July 18, 2021

Mercury retrograde ↔️ 🔥 🚀

There is a warning in the bottom right corner that reads: *Warning: based on real 'information' from*. A stick figure astrologer, dressed like a wizard, is flailing his arms at a stick figure scientist. He says: Are you prepared for the frustration and terror of the next Mercury retrograde - the most nerve-wracking event in astrology!? She replies: Uh ... no ... it's an optical illusion caused by Mercury having a smaller orbit around the Sun than Earth.

The astrologer looks impatient and confused. The scientist continues: Think of it like this. As you approach a slow car on the highway, you can tell it's moving in the same direction as you. When you reach it and overtake, it appears to go backwards. Once you're past, it looks like it's moving in your direction again.

The astrologer starts shaking the now cross-looking scientist by the shoulders, yelling: But it's real! I'll wake up late, my laptop will be wiped and my car will run out of petrol! I can't sign contracts, make financial decisions, start a new job or use fancy kitchen gadgets to cook elaborate meals!

The scientist has calmly pushed the astrologer to the ground, he looks bemused and his legs are kicking in the air. She says: Dude, breathe ... the gravity of such distant bodies will not affect random objects or food preparation - this would go against everything we know about physics. The only thing 'real' about Mercury retrograde is that it's not important, unusual or interesting.

1. What is Mercury retrograde? Available at: (Accessed: July 2021).
2. Crockett C. What is retrograde motion? EarthSky. Available at: (Last updated: February 2017; accessed July 2021).
3. What does it mean for Mercury to be in retrograde? NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Starchild. Available at: (Last updated: June 2002; accessed: July 2021).
4. Kubota T. No, Mercury retrograde will not mess up your life. LiveScience. Available at: (Last updated: May 2016; accessed July 2021).
5. Mercury retrograde, explained WITHOUT astrology. Vox. Available at: (Last updated: September 2016; accessed: July 2021.)