Posted On November 13, 2017 by Print This Post

Mercury Retrograde and Writing – by Lyla Bellatas

We’ve all experienced the highs and lows of writing, but have you ever considered planetary action or inaction? Author Lyla Bellatas joins us to day to talk about Mercury in retrograde and how this can affect your writing. 

Astrology is a complex, fascinating science. Most everyone knows their Sun sign which is determined by the date of your birth but with the exact date, time and place of your birth you can calculate your natal astrological chart. This is a three-dimensional snapshot of the planets, asteroids etc. at the exact moment you took your first breath and a shockingly accurate portrayal of who you are.

To use Mercury retrograde to your advantage you need to understand Mercury and its influences. While you are at your very core your Sun sign you will exhibit the appearance and personality of your ascendant–the sign rising in the sky at the time you were born. The placement of Mercury in your specific chart will influence the way you think, your intelligence, your memory, self-expression and communication style. It also rules transportation, commerce, computers, telephones and travel.

Mercury’s placement and direction are very important to a writer. While the Sun is who you are, Mercury is its messenger imparting that knowledge to others. How you move, your hand gestures when you speak, the words you choose, the way you logic a problem, the way you write, what you write, the way you think and create – that’s all Mercury.

All planets have retrograded periods, where there is an illusion of the planet traveling backward. Some last weeks and others months. Being the closest to the Sun, Mercury’s orbit lasts eighty-eight days so three to four times a year Mercury slows down creating the illusion of changing direction and going retrograde. The retro period lasts about three weeks.

I’m sure you’ve heard people cry to the heavens about Mercury retro and blame everything from snarling colleagues and traffic to lost pets and bad weather. Mercury the trickster is culpable for a lot but is nowhere the heavy on everything.

Mercury, the Roman mythological winged messenger rules Gemini and Virgo. In Gemini, an air sign, Mercury is about thinking, analyzing and perceiving info, speaking and the short trips you take while in Virgo, an earth sign, it’s about your conscious mind, your practicality, how you maintain your health, dissect things and your daily routines.

In the tarot he’s the Magician, the trickster, the jack of all trades. When Mercury’s traveling direct a person with a well aspected Mercury will be sharp minded. Conversely during a Merc retro your mind may be muddled. You may misunderstand people or they you. You may feel sluggish and unmotivated. If you purchase a car, computer, phone don’t be surprised if it turns out to be a lemon. Avoid signing contracts. Avoid elective surgery–mistakes are more prone to happen. Avoid making big speeches or starting a new writing project. Travel may be fouled up. Planes cancelled, mechanical issues.

This reminds me of our trip to Costa Rica during a Merc retro a few years ago. We were not allowed to depart because our daughter’s passport expired a month after our scheduled return. We had no idea the passport had to be valid for three-six months after your return trip home to enter certain countries. We had to change our reservation to the next morning then run into the city and get her an emergency passport. The next morning the plane was boarded and deplaned twice before we finally took off– once for a mechanical failure and the second time because the crew had to be changed out. My husband was ready to bail all three times. Then of course on the way home two members of our party were bumped off their flight and had to make other arrangements. That’s Mercury the trickster at its shiftiest. With deep breaths and a few well-timed laughs, we still had a great vacation.

As a Virgo with Mercury in my sixth house I am particular sensitive to the planet. I had back surgery during a Merc retro. Yep, not my brightest moment. I knew it going in but I was in considerable pain and couldn’t imagine waiting a month for surgery. When I woke up afterward I was in more pain than before I went under. They had to go back in two days later. I’m still not good. If I had to do it over again I would have waited.

I know what you’re thinking…this is messed up, I’ll just hibernate for three weeks. Wake me up when it’s over!

No. No. No.

Mercury retro periods are an awesome time to back track and make sure you’re on the right path. We are constantly rushing forward that sometimes it’s vital to stop and breathe. This is an important time to pause and gain new perspective. To make sure we haven’t missed an important detail. Fix things we did wrong.

It’s a time to chill a moment and reassess. To stop and replot. Mercury retro is an awesome time to reevaluate things. To rethink. To edit. Reconnect with old friends. Don’t be surprised if people from your past pop up. Introspection shines during a Merc retro period. Employ the carpenter rule of measuring twice cutting once – Read and think twice send or speak once.

The key is to be flexible and adaptable and go with the flow.

