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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Don't sign any contracts!!!

Don't sign any contracts!!! AND be really careful you don't hurt yourself on the equipment.

Two monthly horoscope guides

Two monthly horoscope guides have July 19 as good day to sign a contract, during next MR.
I have a house closing scheduled for that day, what wins out? Both horoscope guides list same date 7/19 which doesn't often happen they agree, MR ends 7/20.

Better not to have surgery

Better not to have surgery when the moon is in scorpio if you have a choice. ditto for mercury retrograde.

I do not expect anything

I do not expect anything furing MR I roll with it, work with the Trickster Gods and enjoy new adventures. In my head that is xD.

I got a job offer before MR,

I got a job offer before MR, however started the job during it. I'm having a lot of problems with my boss, it's almost like she hates me. I'm wondering if this will get better. Ugh

I am wondering what influence

I am wondering what influence the election of a new Pope and the Conclave has during retrograde Mercury. I feel this bears watching very closely and is significant for millions of Catholic followers as well as the world news. Could 1978 repeat itself again or will the Church's “Sexual Scandal” rear its ugly head again. This unusual timing (retrograde Mercury) will have far flung effects on many areas of the election process via the spoken and written word (the casting of ballots). I wonder if any other recent Conclaves were done during retrograde Mercury. Certainly would be interesting to research this information!!

Well right before the new

Well right before the new pope was told to us a lone bird lit near the area an omen of who would be selected and did we get, St Francis of Assissi

my bike was stolen during

my bike was stolen during this March 2013 Mercury Retrograde ... I rode it to University 25k there and back again everyday ... now I'm unable to ...

Mercury retro affects people

Mercury retro affects people differently depending on their signs and charts. Some people seem to go unscathed through a Mercury retro while others like me accumulate delays, unusual incidents, coincidences and obstacles that completely drain all my energy. I have tried all sorts of things to make this period as smooth as possible but as I cannot control other people's actions and needs, I simply cannot avoid Mercury retro's effects.
Things I would not do during a mercury retro are signing important contracts, launch an event, have surgery or medical exams, business travels, purchase equipment especially IT equipment. Things I would definitely do are meeting up with long lost friends, work on tasks and things I have not completed yet and that are long overdue.

I was wondering if I should

I was wondering if I should buy my paralyzed dog a wheelchair during mercury retrograde. She's been slowly going paralyzed for the last year, but has been confined to just sitting on the soda for the last 3 months, as her disease progressed. I would love to make her mobile again. I think she would be a lot happier too, but I don't want it to fail. It is new, it is transportation I guess. However it is helping her with an old problem. So I'm confused if it will work or not during a MR. Thanks.


Jeepers...expect transportation problems and communication problems...might be better to wait, so she understands better that this is not a half-cage. Is she otherwise fit? Is she in pain when she moves? Might be kinder to put her down and let her spirit find a new puppy body to live in. I'm sorry for your situation.

Mercury retrograde is the

Mercury retrograde is the perfect time to do things starting with "re-". With a cart, your dog may re-learn how to move, re-discover the outside world, re-alize that you love her that much and re-new her vigor and attachment to life.

Killing her in the hope that next time around will be different overlooks the operation of purpose, or karma. She may well have to go through this again & again until she finds someone willing to help her on her journey through this interesting process of learning to move differently through the world. It would suck for her to have to repeat the painful and embarrassing parts until she can get help getting to the good part :) I bet you're the right person though. Best wishes to you both.

Hi Chris79. MR or not, I

Hi Chris79. MR or not, I would definitely go straight away and get the wheelchair! Of course you're afraid it might not work but you won't know until you get your poor dog the chair and see how she does.
I've had animals all my life and not once have I let MR stop me from getting one of my animals whatever they needed. How would you feel if you were her? "Hmm.... better not because Mercury is Retro and it might not work."
They have had such tremendous success with animals, not just dogs, and wheelchairs! Too much success to stop me from getting her what she needs! The animals who have been blessed enough to have people who love them enough to get them whatever it may take to improve the quality of their lives, MR or not, have seen their animals make tremendous comebacks and become very active, healthy and happy!!
Please don't put her down and hope for "next time"! If you're going to do that, please give her to PAWS or another non kill shelter where they will get her whatever it takes to improve her quality of life instead of killing her!! How would you feel if the situation were reversed and you were the pup?
They've even developed prosthetic legs for horses and have had tremendous success with those! Nowadays, a wheelchair for a dog is nothing! Even with MR. This is taking MR way too far!!

I am a Gemini. I have a job

I am a Gemini. I have a job interview during MR. Will it affect the outcome?

Maybe, maybe not. Just make

Maybe, maybe not. Just make sure you have plenty of time to get to the interview and that you are well prepared.

Everything went well, just

Everything went well, just waiting on a phone call!

Never never do the following

Never never do the following things during merc retrograde if you can help it:
1) Buy new electronics of any kind
2) Start major new ventures
3) SCHEDULE Surgery, esp. new surgery. If you are re-doing things including surgery, that could work.

If fate intervenes and you can't help/reschedule, then don't be surprised if the outcome is less than perfect. Good Luck!

Thanks for yur comment but I

Thanks for yur comment but I know some people who have had their best surgery under a Mercury retro. There are no divine rules that say that Mercury retro's surgery are a no no. It works well for some people

what if you were born under

what if you were born under Mercury Retrograde?
My bday is 2/24 and I was just wondering about if there's a double does of MR or if one is immune.
Thank you.

If you wree born under

If you wree born under Mercury retro, you will feel more at ease going through this period than others.

Yeah right!? I was born w/MR

Yeah right!? I was born w/MR and Always struggle through every MR! I lose cell phones, the whole bit! I appreciate knowing when Mercury retros are, however, and use it to my advantage to finish projects, clean, etc.

My Birthday is 12 /21/1942 3

My Birthday is 12 /21/1942 3 minutes to midnight Was I born on a date mercury was in Reto?

I have a lease I have to sign

I have a lease I have to sign march 2nd- I am concerned with mercury in retrograde. I cannot just not sign the lease because of theses dates of reto because I will not get the space I've been waiting for.

suggestions to being mindful of signing contacts during retrograde periods?

i felt a perfect flow of

i felt a perfect flow of energy for past two weeks but it seems to be melowing out i think because of mr. What should i do during this time stay productive and positive safely?

Is mercury retrograde a good

Is mercury retrograde a good time to do a backpacking trip during which I will be teaching meditation and connecting with spiritguides and nature
? Thanks!

don't go on any trips during

don't go on any trips during MR. you might meditate under an old tree and have a heavy branch fall on you. wait a week later to take your trip. good luck!

Actually, this is a great

Actually, this is a great time to travel! Just don't expect everything to go like clockwork. Expect delays, or changes and roll with it. While Mercury rules travel and communication, it also rules mentation and thinking. What we perceive is what we call reality. During MR, we just need to readjust how we perceive things. Best laid plans, and all that. So, unless you're really obsessive about having everything be perfect, go and have fun.

To Patricia03: Anything I

To Patricia03: Anything I have scheduled during a Mercury retrograde has been messed up.Vacations,financial deals,surgeries...I try to schedule things accordingly, but if I schedule without checking the dates, I have a mess.

what time zone to these days

what time zone to these days represent?

The dates represent Eastern

Catherine Boeckmann's picture

The dates represent Eastern Time U.S.