Mercury retrograde...the scapegoat of the universe. Missed appointment? Blame it on Mercury retrograde. Flat tire? Yup, must be that backwards Mercury. Have a falling out with your partner? Point a finger to the messenger planet slipping into reverse. I have heard these accusations quite a bit so I would like to come to the defense of my sidereal rising sign lord.
Mercury retrograde happens when the planet Mercury passes between the Earth and the Sun. This has been said to coincide with problems concerning all things ruled by Mercury such as communication, transportation, and decision making. Fact is, these things happen when Mercury is traveling normally. Whenever any planet stations (either slows to go retrograde or go direct) its influence is more pronounced (for good or otherwise) on planets and sensitive points it aspects in the astrological chart. Think about it. To go to work or shopping, you back out of the driveway then move forward on your way. Nothing odd about that. It's normal. Say there is a toy in the driveway and you repeatedly run back and forth over it? You have one very upset child. Now, let's say there is some snow on the ground and you run your vehicle up and down the driveway to compact it because you are too lazy to shovel it (ahem, I plead guilty to this). Voila, you have made it easier to go on your way! Same motions, same terrain, different outcomes.
It has been suggested that this retrograde motion is a good time to review, reflect, and rethink important matters in your life. These things are good to do any time of the year. Why wait for 66 or so days out of the year? (Mercury retrogrades happen about three times a year for around three weeks).
Apparently no one told the signers of the Declaration of Independence Mercury was retrograde at the time..or President Lyndon Johnson when he signed the Voter's Rights Act.
So, don't let Mercury's slow-down slow you down. Continue your plans, sign contracts, meet with people, and take that road trip. Enjoy the natural ebb and flow of life. But if something goes wrong, don't blame Mercury...have a drink and a nice conversation with a friend instead.