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September 8, 2017 What does ‘Mercury In Retrograde’ even mean, tho?

Today sucks. Your iPhone just leapt out of your back pocket and into the toilet, your bus driver decided to take the day off, and you’re pretty sure the barista used off milk to make your coffee this morning. What the hell is going on?

Ohhh, MERCURY IS IN RETROGRADE. It all makes sense. But, wait, does it? Here’s what that planetary mumbo jumbo actually means, in layman’s terms.

Basically, three or five times a year, planet Mercury moves in the opposite direction to Earth. Planets orbit from east to west around the Sun, but once every so often, Mercury pulls a fast one and moves from west to east—which is what they call ‘in retrograde’.

But, the plot thickens, because the notion that Mercury is moving backwards is actually an illusion. Many have used the example of how when you’re traveling in a car and it seems like you’re going faster than a train that’s moving alongside you.

Basically, when we (Earth), pass Mercury as we orbit the Sun, it creates the illusion that it’s moving in retrograde, when really, it’s just moving slower.

Whether it’s illusion or not, astrologers and stargazers alike attribute a break down of communication on Earth to this phenomena. In Astrological terms, Mercury is believed to govern communication, travel and learning, and when it’s in retrograde, all those aspects of daily life are affected.

When the retro hits, astrologers advise to lay low for about three weeks. This means hold off on booking flights, planning trips, calling your loved ones, and just like, basically expecting anything good to happen to you. The good news is Mercury actually just got its act together, so you’re safe to board that plane, but come December 3, forget about it.

Also, fun fact, Uranus is currently in retrograde, so start working on your jokes, no ifs or butts.

Erin Bromhead
is a contributor for A•STAR