When in forward motion, Mercury represents reason, intellect and expression but during retrograde she is a mystical powerhouse and mighty agent of change. Due to her frequent retrograde cycles (which are believed to cause technological malfunctions, misunderstandings and mood swings), Mercury has a bit of a bad rap. As a mercurial girl (Mercury rules Gemini, my astrological sign) her energy provides a creative boost and inspires my earthly and other-wordlly communications.
Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system (since Pluto is no longer a planet), and is the planet closes to our sun. A year on this planet takes only 88 Earth days. She is less than 5,000 kilometres in diameter and doesn’t have any moons or rings. Her surface is similar to that of our moon, which I find particularly interesting given it seems it is the energies of Mercury (and our moon) that are felt most commonly.
With the highest content of iron than any other planet and a core believed to make up to 70% of its density (Earth’s is only 17%), Mercury is quite literally the heavyweight of our solar system. Iron is an essential component of blood production in humans. While iron makes up a very low percentage of our chemical composition, it represents a very high portion of our ability to exist (no iron, no blood, no life). Hence, we all feel the energy of Mercury.
Mercury is known as the messenger in both astrology and mythology and rules Gemini and Virgo. In Greek mythology, the constellation of Gemini is represented by divine twin brothers Castor - a mortal - and Pollux, the immortal. (How fitting that I am a Gemini.) Like the astrological Gemini, Mercury assists us in being communicative and versatile but also in being analytical and organized (like the seemingly opposite traits of the twins). For reasons many can’t quite explain, Mercury also affects technology here on Earth. I posit that this is perhaps due to Mercury’s high iron content and unique magnetic field.
Mercury in Retrograde: Quick wit and humour can be triggered when Mercury goes retrograde, but so too can some level of chaos. Since Mercury moves the fastest of all the planets in our solar system it also goes retrograde the most often (about every three months for about three weeks). Similar to other retrograde cycles which have us review different aspects of our existence, Mercury retrograde influences us to revisit old relationships, re-evaluate our communication style, accept change as an inescapable truth and as a catalyst for growth. Most importantly (in my opinion) it provides us an opportunity to get closer to our intuitive gifts and discover the real reasons behind any old patterns, miscommunications and recent changes.
And yes, our electronics may malfunction too.