Mercury Retrograde Dates for 2020

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

November 1, 2020
Mercury Retrograde - OFA
Parts of this image sourced from NASA

Mercury’s last period of retrograde motion in 2020 lasts from October 14 to November 3! 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”?

Due to the way our planet’s orbit interacts with the orbits of the other planets, they sometimes appear to be traveling backward through the night sky with respect to the zodiac. This is, in fact, an illusion, which we call apparent retrograde motion

Three times a year, it appears as if Mercury is traveling backwards in the sky. We refer to these periods as times when Mercury is in retrograde motion, or simply “Mercury retrograde.” These times in particular were traditionally associated with confusion, delay, and frustration. Think undelivered love letters, email blunders, and frazzled travel plans.

However, this is an excellent time to reflect on the past. It’s said that intuition is high during these periods, and coincidences can be extraordinary.

When Is Mercury in Retrograde in 2020?

In 2020, Mercury will be in apparent retrograde motion during the folowing ranges of dates:

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

The final Mercury Retrograde of 2020 ends at 12:50 p.m. on ET November 3 (Election Day!), after which it will start moving forward again! Traditionally, the end to Mercury Retrograde brings less confusion and chaos; let’s hope this is the case. Given the elections, expect much discussion and communications surrounding this particular event. Learn more in the November Horosope.

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

  • January 30 to February 21
  • May 29 to June 22
  • September 27 to October 23

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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House Move & Getting Married

So as it goes, I'm usually head straight and focused

This year I'm getting married (September) and I have just moved house (April)

It took to the 11th hour to get the contract signed off we moved on the 15th April and I have been feeling so unsettled.

I seem to be bickering with my better half on the small things.
I have lost my passport the first time in 30 plus years which has caused me to postpone my holiday.
I had a awful argument with a relative about invitations to my wedding, she dragged up past grievance (its been festering in our relationship over the years and I guess we needed to have that discussion!!), however, think we have managed to clear the air.

My florist told me she was unable to do my had to find an alternative.

I feel constantly exhausted, everything that needs doing is a chore and takes ages.
I'm glad it's all over.

Why are you blaming Mercury Retrograde?

Applied knowledge is power.


I have come to expect long lost friends and lovers to show up when Mercury is retro. This retro a woman whom I would consider an important relationship that went off the tracks returned in my life. Unrequited lover begins texting. And the best of all, I sent a letter to an old address (25 years past)at Christmas time wishing my former landlord all the best in hoping it reached her and low and behold she received it during this MR! Writing me back a glorious letter of good cheer. i think MR's can be a time of unexpected communications and also a time when presented with a difficult or unpleasant occurrence, the wits to figure it out and get on with your day. ✨

this retrograde sucks!!!

broken car window stolen skateboard... torn acl ,mcl. broken phone, friend possibly died/missing..nearly broke up with girlfriend.. all in the past 3 weeks


The worst Mercury Retrograde EVER!! Can't wait for it to be over.

Yes! I agree. This one has

Yes! I agree. This one has been awful. Communication has been the absolute worst. People don't reply, didn't get my communication, mistakes on important documents.

i cant wait til its over

I CANT WAIT TIL MAY 3RD !!!! Legit gonna pop champange, me n the guy i like always have it rough when it happens like ugggghhh

Friendship that is more

Of course MR has to be now. Both of my parents have passed this year, and when my father passed, my best friend, that happens to be of the other sex, was the only one with me. This was on 3/22, and since then I have been falling harder and harder for her. We have been best friends for 5+ years. I don't want to ruin the friendship that we have, it's just the guys she is seeing are pathetic, we have never had a fight, or miscommunication until the last two weeks. I feel I need to talk to her about our relationship, and I want to take it to the next level because she is consuming my mind. I don't know how to approach it without it not going well. But I do a lot for her, and don't want to hurt her or disrupt her life in any way. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

You should tell her how you feel...

There is a possibility she feels the same. I would wait until after Mercury retrograde, it is stationary for about a week so anytime after the 10th of May. I would spend this time formulating a plan of how you are going to bring it up but she deserves to know the truth,truth works everytime. If she doesn't feel the same then at least you will know and there is the possibility that she hasn't looked at you in that way, but might.Friendship turns into love a lot since that is really the best place to start. Good Luck to both of you and I will be holding good thoughts for the best possible outcome! Also my deepest sympathy in regards to the loss of your parents, how sad to lose them both so close together.

