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Mercury Retrograde Effects: The Truth About This Infamous Transit

INSIDE: Mercury retrograde effects are different depending on what house or sign it is in at the time. So, let's look at how it affects us in all 12 instances so that we can be prepared for what to expect.


Call it Astronomy, Physics, or Astrology, the fact is we're all part of the Universe. Just like Moon cycles affect the tide, other planets in the solar system also have an influence on us.

Did you know that Mercury is, just like our beloved Earth, tectonically active? Well, this is one of the interesting facts that were about it posted on

If you're interested in learning about the spiritual and astrological side of Mercury’s nature, look no further. This article will present you with Mercury retrograde effects in a nutshell. 

What is Mercury Retrograde & What Does That Mean?

Next to the shiny Sun, emotion-ridden Moon, and Venus, the planet of love, Mercury frequently gets overlooked... unless it’s going retrograde.

However, while other planets are crucial for understanding our love life and our basic personality, Mercury is crucial for understanding how we connect and communicate. 

No relationship will go smoothly and job success won't be easy to come by if Mercury is damaged or seriously afflicted.

This is the planet of communication, the internet, and connections. It dictates how we interact with the outer world.

Zodiac Stones

What Does it Mean When a Planet Goes Retrograde?

When a planet goes retrograde, it means that it virtually orbits slower. In astrological terms, it's like it is moving backward (although it isn't physically).

What Problems Does Mercury Retrograde Cause?

When Mercury retrograde is in effect, it puts a hold on communication, breaks the internet connection in crucial moments, and causes arguments. Not so pleasant, is it?

When this infamous event happens in the sky, we can experience the any or all of the following:

  • Miscommunication happens out of nowhere, and so do arguments.
  • We may have trouble expressing our thoughts or find it difficult to get our point across.
  • We may become extremely emotional in our communication.
  • We may become more sensitive than usual to words and verbal criticism.
  • We may be overly critical of ourselves, of others, and our own actions.
  • We may experience frustrating traffic delays and even minor accidents.
  • We may start ruminating about past issues and mentally revisit old traumas.
  • We may start over analyzing and creating problems in our heads where in reality there aren’t any.
  • We may get extremely frustrated with tasks and struggle with accomplishing something we can otherwise easily do.
  • We may get super anxious, fidgety, and nervous, and even get somewhat clumsy.
  • It can affect anything that requires dexterity, and mental clarity may be challenged.
  • Mental health challenges can arise, especially if that is something we are struggling with.
  • We may get in touch with a toxic person from the past and try to bargain our way to rekindling connections that are not good for us.

What Does Mercury Retrograde Affect Infographic

Is There Any Good to Mercury Retrograde?

All planetary transits affect us globally as we are all part of this human experience on Earth. The reason Mercury is so feared is that it has both light and dark sides.

When retrograde happens, the dark side gets highlighted and Mercury takes on its more malefic form.

However, what is important to understand here is that transits, even the bad ones, don't mean we are all doomed. This type of retrograde simply highlights certain parts of our lives that call for reevaluation and analysis.

Although the ways these lessons are presented to us aren’t always pleasant, these uncomfortable shake ups are meant to help eliminate what no longer serves us.

What Does Mercury Retrograde Affect?

Miscommunication, petty arguments, irritability, and overthinking are generally the most common ways this transit manifests.

Our thoughts can become chaotic, and we may feel clumsier than usual, even in something we are skillful at.

Communication may become hostile, abrasive, and even volatile. We may even find it difficult to communicate and understand our own thought processes.

Even when Mercury goes retrograde in a sign it is comfortable with, such as Virgo, Gemini, or Libra, it can still affect our reality, communication, and relationships even though the effects are not as unpleasant as they would be in a different zodiac sign.

The truth is, Mercury retrograde effects depend a lot on our personal placements, and most importantly on the sign it transits in.

The astrology house that Mercury transits when retrograde is the area of life that will be most impacted by the transit.

So, if you're wondering what about Mercury retrograde effects, buckle up, because we're about to uncover how this planet shakes things up for us. Here's what to be aware of...

In 1st House or Aries

When Mercury retrograde happens in the first house of self or when it happens to be in the sign of fiery Aries, we may be very inclined to do everything it takes to get our way.

Haste and a me-first attitude can cause us trouble and if we are not careful, we may create conflicts that can sabotage us in the long run. We may become brash or abrasive or lose patience in our dealings with others.

Aries is a cardinal sign, and Mercury doesn’t feel its best when placed here, so this transit can make us extremely impulsive and we may find it difficult to see other people’s points of view.

Aries is a Martian sign, so we may be particularly prone to accidents, and injuries during this time.

