About Mercury Retrograde



About Mercury Retrograde

About three times a year, Mercury goes retrograde for approximately three weeks. First, let’s get the techie stuff out of the way. When a planet is retrograde, from our visual point of view, it appears to be moving backwards through the zodiac. First it slows down, then it stops, which is called a “station.” Then it proceeds to move backwards until it slows down, makes another station and moves forward again. I think we feel the effect of the stations for about one degree of the zodiac before and one degree after the exact station. Planets don’t actually reverse direction in their orbits. They appear to do so because the Earth has temporarily passed them in its own orbit.

So what’s the effect of a station? Stationary planets are stronger and wield more influence than non-stationary ones. For most of us, if you were throwing a ball, you’d probably be more accurate in your aim, and the momentum of the ball would be more powerful, if you were standing still than if you were running when you threw it. Also, a stationary planet spends longer at the same degree of the zodiac, so it has more time to influence whatever part of your chart it’s affecting. As I write up this explanation, Hurricane Dorian has just made landfall in the Bahamas. Because it was moving very, very slowly, meteorologists said that it was “stationary,” and that since the hurricane took much longer than usual to cross the Bahamas, its effects lasted longer and were greater than if it had crossed the Bahamas quickly. It had more time to do its work, so to speak. Stationary planets also have more time to do their work. The stations of Mercury last for about five days before and after the exact degree and minute of the station.
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