Mercury Retrograde – What Does It Mean?

Mercury Retrograde is great for first draft or rehearsal. Not launch! Music writer Kathy McCabe calls it Murky Retrograde. True. It's a murky, messy, muddled time.

Mercury Retrograde used to be a weird inside trick that only pro astrologers knew about, and then at some point in 2015 it became mainstream. It’s on Kate Spade stationery now. It’s gone viral. Music writer Kathy McCabe calls it Murky  Retrograde. True. It’s a murky, messy, muddled time. Great for first draft or rehearsal. Not launch! Mercury rules typing, computers, telephones, fax machines and microphones.

Mercury in mythology was the winged messenger of the Gods. When he is retrograde he runs on the spot, then runs backwards and forwards. This is why so many media headlines about Mercury-ruled matters (travel, computers, the media itself) stall, change and sometimes fall over on this cycle. When we ask ‘Mercury Retrograde – What Does It Mean?’ we just have to look at these shoes (below) and picture them on the wrong feet, walking backwards.


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Mercury is the winged messenger of the Gods.


Real-Life Example – November, December 2017 and January 2018

The most common mistake in astrology is to assume that when Mercury goes direct, the issues with communication, publication, transportation, negotiation and information are over. No.

Let’s use a real-life example. November, December 2017 and January 2018.

Taking it apart, Mercury rules paperwork, publishing, computer, the internet, travel, transport and the rest. The sign he is in tells you where the delays, changes and reversals will come from.

In late 2017 and early 2018 he goes retrograde in Sagittarius. Sagittarius rules travel, foreign people and places, the publishing industry, education, universities and religion. So now we have the ‘what’ of the mess and muddle ahead.

The whole cycle starts from the day he passes the spot, where he will later go retrograde or backwards. Why? Because this is when people get fooled. They make plans, set things in motion, book flights, organise the weeks ahead.

This year, billions of people (who don’t know about Mercury Retrograde) started doing this from November 14th, as Mercury crossed 13 Sagittarius.

Mercury then moved like this –

Sagittarius 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29

Then on 3rd December he did something very weird. He ran on the spot then he ran backwards.

Sagittarius 29, 28, 27, 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13.

On 23rd December, he ran on the spot again at 13 degrees. This is like having a courier stuck in quicksand or the post stuck in glue. It is really common to see grounded planes or huge traffic jams or massive queues at the airport now!

This is when a ton of astrologers and astrology fans made the mistake of thinking the most $%$#@D! cycle in astrology was over. They see D for Direct and think that the password problems, diary confusion, technical issues, travel glitches and the rest are at an end.

Don’t be fooled. And if you don’t believe me watch for proof as Mercury then does his usual rewind. Actually, as I am writing this on December 23rd 2017 let’s use this holiday as a test case. See for yourself how the mess, muddle and mayhem with computers, extreme weather, transport and travel does not magically stop on December 23rd – it is actually the beginning for millions of people!

From 23rd December Mercury moves like this –

Sagittarius 13, 13, 13, 13, 14, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29

He finishes up at 29 Sagittarius on January 11th.

I hope you can see how the whole story plays out with travel, foreign people and places, passports, publishing, the worldwide web, religion – and all those other classic Sagittarian things in our lives.

Essentially whatever ‘rolls’ in November and early December, then rolls backwards and forwards. And it’s really not until January that we get the final outcome, after the usual stop-start progress!

When Mercury Retrograde Affects Your Birth Chart

If you have your personal birth chart from me, as a Premium Member, you can become Mistress or Master of Mercury Retrograde. More on that, in a moment.

A good way to remember what murky Mercury Retrograde actually means, is to go all the way back to the Roman definition of the archetype. Mercury was their Messenger of the Gods. You often see him on courier trucks with his winged helmet and sandals. He’s often in 18th century paintings, delivering messages from one god to another. Today he is Google. The internet is ruled by Mercury so you just know when Net Neutrality is ‘decided’ on Mercury Retrograde, especially in a sign like Sagittarius (which rules the world part of the worldwide web) it is never going to stick. What went down in December 2017 will not be with us by December 2019.


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Mercury Retrograde Shadow – September 2017.


Mercury – Merchandise, Commerce, Commercial, Merchants – It’s all about ‘Merc.’

The Latin root ‘merc’ means reward, wages and hire. The English words derived from the Latin ‘merc’ include commerce, commercial interests, markets, merchandise and merchants.

When Mercury appears to move backwards and stand still, in your horoscope (and everybody else’s horoscope) we see a state of flux that affects business, the economy, retail and trade. What’s behind this? Sometimes it’s extreme weather. Sometimes it’s a world crisis. Mercury Retrograde coincides with this global mayhem.

Mercury rules sales talk, meetings, negotiations, trades, purchases, paperwork and contracts for obvious reasons. When he appears to move backwards, people find the terms change. The talking points alter.

It also rules the ‘wings’ of aeroplanes, as the modern version of those old winged sandals from Mercury in Ancient Rome. So planes which are grounded, due to extreme weather, or strikes, are a classic outcome of this cycle!



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Mercury Retrograde – What Does It Mean?

Mercury Chain Reactions

As Mercury rules core areas of our existence, when these swing backwards and  forwards, or even stand still (in a state of suspension) everything and everybody is affected by a chain reaction.

