Mercury madness is descending upon us yet again!
A retrograde occurs when a planet appears to be moving backwards from our vantage point here on Earth. It isn't actually moving backwards, it just appears that way. Mercury turns retrograde most often because it's nearest to us, about 3-4 times per year, and lasts for several weeks. When a planet retrogrades, what that planet rules tends to be thrown off, along with what the sign it's retrograding in rules.
With Mercury retrograde, we experience a shadow and a storm. The shadow period starts when Mercury first hits the point in the zodiac it will turn direct at, and ends when it last hits the point in the zodiac it will turn retrograde at. Most people don't feel the effects of Mercury retrograde until it enters the storm period though. The storm period of Mercury retrograde is when Mercury is moving at its slowest, less than 40 minutes per day. Mercury is a fast-moving planet and hates it when he's moving slowly. There's usually two storm periods, one around the time Mercury turns retrograde, and one around when it turns direct.
The shadow of this Mercury retrograde begins February 27th and ends April 23rd, lasting two months. The first storm period will be from March 8th - March 18th, and the second will be from March 28th - April 13th. The exact retrograde begins March 11th at 3:49AM ET and ends April 4th at 6:11AM ET.
When Mercury turns retrograde, it will be at 6 degrees Aries, early in the sign. This could present most problems for March-born Aries. Tempers will be flaring like crazy during this first storm period with Mercury in fire sign Aries and Mars, ruler of Aries, retrograde at the same time. People are going to be arguing all over the place. Inadvertent fights may come around from people not thinking about what they say before they say it, a common trait of Mercury in Aries. On March 18th, Mercury will conjunct (be in the same spot as) Uranus, which will likely result in unexpected arguments, or things coming up spontaneously. There may be more fires and accidents as well.
Mercury will leave the sign of Aries and go backwards into the water sign of Pisces on March 23rd at 9:22AM ET. Emotions may seem clouded and confusing, with people unable to communicate effectively. Chances are, we'll all be confusing each other. Our communications will be more based off of our feelings at the moment rather than being logic-based. There might be a lot of people walking around with hurt feelings, acting more sensitive. When the retrograde ends on March 23rd, it will be at 23 degrees Pisces, so those Pisces born after March 11th may experience the brunt of it.
For you, check the house(s) Mercury will be retrograding in of your own natal chart, and any aspects Mercury will make during its retrograde to your natal planets, to fully understand how it will impact you personally.
And if you have Mercury retrograde in your natal or progressed chart, you're one of the lucky ones! Those individuals generally don't experience the difficulties of the retrograde because it feels more natural to them. Of course, chances are everyone else around them doesn't have the same aspect, so they can still experience difficulties brought on by others.
Let's just all take a deep breath and try to get through this with as little fighting as possible!