Do You Believe in Mercury Retrograde? If Not ... What's Wrong With Me?

7 years ago

I was almost done with this post a couple of weeks ago.

But then my computer crashed.


Since December 10, my

  • computer has seen the Blue Screen of Doom twice;
  • computer shut down for no reason twice;
  • mouse died;
  • router died;
  • computer desk collapsed;
  • phone started generating phantom emails mashed up from other emails which were kind of creepy;
  • power went out in my house (I live in San Francisco -- my power NEVER goes out).

I've been obsessively scanning my computer for nearly a month, looking for any sort of breach. Nothing. Nothing. And I don't think a virus would affect my computer desk or my home power …

It must be Mercury retrograde.

What's Mercury Retrograde?

Mercury "goes retrograde" when it appears -- from our viewpoint here on Planet Earth -- to be moving backwards. Since Mercury is the planet of communication and mental abilities, lots of people believe, as AstroStar puts it, that "computer glitches and communications foul-ups are much more likely to occur during the time that Mercury’s motion is retrograde than at other times."

According to,

Mercury is the planet of communication -- the process of getting messages out and about. This is why the main things that are impacted during Mercury retrograde periods are things like:

  • Appointment times
  • Travel times & arrangements
  • Computers, phones & other electronic devices
  • Getting to & from places
  • Contracts and other documents

Mercury usually goes retrograde three times a year, but in 2010 the stars threw in a fourth spin one for free.


This last cycle started December 10 and ends today. And so maybe it's NOT just me. After all, since December 10, Gawker was hacked, Facebook was buggy … it's been a messy time for computer stuff. And then there's the whole holiday/weather travel snafu. As The Bodhi Chicklet haikued last year:

Crap hitting the fan
Mercury in retrograde
Can you say, "Uncle"?

Is Mercury Retrograde BS?

Well, Rachel Maddow referenced it about a year ago to explain some weird goings-on:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

On the other hand, New York Times writer Andy Newman broke it down scientifically, aligning Mercury's phases with instances of travel and computer snafus and concluding it was random.

Whatever. Some people are so sanctimonious with their "science this" and "science that." But then there are also some astrologers who say we have Mercury retrograde all wrong:

Like Kimberly Carson at, who tells us definitely,

Mercury in its retrograde phase is not responsible for computer malfunctions, lost luggage, invalid documents, or any other snafus that are attributable to this astrological transit. If this were true, it would be universally true. All luggages would be lost. All computers would get glitches.

Carson goes on to ascribe the popularity of Mercury retrograde very realistically, for an astrologer: "My notion is that once well-meaning astrologers began looking for a piece of the fame and power pie because forecasting is a lucrative business."

Bloggers on Mercury Retrograde

  • Astrosandy writes, "Since Mercury Retrograde can often cause confusion, misunderstandings, snafus – my suggestion is to rethink, re plan, revisit communications that are business and/or responsibility related. Are there any “being in charge” details that need to be looked at again, points sharpened, thoughts explained more clearly. Tighten up a resume, go over job interview skills, review details of any scheduled appointments. (Catch an error and “save face”.)
  • Lynn Hayes on Beliefnet has a roundup of tech glitches this month.
  • The Modchick says good-bye to Mercury Retrograde today.

If Not Mercury Retrograde, Then WTF?

There's a part of me that finds it easy to ascribe all my woes to the planets. When I know Mercury's misbehaving, I notice every little thing that goes wrong technologically, because it's in the stars. Of course, that would mean I have to stop my whining -- and my computer issues would have to vanish -- as of today. If I can stay online ... I'll keep you posted.

So, are you a believer in Mercury retrograde? Or is it a lot of bushwa?

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