The chaos is always set up on the pre-shadow, in the days just before Mercury actually appears to stick on the same degree and zodiac sign, over a number of days. Some astrologers still don’t use the shadow at both ends of the cycle. Others, like me, would not bother to predict Mercury Retrograde cycles at all, without the crucial shadows.

The Wall Street Crash on Black Tuesday, October 29th 1929 was the most chaotic event of the 20th century, leading to the Great Depression. It happened on Mercury Retrograde Shadow.

What is the shadow? The period just before Mercury appears to turn backwards, and just after it appears to turn forwards. The pre-shadow is the period before, the post- shadow is the period after. I give you the dates on this website in advance!


Mercury Retrograde – It Usually Means Chaos!

Why do we see chaos? Maybe it’s because a percentage of the astrology-loving population is still following the wrong Mercury Retrograde rules! (Okay I’m being cheeky). You also have astrologers who claim nothing negative happens on the cycle. To which I have a one-word reply: ‘Titanic.’

Often, Mercury screw-ups (hung parliaments, shutdowns) occur because those in charge don’t use astrology. Seriously! Prime Ministers and Presidents around the world have a habit of calling elections and referendums, or scheduling voting, on this chaotic cycle.

We end up with voter fraud, wrong results, hung parliaments, spills, hanging chads and all manner of insanity when those at the top ignore the people’s timekeeping – astrology – and make random decisions. Of course, in the case of American elections, that November timing is unavoidable.

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Wait for Mercury to move forwards before you know!

In your own chart, if Mercury Retrograde goes through a zodiac sign and house where he will ‘sit on’ or conjunct a horoscope factor, you may get reversals, delays, retractions. Flakey people alert. They can waste your time and energy, but if you know the ‘what’ of the cycle (the sign and house tell you the department where things will get stuck) you can have a few plans up your sleeve, or at least not take these flakes so seriously. (Some of them wear heels like this).

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Case Study – Google and Mercury Retrograde

Mercury rules the markets. If you’re in the market for business success, don’t make  your first trade on Mercury Retrograde. Why? That first moment is the ‘birth’ of your company and if the enterprise comes into the world when Mercury is apparently moving backwards, the cycles of time will not be kind.

Google made its IPO (initial public offering) on 19th August 2004 when Mercury was retrograde. Google’s Larry Page clearly did not have a company astrologer on board, when they decided to organize their company results for 18th October, 2012 when the planet of shocks, Uranus, made an exact aspect or pattern, with Google’s dodgy Mercury.

What do I mean by a dodgy Mercury? For all of us astrologers watching from London, Google was ‘born’ on 19th August 2004 when Mercury Retrograde was at 5 Virgo, Mars was at 5 Virgo and Uranus was at 5 Pisces.

That line-up in the horoscope of a major corporation is what we in astrology call ‘bonkers.’ Google then chose a month when transiting Uranus was at 5 Aries, kicking the whole pattern off, to pull together its figures. Gah!

You too can send out an unfinished financial press release by mistake, on this cycle, and that accidental e-mail can wipe $22 billion off your value. Classic Mercury Retrograde.

Choosing a Horoscope – Best Time to Launch

Is it true that companies, businesses or even whole countries can relaunch, or pursue a new constitution, and thus obtain a better horoscope? Absolutely. A quick and easy way to find a date is simply to avoid Mercury Retrograde because you really don’t want to be hit by recurring computer issues, for the rest of eternity.

If you are happy to do a little learning, you can teach yourself astrology and then figure out your own best date for any new enterprise. It’s no secret that I set my alarm for some cruel hour, in the middle of the night, so I could wake up and start a petition for the late, great Divinyls’ star Chrissy Amphlett, to aquire her own laneway in Australia.


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Mercury Retrograde is best avoided for a successful launch. Research!


Choosing a Mercury-Safe Time to Launch

It took a lot of coffee, but I wanted to give our Chrissy the perfect astrological send- off. I still have the chart and it’s a beautiful thing, created to align with her own horoscope. I scanned for Mercury Retrograde first, sitting in The Gilbert Scott in London with my laptop (above).

I am happy to say the petition went nuts within an hour of it appearing online and Amphlett Lane, in the heart of Melbourne, is there any time you want to pay a visit.

I popped Chrissy into a story I wrote for Vogue when we last spoke a few years ago. She wanted to make it very, very clear to me that she was a Scorpio and not a Libra – but that’s another story!

The Titanic and Heathrow Airport

Oh, Heathrow Airport, how I love to hate you. You are the gateway to the beautiful  British Isles but you are also a nightmare. Why? Because you were ‘born’ or launched on 25th March 1946 on Mercury Retrograde.  If you have ever queued (and queued, and queued) for check-in, or your bags, or the lavatory at Heathrow – then you are experiencing first-hand what can happen when an airport – of all things – begins its life with Mercury Retrograde embedded in the chart.

Suspensions. Snowfall. Strikes. Protests. Security Scares. Fog. Train delays. Traffic jams on the way to the train. Can we just relaunch Heathrow and elect a new horoscope please?

The RMS Titanic launched on 10th April 1912 on Mercury Retrograde. We all know why it sank, by now, and it wasn’t just the iceberg. The Radio Act of 1912 was passed after the tragedy – probably the only good legacy of Mercury Retrograde.

olki5qphxts 600x400 - Mercury Retrograde - What Does It Mean?

Mercury Retrograde – What  Does it Mean on Wall Street?

