When Mercury is retrograde, it can throw a lot of things off, and one area of life that can be impacted is our relationships. Let's focus on how they can be impacted and the best ways to use the energy.
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What is Mercury retrograde?
A planet or body is called retrograde when it appears to be moving backward through the Zodiac from our view here on Earth. Normal motion is forward, so this can throw things off.
Mercury retrogrades most often, 3-4 times each year, and is the shortest, only about 3 weeks at a time. Mercury rules communication, so we have difficulty understanding and expressing, as well as technology, which has major impact on our modern world.
Mercury Retrograde & Relationships
Retrogrades can have subconscious energy and stir up what has been hidden or avoided, so Mercury retrograde can bring out existing issues in your relationships or in the way you deal with others. Any relationships that have problems can be more important to you, and you can become keenly aware of the problems that need to be fixed.
This can be an opportunity for improvement with those relationships, and if you do, you can strengthen the relationship. You may need to go about it in a different way though, and take a side route to fixing it.
Communication in relationships can be quite disastrous during Mercury retrograde, so it may not be the best time for big conversations with loved ones or big commitments in your relationships. One area that can be improved on is listening, and Mercury retrograde may show how much we haven't been paying attention, and how much we need to be more receptive.
If you can't fix communication, and can't address issues, then you may see relationships come apart during Mercury retrograde. Many can come to an end, and this may be long in the making. It can also be messier than usual, so if any do end, we have to take care that we're not burning everything down on our way out.
Retrogrades can be introspective and reflective energy, so Mercury retrograde can help with reflecting on old relationships, addressing relationship baggage, and releasing relationship karma. It's ideal to emerge from Mercury retrograde with less weighing you down so you can move forward when it's over at a greater pace.
This can also be a time when we reconnect, with people from the past or even within existing relationships that have simply been ignored. People often come back around during Mercury retrograde, and this may be fleeting, or it may be for a reason. It may not last once the retrograde is over, so make the most of it while it's around.
Which Mercury retrogrades impact relationships?
In general, Mercury retrogrades that occur in the relationship signs - Leo, Libra, or Aquarius - have the biggest impact on our relationships. Leo rules love relationships, dating, and children; Libra rules committed relationships and partnerships; and Aquarius rules friendships and casual relationships.
You may have the same effect personally if the Mercury retrograde occurs in your 5th house (which connects to Leo), 7th house (which connects to Libra), or 11th house (which connects to Aquarius).
Mercury retrograde often conjuncts transit (moving) Venus, the planet of relationships, so this can be a time when we're all focused on your relationships. It just doesn't last long, usually only a few days.
If Mercury retrograde occurs in your natal Venus sign and conjuncts your natal Venus, this can be big for you personally and give huge retrograde energy for your relationships.
Mercury retrograde square or opposite your natal Venus, the hard aspects, may bring out more of the challenges (also Mercury retrograde square or opposite your 7th house ruler). Mercury retrograde sextile or trine your natal Venus, the beneficial aspects, may help with improvements and reconnections (also Mercury retrograde sextile or trine your 7th house ruler).
For reconnecting with yourself, this may be most important when Mercury retrograde occurs in your 1st house (ruling the self), in your Sun sign (your true self), or aspecting your natal Sun.
Suggested Reading: Mercury Retrograde Preparedness