It is said that a planet is retrograde when, seen from the earth, it seems to go backwards instead of forwards.

Mercury is the planet that governs communication, thought and exchange. It is a planet that usually goes into retrograde several times a year; usually three or four times.

Thus, in this month of February 2020, the planet begins its retrogradation from the 17th of February to the 10th of March 2020.

In general, when Mercury is in a retrograde position, the first thing to do is to be patient. During this period there are usually a lot of big and small problems with communication, delays, misunderstandings, misplacements, things that get lost, devices that break down – especially communication devices such as computers and mobile phones – and a long line of problems – not all at once, thank God – that finally get on the nerves of the most equable.

However, being aware of this fact will make us aware of the situation and the planetary influences now affecting us; and this usually gives a little sense and peace of mind, as we understand ‘why’ everything is happening at this time in our lives.

During this period – and particularly at the beginning and end – one can expect minor setbacks, horrible miscommunications and all manner of misunderstandings. So we must redouble our attention to ensuring that our words first say what one truly wants to express, and then ensure that they are well understood.

When Mercury is backward, messages have a tendency to mysteriously disappear, or be sent to the wrong person; sincere statements are misinterpreted; people have a tendency to forget commitments and lose papers; and all sorts of machines – answering machines, faxes, printers, computers, telephones and mobiles threaten to go on strike.

However, not everything is negative in this period, far from it. Retrograde Mercury invites us to reflect and search within. Everything that goes ‘wrong’ towards communication with others, goes ‘right’ towards inner dialogue. It offers us the opportunity to take a short break and the consequent inner balance to see where we are. It is also a good time to make decisions and plan our next steps, as the mind is not influenced by feelings that can paralyse or confuse us.

This position forces – some more and some less – to make a stop on the way, to be more flexible, to observe those little things that with the speed of daily life we don’t stop to analyse

In general, the things that should NOT be done when Mercury is in a retrograde position are

Do not start any major projects.

Don’t make purchases that involve any communication device: telephones, computers, tablets…

It is not a good time to start something new, like moving house or starting a job

Beware of signing contracts of any kind. What is signed these days is often delayed or exasperating and last minute conflicts arise

This is not a good time to start a relationship. Communication problems will arise that would not occur at other times. That is to say, things will be more difficult or they may even fail.

What should be done during this period:

Take advantage of this time to solve things from our past or to see more clearly the current situation in which we find ourselves. Remember that we will enjoy greater objectivity.

Review everything we have in hand, especially if it has to do with something related to communication: speeches, talks, exhibitions…

Send all types of invitations well in advance – remember that this is a time for delays. If you are meeting someone, it is best to remember this to avoid last-minute forgetfulness.

If we have an event or an important appointment, leave home well in advance otherwise we risk being late.

Catch up on all sorts of tasks, both domestic and paperwork related.

Obviously, not everyone will feel these influences in the same way. Some people will even experience this period with a sense of calm; for others, it will be very intense indeed.

To know how it will go for you in particular, you just have to see in which sign Mercury is situated when it starts to be retrograde. And also just before it finishes its retrogradation, which is when the movements – or rather the effects – are most intense.

Whether it is in your Sun sign, your Moon sign, the sign of Mercury, or your ascendant sign, you will feel its impact.

The importance of astrology, among many other things, is that by warning you of approaching influences, you can take things more slowly, and you can even take your worries into account. To make a comparison, imagine that the weather service tells you about heavy rain or strong winds. The sensible thing to do is, however unwelcome the situation may be, to take your precautions, bring your umbrella or cancel a field trip. If you ignore these warnings, – you are of course free – you will go into frustration and helplessness because few things will turn out as you expected.

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