Along with computers, Mercury rules radio, because Mercury the Messenger of the Gods rules communication. Throughout history, the technology changes, but the symbolism remains the same. Mercury rules the news.

The Radio Corporation of America (R.C.A.) was the hot tech stock of the Twenties but it plunged in value when the market crashed in October 1929. Mercury also rules cars, because it is also in charge of transportation – the wheels that turn, to carry the news from one place to another. Investors in 1929 went broke with the other hot stock, Ford.

Today, Mercury rules Microsoft Word, Apple, the Internet and your iPhone. Watch what happens to them whenever Mercury is retrograde. September-November 2020 is a stockmarket crash risk zone.

The Ford/RCA story spelled a dreadful double whammy for the mom-and-pop investors of 1929 who lost their life savings. Mercury, the planet which rules commerce, was stalling and then moving backwards, when two stocks ruling Mercury concerns – communication and transport – dominated Wall Street.

Of course, it takes more than Mercury Retrograde Shadow to create a Wall Street Crash. You need other, more serious, background patterns.

Nevertheless, history and astrology tell us it’s true – the old God of commercial interests does coincide with chaos when he’s not moving swiftly and easily across the skies.

Between October 24th and 29th, 1929, when the madness was triggered on Wall Street, Mercury moved through 11 through 18 degrees of Libra. He was repeating himself, crossing over the same zodiac sign and degrees he’d passed on September 8th through 15th.

This strange backtracking often results in people rethinking, reneging, reselling, retracting, reversing and all the other ‘re’ words that can create a chain reaction of muddle – and worse. We associate product recall with this cycle too.

Those old Hollywood films of Wall Street traders in their hats, yelling ‘Buy, buy!’ and then ‘Sell, sell!’ within the space of one screen wipe, are good illustrations of what Mercury Retrograde involves.

September, October, November  2020 echo 1929 Wall Street crash patterns in astrology. Fact.

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Mercury Retrograde Time Warps

If you really want to tap Mercury Retrograde secrets, go back in time – years if necessary – to see when Mercury was last appearing to move backwards in the exact same zodiac sign. You will soon see the equivalent of a television mini-series on a very long rewind.

You will not be surprised to hear that Mercury was at 11 through 18 degrees of Libra in September-October 1922 when the greatest bull market of the 20th century began.

Mercury was Retrograde Shadow for some of this time. This was several years before the Crash, but the time warp had devastating consequences. Mercury retraced his steps, retraced his steps, retraced his steps in 1922 and 1929. Today we associate the risks with hacking (below). Back then the risks were on old-fashioned paper, but the issues are the same.


HACK 365x600 - Mercury Retrograde - What Does It Mean?
Mercury Retrograde Shadow – don’t be caught.


Crashes and Mercury Retrograde – Watch September to November 2020

The 1987 Wall Street Crash happened on the Mercury Retrograde cycle. On Black Monday, October 19th 1987, the planetary god of commerce and merchants basically rollerskated backwards and fell over.

On May 6th, 2010 the United States saw a trillion-dollar Flash Crash. Once again, Mercury was retrograde.

Some astrologers think transits are ‘energies’ but actually they are triggers for people, and people with Scorpio and Taurus factors make crashes. Why? These two signs rule shares. What I am seeing September-November 2020 is a risk.

Mercury retrogrades in Scorpio (banks) from 28th September 2020 to 20th November. A lot of astrologers you read will give you the wrong dates and tell you the retrograde ends on October 28th because they don’t understand how to use the shadow.

The shadow goes from October 28th through November 20th when we are going to see sharemarket mess and muddle affecting the pensions and superannuation funds of billions of people born in the Sixties. Why? They all have Neptune in Scorpio at 0 through 11 degrees.

Even if you don’t, you will be affected by a chain reaction. It is very important that you are aware of bubbles in 2020. Neptune rules unreal, non-real, not-really-there money, property, possessions and business interests. If it’s mostly loaned, from a bank, then it’s not yours.

If it’s the illusion of a property price tied to a big, fat bubble of nothing, that’s also Neptune.

My concern about September-November 2020 is not just about the Neptune in Scorpio people born in the Sixties. It is also about the billions born with Uranus in Scorpio and Pluto in Scorpio too. These people with Uranus at 0 through 11 Scorpio and particularly at 9 degrees, may be at the heart of what is to come.

The 1975, 1976, 1977 babies who are in their early thirties by then (I am writing this on 10th December 2017, three years ahead) will experience transiting Uranus opposite natal Uranus and Mercury Retrograde across that pattern.

If you know the incorporation date of a company and you see Scorpio 0-11 factors then be aware of that.

Uranus rules computers and this 2020 crisis is going to be about that. It may be cryptocurrency per se, or it may be hackers. It may be technical failure.

Finally, there is a group born with Pluto in Scorpio at 0-11 degrees who are also affected by 2020. They were born 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988. Pluto rules power and control, so these people who will be the young lions and lionesses of finance by then, will find Uranus opposes Pluto in their chart and Mercury retrogrades across it.

Astrology is sociology and history. Forget the dumbing-down of horoscopes we’re seeing in some books. By using the study of social groups (the Bitcoin and Blockchain experimenters born with Uranus in Scorpio, the property bubblers and heavy borrowers born with Neptune in Scorpio, the cash control freaks born with Pluto in Scorpio) you can see why Uranus in Taurus, right opposite their horoscope hotspots, is going to challenge and change everything they thought they knew about money.

