuvraj Sachdeva on Unsplash

The Mercurial Cycle

The astronomical relationship between the Sun, Mercury and the Earth is similar to the Moon’s relationship with the Earth and the Sun. Like the Moon, Mercury’s orbit is continuously cycling between conjunctions with the Sun. This results in a variation in the rate of transmission of messages, thoughts, ideas and inventions on Earth.

When Mercury comes between the Earth and the Sun, it forms an inferior conjunction (see diagram below). At this time, the Sun obscures Mercury when viewed from Earth. Mercury seems to travel backwards, then it stations and traverses the same territory in forward (direct) motion. This period is good for evaluation and review.

Mercury retrograde retraces the steps it took earlier. This sense of going back over ground already covered is why the retrograde period is excellent for evaluating what has gone before and getting back on track.


When Mercury orbits behind the Sun, it also disappears from Earth’s view. At this time, Mercury forms a superior conjunction with the Sun. The planetary energy and speed increases in a direct or easterly motion. This period is excellent for advancing creative ideas, focusing effort, and shining a light on your work (see table for exact dates).

The orbital cycle of Mercury as seen from the Earth
distorted image of a white swan in water
Photo by Mark Timberlake on Unsplash

Time and space can be distorted when Mercury is in retrograde motion

Mercury’s disappearing and reappearing behaviour sends a powerful message to our psyche. In a metaphysical sense, Mercury retrograde represents a particularly complex time. We tend to turn inward; withdraw energy from the world; and let go of the need to make progress. We may want to literally disappear from sight for awhile. To assist in this process, the retrograde motion has the effect of slowing communication, delaying travel, and stalling negotiations or decision-making. This period is a perfect time to consult Astrotessa Counselling for validation and guidance.

The lyrics in this song hilariously capture the effect of Mercury retrograde on a potential love affair. Get up and dance to the crazy beat if you like it!

Using the Mercury cycle for planning and evaluation

The Mercurial cycle provides an opportunity to plan and evaluate our actions. The planet’s movement in and out of retrograde and in and out of the inferior and superior conjunction is awesome. Mercury truly lives up to its reputation as the travelling messenger of the solar system.

Ruling both Gemini and Virgo, Mercury helps to bring clarity and coherence to our planning and evaluation activities.

In Gemini, Mercury is an astute thinker, communicator, teacher and learner.

In Virgo, the practical attributes of Mercury tend to shine: attention to detail, excellent memory and craft.


Do you know which sign Mercury was in when you were born? This knowledge could strengthen your understanding and insight into your communication style. You can use the mercurial spirit to assist your ambitions. Book a Birth Chart reading with Astrotessa to explore where Mercury constellates for you. Learn how to become free and happy as you travel through your life.

Six stages of project planning and review

Let Mercury guide your project to produce a superior product or service. Use the six stages of the Mercury cycle for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022. Let me know the differences that this makes for your project.

PeriodStage of Mercury CycleHow Mercury can guide your project
10 to 18
Oct 2021
1. Inferior conjunction to Stationary Direct; Mercury becomes a Morning Star.A new phase of action begins. Use the project outcomes from previous cycles to inform your ideas. Let yourself imagine and innovate new ways of going about the project. Develop fresh communication methods and apply these during the next 4 months of this new cycle. 
19 to 25 Oct 20212. Stationary Direct to Greatest Elongation as Morning StarRe-examine existing research, studies, and ideas. Use these points to adjust your thinking about the project. Try to redevelop the project in a new direction. Consider decisions in the light of what has worked and what has not worked. Examine the market again.
25 Oct to 29 Nov 20213. Greatest Elongation to Superior ConjunctionThis period marks an important change in direction. New plans are given impetus as the mercurial spirit endows you with greater critical ability. Your insight into what will work and how to bring your creativity to life is greater when Mercury is at its greatest distance from the Sun. Focus on the details. Put your plans into action.
29 Nov to 8 Jan 20224. Superior Conjunction to Greatest Elongation as Evening StarWhen Mercury conjoins the Sun, your project begins to produce success. You have the sense that the stars are aligning to deliver the outcomes you desire. There is also a reflective energy in this phase of the cycle. You want to share the creative aspects of your project with others. You might join networks or write an article.
8 to 14 Jan 20225. Greatest Elongation to Stationary RetrogradeCritically evaluate the project. Fine-tune it to ensure that earlier mistakes are not repeated. Think about what the project means to you. How has it made you a wiser person? Prepare to let go of the aspects of the project that have held your attention for the past few months.
14 to 23 Jan 20226. Stationary Retrograde to Inferior ConjunctionAt this stage, your project will be looking after itself. You can step back and think about what has happened during the cycle. Use a journal or arrange a review session with your coach to summarise the learnings. Get ready to apply these outcomes in the new cycle about to begin.
Source: Brian Clark (Astro*Synthesis)


When Mercury is retrograde, it makes sense to:

  • review our actions for the past 4 months
  • reorganise our priorities for period ahead
  • then sit back and relax.

Kindly, Tessa

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