Mercury Retrograde in Birth Chart

The Collage Effect

Credit: Steven Meert / Getty Images.

If Mercury was retrograde when you were born, you don't always think straight.

You might read through bibliomancy.  Instead of reading a book from front to back, you might skim, jump around, or read the end first!  

That's me! I've got natal Mercury in Cancer, and I swim around a book, looking for something that grabs me emotionally. It makes me a fast reader, though what I've taken away is more of an impressionistic, highly subjective take.

The Mercury Rx Club

About 25% of us have Mercury retrograde in our natal charts. Check your own birth chart, and look for the Mercury glyph. If you see an Rx next to it, that means you were born in a retrograde time frame.

Mercury is retro three or four times a year, and it makes me wonder now about a situation with my Mom at the hospital.  My Dad loved to tell the story that she overheard some nurses talking about a baby who had died, and isn't it sad.  

In my Mom's drugged haze, she jumped to conclusions and walked the halls to find a phone to alert my Dad that the baby (me) had died!  Of course, he rushed to the hospital and told the nurses to bring me, so Mom would realize it was not true.  Now that's a real Mercury in Cancer retro moment!  

Authentic Mind

Since Mercury covers perception, getting a handle on how you see things helps you be more effective in the world. If you've got Mercury retrograde, you've got a very different mercurial make-up than other people.

Understanding how you think can lessen the frustrations that go along with this kind of Mercury.

Astrologer Jan Spiller sees with Mercury retrograde natives the trailing of past lives of holding back the truth, or having to go along with the party line. This time around, there's a profound sense of being inarticulate, and struggling to speak.

In her article, Spiller writes on natives, "In this lifetime, they are not allowed to speak superficially. To feel "straight" with themselves, they must communicate fully, from the authenticity of their entire being. Naturally, it takes time for them to get in touch with this level of authenticity."

Past Life?

Jan Spiller sees a past life echo for Mercury retrograders with a challenge to speak from the depths of one's being. This is to overcome lives of having to hide their true thoughts, leading to a painful disconnection.

There are gifts that come from the struggle to speak in such a whole-hearted way. Spiller writes, "They are learning to reconnect with the authenticity of their own unique ideas and preferences and decision making tendencies. Because of the necessity of including their emotional component when making decisions, many times these people have exceptional artistic talents."

I find her tips right on, as someone with this signature in my chart. I've felt a lifelong urgency (and with it frustration) to speak and write from a whole self kind of place. I like her advice -- and this is good for Mercury retrograde cycles too -- to take time to make decisions. It takes time to know how you really think and feel about something -- this is a rhythm that's often crowded out in our instant, go go go culture.

Non-linear Thinking

I've always tried to force myself to be a more linear thinker. Examples are when I've set a goal to read the unabridged Shakespeare, or that time in high school, when I was determined to learn auto mechanics from a how-to book.

Trying to force my mind down the A to Z groove has led to a lot of frustration. It's liberating to embrace who you are, and work with those strengths. After all, so much of our pain in life comes from trying to be someone we're not!

When you have Mercury Rx in your natal chart, how it behaves will depend on the element, quality and what house it's in.  Read about Mercury's Ways - Elements and Modes.  

In water signs, like mine, the mind searches for the emotional essence, and from that forms a picture of perception. Like with the retrograde cycle, the processes of the mind are different, and may take longer.

You may swim in different channels of the mind. Sometimes if feels like you're speaking another language. And it can make you feel misunderstood, until you learn to translate what you perceive into language others can understand.

Collage Effect

The collage effect of Mercury retrograde makes it hard to see how things will play out. You may see the end before the middle, or a vision of what's to come. But if this resonates with you, try working with, rather than against your own Mercury Rx. Instead of swimming against the tide, look for mediums where this kind of perception is valued and even rewarded.

Trust your perception, and find ways of expressing yourself through art, music, dance. The arts allow a different kind of language, that of symbol and collage, to stand on its own. No translation necessary! Trust that you have a unique way of seeing the world, one that is worth sharing.

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Your Citation
Hall, Molly. "Mercury Retrograde in Birth Chart." ThoughtCo, Nov. 7, 2016, Hall, Molly. (2016, November 7). Mercury Retrograde in Birth Chart. Retrieved from Hall, Molly. "Mercury Retrograde in Birth Chart." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 20, 2018).