THE ONLY MERCURY RETROGRADE GUIDE YOU WILL EVER NEED

Mercury Retrograde Dates

WHAT IS IT? A retrograde occurs when a planet seems to be moving backwards in the sky, from our vantage point on Earth. Planets don’t actually move backwards, but this optical illusion does have mysterious and powerful effects here on Earth. Mercury turns retrograde more often than any other planet, usually about 3-4 times per year, and lasts for several weeks. When a planet retrogrades, the things that the planet rules tend to go awry and be thrown off, as well as whatever is ruled by the sign that it is retrograding within. We also tend to revisit the past and have people, events, and unresolved situations from before return to present themselves for closure or to begin anew. When retrogrades occur, we must REVIEW, REVISIT, and REFLECT.

A SHADOW AND A STORM APPROACHES.

Mercury Retrograde comes in phases and has both a “shadow period” and a “storm period.” The shadow period starts when Mercury hits the point in the zodiac that it’ll turn direct at, and it ends when it last hits the point in the zodiac it will turn retrograde at. People don’t tend to feel the effects of Mercury Retrograde until it enters the storm period though. The storm period of Mercury Retrograde is when Mercury is moving at its slowest, and this creates havoc because Mercury moves the fastest of all the planets and is thrown off when he is moving slowly. We always have two storm periods -- one around the time Mercury turns retrograde, and one when it turns direct once again.

WHAT DOES MERCURY RULE?

In general, Mercury Retrograde tends to cause problems in all sorts of communication or technology. Mercury rules the mind, business, and communication of all sorts. It is crucial not to sign paperwork, make agreements, or start new relationships (in business or love), because if you do, when Mercury returns to normal orbit, it is going to become clear that whatever foundation the agreement was made upon, it wasn’t what you (or the other person) thought it was. For instance, I once started a job that I thought was going to be a major step up for me and provide me huge opportunities and amplify my finances. I accepted the job during Mercury Retrograde. I then started, and it was immediately clear that this was a job from hell! Sadly, I was trapped in the job for months and every single thing I had originally hoped for with the job fell through. Another example would be that I once met someone I instantly connected with romantically – we even talked about being soul mates and everything was completely in sync. How on Earth had I found true love out of the blue and so purely? We had met during Mercury Retrograde and began dating in a whirlwind romance. However, when the retrograde ended, it became clear that we weren’t on the same page – we wanted different things and couldn’t come to terms. These are two horror stories I hope keep you from making the same mistakes I did. 

OH NO! WHAT IS “SAFE” DURING MERCURY RETROGRADE?

If you are returning to a project, event, or relationship from the past, this is a good time to do so. Reach out to old contacts, old lovers, old friends, old business associates, old bosses, and people you may have lost touch with if there is something to salvage. This rare window of time allows truths from the past to be unearthed so we can bring them into the present or find a way to fully resolve them and let them go. We cannot move into the future if the past is holding us back, so use this time to review and reflect. If the timing is right, it is also a good time to RE-START. Spend this time turning within to examine your subconscious and lie low. This is also an excellent time for meditation and spirituality of all kinds. If you absolutely MUST start a new job or relationship, take it slowly or read the fine print. If you can wait until after the retrograde is done, do so.

Here’s your ultimate guide of Do’s and Don’ts for Mercury Retrograde!

DO: RETURN TO THE PAST

Anything from the past is favored at this time. Reigniting patterns or actions or projects that you began before will serve you well. Hop to it!

DON’T: SIGN CONTRACTS OR MAKE AGREEMENTS

Mercury rules negotiations, written and verbal, and will not be happy if you sign that dotted line. Even just agreeing to things via speaking counts! This agreement/contract will unravel in time or be forced to pivot and change at a later date. As long as you’re okay with it shifting in unforeseen ways down the line, you’ll be fine. 

DO: RECONNECT WITH OLD CLIENTS, FRIENDS, AND LOVERS

Dos and Don'ts of Mercury Retrograde

You have a rare window in time when you can actually reignite a relationship from the past to bring it back to life. You will be able to pick up the pieces, make any necessary shifts to the connection, and start onto a new path together. If returning to a lover, don’t “go official” until after the retrograde itself passes to make sure your commitment and “agreement” is on sturdy ground. This also goes for weddings. A wedding is also a legal contract. You could hold a ceremony during the retrograde, but be sure to actually sign the contract at a different (prior or later) date.

DON’T: LAUNCH NEW PROJECTS OR ENDEAVORS

This is a horrible time to premiere or launch anything of importance. Especially communications-related projects. Do not do run a publicity campaign, start a new job, file taxes, file a lawsuit, or sign a lease. Obviously, if you have to, go for it, but realize the agreement will shift and tangle up a bit later.

DO: TAKE A TRIP FOR LEISURE

While the Mercury Retrograde havoc is affecting everyone around you, consider taking some time off and enjoy a trip solely for pleasure. The office will miss you and they’ll realize how irreplaceable you are while gone! However, do not take a business trip. Mercury rules commerce and business and the deals will not work out well. Obviously Mercury can cause hiccups with travel and logistics, so give yourself plenty of extra time to prepare and triple check your itinerary. You may even enjoy traveling to somewhere from your childhood!

DON’T: BUY ELECTRONICS, CARS, OR ANYTHING WITH A LOT OF “MOVING PARTS”

Mercury rules everything with moving parts and technology. It can cause all sorts of them to break down or get on the fritz! Be cautious at this time otherwise you’ll regret it later.

DO: REASSESS, REDESIGN, READDRESS, REPEAT, REDO, REPAIR

Anything with a re- is favored now because it means you’re revisiting it. During this sacred time, you can make wonderful adjustments that’ll improve everything around you and help you live a happier life.

