Cosmic Concerns: Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius December 3rd – 22nd 2017

Mercury will be spreading holiday cheer in the form of a Retrograde period in Fire sign Sagittarius from December 3rd through December 22nd 2017. While I believe that the way Mercury Retrograde affects you is based largely on your own astrological makeup, there are some things to watch out for, regardless. Below you will find the specific timing of this Retrograde including shadow periods, things to watch out for when there’s a Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius, and general tips for a Mercury Retrograde, including what you can do about it.

Exact Timing

November 14th 2017: Shadow Period Begins
December 3rd 2017: Mercury Retrograde 2:34 AM
December 22nd 2017: Mercury Direct 8:51 PM
January 10th 2018: Shadows Period Ends

Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius Tips

Curb Your Wanderlust – Sagittarius is the traveler of the zodiac, so you may feel a winter pull to book travel plans to some exotic locale. As advertisements for ‘spiritual retreats’ pop up, consider having a mini-retreat at home and put off booking the flight to faraway. Instead, you can engage in a journey through your inner thoughts; Sagittarius is known for their love of learning, after all. Try a guided meditation or journaling instead. Luckily, if you have been spiritually slacking, this Mercury Retrograde may help you start back up. If you’ve been on a roll, take some time for introspection.

Holiday Travel Plans – Even though I’d recommend double checking travel plans during any Mercury Retrograde, I recommend quadruple checking them during one in Sagittarius that’s also during the holidays aka the triple threat. Flights getting cancelled during winter isn’t exactly something new, after all. Mercury Retrogrades are also known for issues with mail; it won’t hurt to shop for and/or send gifts early this year.

Unusual Problems, Creative Solutions – With a Mercury Retrograde in a Fire sign you will want to find creative solutions to the problems that crop up. However, be wary of trusting your own opinion too much or blasting ahead without talking to others.

Mercury Retrograde in General

Mercury Retrograde is the big bad wolf of the zodiac, but a lot of that has to do with the frequency of the retrogrades themselves. I’ve had Mercury Retrogrades where I barely had an issues, and others where I made huge, bad decisions with long-reaching effects. I even had one where I’ve dropped tons of things (during one awkwardness-enhancing retrograde I broke a lamp, some dishes, and my smartphone, which is a whole other story) and (more than) one where I spent hundreds of dollars buying random stuff. I have found that I get spendy during Mercury Retrogrades; what happens to you is probably different. It’s always a surprise, but there are some things you can do to mitigate it. Alongside the general tips listed below my two personal retrograde rules are 1) financial lockdown and 2) make two trips.

Don’t Sign on the Dotted Line – Since Mercury rules communications it also rules contracts. During a Mercury Retrograde, refrain from negotiating or signing contracts. Last year I scheduled my house closing for the day after the December Mercury Retrograde and guess what? It still all went pear shaped and I am literally paying for it to this day! Think you’ll sound silly insisting on one more/less month of closing time to avoid a Mercury Retrograde? Don’t.

Electronic Issues – A standard Mercury Retrograde rule of thumb is to say no to electronics. Enough electronics in my house have bit the dust during a Mercury Retrograde that I’m a believer. I’m extra precious with electronics now, since I don’t like replacing them. Be wary of posting big pronouncements, philosophical angst, or starting fights on social media. Refrain from buying electronics during this period, too, or they may be afflicted and never work properly or be riddled with viruses.

Focus on Endings – They say Mercury Retrograde isn’t all bad (sure), since nothing can be, right? Be warned, however, that it has to be a real ending and actual closure. In my house example above I decided to think of buying my house as ‘ending’ my time in my apartment, so it would go great, right? Obviously, it didn’t. Endings need to be endings in the sense that something ends and nothing new has started yet.

Put Off Big Decisions – Put them off until Mercury Retrograde is over, over. You may make a life-changing decision that’s an oops any time of the year, of course, but because of Mercury’s connection to communication, you may not be thinking as clearly right now. Think of it as three weeks of PMS that we all have at the same time, if you like. Sure, you may want to murder someone for stealing your yogurt out of the fridge, but funny how it’s not quite so upsetting a week later. Just wait it out, big decisions aren’t often on a strict deadline anyway.

Reconnect – Mercury Retrograde is about reversals, so if there’s someone you haven’t seen in a long time, they may resurface (in a positive way). If you’ve been lax about something important like self-care or personal responsibilities, this is a good time to reboot. On the other hand, if you start a new project, it’s likely to end when Mercury goes Direct. I cannot tell you how many projects I’ve started online during a Mercury Retrograde, and I can verify that this is true, they are all gathering digital dust as we speak.

Watch Your Mouth – Since communication breakdown is the theme of all Mercury Retrograde, watch what you say, who you say it to, and how you say it. This is probably good advice all year ’round (at least it is for me), but it’s especially important to bite your tongue during a Mercury Retrograde. Vent in your journal instead or write someone a letter and then don’t send it.

Mercury Retrograde Shadow Period

Do you believe in the ‘shadow period’? A shadow period is the time that, allegedly, a Mercury Retrograde’s lingering effects can be felt by those sensitive to it. I find the shadow period to be annoying because it drags the Retrograde out from three weeks to two months, and that’s just unacceptable. Unacceptable! I’ve found that there are times that the beginning of the shadow period is an issue for me, and other times that I feel the Mercury Retrograde a few days into the ending shadow period, but I’ve never felt a Mercury Retrograde for two straight months. I will confess that I am a Retrograde Baby, meaning that I was born during a Mercury Retrograde, and we are alleged to have less issues with them because of that timing.


Here’s hoping you make it through this Mercury Retrograde with minimal damage to your wallet and morale. It’s a great time to connect with people who you haven’t spoken with in a while, and to undo bad habits, all of which sounds like the holidays to me. See, Mercury Retrograde isn’t all bad.


“2017 Mercury Retrograde Calendar”
“Everything You Need to Know About a Mercury Retrograde” on Astrology Zone
Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2017

Image Credit

Mercury images via NASA

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