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At least one time or another, you may have heard one of your friends or family members say, “Uh oh, it’s that time of the year again. Mercury retrograde!” And rightfully so, as Mercury retrograde is typically accompanied by technological mishaps and other misfortunes. But what is Mercury retrograde and is it a good idea to buy a car during that time period?

Mercury Retrograde comes three times a year

In order to understand what Mercury retrograde is, we first need to remember that the planets in our solar system orbit the Sun at different rates. And sometimes, it can appear as though a planet starts to move in reverse, hence the term “retrograde.” This usually happens when a faster-moving planet catches up with a slower-moving planet.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, this phenomenon is actually an illusion that’s caused by the position of the Earth in relation to the other planet. Because, in reality, planets only travel in one direction.

Illustration of the Solar System viewed from beyond Neptune, with all eight planets visible around the Sun.
Illustration of the Solar System viewed from beyond Neptune, with all eight planets visible around the Sun. | (Illustration by Tobias Roetsch/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

And now that you’re aware of what retrograde means, you can now understand that the planet Mercury goes into retrograde three different times a year – for a 2-3 week time period —  because it’s the fastest moving planet. For those that are into Astrology, the time periods that Mercury goes into retrograde are typically filled with confusion, delay, and technological blunders due to the energetic effect that the planet has on us here on Earth. Just think of it as the repelling force that you feel when you try to put two magnets together the wrong way.

Due to this unseen, and often misunderstood force, some people believe that Mercury retrograde is a terrible time to make a large purchase like buying a house or even a car. In fact, some people will even refrain from doing so altogether with the mindset that the house might go under, or somehow, the car they just bought will fail or they might get into an accident. But, in reality, it just means that you need to be more careful when doing any of those things during the retrograde time period.

Salesperson showing vehicle to potential customer in dealership; Shutterstock ID 447213895; Purchase Order: -
Salesperson showing the vehicle to a potential customer in the dealership. | Shutterstock

You can buy a car during Mercury retrograde, but read the contract carefully

In Astrology, the planet Mercury rules over communication, analytical thinking, expression of ideas, and processing of information. So when it goes retrograde, some people experience complete chaos during this time period and feel like they can’t think straight. Rest assured, just like the planet appearing to sping backward, it’s all an illusion as well.

In essence, it’s OK to buy a car during Mercury retrograde, but if anything, just make sure you read the contract that you’re signing first.

“If you feel any type of stress or brain fogginess during Mercury retrograde, then it’s possible that you might miss something when signing a contract for a house or car,” said Britnie Hurd, an astrologer. “If you need to buy a car, then buy it. Mercury retrograde doesn’t mean that the world is going to end or that you shouldn’t carry on with your life, it’s mainly a time to be more careful with what you do and expect the unexpected.”

Mercury retrograde is not an excuse for all of your problems

Now that you’re aware of what Mercury retrograde is, you might start to notice when certain things in your life “go wrong.” However, just remember that Mercury retrograde is not an excuse for all of your problems nor is it an excuse not buy that car that you need or want right now. But if you would rather wait it out until after the retrograde period, then by all means, do so. For reference, here are the Mercury retrograde time periods for 2021:

  • January 30 to February 20
  • May 29 – June 22
  • September 27 – October 18

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