The history comes in with knowledge of Wall Street crashes. They happen on Mercury Retrograde and that includes the shadow period, just before and after.

Only use this astrological secret knowledge in business or on Wall Street if you know exactly what you are doing or have an expert astrologer steering you. People devote their entire careers to specialising in Mercury cycles and money. I am not one of them, but I do want you to know what Mercury Retrograde is about.

Your horoscope is just one tool in the toolkit of your life – and you must make your own decisions. No astrology book like 2020 Vision or astrologer (like me) can ever make them for you. This applies to every aspect of your birth chart. You are responsible for your own life. But – research this cycle!

The astrology is really clear about Wall Street and other sharemarkets September-November 2020. I am writing this in December 2017, so almost three years in advance – but – trading, September 28th to November 20th, 2020  will hit a standstill, reverse, then move into chaos. The Full Moon on Saturday 31st October is particularly challenging for bankers, big business and treasurers and as it falls on a weekend we are likely to see sharemarket impact on Friday 30th October and Monday 2nd November. Halloween 2020 is a scarey time for Wall Street but don’t be spooked. 

The madness of the Tulip Boom in the 1600’s, when tulips cost more than houses, has parallels with 2017-2020. Uranus was in Taurus 1600-1607 when the excitement about tulips began to build. The bubble burst with a famous crash in the year 1637. Saturn was in Capricorn (where he will be again 2017-2020). Neptune was in Scorpio. Pluto was in Taurus. Chiron was in Taurus. You always look for Taurus and Scorpio for sharemarket drama. We have that in 2018.


What Mercury Retrograde Is Not

A lot of people seem to think Mercury Retrograde is just ‘bad’ and they blame it for  their relationship break-up or the fact that Fred won’t sleep with them. Sorry – that is another cycle entirely. Ask Fred if you snore. Mercury rules deals, discussions, information, communication and transportation. My old Latin tutor from university is haunting me over my shoulder, telling me to remind you of the root ‘merc’ in Mercury which is hidden in merchandise. Buying and selling can be complicated, now. Read the fine print on refunds and delivery.

The yes/no/fast/slow/stop/go craziness of Mercury is only a problem if it coincides with another very difficult transit. That is why I am so concerned about September-November 2020. Uranus (revolution) in Taurus (money) opposes the Uranus, Neptune and Pluto positions in Scorpio (finance) of billions of people at exactly the same time as Mercury (communication) moves forwards, stands still, moves backwards, disappears, and then retraces his steps. Astrology is about using knowledge to manage. Now you have the knowledge, manage avoidance. This picture below which a Twitter friend passed on, shows the worst traffic jam in world history. When Mercury stands still in September-November 2020 this could easily happen to the sharemarkets.


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World’s worst traffic jam on Mercury Retrograde, October 9th 2015 via Twitter.

Mercury is Roman

To really understand Mercury, you must return to the Romans and understand the way they traded and did business, as they gave us the archetype for Mercury in the first place. Our modern astrology comes from them.

Roman commerce was down to four things – horses, ships, the abacus and the lingua franca, also known as trade language, making communication possible in foreign negotiations. Roman businessmen were known as mercatores.

On the Mercuralia of May 14th, Roman merchants prayed to Mercury for blessing, despite having cheated customers and suppliers. This is where the centuries-old association of Mercury with liars comes from.

It’s still true that on Mercury Retrograde, you can be caught out by a dodgy deal (or dealer). The worst deal in 20th century history, as we will see in a moment, was struck with Adolf Hitler on this exact cycle.

Updating the Roman Mercury

Today we associate equestrians with horse-whisperers but about 2000 years ago, equestrians were a class of elite Romans who made their money from tax, the land and the mining. The horse was their FedEx courier.

Today we link Mercury to the global economy and big business. Instead of horses, we rely on planes, cars, trains and buses. Instead of the abacus, we have the calculator.

Instead of the lingua franca, we have internet translation and Skype. What happens during the first shadow of Mercury Retrograde? Wheels start turning, but on a vehicle which will stall on its journey, then move backwards, grinding its gears. The e-mails fly, but later on the discussions may prove to be flawed. The numbers add up, but will later change. People start talking, quite seriously, but later on it’s all

Lost In Translation.

It’s not just your local dry-cleaner losing your coat. Mercury Retrograde is national and global. Everyone is affected by six degrees.

The most famous example of Mercury Retrograde is the failed ‘peace’ negotiation with Hitler before the Second World War – The Munich Agreement.

On the day that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain met Adolf Hitler for the first time (and took the first plane trip of his life) Mercury Retrograde Shadow ruled.

That ill-fated date, 15th September 1938, is in a period when Mercury repeated his position in the world horoscope three times in three months, is on the front cover of the New York Times forever, reminding astrologers that the Mercury Retrograde post-shadow period can coincide with disaster.

The British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, told the New York Times, ‘I am going to meet the German Chancellor because the situation seems to me to be one in which discussions between me and him would be fruitful. My policy has always been to seek peace. The Fuehrer’s ready acceptance of my invitation leads to me hope my visit will not be without results.’ And what results. Mercury Retrograde is Chinese whispers (below) gone wrong.


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Mercury Retrograde moves back and forth.

Talk Another Time!

