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.


The Old Farmer's Almanac


Reader Comments

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Mercury Retrograde

I am a believer. I worked in Marketing and Communications for many years doing very detailed work and extra caution is needed during this time. I have sat in business meetings and claimed "Mercury Retrograde" in my own defense.

Mercury retrograde

Mercury is seruisly messing with me I feel so weird

Beautiful Mercury!

I don't buy any of the Mercury Retrograde stuff, but the picture of Mercury on this blog is absolutely beautiful!! With the exception of Earth, which sustains life for us all, I believe Mercury to be the most beautiful of planets!

All I want is time and date (time during the day

When Mercury goes retrograde time EDT and when time of day that mercury stations to go direct time of day EDT. I don't believe I'm asking too much. Why folks got to be so superfluous and show off but skip over basic information? I had one last nerve and it getting on it. Just keep simple please.

Buying a home during Mercury Retrograde

If you plan to close on a home, during a retrograde, you must cross your tee's and dot your i's. That means have the home inspected by someone that has no dog in the fight, and that doesn't know the realtor. Have it inspected the day of the closing, to make sure everything has been done, that the seller said would be done. If it is not done, postpone the signing date, or have the seller subtract the amount from the sale of the home and give you the monies as a check, or cash? Also, don't waive anything that should be done before you buy, just to save the money. So make sure you get the survey of the property, before you buy.

Buying a house during Mercury Retrograde

Hi, we are trying to buy a house 15 hours away. We have not yet signed the contracts. What do we need to do during Mercury Retrograde to protect ourselves and perhaps our biggest investment?

Starting a new job?

Is it OK to start a new job under mercury retrograde? All the paperwork is being completed in normal time - what precautions should I heed if I do start a new job under mercury retrograde.

New job

The Editors's picture

First of all, congratulations on your new job! As to starting a job when Mercury is retrograde, astrologers vary in their advice. Our take is, if one has the good fortune, skills, and talents to be offered a new job, it’s natural for that new employee to want to get off to a great start with the employer. According to some astrologers, when Mercury is retrograde, things might be a little more fluid as to changes, delays, etc. If one allows for these possible surprises or setbacks (normally there are a few anyway when learning a new job), focuses on the needs of supervisors and listens to coworkers, and does the best one can to learn–and enjoy!–the new position, things likely will work out fine. Remember that the times when Mercury is retrograde are temporary–many jobs last much longer than these off times. A little extra patience and positivity, as well as a focus on clear communication–plus some fun during off hours to de-stress!–can help during these periods. Good luck, and we wish you all the best!

2021 Mercury Retrograde

Let's see. The car battery died. The muffler needed to be replaced immediately after. They had problems getting parts. No car for four days.
A tooth finally bit the dust and will have to be pulled.
Communication misunderstandings. Delays with shipping. Data not being updated in a timely manner.

I want to hide. I hope September's retrograde won't be as bad as this one.

I Heart Mercury Retrograde

OK I must admit I have trouble undestanding how anyone couldn't LOVE Mercury Retrograde. The Creator who made the Planets surely put them all in motion, for reasons perhaps sometimes beyond our understanding. We're living in the space age and I hope others can detach and look at this scientifically. I find Retrograde is the best time to record albums with my band, to sell concert t-shirts and tickets; also to rehearse, to Read intensely (even Scripture or Classic Greek and Roman Literature), to re-paint, to renew one's own personal spirituality, to communicate with old friends. Honestly since I've known about it, i DO feel a little different when I know we're in a "Retro" phase. I just look forward to it so much 'cause I think it's some kind of special gift from the Creator. I would caution, though, be careful going on space flights at these times and double-check your geometry. (a little joke, but Virgin, SpaceX, etc are really flying now, why not!!)

mercury retrogrades

During a mercury retrograde of last year, we had a hot plate set on a clock. It turned on at an unexpected time and there was a wool blanket inside. I had to call the fire department and they extinguished the fire. During the first retrograde this year, I was rejected by someone I spoke to for the first time on Christmas day. This time I already knew of the term, so I looked up on the internet to discover I was in it. Now here it is again...:)

Mercury Retrograde-Jan 30-Feb 20, 2021

During this one, I noticed something now about the 20th. Without being a ware that it was a Mercury retrograde, I forgot that a phone call I got on Jan 31st had happened and I didn't remember to return it until Feb 20! It was from a person from long ago who I hadn't seen for 29 years!

