Mercury Retrograde Dates for 2021

What Is Mercury Retrograde and What Does It Mean for You?

May 26, 2021
Mercury Retrograde - OFA
Parts of this image sourced from NASA

Mercury’s next period of retrograde motion in 2021 lasts from May 29 to June 22! According to the age-old practice of astrology, we are all influenced by the effect of Mercury in retrograde. What exactly does it mean for each of us, though? Read on to find out.

What Is “Mercury Retrograde”?

Three times a year, the planet Mercury appears to travel backward across the sky. We refer to these periods as times when Mercury is in apparent retrograde motion, or simply ”Mercury retrograde.” To those who practice astrology, these times in particular were traditionally associated with confusion, delay, and frustration. Think undelivered love letters, email blunders, and frazzled travel plans! This is an excellent time to reflect on the past, however, and it’s said that intuition is high during these periods. Coincidences can be extraordinary.

What Is Retrograde Motion?

The astronomical explanation for retrograde motion starts with understanding that the planets in our solar system orbit the Sun at different distances and speeds. While we orbit the Sun ourselves, we can observe the other planets moving across our sky, following their own paths. 

Sometimes, it can appear (from our perspective) that a planet has abruptly switched directions and has started to move in reverse across the sky. This is, of course, an illusion caused by the position of Earth in relation to that of the planet, since a planet in orbit always travels in one set direction and can’t suddenly reverse course. This is why we call the phenomenon apparent retrograde motion, as it only looks like the planet is moving backward (“retrograde motion”)!

When Is Mercury in Retrograde in 2021?

In 2021, Mercury will be in apparent retrograde motion during the folowing ranges of dates: 

  • January 30 to February 20 
  • May 29 to June 22
  • September 27 to October 17

Please note that dates reflect Eastern Time U.S., not Universal Time.

What You Should Do When Mercury is Retrograde

The planet Mercury rules communication in all forms—listening, writing, reading, speaking, and so on—as well as activities closely related to communication, like negotiations and contracts. It also rules travel, automobiles, shipping, and mail.

So, when Mercury is retrograde, try to remain flexible, patient, and understanding, allow extra time for travel, and avoid signing onto any new contracts that you’re unsure of. Double check your email responses and check in with reservations before you take that trip. 

Review projects and plans at these times, but wait until Mercury is direct again to make any final decisions. You can’t stop your life, but plan ahead, have back-up plans, and be prepared for people’s shorter fuses and miscommunication. 

Take a Moment to Reflect

Some blame Mercury retrograde for all chaos that happens in their lives. However, this is a good time to sit back and review what you put your energy toward.

For example, if family and faith are important to you, are you putting enough of your energy into them or have you become overextended in other areas such as your career or a hobby? Losing the balance between different parts of your life can cause all of them to suffer, so being aware of the connections between them—especially during Mercury retrograde—can help you to maintain or at least better understand how that balance works.

Take a moment to reflect. Mercury retrograde can be an excellent time to take a step back and reanalyze who you are and what you are doing—but do refrain from making any drastic changes until after retrograde has ended.

Mercury and the Zodiac

The type of influence you feel also depends on which of the 12 zodiac signs Earth is in when Mercury goes retrograde.

What’s your Zodiac Sign? See here: “Mercury Retrograde and Zodiac Signs.”

Learn more about zodiac sign profiles in general and check out our monthly horoscopes. Make sure that your gardening does not go awry when Mercury is in retrograde by reading your zodiac profile for gardening.


The Old Farmer's Almanac


Reader Comments

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The moon is beautiful like Joanna Panzera

Mercury retrograde

This is, in fact, an illusion, which we call apparent retrograde motion.

retrograde 2019

Last day of retrograde and my daughters dog got hit by a car, her boyfriend got in a car accident rushing to the vet. Everyone should be OK though Thank God. This is bull****!

Mercury in retrograde

This is the worst bout of Mercury in retrograde I've experienced in a long time. People seem to be impossible (or is it me?), I've had several computer problems, and every time I open my mouth the wrong thing seems to come out. I can't wait for it to be over.

