Mercury Retrograde Dates for 2021

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

July 28, 2021
Mercury Retrograde - OFA
Parts of this image sourced from NASA

Mercury’s last period of retrograde motion in 2021 lasts from September 27 to October 17! 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.


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Reader Comments

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Actually, this is a great

Actually, this is a great time to travel! Just don't expect everything to go like clockwork. Expect delays, or changes and roll with it. While Mercury rules travel and communication, it also rules mentation and thinking. What we perceive is what we call reality. During MR, we just need to readjust how we perceive things. Best laid plans, and all that. So, unless you're really obsessive about having everything be perfect, go and have fun.

To Patricia03: Anything I

To Patricia03: Anything I have scheduled during a Mercury retrograde has been messed up.Vacations,financial deals,surgeries...I try to schedule things accordingly, but if I schedule without checking the dates, I have a mess.

what time zone to these days

what time zone to these days represent?

The dates represent Eastern

Catherine Boeckmann's picture

The dates represent Eastern Time U.S.

Me and my boyfriend are

Me and my boyfriend are having issues and it started last Wednesday.. When asked if we are together or not...his reply is "he isn't getting into that".. So I am left confused as to are we together or not. He just seem so distance but hasn't't said the words we are broken up. Confused.. Help

That means he's a jerk and

That means he's a jerk and doesn't deserve you. Time to move on and find someone who is not afraid to commit.

Check back to see if there

Check back to see if there could have been a misunderstanding last Wednesday. We are prone to make very wrong assumptions during Mercury Retrograde times, so double-check to see if that was a possibility for either of you. Be patient for now and dump him in early April if things don't get fine between you by then.

attraction varies over time.

attraction varies over time. the attraction cycle lengths for males and females are different, so you will move in and out of phase. know and respect these cycles and it will add to your understanding and respect for each other.

I applied for loss

I applied for loss modification and got to different letters in the last 2 weeks one that I got it and one that I was denied.I am s pices

Appreciate knowing that I

Appreciate knowing that I will have to take special care under mu sign which is Virgo.

I was born on September 24th,

I was born on September 24th, 1977, but I wasn't DUE to be born until October 31st...Does this have any affect on my sign/behaviors/traits? I feel like there's so much more to me than I know... Please help. I also have a super crush on someone, and want to know if I should be patient with him or move on.

You were born at the time and

You were born at the time and on the date appropriate to your life's path, as are we all. Your sun sign of Libra is mildly influenced by Virgan traits due to your birthday's proximity to the cusp between the two, and a prominent placement of a powerful sign can appear to overshadow Libra's airy presence, so Libra - which can come across like a gentle breeze or a gusty wind but will always be thinking, weighing, measuring, moving forward, and in your case carrying just a bit of Virgo dust - is a part of every aspect of you. However, a Leo Moon, for instance, may make you run more emotionally hot than the average Libran native, or an Aries Ascendant may give you a more explosive outward appearance. In any case, patience is not likely to be your strongest suit, and your desire to partner up makes it even harder when you've met someone who piques your interest. It'd be worth your while to, at least, have a full reading of your own natal chart done, and if you're still waiting to catch this person's eye, perhaps a synastry reading would be in order. Or, if you can't get enough of the pertinent information for him, at least an analysis of his and your respective Sun signs together in light of your complete reading and the energy of this time in your life. All the best to you. :)

when will I get a break in

when will I get a break in life? No matter what I don, I can't get my life back on track. Life is nothing but endless torture

Could be a couple different

Could be a couple different reasons why and when u may get a break. This life u may have chose to take a lot of challenges to progress your soul. (admiring) have your chart read for sure. Or u are going against the tide of your reason u are here and need to figure out your track. Law of attraction is another possibility. Check out Info on that to see if u could be creating this. Take life as a mystery to figure out and have faith in yourself.

Going through a similar

Going through a similar phase, but am sure life's trials are a way of God talking to us. Somewhere in it all is meaning and it is upto us to have the courage to live out the storm with Faith in His Love, and strnegth that He will be by us at all times.

You NEED to learn about the

You NEED to learn about the Law of Attraction! Re-read your post and see the limiting and negative things you just said about yourself, and then start to understand the harm such negative things do to your future and start creating positive in your life. It's up to you, and you DO have the power to create whatever life you choose. Learn to stop yourself when you start a negative thought and replace it with a positive one and see how beautifully your life changes for you and everyone around you!

Upon reading your post once

Upon reading your post once again works my nerve to put it straight out. i know many people who believe in what i believe to be sheer nonsense. tell that to people in places like hati, india, and other 3rd world countries. they don't believe in it either. it is however good to try and stay positive but that is not always possible. and that is reality. and i believe in reality.

I am not a great believer in

I am not a great believer in blaming a planet for our sundry troubles. The present Solar eclipse is so much more powerful at this time Nov 13th 2012, whether seen or not the cosmic vibes accelerate our intuition, I am only on occassion affected by Mercury, but the wining people sure do test my patiences....

Thanks for the info. I will

Thanks for the info. I will share this to my friends.

im having difficulties in my

im having difficulties in my love life will it increase during this period?

When Mercury goes retrograde,

The Editors's picture

When Mercury goes retrograde, it's usually not a time to make big decisions or engage in certain romantic activities. Wait until Mercury is direct again to make big decisions on love. See our page on When Mercury Is Retrograde:

that is a very broad question

that is a very broad question ... but when Mars is retrograd... any surgeries during this time is really nice... if you have questions abt this... look at Mars retrograd...


My mother is suppose to have

My mother is suppose to have shoulder surgery on March 16, 2012, is this a good time for her?

My mohther is scheduled for

My mohther is scheduled for shoulder surgery on March 16, 2012, she is a Libra, 10/16/31 is this a good time for her to have this surgery?

I'm not sure about Merc

I'm not sure about Merc Retro, but *have* heard that you should not have surgery when the moon is in the sign that controls whatever body part is being operated, find what sign rules the shoulders and then what sign the moon is in on 3/16. Hope this helps.

Patricia, I have to say, in

I have to say, in my own experience, I was going into sinus surgery during a day that fell on Mercury Retrograde. As the nurse was inserting the i/v into my arm, I was sitting straight up, and the arms on the side of the bed were not locked up. I ended up blacking out, falling out of the bed face first, and smacking my head and face into the tile. I ended up with a concussion, and the doctor was unable to perform the surgery, so it had to be rescheduled. My mom informed me that it was indeed MR, and failed to tell me beforehand. So, surgery for your mom? May not be such a good idea! (in my own experience).

I hope you sued the

I hope you sued the doctor/hospital. That's how my mother died and we won 1 million. Drs should know better than leave bed rails down.

That would be the nurses job,

That would be the nurses job, not the doctor!

Nurse's job

The nurse needed a doctor's order to put rails up/fall precautions. Just saying.

I would not take the chance.

I would not take the chance. My husband was advised not to go through a cornea transplant because Merc. retro. 2011. He stopped breathing and was given a 50/50 chance of making it. He made it thank God. I would never take that chance again!