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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Just noticed that my

Just noticed that my wedding day is October 3 2015 and it during the last cycle of Mercury being in Retrograde. oh well planned this wedding before I knew this information and going to do it anyway. What do you all think? Never had communication problems before so not gonna let this get to me though I have had people tell me to make it after the cycle ended.

Emry, what is your

Emry, what is your astrological sign?

You need to look at which

You need to look at which house Mercury falls in your astrological chart plus your betrothed's astrological chart to see how the retrograde period will affect you. If I were you, I'd also have a professional astrologer review your wedding date to see if you've picked a day with good planetart aspects. October 3 means that Mercury will retrograde in Libra at this time - the sign of partnerships. You may have delays or changes regarding your wedding planning, etc but since I can't see your chart, I can't help you further.

Life goes on even when Mercury is in retrograde.

I have had my life spin in

I have had my life spin in circles due to retros.

You ought to think twice about scheduling your nuptuals. Twenty years later you may
end up with the Big D!

What a horrible thing to say

What a horrible thing to say to a complete stranger. First of all, getting married during a MR is NO WAY related to the actual relationship.
Secondly, the thing that MAY go wrong is NOT her marriage due to MR, but the actual ceremony itself. MR is not "bad luck", but rather an appearance of time being "out of reach". Travel plans interrupted, the ceremony official suddenly backing out, hotel reservations get lost, etc.

Stop the madness.

Exactly right. Do all the

Exactly right. Do all the planning and scheduling before MR and things should be fine. Maybe some travel SNAFU's, or the minister may stumble over some words, but the relationship is unaffected by the ME.

Shame in y'all for saying the relationship will fail.

Retrogrades are a good period

Retrogrades are a good period for growth too! I agree...not bad luck! Just expect that there could be delays. I think people mess themselves up worrying too much during these periods...way more than what the retrograde itself actually does.

In my study and experience,

In my study and experience, you should be fine. The engagement is a contract made prior. It's okay to do contracts with people you already know, or have had previous relationship. If it makes you really nervous, just remember to build in time for delays, and don't get rattled if something silly happens,like your dj at the reception forgets to plug something in on the sound check. :) And everyone can be forgetful on such a big day. Charge your phone, make a list of every thing you have to bring with on your special day. All will be Beautiful. Congrats!

Good for you. Well put.

Good for you. Well put.

My husband and I were married

My husband and I were married during a retrograde 14 years ago and we are still very happily married. While we've had some blowout fights over the years during retrogrades I wouldn't say cancel your wedding. Just make sure all your t's are crossed, i's are dotted and practice good communication skills.

Hi..... ? anything in

Hi..... ? anything in process prior to Mecury in Retro grade is usually ok to continue with. MR - is a time of completion, so if the Wedding plans or engagement were prior to MR... the Wedding would be a completion event.... your relationship was probably prior to MR - so I think this makes it ok.... :)

Blessings for both of you :)


Hi! I am most likely going to

Hi! I am most likely going to give birth during this retrograde period, and had the same reaction as you. My astrologer friend said "No worries! Just take a little extra time to troubleshoot all of the potentially frustrating scenarios, plan to deal with what IS within your limited control, and let go of the rest." A huge factor during Mercury retrograde is that energetically, a lot of folks are already expecting the worst, which can be a powerful key to manifestation. If you are already prepared for a few speed bumps, and keep your sense of humor, you'll roll through it relatively unscathed. (*just don't leave important details to that last minute window of time) ;-) And congrats!

I was born with mercury

I was born with mercury retrograde as we're my children. There are no worries. People w mercury retrograde tend to be easily distracted during retrograde periods. "Flakey", but in a pleasant way. They are generally intelligent n intuitive. Delivery may be delayed, doctor not on time (I had that happen)or some other minor irritation, but u n baby will be fine :)

Just read about it and work

Just read about it and work with the suggestions that is given. Talk to your soon to be husband and tell him that you need to keep communications opened and that Mercury in Retrograde will be past and all will get better. Communicate with each other nothing is more important

Best to wait and best wishes

Best to wait and best wishes to you : ))

U can get married before it

U can get married before it goes retrograde in a little ceremony in front of a judge; then u do ur dream wedding in October as planned.

