Mercury retrograde • May 29 – June 22, 2021

2021 Mercury retrograde in Gemini

You don’t know what you don’t know

Mercury retrograde may seem to come on a bit early this time, as Mercury pulls into a 90° “square” angle with Neptune– god of the ocean and other inscrutable realms, like art, music, and imagination. You may feel the energy start to shift around May 22.

On the one hand, this is great– folks have access to their imagination and intuition. It’s a great time to freshen up an old article or poem, interpret your dreams, get spiritual insights, and let your mind align itself with the formless, flowing vibe of this period of time. Logical Mercury and dreamy Neptune are both at peak power in the signs they rule, opening access to the unseen realms of spirit, art, and the power of language to create and shape reality.

A more problematic tendency with a Mercury-Neptune contact is that folks will believe what they want to or trust someone who isn’t who they seem. Neptune’s artistic gifts as well as the tendency to fear, anxiety, and worry are about the same thing: Illusion. Neptune often shows up as misinformation, poisonous gossip, and/or outright lies. Neptune symbolizes the power of imagination for good and for ill. Disappointment or disillusionment may be part of the story.

George Bernard Shaw was correct when he said: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

Mercury-Neptune makes you more likely to miss an important detail or make a hasty decision when you’re confused or distracted. Or before you have all the important information. This is especially important to keep in mind in the first 5 days of June.

And that’s not even all that’s going on right now. The Titans are clashing overhead. Saturn and Uranus– the forces of tradition, stability, rigidity, the Old Guard on the one hand. On the other hand, we have Uranus, the force of chaos, change, reform. Remember January 2021? That was chapter 1. May-June is chapter 2. That’s why things are feeling increasingly tense now.–> Saturn square Uranus

Mercury retrograde at work

  • Double-check all outgoing messages before you seal the envelope or hit the “send” button.
  • Text-astrophe! Errors, typos, crossed wires, connectivity problems, traffic, and schedule changes are typical of Mercury retrograde.
  • If you find it difficult to move forward on a writing or communication project, try going backward! Review, update, and edit your old work.
  • Look to the past notes and plans for answers. You may rediscover a valuable nugget in your old files, notes, and archives.

Mercury retrograde in close relationships

  • Outright dishonesty is one possible manifestation of the energy.
  • More common is the garden variety “not wanting to deal with it right now”. Or feeling too confused about your own feelings and state of mind to talk about it.
  • Keep this in mind if things feel weird & unsettled in the last week of May and the first week of June.
  • You may reconnect with a friend or family member you haven’t seen in a while.

Mercury retrograde and your Health

  • If you are feeling unsure about a diagnosis or treatment plan, keep asking questions. Make sure you understand and agree with the plan before you move forward.
  • Use this period to research treatment options or get a second opinion.
  • Diagnostic tests may come up inconclusive or need repeating later.
  • If you’re sensitive to airborne toxins or allergens, change the air filters and take any other precautions you need to protect yourself.
  • Mercury rules children, siblings, and pets– the kids and critters may need extra attention.

Key Dates

  • Mercury enters its retrograde shadow: May 14, 2021
  • ☂ Mercury square Neptune (1): May 22
  • Mercury retrograde at 24° Gemini: May 29
  • (☂☂ Mars opposite Pluto – June 1-5)
  • ☂ Mercury square Neptune (2): June 5
  • Solar Eclipse conjunct Mercury: June 10
  • ☂☂☂ Saturn square Uranus: (in force all of May & June) peak June 14
  • Mercury direct at 16° Gemini: June 22
  • ☂ Mercury square Neptune (3): July 5
  • Mercury exits its retrograde shadow: July 7
  • via Molly’s Astrology Calendar

More info on retrograde with diagrams: Retrograde planets (Birth Charts for Beginners)

What are the dates for Mercury retrograde in 2021?

  • January 30 – February 20
  • May 29 – June 22
  • September 27 – October 18

Mercury retrograde 2022 dates

  • January 14 – February 3
  • May 10 – June 3
  • September 9 – October 2
  • December 29 – January 18, 2023
  • source: Molly’s Astrology Calendar

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10 Responses

  1. Thanks for this very insightful article. I’ve been catching up with health-related exams that I missed in 2020 due to COVID, and scheduled a mammogram for May 27, not realizing it was so close to this retrograde period. For the first time in 15 years, I got a note 2 days after the exam saying there was a finding which requires more imaging to make a complete evaluation. I’m torn between wanting to make the appointment quickly (because of course, it’s all that’s on my mind now), and waiting until after June 22. What would you advise?

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Hi Susan – is there a reason to move forward ASAP other than (the understandable) anxiety you’re experiencing? I don’t know your situation and I am not qualified to give medical advice. If the situation isn’t urgent, the astrological weather does suggest that the timing is better for a clear diagnosis after this retrograde passes.

      1. I don’t think so. I realize you’re not qualified to give medical advice, and it’s a little crazy to be asking a stranger (albeit a smart and insightful one) for her recommendation on the subject. Just feeling a little isolated, I guess. It definitely makes sense to wait. I appreciate your response.

  2. Thanks so much for this clear info. I clicked on the Mars opp Pluto and the Saturn sq Uranus article too and found them very interesting.

  3. Hi Molly!

    Wow, how synchronistic! I interviewed with 2 managers named Molly and Mollie on Friday!
    I wanted to comment and share how insightful and helpful your article was. Today, unusually, I missed all my buses, once for my outdoor yoga event, so I was 30 mins late, and the other bus after yoga to go to my wax appointment, which I had to reschedule because I missed my bus, even when I was on time, and I was even in a car crash while I was riding on the bus on my way home, so I was delayed another hour! And, there was a man who dropped his water bottle cases right next to me like an explosion, it felt like mercury retrograde energy to me. So, before heading to bed, I looked up when the next mercury retrograde is, and while I read your article, you mentioned some may even feel the energy starting to shift around may 22nd, TODAY! yes yes yes!

    Internally, I am so at peace and resolved, so I didn’t understand why, or how, these things were happening in my immediate reality.

    Thank you for your wisdom, your passion, your insights, your flare, Molly!

    bless sings always, and I thank you so much for your light!

    Much love dearest!


    1. Thank you, Jennifer! I’m glad I could help put your crappy day into perspective! Now you know to mark your calendar for the next 2 passes of that Mercury-Neptune square.

      1. I do not understand about Mercury-Neptune square. Please explain. I didn’t even know that Mercury was in retrograde until yesterday when it finally occurred to me to check after a very challenging last 2 weeks. Now those challenges are understandable and I delaying the big changes I was going to make by Friday until after June 22 at 6 pm ET. Is that correct? Thank you!

  4. Molly, I think this is one of the best, most comprehensive, and helpful/practical articles I have ever read on Merc retro. Thank you.

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