Mercury Retrograde in Gemini

You’ve heard the battle cry recently, “Oh no! Mercury is retrograde!” It’s reverberated a few times a year when this astronomical phenomenon occurs. With Mercury retrograde in Gemini, Vedic astrology, or Jyotish, offers a somewhat varying perspective than Western astrology. In Vedic astrology, retrogression is seen as a sign of strength.

When a planet is retrograde, it is closer to the earth than usual. People feel its presence more powerfully than usual, for better or worse.  Retrogression connotes the notion of repetition, renewal, and revisiting of situations.

Mercury owns the sign of Gemini. A planet’s presence in its own sign makes it at home and seen as a strengthening factor. Thus, Mercury retrograde and in its own sign in Gemini makes it doubly powerful.

What is most problematic is when a planet goes from being direct (forward motion) to retrograde or from being retrograde to being direct.  For any planet to change direction, it first has to slow down considerably.  A planet stops moving for a period of time and then has to slowly gain momentum.

Mercury came to a standstill on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 and went from moving out of Gemini within hours to extending its stay. This is problematic for Mercury more so than other planets. As the second fastest moving planet after the Moon, Mercury is quick, impulsive, and changeable. Its restlessness makes Mercury retrograde in Gemini a slow moving planetary manifesto. 

Both Mercury and Gemini indicate communication, particularly the written form. They also have to do with technology.  With Mercury now moving at 20% of its regular pace, there is the potential for communication to be stalled or for disruptions in communication.  It may take multiple conversations or emails to convey a particular point.

Being dual-minded, Mercury creates the desire to want to pursue at least two varying paths simultaneously. Mercury’s innate ability to multi-task is hampered by its slow motion. There can be bouts of frustration which impact the nervous system (or majja dhatu in Ayurveda) due to the slow moving impediment.

As the indicator for commerce, Mercury is powerfully able to use its versatility and intellect to create opportunities for itself. Yet, with Mercury retrograde in Gemini, there can be the refining and rewording of contracts and agreements.

There is emphasis on the thinking mind in communication but the thoughts may be repetitive. Jupiter’s presence in Gemini helps stabilize Mercury.

Mercury gains half its normal speed on July 3, 2013. It moves to 64% of its speed on July 9. To come out of retrogression, Mercury then slows down again. On July 19, Mercury is at a virtual standstill again. It comes out of retrogression the next day. The times when Mercury is moving the slowest is when the greatest impact is felt. Mercury regains its normal speed by the end of July.  Mercury continues its stay in Gemini until August 4.

Those in a Mercury planetary cycle (dasha or bhukti) will most feel the impact of Mercury retrograde in Gemini.