I read it too late and ended

I read it too late and ended up calling mine off. It was supposed to be May 30th. Everything went upside down here.

My husband and I have been

My husband and I have been married for just a little 3 years. We were happy as we every could be, had our small minor argumetns like every couple would. Randomly towards the end of december and the first week of January he went on a rage for divorce and has filed. We NEVER had the divorce talk every in our 3 years of marriage. there were no red flags or anything. i told him he should have communicated better and he admit yes he should have, but is still insistent on the divorce. As silly as it maybe, could the MR, make him re-evaluate his entire situation?

we got married religious

we got married religious ceremony on nov 14,2011 but then did a legal court marriage nov 25th,2011 during MR in 2011 . :( just makes me think a lot now

Astrology is extremely

Astrology is extremely complex. MR always intensifies whatever is happening. But a main characteristic of MR is that whatever's going on will be short-lived. This is why astrology warns not to make life-changing agreements during MR. Example: never marry, start a new job, buy a house or any major purchase during MR bc either it won't last or it will be entangled. Hope it helps.

This sounds more like

This sounds more like transiting Uranus hitting something in his chart or your composite chart. Uranus transits are notorious for divorce filings.

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My wife and I met on Labor

My wife and I met on Labor Day Monday 2012 and married in January 2013. We are both in our late 40's and married twice before but this time it was completely different for both of us. We were inseparable but over time, she began to obssess on small communication issues between us (which are normal for 2 people who know each other so briefly). Yet it seemed like she couldn't help herself and came to the point where she wanted us to split, which we did...on Labor Day Monday of THIS year. I am completely devastated and KNOW she is making a huge mistake.

MY QUESTION: Could something like this that happened without MR, be "healed" during MR??

My boyfriend of 5 years just

My boyfriend of 5 years just up and left us and is on a plane today coming back from another state after visiting his ex girlfriend he left me and his 2 year old son. He went to stay with her since Thursday night.
I am virgo with Gemini and he is Gemini with either virgo or leo I cant remember but this last week has been a very jealous one for me I know he will try to reconcile once he gets back but I am so hurt I dont know what or why he would go visit her when our relationship isnt over.
Does this MR have a lot to do with it? He moved out a while back but only comes around when he wants then I find this out...
I just want my family back together but still I just dont know if I can forgive him for leaving us to be wit her its considered cheating to me :/

First of all, he is your

First of all, he is your 'boyfriend' for 5 years??????!! That should tell you something right there, he is NOT GOING TO MARRY YOU. Then he's in and out, went to visit his ex girlfriend?? Come on, get real. Are you kidding me? Please wake up. You are a Virgo, use your intuition, leave this looser, make him pay up his child support or what ever, but stop wasting your time and emotions on this jerk.

Right on Twelve!

Right on Twelve!

Amen Twelve! What is it? I

Amen Twelve! What is it? I know 3 Virgos in similar situations who are convinced that they don't deserve any better. YOU DO! Let him go, the faster and the farther the better.

You both need more

You both need more spirituality in your life, it's not godly and he is disloyal. very hurtful and this other person is probably keeping in touch too, I would put a binding spell on her, not to hurt her, but for her to leave you and your family alone.. surround you and your boyfriend in the light and ask for protection.. be blessed and good luck.

Luisa, Mercury Retrograde has

Luisa, Mercury Retrograde has nothing to do with his irresponsibility and his inability to commit to you and your family. MR seems to affect communications etc., but if he is a jerk, he is a jerk.

He probably comes back from his girlfriend's house when they have had an argument and he returns to have sex with you to assure himself that he is still "the man."

Tell him to get lost and not return. You are FAR better off without him. You want someone who thinks you are wonderful and that your son is a great kid, not some loser who is going to teach your son by example, how to treat women (you).

I just want to let Sharon

I just want to let Sharon know, "What a great answer to such a common problem with so many men disrespecting women!!!" Sometimes when you find a good man, you just can't believe it. Thanks for being so right on. I certainly hope your comments to the damsel in distress heeds this knowledge.