DON’T: HAVE PLASTIC SURGERY (OR ANY SURGERY IN GENERAL)

If you are in need of immediate and emergency surgery, make sure to take care of your health and do what you need to do. However, if you have any elective surgery (and Mercury rules surgery), it may actually not work out or cause mistakes down the line. Be sure to avoid this time.

When is Mercury Retrograde.jpg

DO: PHOTOCOPY IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS SO YOU HAVE A BACK-UP

This is a great time to take a photo of your ID, social security card, Passport, legal contracts – anything that is very important to you – in case you ever lose them in the future. You’ll be happy you have some proof on file!

DON’T: BUY EXPENSIVE ITEMS

No one is fully thinking clearly during Mercury Retrograde and you may regret your decision later!

DO: LOOK FOR MISSING OR OLD ITEMS

Sometimes things we have lost or from the past pop up during these times! It could be an old book, jewelry item, or other possession. Clean out your closets and watch how you find treasures from the past.

DON’T: STRESS YOURSELF OUT TOO MUCH

Hiccups in life happen! Mercury Retrograde is actually a blessing in disguise because it means we can take a step back and look at the world around us and assess our strategy. If we are always charging forward, we can sometimes miss the important details. It’s crucial to balance our minds and watch as new information is revealed from the retrograde that we can integrate into our lives after it. You aren’t cursed from the Universe! You’re actually being blessed.


Want to plan ahead? Here is a list of Mercury Retrograde dates from 2019 until 2030!

MERCURY RETROGRADE 2019 TO 2030

2019

March 5 – 28, 2019 in water-sign Pisces

July 7 – 31, 2019 starts in fire-sign Leo, ends in water-sign Cancer

October 31 – November 20, 2019 in water-sign Scorpio

2020

February 18 – March 9, 2020 in water-sign Pisces, ends in air-sign Aquarius

June 17 – July 12, 2020 in water-sign Cancer

October 13 – November 3, 2020 in water-sign Scorpio, ends in air-sign Libra

2021

January 30 – February 20 in air-sign Aquarius

May 29 – June 22 in air-sign Gemini

September 27 – October 18 in air-sign Libra

2022

January 14 – February 3 starts in air sign Aquarius, ends in earth-sign Capricorn

May 10 – June 2 starts in air sign Gemini, ends in earth-sign Taurus

September 9 – October 2 starts in air-sign Libra, ends in earth-sign Virgo

December 29 – January 18 in earth-sign Capricorn

2023

See above, Dec 29, 2022 – Jan 18, 2023- goes direct in earth sign Capricorn

April 21 – May 14 in earth sign Taurus

August 23 – September 15 in earth sign Virgo

December 13, 2023 – January 1, 2024 in fire-sign Sagittarius

2024

See above, January 1, 2024 goes direct in fire-sign Sagittarius

April 1- April 25 in fire-sign Aries

August 4 – August 28 in earth-sign and ends in fire-sign Leo

November 25 – December 15 in fire-sign Sagittarius

2025

March 14 – April 7 starts in fire-sign Aries, ends in water-sign PiscesJuly 17 – August 11 in fire-sign LeoNovember 9 – November 29 starts in fire-sign Sagittarius, ends in water-sign Scorpio

2026

February 25 – March 20 in water-sign Pisces

June 29 – July 23 in water-sign Cancer

October 24 – November 13 in water-sign Scorpio

2027

February 9 – March 3 starts in water-sign Pisces, ends in air-sign AquariusJune 10 – July 4 starts in water-sign Cancer, ends in air-sign GeminiOctober 7 – October 28 starts in water-sign Scorpio, ends in air-sign Libra

2028

January 24 – February 14 in air-sign Aquarius

May 21 – June 13 in air-sign Gemini

September 19 – October 11 in air-sign Libra

2029

January 7 – January 27 starts in air-sign Aquarius, ends in earth-sign Capricorn

May 1 – May 25 in earth-sign Taurus

September 2 – September 24 starts in air-sign Libra, ends in earth-sign Virgo

December 21 – January 10, 2030 in earth-sign Capricorn

2030

See above, December 21, 2029 – January 10, 2030 in earth-sign Capricorn

April 12 – May 6 starts in earth-sign Taurus, ends in fire-sign Aries

August 15 – September 8 in earth-sign Virgo

December 5 – December 25 starts in earth-sign Capricorn, ends in fire-sign Sagittarius

What Mercury Retrograde Means For You

Want a personal reading? Contact Kyle Thomas here.

Kyle Thomas is a globally published pop culture astrologer who has been interviewed by Cosmopolitan Magazine, Bustle, House Beautiful, Marie Claire, YahooNews, MSN, and more. His work harnesses the power of the stars and he is known for his cosmic guidance from the stars regarding celebrities, entertainment lifestyle, as well as trends affecting people all over the entire world. Astrology has always inspired him and he is a great believer in using the Universe to manifest the life you've always dreamt of. With over a decade of professional experience and clients all over the world, he currently resides in Los Angeles where he works as a professional astrologer, life coach, writer, and producer. Currently, he is the resident astrologer for @Horoscopes + @Horo.ScopesDaily (4.7 million followers) Wit & Delight, DEN Meditation, & Exhibit A, developing episodic content for television and digital platforms, as well as writing lyrics for established pop music producers. Kyle received two Bachelor of Arts for Psychology and English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and integrates these degrees into his growing research of psychology, personality, and the human condition. Follow Kyle Thomas on Instagram: @MrKyleThomas (http://www.instagram.com/MrKyleThomas) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/kylethomasulatowski)). More info: www.kylethomasastrology.com