When planetary transits are analyzed in a natal chart, depending on the period, one or more aspects may be active for months, and for some planets such as Pluto or Neptune, the aspect could last up to a couple of years.
This happens because seen from the earth, at some point the planet look to be going backwards (in astrology called retrograde).
This condition happens because of the elliptical trajectory that planets have around the sun, their speed of translation and the movement of the earth in relation to them.
While it seems a concept difficult to understand, let’s take this simple example. Say we are going on the road in a car moving at 70 miles per hour, and pass another car traveling at 65 miles per hour. When we are passing the other car, if we look at it, we can see that the car is moving backwards in relation to ours, when in reality the two cars are moving forward and at great speed.
If we consider the moment in which the two cars are side by side to other, we could say from the astrological point of view that there is a “conjunction”. When passing the other car, we would say that it is “retrograde” with respect to us. Well, now the other car accelerates and passes us, and then we accelerate and we pass the other car again.
In that sequence that we described, if we manifest it in astrological terms, we made 3 conjunctions (the cars side by side one to the other). The first time when we passed the other car, the second time when the other car passed ours, and the third time when we passed it again.
Similar to this process is what happens to the planets, since they all are in direct motion, but seen from the earth, there is the optical illusion that the planet is going backwards, which we define as a “retrograde” state.
Depending on the positions of the planets in our natal chart, and when a planet is retrograde, any aspect will last for the relative period until the three points mention before as specified. That is why we can spend months under the energy of a certain transit.
All planets may have a retrograde period, but in we are going to talk in this particular case to Mercury, since its retrograde aspect may have implications beyond whether or not it makes an aspect in our natal chart.
Mercury can be retrograde two or three times a year, and it is during this period that activated energies should be taken into consideration.
Mercury governs trade, communication, travel, business transactions and agreements. During a retrograde period, it is advisable to work inwards, work on the details of things and making plans, which will need to be verified once Mercury is direct.
As all type of communication could be affected, one must be very careful with what it is said, as how it is said, since this period is prompt for misinterpretations. This is not the right time to seal agreements or commercial campaigns. Things concerning computers (hardware/software) can fail or have intermittent problems difficult to diagnose. The same as for trips, where it will be wise to schedule extra time considering margin for delays.
Catastrophes may not necessarily occur just because Mercury is retrograde, but it could be a time for minor complications or misunderstandings. Knowing in advance the period when this can occur, you can prepare and act accordingly.
Prevention is better than cure.
For 2019 – Periods where Mercury is Retrograde
March 5th (Pisces) to March 26th (Aries)
July 9th (Cancer) to July 30th (Leo)
October 31st (Scorpio) to November 18th (Scorpio)
For 2020 – Periods where Mercury is Retrograde
February 18th (Aquarius) to March 9th (Pisces)
June 19th (Gemini) to July 11th (Cancer)
October 16th (Libra) to November 2nd (Scorpio)