Any negotiation is a classic candidate for Mercury issues, like bare-faced lies, or even simple communication problems (like spam filters): Mercury rules deals or trade-offs. We hit Mercury Retrograde right after 9/11 and because I was in New York, I took notes, working through the night in Greenwich Village (because the military aircraft overhead made it impossible to sleep).

That dreadful cycle, including the shadow periods, began the day after 9/11 and lasted until November 7th. I am sure you remember the chaos which surrounded the tragedy.

I was standing on Greenwich Street when I saw the second plane hit, and the Mercury Madness began within hours. No money in the banks. The queue for the New York Times went round Astor Square. No flights.

The majority of us only experienced minor frustrations, unlike those who carried the full burden of the tragedy. Yet – it was textbook astrology. Again, you have to put Mercury Retrograde in context. It occurred on a far more serious, difficult astrological cycle for the United States and her allies. Mercury is local/global. It’s a chain reaction. It’s way more than ‘Fred just left me and broke my heart’ because if the cycle tallies with something serious in the heavens, the whole planet can grind to a halt.

Using Mercury Retrograde

Is Mercury Retrograde always bad? No. It is what it is. Communication, information and transportation delays, alterations and reversals. You have to put it in context with the rest of the chart. So – it’s great for dress rehearsals. For first drafts. For initial discussions. Some people deliberately play the cycle. If they don’t want to commit to something/someone they begin talks or the paper trail from one shadow to the next. Of course,that’s pure evil.

Obviously you would never do any such thing, but the cycle is wonderful for creative attempts, research, musing, contemplation, loose talk, brainstorming and the conscious use of your journal for ideas, sketches and the kind of scribbling that you can just erase.

Mercury and Your Stelliums

It’s a bigger deal if Mercury passes over a stellium in your chart – one of those heavy clusters in a particular sign and house. Why? Because it’s a bigger part of you and your life, that is affected. Your Premium Member chart will show you.

You’ll hear news that is not the final story. Have discussions which get stuck. Get involved in ‘final’ promises or outcomes which come to nothing, later. Have issues with the internet, your phone or the mail which screw things up.

Grab your chart. What’s going on with the Messenger of the Gods, the mail, the train, the plane, the car and the internet? Which sign or house is he in? It’s time for rehearsal, now, not delivery or launch. It’s the moment for tentative research, not grand-slam commitment. If you really have to go ahead now? That’s fine, just have a contingency plan.

Mercury Retrograde and Your Chart

If you have your birth chart by your side, you can stun and amaze your colleagues or staff, by using astrology voodoo. You’ll just know when to avoid key meetings, contracts, presentations, launches or trips away.

If you can’t avoid key plans, have Plan B and maybe Plan C – and double-check more than you usually would. I do not let Mercury Retrograde stop me from travelling, especially because my other job is working as a HarperCollins travel editor on the Holiday Goddess guides to New York, Paris, London and Rome. I just become lightly paranoid and do a lot more pre-planning. I also try to have Cascade Light beer on hand, for emergencies.

Always have travel insurance. Read the fine print. Copy crucial documents to a memory stick. Keep back-ups on paper, not just digitally – in a safe place. I am sure you can think of a few more things you could do. Check for extreme weather. Be wary if someone you are negotiating with, already has a reputation for being dodgy or even downright deceitful.

If you are dealing with the news-gathering profession on Mercury Retrograde then you may be dealing with a journalist who literally goes ‘back on her word’ which is an exact description of what happens when Mercury appears to go back over his cycle. Lois Lane may be loose with the truth. Clark Kent may be a con artist. Be aware of who/what suddenly pops up in connection with multimedia, internet or publishing on this cycle. Are you being hacked, for example?

When he is moving normally and not triggering anything difficult in your chart, Mercury is the media we need to tell us the truth about the world. When Mercury is out of sorts, I don’t have to tell you what happens.

Remember, in your personal horoscope, the times Mercury Retrograde really counts, are when he activates a pattern that’s already big in your chart. If he triggers an aspect that is already pinned in your Third House (Gemini) or Ninth House (Sagittarius) then use your common-sense when you plan commuting, travel, negotiation, paperwork or multimedia.

If you have planets or asteroids in Aries in the First House, then Mercury Retrograde in Aries could play havoc with your new Twitter profile, because this house is about your image. You may appear with a random Muppets avatar pinned to your name, and you really don’t want that.

If you have Taurus elements, then Mercury Retrograde in Taurus could result in you going to the bank to change your coins into notes, only to find the mad find that other people are so disorganised, en masse, that the confusion filters down to you. This can make what appeared to be a straightforward dental appointment very complicated

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2020 Astrology – The #1 Amazon Bestseller!

To find out more about your personal birth chart, your stelliums (unusually high clusters of planets/asteroids in a zodiac sign) and the impact of Mercury Retrograde, visit Amazon now or buy the PDF version on this website.

Adapted from the #1 Amazon bestseller 2020 Astrology – Your Five Year Horoscope Guide by Jessica Adams.








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48 Responses

  1. Hi Jessica, I was given a work contract to sign last week. Are there any dates that would work during next week to get it back to them or should I wait until January which may seem a little strange?

  2. Thank you Jessica for yet another brilliant article. Interesting to note, Oracle Corporation’s IPO (initial public offering) on 12th March 1986, was during a mercury retrogarde. An ominious sign for Silicon Valley Corp’s, perhaps, as we move closer to Uranus’ arrival in Taurus??

