Mercury, the planet of communication, goes retrograde for the second time this year on May 6-7 (depending upon your time zone). Mercury normally turns retrograde three times a year -- however, in 2009 Mercury turns retrograde four different times. The effects of each retrograde period differ depending on the sign in which it occurs. This time around, Mercury is turning retrograde in Gemini -- its home base. Mercury is the ruler of Gemini!
Both Gemini and Mercury govern communications, the way we pick up information and process thoughts. Mercury rules thinking and perception, processing and disseminating information and all means of communication, commerce, education and transportation. Mercury retrograde gives rise to personal misunderstandings as well as flawed, disrupted or delayed communications, negotiations and trade glitches, and breakdowns with phones, computers, vehicles.
This retrograde period, step back from decision-making, agreements, contracts and use this review time to your benefit. Write down the pros and cons of everything since your mind will not settle on anything one hundred percent! When Mercury turns direct on May 30, you'll have greater clarity and are more likely to make good decisions. If possible, avoid buying communication-related products such as computers and phones. Keep receipts if you do. If you are traveling, double-check your reservations and bring a good book to read and plenty of games for the kids in case you are delayed. From late in the evening of May 13 through the end of the retrograde period, Mercury will be transiting the sign of Taurus, the sign ruling money. Decisions about investments and handling of finances should also be put off during this period.
Like any cosmic event, this retrograde affects each of us differently depending on how it's positioned in our personal birth charts. A Mercury retrograde period may be very prosperous for those who have retrograde Mercury, or a well-aspected Mercury, in their birth charts.
While a retrograde period may be an introspective time for all of us, if Gemini is prominent in your chart, you will have more than your usual share of introspection. Gemini is a mutable sign, so if other mutable signs -- Pisces, Virgo, Sagittarius -- are prominent in your chart, you will also experience a period of intense self-examination.