Warning: Mercury Retrograde Happens 3 Times This Year, so Plan Accordingly

Mary Grace Garis

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Every year, the arrival of Mercury retrograde always somehow sneaks up on me so unexpectedly that I just wake up one morning and it’s like, “Oh, well that’s why everything’s been so effing terrible.” But this year, we”re going to be wise and note the Mercury retrograde dates for 2020 ahead of time… and try our best not to plan anything big around them.

Now not to get Astro 101 on you, but lets real quick recap what typically happens during Mercury retrograde, and how it gently tries to ruin your entire life. Mercury retrograde simply refers to when it seems that Mercury, the planet, is moving backward in the night sky. That makes pretty much everything work backward as well—technology, communication, and travel in particular.

Now, in a world where we live off our phone and it’s hard to not talk to your loved ones for three weeks, directly skirting around the tech and communication thing is tricky. But if you know the dates ahead of time, you can at least be proactive about not booking a ticket somewhere. So for the record, when is Mercury retrograde? These are the dates for 2020:

  • February 17 – March 10
  • June 18 – July 12
  • October 14 – November 3

Now, this first Mercury Retrograde of 2020 is kind of a dead-air time of the year. It skips over Valentine’s Day, it’s nowhere near Easter, unless you’re a late Aquarius or Pisces planning a getaway birthday bash you should be fine. But the June-July and October-November spans? Mercury is going to be moonwalking during the beginning and end of wedding season. You’re kidding me. So if you do have to make a celecation to a wedding or your vacation days just happen to be best used during retrograde, how do you do it wisely?

According to astrologer Rachel Lang, the first step is to be clear in how you discuss your plans. Again, retrograde can make you tongue-tied, or can leave you misinterpreted. So if you’re traveling with friends or family, be 110 percent clear about the logistics…and kind to one another if something goes wrong.

“Travel can bring out the best and worst in us, and we can all be more sensitive than other times, says Lang. “Be compassionate towards others. Also, be self-reflective, willing to take a hard look at your part of any communication challenges. These are important learning opportunities, when you can grow. Mercury retrograde times require patience, understanding, and mental focus. “

It also requires a little bit of preparation, proactiveness, and positivity in case things do go awry.

“If you make your travel plans far in advance, realize they could change,” she says. “Buy refundable tickets, get travel insurance, and double check that your hotel and rental car reservations can be changed without big fees.”

Naturally, you can’t plan whatever chaos or delayed flights might occur during this time, and it’s not super worth it to hold high anxiety if, inevitably, the retrograde gives way to on-the-go friction. It’s not worth it to be fearful during this time; whatever will happen will happen. Life goes on whether you’re getting your period or experiencing retrograde (and yeah, both suck when they coincide with a stupid wedding). But it can’t hurt to mark your calendars now and keep a sharp eye to what’s going on.

“Details are important during Mercury retrograde,” says Lang. “Pay attention to the fine print, and if you feel something off intuitively, pay attention! Often our biggest Mercury retrograde mistakes happen when we ignore that quiet voice inside telling us to pause.”

And obviously you can’t stop chasing love because of this stupid planet, so this is how to date safely during Mercury Retrograde. Oh, and just when you thought it was over, this is how you rebuild during Mercury Retroshade.

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