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.


The Old Farmer's Almanac


Reader Comments

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Is the first and last day of retrogade the worst?

Mercury Retrograde

I was told by my astrologer that the beginning, usually the first 2 weeks, and more so, the first week, is the worst. As the retrograde is ending and Mercury starts moving out, it gets a lot better. The last 5 days or so should go easily.

Oh the air is so heavy!!!

This retrograde has been a heavy one. I have made the best of it but so glad to see the back of it. Life hasn’t been great!!!

Mercury Retrograde

I did notice an abnormal amount of miscommunications this retrograde. This was worse than others.

So this is new to me, it

So this is new to me, it makes more sense now why I feel like I have no control in my life. Some people maybe scoff at Seasonal Affective Disorder but I have a feeling it is like this retrograde stuff. If the sun is not out then I find myself moping, teary-eyed, dismal, lazy and in despair, but as soon as the light shines again wow I can do my chores and smile and play with the pets etc. Need to pay attention to this stuff, and not dismiss it because some lying and deceitful talking head says otherwise.

Solar Powered

Colleen, is your zodiac a fire sign? Both my western and Chinese zodiac signs are fire and when the sun is not out I also have no energy, find myself in a very low mood and my head feels cloudy and unfocused. But once the sun is back out it's like I'm another person full of energy and feeling great. I've always said I was solar powered and wonder if it has to do with all fire in my astrological signs.


Hi Sarahdawn, actually yes I am, an Aries! Very fascinating info, thank you!

classic remedies

what farmer wouldn't enjoy another viewing of Mel Brooks "Blazing Saddles"

this thread has my brain retrograde

these postings are similar to a FML site.
bad country songs

Think of it this way...

What about all those other times when things went awry - or worse - and it WASN't Mercury retrograde? I am sure most people who are concerned about this would find plenty of memories; but for some reason many Mercury RX believers seem to remember only those inconveniences that happened during a Mercury RX period.

Fear it not. Just live life fully.

No Need To Explain

I had already thought of it that way. No need to explain it to me. Thanks.

2017 Mercury Retrograde is the worst.

January 1 to 9: is a time where my father found out he had cancer.
April 9 to May 3: is a time where my father had died of cancer.

I'm NOT looking forward to August 13 - September 5 OR December 3 - 23, as I can only deal with so much bad news in one year. :(

your concern with Mercury going retrograde in Aug 2017

Hi Natz...I have been a reader for nearly 30 yrs & having done much research ( as well as doing readings) & checking out to see how it all works I would love to share what I believe. Some of what I wish to share with you is from a very interesting man many years ago.
Please relax Natz as ''fear of " can certainly be exausting. I believe Astrology can be very interesting if you study the main factors. It is easier to break it down yourself without using a book to work with as the book is not necessary, it just fills you up with useless information.Although it is a very complicated business it is better to work in general than in great detail. My thoughts at this time are that health is dependent on magnetics or vibration. So therefore maybe understand that astrology has nothing to do with the planets, but of the gravitational magnetic force. I might be wrong but it depends on the magnetics. One of the strongest planets is earth because it has a balance.Maybe time of birth is not as important as that of the time of our conception....isn't that interesting:-) After 30 years of searching for my own truth on all of this I have found alot of confusion.
My personal interest is powers of the mind Natz....please relax & just be in the now & see what interestingly wonderful changes occur around you.I feel you are entering a whole change of your persona Natz. Sometimes our eyes and ears can deceive that not true.
Good luck & go well Natz wherever you are on the planet.

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!!!