Mercury retrograde is upon us again! Lots of the focus of Mercury retrograde is usually on relationships, but Mercury is also the natural ruler of work. Many of us will wonder about how Mercury retrograde can impact your job, career, the professional impact. So let's dive into that!
What is Mercury retrograde in astrology?
A planet is called retrograde when it appears to be moving backward from our view here on Earth; it isn't actually moving backward, and just looks that way. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto move backward in retrograde motion for months at a time, and Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are retrograde almost as much as they're not. This means their retrograde periods aren't quite so formidable.
Mercury, Venus, and Mars retrograde, on the other hand, are pretty formidable! This is for two reasons, one being that they are personal planets (along with the Sun and Moon, but they don't retrograde), and personal planets have a very close tie to our personalities. We feel them in a personal way (fitting for the name!). The other reason is because they don't retrograde as much. Mars retrogrades once every 2 - 2 1/2 years for about 2 months, and Venus retrogrades about every 1 1/2 years for 1 1/2 months.
Mercury retrogrades the most often, 3-4 times each year, but only for about 3 weeks at a time. It's a short burst of energy that can really throw us off, and only grows in strength as we become more and more dependent on technology. Mercury is one of the tech rulers! (along with Uranus)
Mercury naturally rules the signs of Gemini and Virgo, and the 3rd and 9th houses. It's the lower octave of Uranus, and governs our communication style, our way of expressing ourselves, and our connections to our environment (3rd house/Gemini), as well as our work, daily lives, health, and pets (Virgo/6th house). Mercury is the planet of the mind.
Mercury is a busy planet, always wanting to be active, on the go, doing something, anything! Mercury is the second-fastest moving planet (Moon is fastest), and loathes moving slowly, which happens during Mercury retrograde (when Mercury is moving slowest, this is the Mercury storm period, and is when Mercury is most ornery). This haphazard energy can make us a little all over the place during Mercury retrograde!
Mercury Retrograde and your Career & Work & Money
Mercury is natural ruler of work, so in general, Mercury retrograde has an overall impact on our work lives. This is one of many reasons why we can get thrown off so much during Mercury retrograde (these do's and don't on Tarot.com can be pretty helpful).
Retrogrades are times when we're brought back. This can be a good thing, and we reconnect and reflect. Or this can be a bad thing, and we have to redo and reconsider. Retrogrades are times for the re-'s: revisit, revise, rethink, review, etc.
Mercury retrograde is excellent for the re-'s, perhaps the best of the retrograde periods for them. Mercury retrograde is great for routine maintenance, and any routine kind of work. It's a good time to redo or pick back up old work projects, reconnect with old bosses or employees, do research on your work or the work you want to do, revise resumes, have second interviews, renegotiate, and perform followup work.
Many will say it's NOT a good time to start a new job or business, sign new contracts, have first interviews, and more - but you can't get around some of this. Let's go into various scenarios:
Is it okay to interview for a new job during Mercury retrograde?
If it's a second or third (or more) interview, you should be okay. What's a challenge is when it's a first interview! Now, if you set it up *before* the Mercury retrograde started, you may feel that the interview goes differently that you thought it would, or something about the job or expectations ends up being different (not necessarily bad, but different). So definitely keep an open mind and be really flexible. Also listen very carefully to what the person interviewing you say and make sure you fully understand what they want from you.
If it's set up during Mercury retrograde, it may go fine, and where it may be different is after the retrograde ends, particularly if you don't start until after it ends. New ventures can go alright if you start and end during Mercury retrograde (they'll just have a different kind of spin to them), but if you start the job after Mercury retrograde ends, there may be something about it that is different than you thought it would be. There can be extra challenges with co-workers or bosses or employees, and you have to be flexible and go with the flow of it.
For you personally, it can help if you choose a day for the interview when you'll have positive aspects (sextiles and trines) to your natal Sun or 1st house ruler or cusp (rulers of the self, to help you shine), or to your natal Venus or 7th house ruler or cusp (rulers of others, to help you get along with others).
One thing to note - just make sure that the interview doesn't occur while the Moon is void-of-course - that actually matters more because it means nothing will come of it!
Is it okay to accept a new job during Mercury retrograde?
Similarly to interviewing, if you started the process and had the interview and got the offer and accepted all during Mercury retrograde, you can be alright (again, there will likely be something different about it though). If it started during Mercury retrograde and you'll start the job after Mercury retrograde, you may be alright as well, however watch for terms of the job changing, a delay in starting, or some confusion that has to be worked out.
If you started the process and interviewed and all *before* Mercury retrograde and you accept and start during, then watch for changes with the job after the retrograde ends.
Note that you should try to choose a day to accept the job when you'll personally have a positive aspect (sextile or trine) to your natal Mercury, 3rd house ruler or cusp (for good news), or to your natal 6th or 10th house rulers or cusps (6th = work, 10th = career). This can help you negate the Mercury retrograde energy. And don't accept when the Moon is void-of-course!
Is it okay to start a new job during Mercury retrograde?
If you started the process and did the interview and accepted and started the job during Mercury retrograde, you should be alright, just like interviewing and accepting (and again, there may be something different about this job).