I agree! I didn't realise

I agree! I didn't realise mercury was retrograde, but my total chaos in the last 2 weeks is now finally explained. 3 different parcel deliveries were messed up, to the extent that it was unbelievably pathetic


my dishwasher broke,
my computer has a bug
my dog got deathly ill
my tax bill is in the thousands
etc etc etc

To Regina

Yes, it was one of the most intense in quite some time. Have been tracking for decades. My astrologer says that just before the end of a retrograde primary cycle (after slow down & before the catching up phase) it often intensifies.

2019 March Retrograde

A package I took to post office is lost in space somewhere. Communication between anyone and myself has not been a happy experience. My accounting has been off. I wrote 2009 on a check before I caught myself. Can't remember what the day or the date is. Feel excessively tired and PO'ed. Blah!!! I can't believe we still have two more weeks of this.

mercury rising

I feel totally off - my tummy is off, i have ibs and i feel off balance.... i need to deep cleanse myself with reiki to help

Mercury Retrograde 2019

I am always aware when a Mercury Retrograde is here.I tend to be off balance and I have problems with my personal relationships.I am going to try to be more positive and "Hope for The Best".The Cycle of Life,Blessings


OMG!! I seriously thought I was being spiritually attacked until i saw a post on IG explaining Mercury Retrograde. I never in my life heard about this before, but when I noticed what was happening in the past few weeks, I totally understood. A friend and I have been on a CONSTANT bickering fest non stop for the past couple of weeks. I've been frustrated beyond frustration because I felt both of us was just not getting any understanding from one another and I literally thought I was going crazy. If i had know about this retrograde, I would have been more concious on what was happening and would have handled the events differently. Now I've lost a friend......sad


We are in a time in history where people are deciding what is right (integrity) or wrong (no integrity). I feel most do not realize is 1, you are one or the other and cannot pick and choose like people do with the Bible. Right is light and wrong is dark which would include any thoughts from you or the other person. When we lose friends over communication, perhaps they have the bigger problem or if you were abusive, then you have a time to grow which usually involves pain. If you cannot handle the pain of looking within of y, and you are strong, a lesson will pop up for either you in this present time or your next life but will still be you but just in a different body. If you are interested to resolve, the process will take from 30 minutes to 3 days "for the average upset" . I feel if it was a bigger upset, it may take longer and you will have to be patient with yourself and start doing things to support your mind. i feel if u do not, the dang lesson will keep popping up until u resolve which may also include, you finding the support you need. (dancing, gym and or book clubs).

Retrograde in 2019

The article above shows the dates for Mercury's retrograde for 2018. What are the dates for 2019?

2019 retros

The Editors's picture

The page will be updated but here’s a sneak peek: March 5 to 28, July 7 to August 2, and October 31 to November 20.


Its never to late to reclaim an old friend.

went through Hell now see the light

I still believe in a lot of what is written in the Bible< I believe that we should all practice what was written over the seven sins ,and that if people lived by the goodness of what was written the world would be a much better place<I do know now that there is so much more hidden in this world that the churches have never exposed, I feel that I was put here to expose and teach people<bring awareness of what is hidden out there, I have learned so much especially in the past 2-3 months and am still continuing to learn, I believe that Jesus was a lightworker, healer and I believe these are two of my gifts as well and that we all hold our own special powers.I've realized I have many and that I am fully protected by God The HolySpirit and the Universe still learning but have realized I have many gifts that took me time to figure ou by looking back in time and remembering certain things and comments people have said to me, I believe in what you have written and definatly have decided tolive in the light[God] and cast the Dark[Satan] back into the lake of fire never to return again this meaning to me that I have expierienced my vey own rapture.

Mercury retrograde disaster

I don’t usually believe in these but I signed on for a new job on mercury retrograde August and lost in on October (2months) and i never lost a job before! Do NOT sign new contracts on retrograde!!!

Sign of Mercury Next Retrograde 2018

I have three planets in Gemini, plus my sun sign is Gemini! MRx activity really affects me. What sign will Mercury occupy Nov 17 to Dec 6, 2018?? Thanks.