Friggin Mercury retrograde!!

Always been a skeptic but looks like the planets are trying to force me to believe in the effects of Mercury retrograde. Been waiting on feedback for two financial proposals that were due last week...nothing. Miscommunications between my colleagues and me are piling up, threatening payroll and everyone's holidays. Today, my home burglar alarm goes off for no reason, the ATM eats checks and shuts down (!) such that the bank needs to investigate and tie up our finances further. Just out of curiousity I checked and yep, Mercury is retrograde through 12/31. Arrrrggghhhh!!

My hot water heater crapped out.

My Hot water heater crapped out.

water heater

Wow that is amazing me to, May 6th just 3 days after mercury retrograde ends. I wonder if Mercury was retro on a water sign?

MR Birthday?

Can someone please tell me if Mercury was RG on April 30, 1980? I do not have a specific time, sorry.

Retrogrde April 30 1980

NO Mercury was Direct the entire monthe of April and May of 1980. However there are other planets that go retrograde that can cause us some SERIOUS upheaval... SH__T! AND they can last 6 months. Its very interesting. At least we have something to blame it on rather than us going crazy.

What other planets that can cause us some serious upheaval

However there are other planets that go retrograde that can cause us some SERIOUS upheaval... SH__T! AND they can last 6 months

Like to know more!!!

Please Advise.

Worst decision ever

Daughter decided to meet with me and sister regarding some family issues. Worst decision ever Mercury retrograde working at its best

Mercury in retrograde is the worst

Just today: blinker on the car went out. debit card wouldn't work at the store, watch broke, cellphone battery died even though I charged it not an hour before, plant leaked all over the floor and stained the carpet, the next page on this website came up unavailable. HATE MERCURY IN RETROGRADE!! Someone make it stop!!!


What does all this mean?

I hate Mercury Retro! Just

I hate Mercury Retro! Just realized this morning that it must be Merc Retro again because of all the hassles with appointments and purchases. Looked it up and sure enough! Mercury's retro til 5/22. Sheesh! No wonder nothing I've bought lately works and communication/dates with friends have been so annoying and troublesome!

mercury retrograde

i have a question if some 1 got engaged on 28 January 2016 and now getting married on 28th may i dont fin it ok


Hi I am aries and wanted to know about my career.

zodiac gemini

Born, 31 May 1968

what days is gemini in retrograde in 2016

Please send ASAP need to make a big decission

Gemini Retrograde in 2016 or ever

Dear R - Maybe someone already answered this, but only PLANETS ever go retrograde (apparent backwards motion). The Sun and the Moon are often spoken of as planets, but in truth they aren't: The Sun is a star, and the Moon is our own natural satellite. Neither ever goes retrograde.
And Gemini is a constellation, and constellations NEVER go retrograde.
I hope all's is good!
Renna (author of "Planets for Pagans")


I am a Libra with Libra/Scorpio Asc Moon inTaurus.. triple venus factor :) I believe I have met my soulmate but have not physically met him. We plan to meet after retrograde. He is a Sagittarius...we both feel we are both genuine.. amazing calmness is what I feel from him.

Back Iowa :

Where I look to find a place in Iowa ? I will leave Florida. I like a small farm. Who is my mate Soul?

There is a time for everything

Mercury Retrograde is the perfect time for finishing up old is the time for completion...there is a time to harvest and a time to's not the harvest time...or technical's completion time. Just work with the cycles, do not fear them.


According to NASA, this is all made up. Mars is actually the planet that goes into retrograde. This is false and astrologically speaking, you should live your lives and make the decisions that seem best to you.


All planets retrograde. It's the appearance of the planet, in the sky, seeming to be traveling backwards relative to the earth. The planet in retrograde is on the opposite side of the orbit from us, still revolving around the sun in the same direction, it just *looks* like it's going backwards across the sky. Mercury does it more often because of the number of times it goes around the sun vs. the number of times we go around the sun. But all planets retrograde.

gem of a comment, well said

gem of a comment, well said to be easily visualized and understood