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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This is the 2nd of a ten day

This is the 2nd of a ten day lunar cycle that has all gates open across the realms. One should hang ten in meditation and us the energy and opportunities to evolve. !)

I lost primary custody I my

I lost primary custody I my children during this retrograde, does this mean if I continue to pursue custody I have a chance of accomplishing shared custody again?

Only if it doesn't mean

Only if it doesn't mean trying to negoiate during another mercury in retrograde. Tensions rise, and things can become final during these phases.

There is a possibilty but a

There is a possibilty but a higher self action is to consistently, peacefully and lovingly remain in contact with your children esp on important dates. Their love and connection to you can not be severed by the courts. Only you can maintain this parental connection by doing the above, and continuing to work on yourself and your life to prove the courts etc you are the person who desserves shared custody. Blessngs to you.

My friend passed during this

My friend passed during this retrograde; she was only 34... Does this mean she will come back again or will her soul be freed?

No, when she passed her soul

No, when she passed her soul was released from the body. Therefore mercury being retrograde can no longer have any effect on her. However, it actually goes to show how Mercury retrograde can affect our lives, causing miscommunications abound. It basically means that you will remember your past with this friend, more vividly and that she actually meant more to you than you realized. Once Mercury goes direct, you will be able to move forward and let the past go, more readily and easily.

I have been in silence with

I have been in silence with my boyfriend for the last month...I don't know what happened or why we stopped communicating...yet he seems to post things on FB to get my attention and songs that he misses me. So is this going to work itself out? I can't keep chasing him, I always make the attempt . How do I handle this..during this time? He is a Gemini I'm a Leo. He shuts down and won't tell me why when he is mad about something.

It has been awkward between

It has been awkward between me and my bf too, not saying very much to eachother... Drawn out, Awkward moments of silence... I am glad I found this page to help explain why. I haven't been feeling the love lately, and I don't like it :( I am hoping things will improve soon!!!!!! Good luck to you ! We'll get through this...

Cherry Pie... We hate to

Cherry Pie... We hate to break it to you and bless your sweet heart,.. but I doubt he is truly your boyfriend if you have not talked to him in the past month. Please someone who you cant connect with on a deeper and intimate level... perhaps a virgo?

Gemini and Leo geton for a

Gemini and Leo geton for a while, but in the end faithful Leo will get the other twin, and that ain't good.

Rule number one. If you chase

Rule number one. If you chase someone or something, they/it runs! Don't chase him! If he wants you, he knows where to find you. ((hugs))

I am scheduled for surgery

I am scheduled for surgery on my knee July 16. I have had 2 previous surgeries on this knee. The first of which was in the beginning of a previous retrograde and the surgery was a failure.

In a sense this is hopefully the resolution of a long standing problem - and late retrogrades can be good for that....or at least I hope...

MR is a perfect time to go

MR is a perfect time to go back and revise something done in a prior MR that didn't work right. My dad, at 84, broke his hip in a MR, had surgery and a miserable recovery in hospital, rehab and nursing home, full of medication errors and miscommunication between me and medical staff. His continued post-surgical pain for 1.5 years required a revisionary surgery, which was also during MR. I was terrified. Surgery was a breeze, went faster than surgeon expected, healed quickly and completely. Dad is now almost 88. Still has some pain and leg weakness, but from a surgical perspective, it's great.

Be calm, drink lots of water and get really excellent nutrition. This surgery should be great for you.

I'm going to sleep for the

I'm going to sleep for the next 30 days......

Help! I start a new job on

Help! I start a new job on 7/15/13......the area where I live jobs are limited so I can't postpone my start date AND I would like to stay with this company for a while! Geeesh plus my birthday is during this retrograde 7/ moon & asc are both in Sag

You should not postpone your

You should not postpone your job. Just practice some meditation to clear your mind, every morning and night. Then just remember that this will pass soon, and mercury retrograde is just an illusion. It just appears to be going backwards... the mind is a terrible thing to waste and it is quite powerful enough to go slowly and make check lists, and just be aware that miscommunications and other misplacings can happen and they are natural :) Good Luck !

I have come to understand and

I have come to understand and realize :
"I can be hurt by nothing but my thoughts" and " I can change my thoughts". This is from the studies of Atonement.
Therefore the answers to many questions can be found by listening and asking your heart brain what to do.
This daily practice will help One ,become more aware of their inner strengths to kick out the ego
speaking of fear and failure. Then EGO feeds off the negative thoughts manifested in our head brain. Think with ones heart brain and all that is good or is meant to be will follow. We are each perfect the way we were made. Kick out the negative .

What a wonderfully insightful

What a wonderfully insightful post. Thank you for your perspective. Not only do I whole heartedly agree, I plan to put this into action in my own life. Cheers!

I received a job offer and

I received a job offer and have already been to a few ice-breakers with the new team and training sessions. I don't sign the contract however, until July 18th. Am I doomed? I have already booked the vacation day and the appointment is scheduled. Advice?

Valerie G. I consider myself

Valerie G.

I consider myself to be a "student of astrology". About your "contract" - I would delay signing it until after July 20th, when Mercury goes direct. But use this time (now) to review the contract, assess its merits, its objectives and HONESTY (most important of all). Contracts should protect both parties, all parties. Not be one sided. I wish you blessings and prosperity in your new endeavor!

I had 2 experiences with a

I had 2 experiences with a job and retrograde. Whether I signed the contract later or not, I still BEGAN getting the job during the retrograde and NEITHER of them worked out well. I lost them both within months. I interviewed and was accepted for one before the retrograde, and they opened the club DURING the retrograde. The gym has been doing VERY poorly since and I have left because they haven't paid me even once on time.
The other was similar, I was getting jipped with money and the owner was a total disgusting person, so I left there too.
Good luck. It all works out for the best though. So don't fret. Mercury retrograde=Re-write, Re-view, Re-do, RELAX!

I decided to start doing

I decided to start doing affirmations for this retrograde. I have used them in the past and got wonderful results.

I am concerned after reading

I am concerned after reading the comments about surgery. Earlier this month, June, I was scheduled for lasik eye surgery in July. I am just realizing it is during MR. Any insights would be greatly appreciated!

Hi Pattyann, I recommend an

Hi Pattyann,

I recommend an article of the late Howard Sasportas where he rapported a similar personal issue. The book title....? I will let you know at short. Problably it will clear the sky a lot more for you!

Best regards,
Paul Rietman, The Netherlands

Hi, PattyAnn, Seeing that you

Hi, PattyAnn,

Seeing that you need those eyes and they would be hard to get fixed, I would postpone any surgery unless life threatening during Mercury retrograde period.

I have a closing on a house

I have a closing on a house 07/11/13, and I was wondering if anything, it is okay during MR Thank you CB

being a landlord myself I

being a landlord myself I know time is of the essence get a couple red candles the glass ones with your 7 days dress them with Mercury oil keep one burning all the way through a retrograde. double check all your paperwork and don't take any detail for granted

That sounds like a good way

That sounds like a good way to burn the property down. Then you won't have to worry about your tenant anymore.

Or, you could just read each

Or, you could just read each thing very carefully and also expect obstacles or snafus. It's hard to tell - were you born with Mercury Retrograde like me? If so, then you dont' feel the effects nearly as much and also, what is your rising sign? That will determine what house Mercury is in when it turns retrograde at 22 Cancer. Be very careful though - make sure you know every single thing about the house you are buying before signing those papers. Seldom does "something hidden" not come up after mercury goes direct.

Well what happened?

Well what happened?