When is Mercury in retrograde for the last time in 2020 and how can we dodge disaster?

Batten down the hatches...

Mercury in retrograde: how to survive
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Broken phones, missed appointments, traffic jams... they're all synonymous with this particular astrological event - and that's not to mention exes turning up out of the blue, or old skeletons busting out of their dusty closets.

While many would argue the whole of 2020 feels like we've been in a retrograde motion, Mercury has actually only been in retrograde for two periods of 2020 - and we have one last stint to endure.

Havoc, mayhem, blasts from the pasts - it doesn't exactly sound appealing does it? But there is a way to navigate this tricky period with your sanity - and your car keys - in check (make sure you check your weekly horoscope, too, as it's a different story for different signs).

When is Mercury in retrograde in 2020?

  • February 17 to March10
  • June 18 to July12
  • October 14 to November3

And if we want to break that down further...

  • February 16 to March 9: The pre-retrograde shadow begins February 2, post-retrograde shadow ends March 29.
  • June 18 to July 12: The pre-retrograde shadow begins June 2, post-retrograde shadow ends July 26.
  • October 14 to November 3: The pre-retrograde shadow begins September 23, post-retrograde shadow ends November 19.

When is Mercury in retrograde for the last time in 2020?

From October 14th Mercury will go back into retrograde, so for the superstitious among us, this is not a good time to make any rash decisions, or carry out any elaborate travel plans.

What does retrograde actually mean?

So, Mercury doesn't actually move backwards. If you were to crack out the telescope, you'd see that Mercury appears to move backwards - and this is certainly what ancient astrologers believed years ago.

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Mercury is situated so close to the sun, it's orbit is much shorter than Earth's. When the planet speeds past us at rapid rate (around three-four times a year) , it appears to be moving backwards. An old adage when it comes to astrology, is “as above, so too below,” which essentially means our human world is closely interlinked with the planets' activity - and Mercury in retrograde signifies a time of chaos.

Mercury has long been a planet that has captured the interest of astronomers and astrologists alike. 'The interesting thing about Mercury is that it is the planet closest to the Earth more often than any other. Intuitively, you would think that it would be Venus or Mars, but it turns out that this is not the case as they are often round the back of the sun,' said one twitter user of the upcoming astrological event.

How can we avoid disaster when Mercury is in retrograde?

Batten down the hatches and wait for it to pass.

We're kidding, but there are some small steps you can take to ensure life runs a little bit more smoothly, as a precautionary measure.

How to survive Mercury in retrograde 2020

  1. Prepare yourself for delays - mental and physical. If you expect delay and take it in your stride, the whole situation becomes a lot easier.
  2. Hold off from any critical decisions. We're not saying you should put your life on hold, but if you can mull over an important decision, then it may be wise to do so.
  3. Be mindful of your communication. It's likely a time when things can be misunderstood or taken in the wrong way. Be clear and sensitive with your communication.
  4. Accept you may feel a bit sluggish or stuck. It's all part of Mercury's energy.
  5. Ramp up the self-care. It's as good an excuse as any, and you may find you have more difficulties on your plate!
  6. Be wary of ghosts. You never know who will climb out of the woodwork....
Lauren Hughes
Lauren Hughes

Lauren is deputy editor at woman&home.com in the UK and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has worked on the woman&home brand for four years. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine. After starting out working for a local paper in Yorkshire, her journalism career took her to Bristol where she hunted out stories for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant.


Lauren loves helping people share their stories, bringing experiences to life online, honing her interview techniques with everyone from authors to celebrities, headteachers to local heroes. As well as having a good nose for a story, Lauren has a passion for the English language and years of experience optimizing digital content to reach the widest audience possible. During her time at w&h, Lauren has worked on big brand campaigns like the Amazing Women Awards and assisted in developing w&h expert-approved Buyer's Guides—the place to go if you're looking to splash out on an important purchase and want some trusted advice. In addition to her journalism career, Lauren also has a background in copywriting for prestigious brands such as Inhabit Hotel, eco-development K'in in Tulum, social enterprise The Goldfinger Factory and leading London architect Holland Harvey, using language in all its glorious forms, from detailed guidebooks to snappy social content. 


A big fan of adventure, Lauren is also a keen travel writer and loves sharing tips on where to find the best places to eat, drink, and be merry off the beaten track. Lauren has written a series of travel guides for London hotels and loves sharing her insights into a destination's cultural and culinary offerings. If you need a recommendation on any UK destination, she's more than happy to help. At the weekend, you'll usually find her hanging out with her pet cat (or anyone else's pet she can get her hands on), escaping to the countryside, or devouring a good book. 


Follow her adventures @laurenkatehughes


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Email: lauren.hughes@futurenet.com