Tarot-strology: When Good Planets Go Rogue


If this Monday felt a bit more…Monday-ish to you, you’re not alone. On July 7, 2019, the planet Mercury entered its retrograde phase. This happens around three times a year, when the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards in its orbit due to its relative position to Earth and the Sun.

In astrology, this is the time when things start to get wiggy—plans fall apart, emails you didn’t mean to send are suddenly flying out to “reply: all,” cars break down, misunderstandings turn into to screaming arguments—you know, just your fun communications fiasco!

Mercury retrograde gets a horrible rep in the media, and often with good reason. It’s a pretty chaotic time, even moreso for those of us (including yours truly) who have multiple influences of Mercury in their natal charts.

Pandemonium? Or Something More?

So what happens when the planet of communications decides to go rogue? Well, retrogrades tend to turn us around, metaphorically and literally. Often, a retrograde planet is going to unearth mistakes you’ve made and ignored or overlooked, usually in a spectacular and uncomfortable way. Old issues resurface, conversations long forgotten come back to haunt you, and tiny flaws in logic blow up into major headaches for the best-laid plans.

The glare of Mercury retrograde is going to reveal all those things you forgot to plan for, either through laziness, ignorance, or carelessness. At its worse, plans can unravel completely, forcing you to start from scratch.

Oddly enough, this is not always a bad thing. A minor embarrassment now could save you from major disaster in the future. A hiccup in your communications now might reveal a serious problems otherwise hidden in a relationship. In other words, Mercury retrograde can be an uncomfortable blessing in disguise.

I Don’t Wanna…

Mercury retrograde, while potentially uncomfortable, can be a great time to clear up, regroup, and improve your plans. Since you’re already going to be looking backwards, it’s a great time to pull up old works in progress and polish them off. You can also take time to review game plans or proposals to revise and strengthen them. Honestly, there’s never a better time to discover hidden flaws in planning.

Another way to make good use of Mercury retrograde is to make amends. Honestly, how long are you going to hold that grudge with Cousin Betty over Grandmother’s tea service? How long has it been since you just called your high school BFF and caught up on everything? You don’t need to start anything new—you can clean up the past, clear out miscommunications, and strengthen your foundation for when that pesky planet eventually starts going forward again.

Ideally, when Mercury leaves retrograde, you will be stronger, more efficient, and lighter from the burdens you have released.

But Wait! There’s More…

Technically, Mercury entered its retrograde phase on July 7, but all retrogrades have a “shadow period” that extends a few days before and after the official retrograde period. It’s sort of a ramping up and ramping down period, where the effects are not quite so pronounced. You’ll start to see it about a week or so before—foggy brains, old problems rearing up again. It’s a good time to clear up messes, back up your files, and retrograde-proof your life.

The shadow period that follows retrograde-proper is a great time to regroup, learn your lessons, and integrate the changes you’ve experienced into a new normal.

Mercury retrograde doesn’t have to be a horrible time of year. Since I’m hip-deep in Mercury, this is a blessing for me! Instead of dreading retrograde, think of it as a chance to clean up, regroup, and refresh your life!

Peace and Love,
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Image of Mercury heisted from the good folks at NASA.


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