If you interviewed and accepted *before* Mercury retrograde began and you start the job during Mercury retrograde, watch for potential delays, initial hurdles to jump over with the work, and have extra patience with yourself and others.
This article by Crystal B. outlines some of the things you can expect and ways the job may change.
Is it okay to ask for a raise or promotion during Mercury retrograde?
If you've asked for one before, then it can be alright; if you haven't, then it might be dicey. If you're a Mercury retrograde native, it can be the perfect time! Or if maybe your boss is a Mercury retrograde native, they may be more receptive too.
Since Mercury is a communication ruler, you do have to be careful of what you say and how you say it. You'll want to make sure you're very. very clear about what you're asking for and what you're expectations are.
If Mercury retrograde will sextile or trine (positive aspects) your natal 2nd house ruler or cusp (house of money), this can be a good time for it, or if you'll experience sextiles/trines by transit Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto to your 2nd house ruler/cusp during Mercury retrograde (but without any hard aspects by Mercury retrograde to the 2nd, 6th, or 10th house rulers or cusps - then it might be rough!).
Is it okay to quit a job during Mercury retrograde?
Mercury retrograde is notorious for making you absolutely loathe the work you're doing if you're not passionate about it! So that desire can be there easily if the work you're doing is not something you're really connected to. But actually doing it during Mercury retrograde?
If it's impulsive and without thought or a plan, then it's not really the best idea (unless it's a really hostile work environment). In that case, you may regret it when the retrograde is over. If you've thought about it and have a plan, then you can be alright. But do know your employer may either a, try to get you back, or b, not be a good reference!
Is it okay to start a business or career during Mercury retrograde?
I totally did this! LOL! I started giving astrology readings during Mercury retrograde in December 2004. So it is totally possible to start a new business or career during Mercury retrograde (still at it 15 years later!). Though I did make sure to avoid Mercury retrograde when I started The Dark Pixie Astrology. But that Mercury retrograde in 2004 conjuncted my natal Uranus - natural planetary ruler of astrology! (Jupiter was sextile as well and in my Sun sign, and Mars was in my 1st house, great for a new beginning)
So you see, I had some supportive aspects at the same time, and that made it alright to start this career. If you have positive aspects going on to your 2nd, 6th, or 10th house rulers/cusps (the professional houses), to the 1st house ruler/cusp or Sun (great for new beginnings), or to the natural planetary or house rulers of whatever business/career you want to start, then you can be a-okay.
Again, know that things will be different. I started out giving readings for years, eventually got into freelance astrology writing, and had 2 blogs before landing on The Dark Pixie Astrology. So it was roundabout to get to this place - be flexible!
What does it mean if I'm fired during Mercury retrograde?
Bummer! This can happen when Mercury is retrograde in your 2nd house of money (giving money problems), 6th house of work (giving work problems), or 10th house of career (giving career problems), or making a hard aspect (conjunct, square, opposition) your 2nd, 6th, or 10th house ruler or cusp. But there usually is something else going on at the same time (Mercury retrograde alone doesn't do it, there's going to be other hard aspects at the same time).
Once the retrograde ends, it's possible your employer may want to hire you back. But it's probably best to say adios!
Mercury Retrograde Protection
The best Mercury retrograde protection is to be born with Mercury retrograde! LOL! That means this energy is natural to you, and you can sail right through and not have to worry about any of this (unless Mercury is really strong in your natal chart - then you may never escape it!).
Second best is when Mercury is retrograde in your progressed chart; this makes the energy more natural to you now as you've gotten older, and you can get through it almost like a native.
When neither of those is the case for you, it helps to have a Mercury retrograde native in your life to review things for you to make sure you're not missing anything - so when you find one, hold on to them tight, and make sure they understand legalese!
All joking aside, there are a few good things you can look for during Mercury retrograde that can help you. One is if Mercury retrograde is making positive aspects (sextiles and trines) to your natal chart. These can be supportive of what you do, and times when you experience a Mercury retrograde with positive aspects but little-to-no hard aspects can actually be a very positive experience for you. Less potent but still positive can be when Mercury retrograde is sextile or trine a transit planet (one of the other moving planets) instead of a natal planet.
It's also helpful around the Superior Conjunction. This occurs when the Sun conjuncts (aligns with) the Mercury retrograde. This is a time that is good for starting anything new, and can lead to a culmination the next time they conjunct when Mercury isn't retrograde (usually 6-8 weeks later).
Note that for any of the work scenarios, you'll want to avoid when you're experiencing hard aspects (conjunctions, squares, oppositions) by Mercury retrograde to any part of your chart, or by the Sun, Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto to your 2nd (money), 6th (work), or 10th (career) house rulers or cusps (this doesn't just apply to Mercury retrograde!). The hard aspects = hard energy, so you'll want to try and avoid that (though they can be present when you're fired or you quit, so don't be surprised to see them in those situations).
So now you can hopefully get through Mercury retrograde with your work and career unscathed - mostly!
Suggested Reading: The Bright Spots During Mercury Retrograde