We may trample across, or even get into fiery fights with people. This is especially true if we feel threatened or blocked from acting the way we want.

In 2nd House or Taurus

In this case, the most common Mercury retrograde effects are stagnation, mental blockages, and stalemates. 

When Mercury is retrograde in the second house or in Taurus, it's literally reflected as an obstacle or a slowdown, where we can’t move forward the way we’d like to, and this causes a lot of mental distress.

Other people and circumstances may be sources of a challenge for us, but we may also get extremely stubborn about getting our way and pushing forward to the point of exhaustion.

When it retrogrades in Taurus or the second house, Mercury teaches us that timing is important and waiting is a key to success, but it also teaches the hard lesson of perseverance, since things are not so likely to move in our favor. This is especially true regarding things that make us feel safe and secure.

In some cases, we may become mentally lazy and indolent, and find ourselves underperforming and feeling mentally drained.

This transit brings traffic delays and road blockages (real or metaphoric) that may test our patience, making us want to give up. 

What Crystal is Best for Me

In 3rd House or Gemini

Gemini rules Mercury; therefore, it feels excellent when transiting through this sign as it heightens communication skills and makes conversations more lively.

However, when retrograde, Mercury in Gemini can overstimulate us mentally, make us overthink, and communication may become overbearing.

We may be flooded with facts and data that are hard to keep up with, or we may be subject to gossip.

The challenge of this transit is to stay focused on what matters and eliminate false information that clouds our judgment. This is the time to reevaluate our connections and take a break from social media, as it may be a cause of distress.

Since the third house governs mental and physical travel, as well as the internet, we may have trouble with our social media accounts, and lose internet connection when we need it the most.

The Internet, in general, can be a cause of misunderstandings, so it is good to be mindful about what we share and what is presented to us, especially during Mercury retrograde.

In 4th House or Cancer

When Mercury retrogrades in Cancer or in the 4th house, our emotions may run high and thus influence how we deal with others. This can manifest in a number of ways.

This transit can cloud our judgment, but it can also mess with our intuition, making it difficult to discern fear from reality. We may be tempted to impulsively spill our guts and say things we might regret later under the influence of emotional states.

Mercury retrograde effects, in this case, can be expressed through mild to serious paranoia, increased sensitivity, and an inability to think rationally. Some may feel the need to withdraw and pull back in their cocoon, neglecting relationships that need tending.

This transit makes it difficult to create a balance between the head and the heart and we may resort to passive-aggressive communication that doesn’t do much favor for our relationships, particularly close ones.

Someone may embrace the crab mentality, unconsciously trying to control others or putting them down due to their own insecurities and fears.

Is Mercury Retrograde Bad?

In 5th House or Leo

In the 5th house or in the sign of Leo, Mercury retrograde can make us forget about the needs of others. It can cause over-exaggeration and lead to making a big fuss out of small issues.

We, or those around us, may become abrasive and disregard other people’s needs. Interactions with others may be tinted with selfishness and we may let our pride get the best of us, which can negatively affect our public image.

Our creativity may be temporarily tested and we may struggle with a lack of inspiration to further develop skills and talents during this time.

When retrograde in fiery Leo, this planet can bring a sense of unnecessary drama, bringing back past lovers and those we have unfinished business with.

In our attempts to impress and gain recognition, we may go overboard and our speech may come across as self-centered. We may be put under scrutiny, and prone to agonizing if we don’t get our way, feeling like the whole universe is against us.

In 6th House or Virgo

Virgo is under the rulership of Mercury. When it goes retrograde in this sign, although our critical abilities may be at their peak, we also may unnecessarily revisit old problems and open up old wounds.

Retrograde Mercury in Virgo or the sixth house can make us overly anxious and our minds can become flooded with worries. The need to overanalyze everything can create problems when, in reality, there are none.

We may be tempted to offer unsolicited advice, which, although our intentions may be good, can cause problems in dealings with others. The need for introspection may be heightened, but so can our need to judge and criticize.

Although highly helpful and skillful during this time, we may overwork ourselves to the point of exhaustion or our duties and obligations may double, creating a lot of mental pressure.

In 7th House or Libra

During this time, we are frequently pulled in two (or more) directions, sometimes even feeling like we need to play a mediator in impossible-to-solve situations.

Close partnerships may be put under test, and by the end of this transit, the areas of our partnership that need improvement will be illuminated. Mercury retrograde effects in Libra will create tension and make it obvious who gives more and invests more into a relationship, and this illumination isn’t always pleasant.

This retrograde calls for an evaluation of our communication style and if used wisely can help us let go of toxic patterns, sugar coating, and people-pleasing that isn’t serving our growth.

