It’s official: Mercury is “backing out” again. For those who look to the stars to feel reassured, this is not really the best news to have at this moment (especially given that the astrology of 2020 has not been very positive so far). It is the feared astrological phenomenon that often influences communication and technology – and means that we may be a little more careless than usual. If you remain closed away from home, if you miss a virtual appointment or lose that very important job file during this period, you can blame Mercury.
Whether you are interested in what happens outside of our planet, there are times of the year when it can be difficult to ignore Mercury – the closest planet to the sun in the solar system. From a scientific point of view, Mercury in retrograde motion is actually an optical illusion, so it seems to us that the planet changes direction and moves backwards in the sky. For those interested in horoscopes and astrology, this moment indicates a period in which life seems to go a little wrong.
Fortunately, the much feared phenomenon occurs only two more times this year, from 18 June to 12 July and then again from 13 October to 3 November, although the latter will coincide with the presidential elections in the USA.
We talked to expert astrologers to understand what Mercury retrograde really means, and what we can do to avoid its effects.
Samantha Eggar, 1965
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Mercury retrograde: what science says
Doctor Maggie Aderin-Pocock, a well-known astronomer, scientific educator and author of The Sky at Night: Book of the Moon – A Guide to Our Closest Neighbor and the children’s book Dr Maggie’s Grand Tour of the Solar System, he explains what science says about this phenomenon. «If we look at Mercury, we notice that it is closer to the Sun than the Earth is, and that its orbit around the Sun is much shorter, only 88 days compared to ours, 365.25 days. This means that Mercury travels around the sun four times in the time in which we travel a single orbit. When the Earth and Mercury are in their orbits on the same side of the Sun, it appears that Mercury has moved across the sky from west to east. When Mercury passes the Earth in its internal orbit, it appears that Mercury has changed direction and is retrograde. This generally happens three times a year. ”
To better understand: “Imagine you are on a stationary trainHe adds. “THEThe train on the track next to ours begins to move slowly, but then our train also leaves quickly, is it surpasses it. If we did not know that our train is moving, what we see is that the train next to it moves slowly, aligns with ours and then, apparently, moves backwards. And we see it even if neither of the two trains is really moving backwards. It’s all about relative positions. “
Every planet in our solar system has a retrograde motion. Think about this: if we were on the surface of Mercury and looked at the Earth that is behind us, the Earth would also seem to move backwards. But unlike that of Mars, for example, Mercury’s orbit is faster, therefore it occurs more often, and for some it is a very significant phenomenon. If there is a scientific explanation of the apparent retrograde motion of Mercury, astrologers believe it has a very important meaning.
What are the implications of Mercury retrograde in astrology?
Susan Miller is undoubtedly one of the world’s best known astrologers: his site Astrology Zone it records 309 million visits per year and 11 million unique users, not to mention the resounding success of its namesake app. “Mercury retrograde is the only event that affects everyone across the board»Explains Miller to FashionTrends. “But it particularly influences Virgo and Gemini because both signs are governed by the planet. When Mercury is retrograde, conditions change, but we still can’t see which way things will go. The world is in the making in this period ». Hence the chaos.
From FashionTrends, 1960
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Astronomy and astrology perhaps they will have similar origins, since both disciplines were born from the observation of the sky by our ancestors, thousands of years ago, but today they are two completely separate fields. Astronomy studies the universe outside our planet, theastrology studies how what is beyond the Earth affects our lives. “In the past, the movement of celestial bodies at night was observed in many cultures,” explains Aderin-Pocock. “When the Earth rotates, it appears that objects are moving from west to east, but some of these bodies that are observed sometimes move from east to west, they appear to be moving backwards in the sky. At the beginning these objects were called “wandering stars”: celestial bodies that do not move like the others, but then it was discovered that these objects were actually the planets of the solar system that revolved around the Sun “.
For astrologers like Miller, iThe perceived change of direction of Mercury can generate great chaos here on Earth. “Mercury rules everything that moves»He explains. “You should not never buy a computer, a car or a phone with Mercury retrograde because there are likely to be problems. IS contracts should not be signed, because you may find that something is missing and then you will have to renegotiate it. IS I don’t even recommend dating someone for the first time around this time: Mercury retrograde affects communication and you may choose the wrong person».
But this is an area that finds science in complete disagreement. “Various theories have been formulated to give a rational explanation for the fact that Mercury’s apparent retrograde movement may affect Earth,” says Aderin-Pocock. “Some suggest that the gravitational force that Mercury exerts on the water present in our body may be the explanation. But scientific calculations show that walking a few meters from a car has a greater gravitational effect than Mercury which is much, much larger, but is 77 million kilometers away.
What to do when Mercury is retrograde?
According to Miller, from an astrological point of view, con Mercury retrograde is not all black as they make us believe. “Astrology is fun, it shows you various possibilities, and thanks to the Internet it is more popular than ever,” he says. “But that also means that there are a lot of not very well-trained astrologers who sometimes scare people for no reason. Having a baby during retrograde motion is fine. I myself was born with Mercury retrograde! ».
But is there anything more than broken cars and computers that don’t work? “Mercury retrograde is an excellent time to “go back”, or, to review old projects, vecchi friends and colleagues. As humans we like to look forward, but with Mercury retrograde we have a precious possibility, that of stopping and reconsidering things». Having said that, using a little prudence certainly doesn’t hurt: “I like to be sure to do things very carefully with Mercury retrograde. I check the information of my flight several times, I take off my earrings after spending an evening out and put them in my bag before getting into the car, to avoid losing one, and I check that I have fixed my business card on the back of the phone so if I leave it around I’m sure it will be returned to me. “
That said, a little prudence does not hurt: check carefully if you have the house keys before going out, always make a backup when working on the computer. If you are more careful and vigilant with Mercury retrograde, things will not go so badly.