I blame it on Mercury


Natasha McCallister

A sketch of a person laying down, suggesting that Mercury retrograde may be affecting them
Natasha McCallister reveals how the retrograde season has interfered with her own life. Graphic by Mars Nevada/the Gateway

The computer crashed, you’re running late to work and it’s hard to pay attention in class. The small things suddenly become big problems and it feels like your life is going backwards or at a standstill instead of moving forward. Is the world ending?

Have no fear, for it is only Mercury in retrograde!

What does it mean when mercury is in retrograde?

From Oct. 31 to Nov. 20, mercury is considered to be in retrograde. When a planet is in retrograde, it appears to be orbiting backwards. However, this is only an illusion as the planet is traveling more slowly than Earth as it orbits the sun. But, does a retrograde planet affect life on Earth?

Astrologers perceive Mercury retrograde as a time to take extra care in the fields of communication, traveling and learning. For those who do not follow astrology, Mercury retrograde is regarded to be the cause for all the mishaps occurring in life, such as a broken mug, stubbing your toe, or getting a flat tire right after having the car serviced.

But, is it real?

The unfortunate luck that Mercury retrograde can cause happened to me last year, not just once but twice. Incident number one happened in June of 2018. I was living in Colorado at the time and was unaware of the severe hailstorms that can occur. I was woken up by a hailstorm so bad it sounded like a shooting range. When I went outside the next morning to inspect the damage, my car’s windshield had three fist-size shattered spots on it. Luckily the car was drivable once the windshield was fixed, but the damage of the hailstorm affected my ability to drive anywhere until then.

Fast forward two months later in the beginning of August. A normal morning for me starts with making tea. Reaching for my favorite mug in the cabinet, the mug slipped from my grasp, bounced off the counter and shattered onto the tile floor. I accepted that this was how my day was going to be – in pieces.

A few hours later that day after work, I drove to the gym. There was an ominous cloud right above the area where the gym was located, and I could only hope that it would pass. Getting to the gym, the wind picked up. Knowing how my morning started, I was ready. Entering the locker room, it started. Hail. Worse than before. Everyone was in a panic. I had my insurance company on the phone already making the hail damage claim during the storm that lasted about 10 minutes. Long story short, my car was totaled, ending Mercury retrograde incident number two.

Whenever I heard about Mercury retrograde before last year, I never put a lot of belief into it. But now I take caution when I hear this astronomical event happening. I hope no one experiences the bad retrograde cycle I went through.

Time Magazine has written: “Though astrology — looking for answers, signs and predictions in the movements of the celestial bodies — isn’t itself a science, there’s a long history of humans looking up at the stars to plan their lives.”

There is no recipe to prevent unnatural mishaps, and no exact answer for it all. Overall, just remember to slow down, breathe and keep moving forward.