As a writer, I schedule editing during Mercury retro periods or I may rework an old project. If there isn’t anything to edit I reevaluate, review my goals, redo my website or catch up on my reading.

I do not submit my WIP. I don’t query new agents or editors. I don’t sign any contracts or finalize any deals. I don’t start a new project. I might revisit someone I queried before but I read and review the emails twice or thrice before I hit send.

On November 14, 2017 Mercury is entering its Pre-Shadow phase before it goes retrograde from December 2-22. The Shadow phase is the time to get things in order–backup all computers to multiple drives, cloud storage etc, clean up passwords, pay outstanding bills, get your car serviced, get big things out of the way, get your WIP finished up so you can sail right into the editing phase and make a plan for the retro period where you will enter re mode– reassess, reedit, rebuild, revise, reconnect, reevaluate, redo.

Interestingly enough if you were born during Mercury retrograde you may actually be sharper when the planet goes retro. Where you are usually misunderstood you are now quite clear. The way you analyze things is more focused.

On December 2nd Mercury will go retrograde in Sagittarius, which acts as Gemini’s shadow companion–they are opposites on the astrological wheel so this period will pack more punch. Sagittarius is the traveler, the adventurer. It’s a fire sign so things happen quickly.

Sag’s are restless in nature and are always looking for the next big thing. Long journeys fall under Sag’s domain. These trips don’t have to be physical they can be metaphysical in nature. Such as exploring a new faith, new belief system.

When Mercury goes retrograde in Sag it pays to view every encounter as a new journey. Communications during this time in Sagittarius will be a mess especially internationally. Listen carefully and think before you speak.

Expect more delays in travel than other retro periods. If you anticipate it and take a deep breath you can enjoy the adventure.

If you’re interested in learning more, I strongly suggest you go to the many free resources available online and get your natal chart cast and start digging.

After December, the next dates for Mercury retrograde are:

2018: March 22 – April 15, July 26 – Aug. 18, Nov. 16 – Dec. 6

2019: March 5 – 28, July 7-31, Oct. 31 – Nov. 20

What are your experiences with Mercury Retrograde periods? What do you do to go with the flow?



Adriana Gallo is on the ski vacation from hell. Abandoned in the middle of a snow storm, she’s injured, lost a ski and is stranded until Valentin Barinov, the savagely handsome man, with the haunted eyes she shared a glance with at lunch, skis to her rescue.

Val’s protective, guarded with so much simmering below the surface. Intrigued, the escape Val offers is too hard for Adriana to resist and, why should she? However, instead of a night of mindless fun they penetrate each other in ways they’ve never gone before. Will they unite their broken pieces and build something neither would have ever dreamed of?


Bio:  Born Armenian American on Long Island’s Gold coast, Lyla has defied convention and morphed too many times to count. Beginning as an engineer, she swiftly made the move to marketeer then drifted to digital design, printing CEO, and tarot enchantress, collecting stories along the way.

As with her career, Lyla’s passions have also led to many outlets. High performance race car driving and driving instructor, poker playing without the face. Lyla loves to shoot pool and although she hates being away from home she does enjoy exploring new places. She was gifted her first tarot deck during a chance encounter in an elevator. Innately empathic and claircognizant, tarot unlocked the natural witch within. Lyla has taught tarot, pessomancy (reading stones) and reading junk oracles. She’s read tarot, stones and junk professionally for decades and still reads with or without a deck when the moon shines just right.

Swept off her feet by a handsome Greek she met at the race track, Lyla finally found her happily ever after as a wife, mother to a spirited, beautiful daughter and writer. They live in the NYC suburbs, loving the fast-paced brutal honesty, great restaurants, arts and energy that define NYC and never fail to light a new / full moon candle charmed now by three.

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5 Responses to “Mercury Retrograde and Writing – by Lyla Bellatas”

  1. ‘Bout time someone gave writers the inside scoop on the very real benefits of Mercury retrograde periods!!! Of course I’d agree with you, since my Merc is retro in Virgo.

    Anyway, well done! I’ll share this with editing clients right now, encourage them to edit/rewrite their NaNoWriMo project, or another WIP, during December.

    Cheers, Faith

    Posted by Faith Freewoman | November 13, 2017, 8:44 am
  2. Thanks for a fascinating post! I know next to nothing about this, but you’ve given me a lot of food for thought!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | November 14, 2017, 8:58 pm


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