Mercury Retrograde 2021 January 30th - Ferbruary 21st

We have an offer pending that we will have to sign during Mercury Retrograde. My husband is Pisces and I am Capricorn. Is this a good idea or not?

Mercury Retrograde

OMG.... I learned of this from my daughter a while back, as she is a Yogi and is into astrology. I heard my roommates, both men, talking about how tired and fatigued they have been lately. Actually, I’ve heard it a LOT. Complaints of fatigue, forgetful, feelings of heaviness, brain fog, and more. When one of my roommates came to me and started discussing this fatigue, I said, “hold on a sec, let me check something out”, came to this site and even to MY amazement, found that, in fact, Mercury had gone retrograde last week! This was powerful for me! Not only were my suspicions affirmed, but on a reputable site! Now that I know, I can adjust and plan accordingly!

Mercury Retrograde.

I've been a Holistic Practitioner for more than twenty-five years (and have a many years ago background as an astrologer). With natal retrogrades, usually Merc R doesn't hit me, yet this time "back-up" DVR worked to playback one disk, then WON'T eject the disk; my universal remote can't be programmed to work with two pieces of equipment, and my pain meds doctor (though the radiographic clinic and I have sent documents to her on THREE occasions) has not "gotten around" to forwarding my Rx to the pharmacy. WTH is happening?!! All I can think of are the multiple Merc retrogrades this year!!

Mercury retrograde

Hi. Really happy to say that your article is very useful to me. I am fond of astrology and often read my horoscope. Any astrologer knows that in the retrograde period of the movement of Mercury, it makes no sense to start new business and projects, organize deals, meet people and move somewhere.

Mercury Retrograde

I'm a virgo and I lost my job on 2/28/2020 and it was awful. Me and my supervisor was very kool and etc and she let me go. Im hurt behind this.

Dreadful will the moffo ever end?

Endless nightmare this one. Super hard communication in retail, lots of asshole energy. Huge love heartbreak on Valentine’s etc. Luckily only two days left... god, I do hate Mercury retro— the devil’s for real.


I am a Virgo and I temporarily lost my job exactly on the 17 , when the retrograde has just started escape from the punishment.
there must be some kind of trouble that traumatizes my poor soul.


The turntable in my micro still turns around and around when I open the door! It's not suppose to do that. Started doing it today.

Mercury Retrograde Airline Reservations and More

I decided to take a vacation. I booked a room on Maui and booked a flight. I found a someone to rent my house while I was away. The next day, my fridge broke, my toilet broke, and my car wouldn't start! I scrambled to repair everything. Then, when I went to check in for my flight, Southwest Airlines told me it had been booked for two days prior, and I had lost my money! So, my house is rented out, and I have no flight!


I'm a graduate student. Not only did my advisor threaten to throw me out on the same day that one of my professors emailed me saying it's clear I'm struggling, things with my crush have been horrid. Got a tax bill for the state which I used to live in AFTER HAVING THE SAME THING HAPPEN A FEW MONTHS AGO AND IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE RESOLVED -_- I feel like the whole universe is ganging up to teach me a lesson currently.

Mercury Retrograde

On an Amtrak train since 9:51pm yesterday. Was supposed to be in Orlando four hours ago. Last night the train was at a dead standstill for five hours due to trees on the tracks. Today, we struck a glancing blow to a truck that tried to shoot the crossing gates as they were lowering. Over six hours late now.