In some instances, since the seventh house can also indicate our enemies, we may feel like we are being attacked, and relationships, in general, may bring us out of balance.

Sometimes, this transit can bring up old love wounds or old connections, especially if there are still emotional cords attached.

Communication Crystal Set

In 8th House or Scorpio

Fear, manipulation, and the need to control are the main themes that Mercury retrograde in Scorpio will bring up.

Interactions with others may start to look like a constant struggle for power and domination. We may feel especially inferior and others’ comments may appear harsh, tactless, and hurtful.

Our communication style may become particularly defensive and we may feel triggered by small things. This is the time when unconscious fears and impulses can become the main drivers of our thought processes.

This is not an easy transit as Mercury doesn’t feel it’s best in Scorpio, so our main challenge is to remember that not everyone is out to get us. This transit is here to teach us not to take other people’s ill behavior or commentary personally and to remember that we don’t need to play into someone’s manipulative game.

We may be particularly prone to accidents and injuries, especially if they involve metal or sharp objects. Since the 8th house rules debts, this is not the best time for taking loans as we may end up having an unwanted debt that is hard to pay back later.

In 9th House or Sagittarius

In this scenario, the root cause of communication failures lies in heightened impulsiveness and extreme bluntness. We may show very little regard for other people’s opinions and points of view, and our communication style may become domineering.

One of the main Mercury retrograde effects, in this case, is the overly expansive approach to life that pushes us to act without thinking things through.

When Mercury retrograde is in Sagittarius or the ninth house, our critical thinking skills may be challenged, which is why our actions may create unpleasant repercussions in the future.

During this transit, we are frequently unable to plan thoroughly and see things clearly, which often leads us to adopt blind optimism and we may even be tempted to loosen up our morals and act out of character.

We may take big projects and make huge big plans, only to see them fail once we realize, as the transit nears its end, that we bit off more than we can chew. 

Communication During Mercury Retrograde

In 10th House or Capricorn

Don’t be surprised if people start calling you bossy or serious during Mercury retrograde in Capricorn.

This is the time when our obligations become particularly heavy, our mental energy drained and we are stretched thin. Duties seem to pile up and so does stress.

The 10th house usually slows down progress in our careers and can make us particularly sarcastic. We may feel caught up in matters of the 3D, even leaning towards pessimism and hopelessness.

Headaches and low energy may make finishing everyday tasks difficult and people may come across particularly overbearing during this time.

This retrograde can spark cynicism and sarcasm, and although given or received comments are not always ill-hearted, we can have a tendency to see things from a more negative perspective.

In 11th House or Aquarius

This is the time for introspection and going within. Mercury retrograde in Aquarius can make us appreciate silence a little too much, to the point of neglecting our relationships.

While it does enlighten us to deeper issues rooted in our psyche, the insight gained during this transit can complicate our relationships. How? Well, while gained insights are valuable, mercury retrograde effects in this sign can make us a bit inflexible towards others.

Quarrels, petty arguments, and the need to isolate ourselves can make it difficult for others to approach and understand us, and vice versa.

Since the 11th house rules our alliances, friendships, and our relationship with society, these areas can be particularly affected by this retrograde. We may feel as if we are not being supported by our peers or begin to doubt the loyalty of our friends.

In 12th House or Pisces

The 12th house represents everything hidden, and when Mercury transits it in retrograde motion, it is quite possible to have secrets be revealed to us.

Pisces is a spiritual sign, while Mercury deals more with the 3D world and intellect. When the two of these collide and the retrograde happens, we can have trouble seeing things clearly or even get stuck in dreamland.

Wearing rose-colored glasses seems to be a theme and our judgments are easily clouded by our wishes and hopes. We might get stuck in an illusion, romanticize and idealize things or people that not only are not serving us but do not match the idealized image we impose upon them.

As we dive deep into spiritual waters, our critical thinking gets temporarily challenged simply because we can’t clearly divide what is true from our hopes and wishes.

Final Thoughts

By now, you probably have a much deeper understanding of Mercury retrograde effects and how different this transit can be depending on the house or sign it is in at the time.

It's pretty fascinating, and having this knowledge will allow you to flow through this time and enjoy smoother communications when Mercury retrograde rears its ugly head.

Try these Crystals for Mercury Retrograde!

Zodiac Stones

* Crystals and stones should not be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Please read our full disclaimer notice here. 

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1 comment


The article on “Mercury Retrograde Effects” through Cosmic Cuts gives a complete and insightful perception of this astrological phenomenon. It fantastically explains the manageable challenges and possibilities that Mercury retrograde brings, urging readers to method this length with mindfulness and self-awareness.

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