Mercury is the planet of communication, deals and connections. When you’re looking for your pen and it’s behind your ear, that’s Mercury. When the person next to you on the train wants a chat, Mercury is making a brief stop in your day. When you’re listening to a podcast, or the radio, reading a book, writing an email, taking notes, having a conversation, reading this page, checking your phone, posting something on Facebook, getting money out at the ATM, making a purchase, Mercury is dancing through your day.

Whether you talk, nod, yell, remain silent or wave your arms around, all forms of communication are ruled by Mercury.

It adapts to its environment, blending in like a chameleon, before it’s off and moving again. Call it adaptability, mimicking, shape-shifting, impersonating or magic, Mercury’s energy is temporary, swift and light. It’s non-committal, cold in temperament and unemotional. It wants you to think about things and engage your child-like curiosity more so than your emotions and practicality.

Mercury is sometimes depicted genderless and associated with the myth of Hermes, the wing-footed messenger of the Gods. It moves very quickly through the zodiac, faster than any other planet. In this, every 88 days it touches each of the other planets, both in the sky as it moves and around your own personal chart.

Mercury retrograde periods occur three to four times per year for about three weeks in order of elemental occurrence: Earth, Fire, Water, Air, changing element every six to seven years.

Mercury Retrograde dates 2016 – 2022

January 5 – January 25: Aquarius – Capricorn
April 28 – May 22: Taurus
August 30 – September 22: Virgo
Dec 19 2016 – Jan 8: Capricorn – Sagittarius

Dec 19, 2016 to Jan 8: Capricorn – Sagittarius
April 9 – May 3: Taurus – Aries
August 12 – Sept 5: Virgo – Leo
December 3 – December 22: Sagittarius

March 22 – April 15: Aries
July 26 – August 18: Leo – Cancer
November 16 – December 6: Sagittarius

March 5 – 28: Pisces
July 7 – 31: Leo – Cancer
October 31 – November 20: Scorpio

February 18 – March 9: Pisces – Aquarius
June 17 – July 12: Cancer
October 13 – November 3: Scorpio – Libra

January 30 – February 20: Aquarius
May 29 – June 22: Gemini
September 27 – October 18: Libra

January 14 – February 3: Aquarius – Capricorn
May 10 – June 2: Gemini – Taurus
September 9 – October 2: Libra – Virgo
December 29 – January 18: Capricorn

There are multiple factors that will alter how Mercury expresses in our life, elements are just a few. Take a look to see what sign and house Mercury is in, in your own chart, and see if it’s having any conversations with any other planets. Are there any lines connecting Mercury to another planet? What kind of conversation is Mercury having? Is it easy and enjoyable or does it get irritated easily and antagonistic? Is it retrograde?