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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Darlin as a gemini you always

Darlin as a gemini you always need to keep an eye on your twin brother or sister. Watch for crazy making when merc goes rx in oct-nov. Accept what happened under the covers. It is what it is. Kathi

Identifying with certain

Identifying with certain blogs and interested to reach out.

This blog shined a brighter

This blog shined a brighter light on my life. Me always having to keep a an eye on my twin sister. Be the voice of reason. Curious about the sheet situation.... we'll certainly see soon enough.

Intuition is high during

Intuition is high during these retro periods, and coincidences can be extraordinary, but it is the Sun which is the problem. It is sending out incredible flares. These will mess with life here on Earth far more then the tiny mud ball millions of miles from Earth and just a wee bit larger than our Moon. One more year in this cycle. Have fun.

February 23–March 17: Went

February 23–March 17: Went back to Nebraska to visit my 80 year old grandma. The 2nd day of my visit we rushed her to the ER with abdominal pain and, a few days later, learned that she had pancreatic cancer.

June 26–July 20: After taking care of my grandma during her first round of chemo, I returned to Arizona for a breather. My cat jumped at the window to swat at a bird, landed funny, and within minutes had a terribly swollen hind leg. After taking Xrays and performing other diagnostic tests we found that she had landed on a malignant tumor and it had burst, causing the swelling. Had she not landed funny we may never have known about the cancer until she was too sick and weak to go on. Coincidence? As they could not remove the cancer, we had to put our girl to sleep.

I look forward to things evening out for awhile.

My wife left me during all of

My wife left me during all of this mercury retrogade and I was reading that because we may get back together. can you tell me if this is happening do to the retrograde?

You are smart to question the

You are smart to question the atmosphere now! Only the spirit and soul knows the outcome. You two will sort this out once mercury rx leaves the dead zone. You and your wife may have trust issues for now. She is unhappy with herself. Not you! Her stability needs to be in question.

I'd look into transits more

I'd look into transits more than retrograde. Most disputes or no communications is due to the transits in someone's astrological chart.

My ex and I hadn't been on

My ex and I hadn't been on talking terms since february. I started talking to him on june 1st, but he was hardly responsive and dismiSive until recently- late june! The communication is great now and we - actually I won't jinx anythig by talking :) this one retrogade has worked out for me!
He's pisces and I'm a gemini

i am a taurus woman im with a

i am a taurus woman im with a capricorn man he is married...weve been together since 2005,now i am planning to buy a house this this the good time to buy...

So, your having an affair

So, your having an affair with a married man and you want to know if it's a good time to buy a house? I think you should be asking some very different questions IMO..

Seriously......your big

Seriously......your big question is whether this is a good time to buy a house when you are with a married man? OMFG.

Good girl for sharing your

Good girl for sharing your relationship. Many folks dont understand the dilema of being a very good person yet having a most debilitating situation to the statis quo. Buy the house! But not during mercury rx. The house is for your soul and spirit. This is for u! You know the rules of a mistress by now. The house is a comfort zone. Go for it! Hugs. Kathi

Thank you so much for sharing

Thank you so much for sharing your comments,its not easy for me to have this situation,actually i need advice,this house is for me.

when is the mercury rx?thanks

when is the mercury rx?thanks kathi.hug and kisses

Yes! It is a great time for a

Yes! It is a great time for a taurus woman who is with a capricorn married man to buy a home. But only if you have 8 dogs and 8 cats, if you don't, you simply must get 8 puppies and 8 kittens first, or you'll be sorry.

thank you i will do your

thank you i will do your advice...

???? What the hell does the 8

???? What the hell does the 8 cats or 8 dogs have to do with it???? I would break up with someone if they had that many!! That was CRAZY advice!!

I want to know what is the

I want to know what is the meaning of this kittens and puppies? Thanks

Is he married to you? Are you

Is he married to you? Are you married to him?

That is what I'm thinking.she

That is what I'm thinking.she isn't married to him and he will have her waiting forever!! everever, everever!! Like all Capricorn men do!

Right now would be a good

Right now would be a good time to buy..but please read about Oct 21'st retrograde..You need to avoid that Uranus in the 4th house. It's more about the date you move into the property ..there is so much more going on there.

so I am about to have a baby,

so I am about to have a baby, my boyfriend and I are about to close on a house and our car broke down beyond all repair. we have to buy and new car, sign our housing contract and welcome our lil bundle of joy all during Mercury retrograde... is there any hope for this all to work out okay??

Yes! These are sure signs

Yes! These are sure signs that this retrograde is a time of new beginnings for you. Enjoy!

With or without Mercury Rx,

With or without Mercury Rx, never, ever buy a car or any other large item when you are purchasing a home!! You must wait until after the house deal is completed before purchasing other items that are financed. If you purchase the car before the house deal is done, it will change your approval status with the mortgage company. Your mortgage approval was determined on your credit and repayment ability, prior to having an additional monthly payment for a car. The mortgage company could cancel your loan approval or charge you higher interest. Wait to buy the car!

I am Pisces and Mercury in

I am Pisces and Mercury in retrograde has really negatively affected me in the past. I need to sign a legal document and I may miss a deadline if I wait until July 21st.

Do I have to wait or is it just during the direct phase that legal documents cannot be signed?

I would wait...Pisces.

I would wait...Pisces.

I am also a pisces and I hate

I am also a pisces and I hate mercury retrograde BUT, I hope this time its a good thing.

Sometimes you just have to

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and continue on with life. Unfortunately, somethings - such as legal documents- cannot wait; if you have to sign 'em then sign 'em but expect delays and/or having to go back on them for changes. For example, It might just turn out that something (thats out of your control) goes wrong when they are being processed that causes a delay - maybe someone misplaced them, the signature was in the wrong spot, someone forgot to sign a line, etc.. causing you to have to sign them all over again or something to that effect. If that were to happen, it could buy you more time to get through the retrograde and face them again when its over. This has happened to me lots of times during Mercury RX.. expect the unexpected and always triple check everything important.

When you have the Sun,

When you have the Sun, Rising, Venus, AND Mercury all in Virgo then you can complain. until then.. just thank God or whoever you worship that you don't. Complaining is Virgos number one speciality by the way...