Mercury Retrograde and the Bank

This happened several years ago. I paid back a friend and wrote her a check for one hundred twenty dollars. The bank misread it and deposited six hundred twenty dollars into her checking account! She told me there was a problem with her account and the bank told her to leave it alone till they figured it out. Meanwhile I went to the ATM and attempted a withdrawl. I couldn't do it as there was no money in my account! When I told my friend what happened, we realized the extra five hundred sitting in her account was MY money. It took a few days but it got fixed. When the bank processes checks, I've had tellers tell me they ALWAYS read what is written out and not the dollar amount. My friend and I analyzed my cancelled check and at first glance, the dollar amount DOES look more like 620 and not 120. But if they had actually read what was written out they would have seen that it clearly said one hundred twenty dollars and no cents!

Mercury Retrograde is real!

March of 2018 and March 2019 I broke my leg - the same leg during Mercury retrograde. Freak accidents. For those who do not believe, believe, especially if your sign rules in Mercury like Gemini or Virgo. Mercury retrograde can have effect on others depending on which sign the retrograde falls under. Computers glitch. Payments or purchase orders may be delayed or not recorded or recorded incorrectly. Relationships can be turbulent because of miscommunications and misunderstandings, especially if the relationships started in a previous retrograde, they can end suddenly without warning. Exes or romantic prospects can appear out of thin air and or vanish once the retrograde is over. Never change jobs during Mercury retrograde because there is a possibility that the change can be short lived. Travel only if necessary but have a list of what you are packing and check it twice. Have room in your schedule for delays. Do not move, get married, divorced, buy a business, house or new car or any large purchase during the retrograde. Also, do not get any planned surgery or physically altering procedure or hairstyle change that cannot be undone.
You can make plans, then wait until after Mercury goes direct.


I do not believe retrograde. Until I read this article I would never known about any of this. So keep in mind you are what you read. Life is good, what happens, happens. But tomorrow really is just another day. It might be sunny, or raining but you either go to work or not. Life it's what we live for.

End of Oct. Retrograde Blues

Towards the middle of this retrograde, I began to subconsciously immerse myself in it and learn from all the lessons its brought my way. For a second, I forgot it was retrograde and began to just go with the jarring, "backwards" nature of this period of time. I found myself going into hermit mode & analyzing a lot of the things I've been going through (perhaps this is an intentional element of the retrograde). However, coming back to the realization that it in fact is retrograde, I'm thankful for it slowing me down & making me go over the little details. This, in conjunction with Scorpio season, has forced a death & rebirth in some aspect.

Mercury Retrograde

I found myself not being able to "land" on a focus for my day today... and suddenly I wondered if Mercury were in retrograde. I googled and found this! and yes, retrograde begins tomorrow...!!! Thanks for being online - so that I could re-member my sensitivity to Mercury Retrograde, and take things a little easier.


I can't say this has been the absolute worst but it's been very unpleasant ~ an unsettled sense of being out of sync with myself, disturbing dreams, not wanting to leave my house. Externally, a chat group in which I participate, got their knickers in a twist over pretty much everything I wrote. One person seemed totally unable to understand simple sentences and refused to own her mistakes. Fortunately, none of the group are important in my life, they're just on the periphery. On the up side, it has been excellent practice in seeing what matters and discarding the rest. It is very empowering to ignore people who are seeking conflict.

July retrograd 2019

Tracked Mercury retrogrades since 1985. This is one of the worst ever. 115 degrees here. Computer battery died. One AC broke last week, the other today. First AC contractor broke my door lock then denied it and won't pay.. $150. Door repair expert didn't come for almost a week. Home warranty company has now offshored customer service to Asia, all by script, no one thinking, so for the first time in 19 yrs says I cannot choose the AC contractor, they will assign one. The one I want shows not on their list but has been for years. Will have to call the contractor and tell them to correct home warranty company records. Knee injury...danced all my life with NO knee problems. Deal closing keeps being delayed 3 weeks. I could go on but you get the idea.....the Mars influence in this one is tough...physical things breaking and conflict. Luckily I have positive communication skills professionally so have avoided conflict except with contractor and home warranty company, with whom I have been very firm but not rudely angry. I too have not wanted to go out to buy food, finally had to. Counting down until lst of August, but remember we have the shadow period which tails off for 2 more weeks, heaven help us all!