    1. Thank you! This is fascinating because one of my best friends worked for Oracle. You New Zealanders are all psychic so I’m taking this seriously and going to have a closer look.

  3. Dear Jessica,
    Absolutely wonderful! Thank you. Hope this year has been all you hoped.
    Have a fantastic 2018!

  4. I’m a Gemini sun, Virgo rising, with massive clusters in both signs. And am dealing with people and organisations at the moment, which is not something I can postpone for the better astrological times. Seems, it’s going to be a very bumpy ride on a Mercury retrograde…
    I also recon, past situations and individuals can pop up on this cycle. Oh well.

    1. We’re all working our way through Mercury Retrograde at the moment and that’s all you can do really. You have to get on with your life, it just helps to have a back-up plan, for your back-up plan. And you have to make allowances for flakey people to change their minds. All of that!

  5. Hi Jessica,

    I have always enjoyed your horoscopes since the early days of Cosmopolitan and it’s great to still be able to read your insightful articles. Thanks for the update on the Mercury Retrograde as I have been thinking of investing in something but will hold off until after January 10 2018.

    I was wondering if you do much work with Solar Returns and the effects of Mercury Retrograde on the upcoming cycle. I am only asking as I have a birthday this week and Mercury will be retrograde at 23 degrees of Sag in my 7th house of the Solar Return (transiting the 9th house in my natal chart). All astrologers have different points of view on Solar Returns but I don’t think I have read your take on it.

    I look forward to more of your blogs/articles. It looks like I will have start a Twitter account now too.

    1. Thank you very much – I love my Cosmopolitan readers because they taught me to sack the Placidus house system, which was making them all so unhappy! To this day if I meet women at events and they flap a horoscope at me using Placidus I just know their issues will be a) sex and b) sexism because Placidus was such a miserable old medieval monk! Solar Returns are something I don’t use, but other astrologers may get good results with them. You can certainly predict your year just by drawing up a quick solar chart for Sagittarius, and that puts the Nodes into Cancer and Capricorn and your Second House and Eighth House of money in 2018/2019 along with Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn too. Time to start reading the financial stories across the press and also to make sure your accountant is exactly who you want and need. It will pay off when Jupiter finally goes into Capricorn in 2020.

  6. Hi Jessica, you have me hooked on astrology! Unfortunately I do not know my birth time, so cannot get an accurate birth chart for myself, I have attempted to put one together for one of my sons -OMG it is such an accurate reading of him and his personality. It explains a lot!
    Mercury retrograde does not seem to bode well for the so-called agreement with the EU on Brexit, I will look out for the lies, I am secretly hoping that as in another of your blogs we will walk away with no deal. Will the planets ever align to give us all (and the world) a break.
    Thank you for all your very interesting articles and for your time in doing them.

    1. Thank you. I have to say PM May starting her Brexit negotiations on Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius (foreigners) was an absolute face-palm. On the plus side we can tell exactly what is going to happen. The fear and loathing around Brexit, which has been Saturn in Sagittarius, vanishes like magic when he changes signs on December 21st. There is then a long sequence of retraction, rethinking, renegotiation and possibly a complete turnaround as Mercury backtracks through Sagittarius in January. What will work beautifully for the new world is Jupiter (expansion, solutions, growth, improvement) in Sagittarius from November 2018 into 2019. I think we all wish the issue of Europe had been decided then instead!

  7. Hi Jessica,
    Thanks for this Mercury lowdown, it is my hope that governments especially get on board with Astrology- wouldn’t it be cool if there was a “national Astrologer” for parliaments:)
    If a company rebrands itself by changing its logo, website, etc……is the launch date of the new look a new birth date for the company, and a new chart? Or, do you stay with the original chart?

    Cheers! Ashley

    1. Thank you Ashley – a rebranding is a new chart – so if a business is struggling one technique is to choose a time, date place that works and register the domain name then. And to announce the logo at the same time – make it public.

  8. Well, I absolutely loved this and the 2nd Uranus in Taurus article. As the small grandson says, smazing! I just need to put my brain in now. Thankyou.

  9. Jessica, another great article. Regarding Mercury retrograde in 2020, it will hit for of my Scorpio factors between 0-11 degrees:l North Node, Mars, Uranus and Aesculapia. How does one prepare for this Mercury Retro cycle other than pulling out all the money in the stock market before it hits? What can do to protect my child and my husband through this cycle?

    1. Thank you. I am sure you know enough astrology to realise that Uranus rules new technology and new invention (it was found in 1781 which was not only a big year for telescopes, it was also a keynote year for Industrial Revolution hardware). Obviously if you invest time, energy or money in those kinds of products and companies you are more likely, astrologically speaking, to see the lightning bolts and radical changes that Uranus is famous for. I have absolutely no idea what your financial, business and property situation is and so I can’t comment beyond that. But you need to know that if you were born with Uranus (a revolution attractor) in Scorpio (finance, property, possessions) and transiting Uranus (the revolution) comes along in Taurus (money) to oppose it, you and billions of others will be swept up in unavoidable change. The people who do best on Uranus transits honour the revolution, see it coming, and invest in freedom and independence for themselves and others. That is essentially what this cycle is all about. You may want to start reading the financial pages and talking to your advisors with a lot more attention in 2020, though!

