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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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

Research for yourself instead

Research for yourself instead of depending on NASA. "Tis a wise man who rules his stars, and a fool who blindly obeys them."

Oh my gosh what a mess this

Oh my gosh what a mess this has all been. I am born Feb 15,1976 which was a full moon. Any insight as to why I have been trying break away from my narcissistic mother and start a new life and it just seems like it will never happen. She is hell bent on destroying me. Jelousy..rage. We (my daughter and I) attempted to move to Big Bear Ca. on June 1st 2015 (Mercury Retrograde)and got what we thought was a great Vacation rental. I put so much money into this place because it was run down and the owner actually would not extend for us and actually tried to get us out early to allow family members to stay their after I fixed it up. 2 weeks later the Lake Fire happened and the smoke got so bad we had to leave. Previous to us going to Big Bear I had burned a Open Road Candle that had a rock in the bottom (it was a special made candle). The rock had a face of a skeleton. The wood in the door at the vacation rental in Big Bear in the bathroom was made of natural wood and actually had the same face in the natural wood form. Anyway we ended up leaving (the landlord stole our deposit after I fixed up his place with his permission) and having to go to Palm Springs to live in a Vacation rental. We have never been to Palm Springs but had to come here because its the low season. After arriving here we decided to research the area. Just recently in the last year we discovered that My daughter has Walt Disney's Bday (they were born within 2 hrs of each other) and then we discovered that I had his wife Lillian's Bday Feb 15th. We also had discovered that their daughter Sharon died on my fathers birthday Feb 16th which I find odd. So after researching we discovered that Walt and Lillian owned a house right behind our vacation rental at the Smoke Tree Ranch~we are staying at the Smoke tree Racquet club. (which he eventually had to sell to finance Disneyland because no one believed in him.) We only moved into this place because it was the cheapest place we could find with a low deposit. we knew nothing of Walts & Lillan's love for the desert. I decided recently to burn another open road candle and white soot filled the top of the glass on the bottem of the candle was a face a smiley one but took no notice of it and thought that must mean a good sign. I then burned another one and the same white soot was on the candle again. It was a clean burn. On the bottom of this candle was another happy face but there were more defined characteristics this time. The face on the bottom of my candle was Mickey Mouse with his thumb up. I thought it was a snowman at first and then went into my bedroom and looked closely and said Oh shit it's Mickey mouse and my daughter from the other room yelled...I saw that mom! It is Mickey. My question is what the heck is happening in my life this is too weird. Right before I came to this vacation rental I visited my fathers grave before getting to Palm Springs and put a Mickey figurine on his grave that I found at the bottom of the Big Bear Vacation rental toy box. I had no money for flowers to leave him but growing up our last name was Donald and my father use to do the Donald Duck voice because people would make fun of our last name and he would respond in a Donald Duck voice sarcastically and that got people off his back. Our favorite place when I was a child was Dineyland and my father use to draw all of Walt's characters just as good as a cartoon artist. Thank you for getting to this if you can~ I know you have a lot of people contacting you. Its just weird and the more I look for answers the more I get confused and more signs of Walt and Lillian just come out of nowhere. I am a natural born talent however my mother has overshadowed most of my life with her control especially when I got sick for the past 10 years she used this to break down my self esteem ect and use it to her mother has always hated my father with a passion when he was alive) and so I am finally in the process of writing my first book (my father was a writer as well so I get most of my talent from him). Anyone who has insight to this I would really appreciate it. I never believed in any of this kind of stuff till this happened :)

mercury retrograde

I know exactly what you have said here. I was the same way…thought it was part of astrology and wanted nothing to do with it, just that, I watch it, and other peoples and their purchase and mine act…and it s just real...

Mercury Retrograde

There are a few things that stand out in this post. You seem to be a giving person-which is great. You mentioned finances-Why invest in building up someone elses property instead of saving your money to invest and build up your own? If you want to help someone, you seem like you do, volunteer with someone-the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Homeless Shelters, etc. Doing so might help with some of the issues you have from your experience with your mother. The Mickey showing up seems to be your dad letting you know he is near. Hopefully that is comforting to you. You dont seem to like your mother at this time in your life so stop depending on her. Period. When you contact her it should be only to say Hi & How are you doing? Do not ask for anything else. You are an adult with a child so you are definitely old enough to leave the nest alone. You didnt say much about employment a stable job would be great followed by stable housing. Again you have the love & support of your dad. He is right there (in spirit). Good luck

Had the best week ever last

Had the best week ever last week in regards to career and moving forward. Explain why MR had no effect on me...

Merc retrograde can be a more

Merc retrograde can be a more efficient time period for some. I had the same experience. I had some great accomplishments and the best few weeks in years. Also, you may have merc rx on your natal chart like I do.

Mercury Retrograde does not

Mercury Retrograde does not always have an 'adverse' affect on people & their mechanical things. Look to the house & meaning in your personal astrological chart through which Mercury is traveling to reveal best how this retrograde may influence you. It is better to think of a Mercury retrograde as a time for slowing & reviewing and not pursuing forward bold moves & decisions. Think of it more as a time to meditate on what you've learned while Mercury was direct. Mercury retrograde can harbor in things from the past... say, like old friends or finding something long lost. If you think of it in this way, you may find that Mercury did, indeed, have some form of affect on you after all, ;)

Mercury retrograde does not

Mercury retrograde does not mean that something bad will happen. It simply means that a lot of things can go wrong and even if you start something new during this period and you are happy about it, it may not turn out well in the long term.

For instance, Alexis Tsipras won the Greek elections during the first Mercury retrograde period of this year. It must have been a good day for him back then, but right now I don't think he is still celebrating.

So true! Alexis Tsipras was

So true! Alexis Tsipras was voted in on January 26, 2015 and resigned on August 27, 2015. Mercury retrograde is not to be taken lightly!

What is your astrological

What is your astrological sign? Do you have any natal planets in virgo or Gemini?

I have a job interview

I have a job interview exactly before the MR (18/May/15) and I would like to follow up about it . Do I have to follow up with them during the MR or should I wait after 11/June /15?

Can we wear gemstone during

Can we wear gemstone during mercury retrogades?
Especially emerald, which is said to be the gemstone for mercury itself?

What are your thoughts on

What are your thoughts on revealing your feelings during an MR to a *long time crush, who you are almost positive feels the same way. The timing seems to be right, otherwise, and opportunities to do so are abundant during this time. I feel, and my close friends as well, that he has avoided making a move because he is a bit gun-shy. Kind of a long story about why I haven't made that move yet, but I feel ready. Even had some interesting "signs". Would this period of changes in communication be favorable during this time? Our birthdates are extremely compatible. *By long time, I mean over a year. Any help would be appreciated.

How can I find someone who is

How can I find someone who is a legit astrologer and can run my chart and my finance chart to see how comparable we are and when and if retrogrades will affect me. Thus far they seem to be getting worse for me in the past year> I'd like to find a professional draw up my chart.
On a different note- what planet will be in this retrograde?

Mercury will be in retrograde

Mercury will be in retrograde for about 3 weeks. The sun is now in Taurus, moving into Gemini on May 22. Linda Goodman has written books that will help you to answer your questions. Find LINDA GOODMAN's LOVE SIGNS and her SUN SIGNS as well.

You should contact a local

You should contact a local "new age" bookstore to find an astrologer.

I have a good friend who is

I have a good friend who is "legit astrologer." You can find him on Facebook under "Raven Steele." (In Michigan) he is very professional and extremely accurate! Also very affordable.
Good luck!