Mercury in Retrograde is on its way meaning three weeks of chaos

Beware! Mercury in Retrograde is on its way meaning three weeks of chaos from lost keys to family fallouts – and it starts on Brexit day

  • The Mercury in Retrograde period lasts from October 31 to November 20
  • Astrologer Yasmin Boland says there are ways to navigate the coming weeks
  • Astrology was the domain of the decidedly eccentric but is increasingly popular

If in the next few weeks you find everything going a bit haywire – you keep losing your keys, messing up at work or arguing with your loved ones – don’t blame the fast-approaching winter, economic instability or errant hormones. 

The real reason could lie in the heavens – in a strange alignment of the planets that millions around the world view with real foreboding.

The phenomenon is known as Mercury retrograde and, according to astrology fans, it’s when all planetary hell will be let loose – a black spot in the astrological calendar during which it is essential to lie low and avoid making any big decisions. 

Mercury in Retrograde is on its way meaning three weeks of chaos from lost keys to family fallouts – and it starts on Brexit day. Pictured: Mercury

Experts advise us to watch out for flight delays and missing luggage, unsigned contracts and broken gadgets and to beware a heightened risk of accidentally hitting ‘reply all’ on sensitive emails. 

And, unfortunately, the next Mercury retrograde is just around the corner. From October 31 (Brexit day, the day the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, by the way) to November 20, mischievous Mercury – a planet with the power to disrupt all our communications – is set to wreak havoc.

But before you despair, top British astrologer Yasmin Boland says there are easy ways to navigate the coming weeks and not only avoid disasters but actually harness the curious power of Mercury to change your life for the better…

So what actually is it?

So when Mercury, a planet that governs communication, transport and technology, appears to travel backwards through the heavens, this is a very serious business.

In fact, it is an optical illusion. Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and its orbit is shorter than Earth’s – a mere 88 days compared to our 365 days, which means that Mercury experiences four years in the time it takes us to complete one orbit of the Sun. 

And this produces an unusual visual effect through the telescope as Mercury appears to speed past Earth, slow down and then move in a backwards loop over a period of roughly three weeks – the phenomenon of Mercury retrograde (or Mercury in Retrograde, as it is often known).

An illusion or not, it’s hugely significant to astrology fans, who say that as Mercury appears to recede, the energy of the planet actually intensifies – with dire-sounding effects. 

Communication systems start to slow down. Gadgets malfunction, computers crash, emails fail to arrive or go unanswered.

Not so long ago astrology was the domain of the decidedly eccentric but now it’s got lots of people talking. Pictured: Cosmic clouds of mist

Mercury also rules buying and selling, and contracts and agreements, so if you buy an expensive item now you’re more likely to find it’s worth half as much later, or you’ll end up regretting not reading the small print because trouble is likely to ensue.

While Mercury is retrograde, you can easily end up feeling as if the world has gone mad: best‑laid plans go nowhere and conversations drift off mid‑sentence.

There’s more bad news – this next phase looks set to be more intense than usual as the forthcoming period of retrograde falls in Scorpio – a particularly intense sign. So brace yourselves!

Normally, retrograde might merely trigger lost documents or missed trains, but when it occurs in a water sign, we should expect an extra bumpy emotional ride.

Astrologers say that, more than any other sign, Scorpio is a star sign that likes to dig under the surface of things to see what’s being glossed over or whitewashed.

From October 31, expect dishonesty of any kind to come back to bite you. If there are secrets in your life, Mercury retrograde will be busy shining a light on them.

And with our communications awry, it makes sense to avoid contentious subjects. Be warned, this is not a great time to be having a serious debate.

It’s a phenomenon storming the Internet

If you think it all sounds a bit bonkers, you’re not alone – how much can the planets really determine our luck and fortune?

Not so long ago astrology was the domain of the decidedly eccentric but now it’s got lots of people talking. All types are cursing, joking and chatting about Mercury and its mischievous movements. Type ‘Mercury retrograde’ into photo-sharing app Instagram and you’ll find more than 20,000 posts on the topic.

‘Is Mercury retrograde again or am I just emotional?’ asks one exasperated Twitter user.

‘Thank God I got my new job before Mercury is in Retrograde!’ says another.

Even celebrities are jumping on the bandwagon with big names such as pop star Katy Perry and Taylor Swift tweeting about the planet and the havoc it is about to cause.

How to fight back 

Not that those three weeks have to bring torment and misery. In fact, it’s possible to learn the ‘tricks’ of Mercury retrograde and start working to turn them to your long-term advantage.

In part, it’s a question of learning to cope. This is not a good time to launch something new, for example. Focus instead on improving what you already have or completing unfinished projects.

Be warned: you might find it hard to nail down a plan and struggle to get decisions from others – and any decisions that are made are likely to be subject to change. Anything started or purchased when Mercury is retrograde may need to be revisited and revised. But it’s also a question of developing solid habits that will help at any point in the calendar.

If you take an extra second to hang up your keys by the door when you arrive home, read important documents several times and try to be a bit more forgiving when a friend says something daft, you could sail through unscathed. Perhaps if one gadget breaks down, its replacement will be better; a contested agreement can be re-negotiated in your favour or a criticised project improved.

Expressing yourself clearly might be more of a challenge than usual so focus more and listen harder. Try to be honest with yourself and others at this time.

Aim to avoid negative thinking, too, especially the impulse to lash out at someone before they can attack you. Talk face-to-face or on the phone instead of relying on texts or emails. If you don’t get a reply to an email, don’t assume you’re being ignored. 

Some people put their life on hold when Mercury is retrograde – and perhaps they’re right. This is an ideal time to take a break and recharge your batteries. And if things do go wrong, try not to assume the worst.

Give others the benefit of the doubt – like you, they are more likely to be careless, mistake‑prone and forgetful right now too.

Make yourself open to the opportunities that present themselves and try not to rush into judgments.

You can make the best of this planetary phase – and emerge the better for it.

It’s a good idea to avoid new projects – and that includes relationships – so this a great time to deal with unfinished business (whether emotional or practical) instead, to tie up loose ends and create a clear vision for the future.

If you take advantage of retrograde, you’ll be all fired up and ready for what’s next when Mercury (and, hopefully, life) returns to normal on November 21.

Adapted by Louise Atkinson from The Mercury Retrograde Book by Yasmin Boland and Kim Farnell, published by Hay House on October 15, priced £12.99. Offer price £10.39 (20 per cent discount) until November 5. To pre-order, call 01603 648155 or go to 

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