  10. Mercury Retrograde classic – I am now going to expand the usual advice to have Plan D as I am now on my third pair of glasses, with two phones not working, and one MacBook Air with its legs also in the air. Go right ahead with your publisher, Louisa, and congratulations. Just allow for flakiness. You will know where you stand in the second half of January, but that should not stop you from pursuing this or doing what you would normally do. It just helps you understand why you were not called back. It may be a technical issue.

  11. Hi Jessica – omg! The minute Mercury Retro started – came the snow in the U.K. – it took us 5 hours to get into town by car (which got stuck) uber (which took 1.5 hours) train (of which there were none) bus (which broke down) and taxi (which were scarce!). My son cut his lip and needed stitches hence the need to travel at all ! And we are drained! Hope the rest of Merc Retro is less exhausting st least! We are flying on the 23rd but I suppose we are ready for anything and everything to happen. Does my chart say my son will be fine? He is 8 and we are hoping for no long term scar or similar troubles. His dob: 18.2.09 born at around 3.30pm. Thank you for your scarily accurate posts – which at least explain the situation a little. My family laugh when I say it’s Mercury Retrograde! Or is it..?!

  12. Thanks Jessica another great article! I have Sagittarius in Mars and I supposed to go on business trip in the middle of this meurcuy retrograde but it got canceled last minute so I’m not traveling until Xmas when Mercury slowly moving forward(still in shadow period so I’m not holding my breath)! Also many things that were planned didn’t go ahead and everything around me just slow, feels like I’m losing momentum for my new career it’s very frustrating. Since the focus is 2020 Mercury Retrograde at Scorpio, I have few Scorpio in my chart and exactly the group of people 84-88 Pluto in Scorpio, any insight of how to prepare that mercury retrograde and use it to my most advantage? Thanks!

    1. Thank you. Mercury Retrograde is usually there when trips are cancelled or plans are scuppered – continue to allow for it to 10th January and ignore the message that it’s ‘over’ on December 23rd because it’s still very much on (lots of astrologers still don’t use the shadow). Your Scorpio factors are triggered in 2021, 2022 so get very good financial advice then.

  13. Dear Jessica,

    I have stelium in Sagitarius. I don’t plan any journey in this time but I would like to ask you, if mercury retrograde can influence my believes in myself in this time. Because some days before I realised that two years ago I have signed insurance contract which finally seems not to be good for me however I spent lot of time by discussing about it with professionals. And my business doesn ‘t progress as I wish however I work hard. There is transit of Jupiter in Scorpio, I have Uranus there, but I feel that I lost more than I gain –
    money, oportunities. Really I start to think what is wrong with me.
    Could it Mercury retrograde? Will it change?

    Thank you for your help.

    1. You have Bacchus at 26 Sagittarius so normally enjoy travel, foreigners, books, the web, education – and give others so much pleasure – but whatever you started around 27th November will be stuck by now and not be cleared up until January. This is not your insurance issue or business. Always look to Scorpio and Taurus in the chart for that. You have Uranus at 0 Scorpio in the Eighth House which does rule insurance and business, and transiting Uranus will reach 0 Taurus in May 2018, opposing his birth position. You are on a radical change path. Read widely on Uranus to understand what is going on and get yourself into a position where you can bend and flex, surf and ride – this holds for 2019 too.

  14. Hi Jessica!
    You have posted an interesting and informative article on Mercury retrograde. Got me hooked completely. I purchased mobile during Mercury retrograde in December, 2016 (not knowing then that it was Mercury retrograde and unaware of the effects of the same) and its screen got shattered in a fall in 4 months! Also, a short trip I had undertaken at the same time in December, 2016, had to be cut short further suddenly coz of unexpected emergency in the office! Your article fits in perfectly!
    Now, please give your opinion on the following:- 🙂
    i. I booked a trip to Goa (I go there every year) for 22 December to 25 December, 2017. The booking was made on 19 September, 2017. How do you think retrograde will affect it?
    ii. I opened an account with a stockbroker last week after crossing over some glitches. Is this a good time for that? Or should I just open another account with another stock broker afterthe retrograde is over?
    I am keen on your annalysis of the situations and will not be heartbroken if you advise me against them too! 🙂

    1. Thank you. Have Plan B, C and possibly D for the Goa trip and the accountant. You are not logged in so I can’t see your chart, unfortunately. Today Waterloo Station and Heathrow Airport in London are in chaos, likewise the NYC subway. Mercury Retrograde is at work right now!

  15. Hi Jessica,

    Mercury has been retrograde for over 20 years in my progressed chart ( so I am told ) and will not go direct until 2019/2020, does this mean that I have had internal chaos for this long period of time or just a long period of reflection ?


  16. All you people booking trips on Mercury Retrograde! Just check, check and check again. Extreme weather, strikes, the lot. As I write this London and New York trains have ground to a halt…so just be prepared for anything and hopefully your Christmas will be happy.

  17. HI Jessica, thanks for this great article. Just to keep up debunking some myths about Mercury retrograde. Some “astrologers” say it is not good to get marry, have a surgery, change the hairstyle, and so on and so forth during Mercury retrograde. But, from your article, Mercury only affects those areas related to Mercury (and the “merc”), right?