RE: "Mercury And You"

"The type of influence you feel depends on which of the 12 zodiac signs Earth is in when Mercury goes retrograde."

Did you perhaps mean which sign Mercury is in? Earth isn't in any sign.

Worse Time of my Life

Everything has damn near completely gone wrong for me. Too exhausted to even tell the horrible story. With all the crap happening to me I'm suffering the loss of a large amount of money which for me is very hard to come by. Not to put it out there in the universe but it has been my experience for so long. M-Retro is over in a day or so. Will it ever get better? Having clinical depression does not help at all. It has to get better.

it will get better!

I am so sorry to hear of your bad fortune!!

Try this: open all the windows you can get to in your house/apartment. Take the sheets and pillowcases off your bed and put clean ones on. Then sweep, mop, and vacuum every part of the floor you can get to in your house/apartment (middles only is fine! Don't worry about moving piles of laundry or other stuff right now!). Light a candle or some incense/a sage smudge. Finally, take a bath or shower, and then put on some clean, comfortable clothes.

Now, sit cross-legged in the middle of the bed. How do you feel right at that moment?

If you are able to change the bedsheets once a week, clean the floors every one or two weeks, and try to open a couple of windows daily to let in fresh air, you may be able to re-center yourself and make the space for something new and fresh to come into your life. Getting rid of clutter in your home and car will also help greatly.

You can do the thing! I know you can. I have faith in you. <3

Hope this helps! :)

It will get better

Great advice!! I'm going to do that myself. This is the second time I've heard about opening your windows, etc. within the last week. Thank you

I took it as what time of

I took it as what time of year Earth is in. Like if we're at May 8th, Earth is in Taurus at that time.

Earth sign

Technically, the Earth is always in the opposite sign of the Sun.



Writing In Retrograde

I have been writing a novel for the past year, and in July I was doing a writing challenge where I had to write 10,000 words by the end of the month. Things were going fine, until the last week, my momentum slowed down, and I resorted to just adding in dialogue I had already written! I couldn't focus, couldn't find the right words to convey the messages I wanted to. Then, I get feedback from my editor for a previous chapter, and there were a lot of problems with it! I felt discouraged, but I knew I couldn't let that stop me from continuing. However, I just felt so drained and out of focus, and I didn't understand why.

I kept hearing about Mercury in retrograde, and I remember that mercury deals with communication (and writing is a form of that!) And so it is a relief to know that this time will have an end. I have been using this time to reflect on my story, to relax and take my time figuring things out before making any final decisions. It has actually been helping me out so far, and I look forward to getting back into actually writing the words once retrograde ends!

Also, there has been drama at work (someone got fired) and drama in the family, too. Yikes! Luckily, my issues were mostly confined within myself and my own ego.

6 Planets in Retrograde

One of my astrologer friends says 6 planets are currently in retrograde! Trying time for the planet and mankind in particular.

Correction to the above article

You mean, "allow extra time for travel," not, "allow time for extra travel." What an excellent place for this slight miscommunication to serve as an example. However, I don't mind allowing time for extra travel, either, retrograde or no retrograde. ;-)


The Editors's picture

You’re right! Thanks for catching that.

Yep for sure!

I booked a trip to Italy/Croatia 18 months earlier and didn’t realize it was during the RG PERIOD! Had a great time in Italy but the day we took a ferry to Croatia (26th)all hell broke lose. My GPS wouldn’t work, we couldn’t find our hotel, nobody had a clue where it was, the hotel owner( who also owns the restaurant below) wasn’t answering his phone because he was waiting on diners. So we were sitting in a square, in a foreign country with no clue where to go. It was a nightmare! We finally got in touch with some friends who were staying on an island off shore and got the last ferry to it and slept on a fold out couch in their room. Then the inn keeper started calling 3 hours later hassling is in Croat. But my wife made the res and forwarded her cell to her boss for work calls and the guy was calling her in Florida, Never take it lightly Mercury in RG. SUCKS!!!&