Mercury Retrograde 2019: When Does it Start and What Does it Mean?

When Will Mercury Retrograde in 2019?
he planet Mercury is shown from a distance of approximately 17,000 miles, taken by NASA's Messenger spacecraft January 14, 2008, at the spacecraft's closest approach to planet. Find out when the first Mercury retrograde of the year is scheduled. NASA via Getty Images

A new year is on the horizon. That means a new set of 365 days, a number of which will include Mercury retrograde. Yes, that meddling planet Mercury will move backward, seemingly throwing everything into disarray in 2019 just as it did multiple times throughout 2018.

Luckily for the astrologically inclined, Mercury won't retrograde anytime soon in the new year. The first Mercury retrograde of 2019 isn't expected to take place until March 5 and will barely last a full month, according to renowned astrologist, author and Astrology Zone creator, Susan Miller. The cycle ends on March 28.

The next retrograde won't occur until summer, July 7 through July 31, while the final (and longest) retrograde of the year won't happen until late fall, October 31 through November 20.

The planetary phenomenon of Mercury retrograde occurs when the planet appears to be spinning backward, during which time matters of communication seem to be on the fritz. In astrology, Mercury is the ruler of communication, facts and data. So when the planet is retrograde—or moving in the opposite direction—it essentially causes our usual means of communicating and processing facts to veer off track from the norm.

Although people generally have a negative outlook on Mercury retrograde, it doesn't necessarily represent a bad time of time—but rather, marks a moment when folks should be paying closer attention to detail and being mindful of their words before speaking them.

Astrologist and author of Astrology for Happiness and Success, Mecca Woods, gave Newsweek some advice for managing Mercury retrograde during the final 2019 cycle back in November. "Usually when we talk about Mercury retrograde is coming, it's to let people know that this is a time where you want to double check information, check your facts, make sure that everyone is on the same page because communication gets extra tricky around those three weeks Mercury is retrograde," she said, noting Mercury retrograde can also be a great time for reconnecting with old friends and family members.

Woods also killed connotations that Mercury retrograde represents a time in life when people can't get anything done. "I see a lot of people being like, 'Oh, I just wanna opt out of everything. Can I do this? Can I make this decision?' My thing is yes, life doesn't stop. With retrogrades, it's all about slowing down, being deliberate and being intentional about how you move forward."