At several points throughout the year most of us will be bombarded with the maddening effects of Mercury in retrograde. Mercury is a planet which governs all transportation and communication issues. Mercury is not an emotional planet, but rather a highly objective, truth-seeking one. It rules intelligence, education and truth. When it is in retrograde, some of its power is held back.
When Mercury starts turning in an apparent backward motion, we will start to feel the effects of this event days or even as far as two weeks earlier. When the planet normalizes we will see the tempo of events pick up in our lives as the planet becomes "stationary" and then speeds forward.
Gemini and Virgo are signs ruled by Mercury, so if you are one of those born during those months, you will be complaining especially loudly. If you work in the industries ruled by this planet such as sales, writing, public relations, advertising, publishing, air freight, the post office or express mail, any transportation industry, from the airlines to Amtrak, you'll also be especially vulnerable to this planet's weird motions in September. (If you are a Gemini, for example, who works in publishing, it's no use calling in for a month of mental health days--you can't escape!)
What happens when Mercury retrogrades? You miss appointments, your computer equipment crashes, checks get lost, you find the car you just purchased during Mercury retrograde is a lemon. (Or, you hate your haircut, the lamp you bought shorts out, your sister hates her birthday gift.) There will be countless delays, cancellations and postponements--but know these will benefit you in the long run. Don't fight them, although your frustration level and feeling of restlessness will be hard to cope with at times.
All machinery and things with moving parts--such as computers, VCRs, camera equipment, garbage disposals, and so forth, will reveal any weak links now. It is critical that you back up your data system and be more careful and vigilant than ever. Projects will demand more time and money than anticipated this month.
In matters of the heart, if your boyfriend or girlfriend breaks up with you or says something hurtful, take a wait-and-see attitude. Since Mercury rules speech, they may not mean what you think they are saying now. Let them have some space, and wait to see if they mean in October what they said in September.
When traveling, leave early and allow for extra travel time. Have all bags double-taped closed, count your belongings, double-check addresses and reconfirm appointments. Things get lost when Mercury messes us up. Take NOTHING for granted. The sector of your chart that Mercury happens to be skating through will be effected most dramatically, so check your forecast!
Why would the Universe give us Mercury retrograde? Because to move forward it is sometimes necessary to backtrack and reconfigure our paths in life. It is important to reconsider, repair, reflect, and reconnect. Mercury forces us to slow down and fix what's broken, and in so doing, rethink things. It also gives us time to get to projects we have put on the back-burner.
Some activities are lucky or actually improve when Mercury retrogrades. You are likely to bump into old friends that you haven't seen in years. Adopted children tend to find their birth parents during Mercury retrograde periods, or people locate their long lost siblings. Prosecutors often find clues to crimes that had previously remained unsolved for years. (Although sometimes the reverse is true--there is a greater danger, or example, that police can bungle evidence during a Mercury retrograde period, for clear thinking doesn't come easy for any of us then.) Mail that went astray weeks or even years ago shows up during Mercury retrograde. Some things that were lost reappear.
Now is also a good time to dress old wounds, clean up relationships or to simply bury the hatchet. Some people have great breakthroughs in psychotherapy during a Mercury retrograde period. For salesman, it is a positive time to backtrack over previous contacts rather than call on new ones. It is a perfect time to schedule work on projects that you haven't had time to do and you've let pile up. Bring your resume or portfolio up to date, and clean out your closets. Take time to paint the house. Clear your decks.
Just try not to start new things. If you have to start a job during a Mercury retrograde period know that the nature of the job is likely to change dramatically over time. Perhaps the person you report to will leave, or your responsibilities will be very different from what you thought they would be. Or your company won't be ready to take you on, and you won't have much to do until things are reorganized. But remember, if this was a position that you tried for in the past, then you've got the vibes working for you rather than against you.
Finally, what about people born with Mercury retrograde? If you are due to give birth to a baby during this period, don't fret. The ancients felt that this aspect lends a more philosophical tone to the character. Mercury rules thinking, therefore an individual born with this aspect tends to reflect deeply over events and issues throughout their lifetimes. In this case, having this aspect could be a big plus!