    1. Thank you. It’s really simple. Mercury rules communication, negotiation, translation and transportation. The sign he is in, tells you what is affected. He is in Sagittarius now, which rules foreign places and people, publishing, the web and education. All it takes is a missed train connection at Waterloo in London (snow shutdown yesterday) or the District and Circle line (stoppages right now) or the NY subway (foreign terrorist scare) and you can see how so many airport connections stop, how many meetings don’t happen and so on. Heathrow airport itself was also in chaos yesterday. People with Sagittarius factors in their chart crossed by Mercury twice, are most affected. They affect the rest of us, so we end up with a global domino effect of delay, cancellation and so on.

  18. Well that took me a while to read and process – a very comprehensive analysis indeed!

    So Mercury rules deals and negotiations! I can’t help but wonder about the role of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which regulates international trade. As you will be aware, it was founded in Switzerland on 1st January 1995 and is only really now coming into its own.

    Whenever you mention Brexit and a ‘Swiss type deal’ I can’t help but think of the WTO. Do you have any thoughts on the future of the WTO – especially if the financial world is on the brink of a meltdown?

    Many thanks for using your extraordinary abilities for our benefit.

    1. Thank you. Good call on the W.T.O. which simply cannot last in its current form, if 1st January 1995 is the birth date. In fact, so many nations are incorporated on 1st January that we’re almost fated to have a global Saturn ‘moment’ as he moves to Capricorn 9, 10, 11 degrees. (Saturn will conjunct the Sun of the U.K. then but also the rest). This gives me an idea for a story. I’m very grateful to you for spotting this. And yes, Britain will become like Switzerland.

  19. Hi Jessica,

    Hoefler used Silicon Valley as the title of a series of articles in the weekly trade newspaper Electronic News. Series, titled “Silicon Valley in the USA”, began in the paper’s January 11, 1971, issue. Looks like it could be a Capricorn.

    The following article appeared, today (13th Dec). Commentary: China Is Right: The World Doesn’t Need Silicon Valley. Ouch!!

    Would be very interesting to know astrology’s take – on this one.

    Have a wonderful Xmas. Cheers, Mary

    1. Merry Christmas Mary. How fascinating about Silicon Valley being Capricorn. In which case – by 2020 there is a total deconstruction and reconstruction.

  20. Very insightful. Thank you.

    Unfortunately I had a court hearing with one day notice on 13/12/2017 for parenting matters . When I received the notice I read it as 15/12/2017. Still I made it to the court last minute, and got a duty lawyer to represent me. 3 children and I have been banned from leaving Western Australia. Our much waited travel for Melbourne for school holidays in Jan 2018 also cancelled by my ex. He was paranoid about me fleeing the country.

    I am a true Aussie.

    Next hearing will be in Feb 2018. Mercury will be fine.

    He was always contoliing my movement and now he used law.

    Thank you for any thoughts you could share. It could be even Saturn coming close to opposite Cancer.

    1. I am so sorry about this. Mercury Retrograde strikes again. This may take a while to work out. I am very sorry about the children in particular but give this time and it will resolve. You may need to be patient. Saturn is most certainly opposing Cancer (family, culture, homeland) for the next couple of years.

  21. Hi Jessica,
    A classic mercury retrograde miscommunication with my secret lover (completely as predicted in my Pisces weekly horoscope) led to me nursing a broken heart this week. You mentioned a link to a final decision in February. Is it all over? Should I give up hope? Is there anything else in my chart I should be aware of?
    Thanks for your advice.

    1. See where this ends up by February. Don’t make yourself crazy waiting, but give yourself and this person wiggle room. And actually Pisces has a fantastic love life next year. Take heart.

  22. Hi Jessica,
    I am one of those 60’s born. Will be little closer to my retirement in 2020. How do I protect my savings during the 2020 Sep-Nov Mercury retrograde? I was never a speculative investor, always very conservative. What more should I do to protect my life savings?

    1. Just keep right on top of trends, news, developments and have the best advice you can afford – track things closely from May 2018. Knowledge is power in a fast-moving world. Understand that it’s not going to be the world we knew! Yet it is also possible to gain if you know what you are doing.

  23. Hi Jessica – this is such a great article, thank you!

    Would you weigh in on how mercury retrograde impacts the FCC vote today on Net Neutrality?

    Hoping that it will be reversed due to bad timing! Several State Attorney Generals will sue the FCC…

    What do you see with this?

    Warm wishes for Happy Happy Holidays!

  24. Hi Jessica,

    Priceless info, as always!!!! 🙂

    You’re so right about the retrograde – for the first time ever I bought insurance for my flight last week, because of you ;), and needless to say it, it was also the first time I had such a bad a delay that I needed to be booked in a hotel. Also, my sister opened her new restaurant last week, wouldn’t listen to advice, and is pretty annoyed that the opening party was a mess and the expected customers didn’t show up (the first week). :/

    I was born with Uranus at 5 Scorpio, and I’m a (strongly) Scorpio & Taurus person, I feel it more and more as I mature. If it were up to me, I would be happy to be one of the triggers for the corporate world’s downfall, lol… they are destroying the world right now! 🙁 Anyways, when you said look for companies with Scorpio 0-11, did you mean avoid them or buy into them!? Is there anything else I should be aware of!?

    Btw, I now understand why you said “forget about Bitcoin, there will be others”… right now, I feel it’s a bubble… but I’m looking forward to the new crypto currencies coming up next year.

    Thank you so much!!!

    1. Thank you! Tell your sister to read her horoscope. You will have Uranus opposite Uranus so be aware of unstable companies or currency closer to the time. You may change your values then. What or whom you call priceless or precious.

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