You did it, friends. You survived another tumultuous Mercury retrograde. Sure, you may have missed a few deadlines, or suffered through a delayed flight, or hit reply all on an email meant for one person, or generally wanted to bang your phone against your desk in frustration when you couldn't connect to wi-fi, but that's all behind you now. When is the next Mercury retrograde in 2016? Take a deep breath. You have a few months to recollect yourself before you have to deal with the drama of Mercury again. For being such a small planet, it sure can cause a whole lot of trouble, right?
If you believe in astrology, you know the headaches that can happen when Mercury is retrograde. Miscommunication abounds, technology goes on the fritz, new projects seem doomed before they even begin, and even something so simple as sending a text message suddenly becomes challenging — what if it doesn't go through? What if the recipient misreads it? Or doesn't respond? Mercury retrograde can be a major pain sometimes, but it's a surprisingly frequent phenomenon; the planet is retrograde three or four times a year, usually for about three week stretches of time. According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, Mercury retrograde happens four different times in 2016. The first period took place back in January. The most recent occurred this spring, starting April 28 and lasting until May 22. The next Mercury retrograde of 2016 will begin Aug. 30, and go on until Sept. 22. The last time you'll have to worry about Mercury retrograde in 2016 is December — the final one begins on Dec. 19.
What is Mercury retrograde, exactly? At certain periods during Mercury's orbit, the planet appears to be moving backwards. It's really just an illusion — the planet isn't actually in reverse — but it can certainly wreck a bit of havoc on certain areas of our lives, especially when it comes to communication, travel, and technology. Astrologists normally advise that during this time, people should avoid starting any new projects, entering into any binding contracts, making extensive travel plans, or buying any new expensive gadgets. It kind of seems like your safest bet is to just stay at home by yourself and not talk to a single person until it's all over, right?
I suppose that's one option, but it's not a very practical one. And, there can be some surprisingly positive side effects when Mercury is retrograde that could actually help you in the long run. For example, Mercury retrograde is a wonderful time to look back, and do a little self-reflection. Focus on what it is you've been wanting to accomplish, but have been too busy to really prioritize. We spend a lot of time planning for the future, and not as much time seeing what we can learn from the past. Mercury retrograde is also a good opportunity to tie up loose ends. While you don't want to begin any new projects, you should use this period to finish up tasks that have been on your to-do list for weeks. You'd be surprised by how checking off even simple items can clear up headspace for new endeavors.
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My point is, there's no avoiding Mercury retrograde — we're all affected by it in similar ways. But, it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. Mercury is retrograde four times in 2017, so it's good to get a battle plan in place now. You'll rest a little easier knowing you're prepared.
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