Episode 9 - bonus

Mercury in Retrograde: Everything Susan Miller Needs You to Know

Published on: 30th June, 2021

Luckily for us Astrologyzone.com includes many essays by Susan Miller that explain everything you wanted to know about astrology. Or at least Susan’s take on it. And what better time is there to talk about Mercury retrograde than during Mercury retrograde?! Well, as Laura and Alex learn, there might be a better time because Mercury can be a real scamp when retrograding, causing communication problems left and right. 

In this special episode, Laura and Alex break down Susan’s “Mercury Retrograde and What It Means For You.” They learn everything from when it’s safe to get plastic surgery to what it means to be born under Mercury retrograde to whether this time really deserves its bad reputation. All that plus more of Susan’s practical advice than you knew you needed. 

Share your own thoughts on Susan Miller’s Astrology Zone with us by emailing astrologyzoned@gmail.com.



Laura: Well, hello Alex!

Alex: Hi Laura!

Laura: I just realized this is an episode about everything you need to know about Mercury retrograde according to Susan Miller, and we're recording it during a Mercury retrograde so I hope it goes okay.

Alex: Same here. We’re asking for trouble.

Laura: We’re asking for trouble. But you know we're just going to have faith and persevere. So, before we, so what Alex and I are going to cover in this episode is Susan Miller has a very handy article on her website, which is everything you need to know about Mercury retrograde. We're going to give you a little summary of that article, some things that we found helpful. But I also just wanted to say that I first was introduced to the horoscopes of Susan Miller during a Mercury retrograde period. And I remember I was lying in bed reading it—I feel like I guess I had an iPhone? I don't really remember how I was reading this, I must have been an iPhone, like my first iPhone—and I was reading it in bed and suddenly about like Mercury's in retrograde, you have to backup your computer and I was like, okay first thing in the morning I'm going to back up my computer. And it was the first time I'd ever heard of Mercury in retrograde and I was like, I don't know what this is, okay well that sounds serious, I'm going to go back on my computer. And at this point I was writing a play and there was a draft that was gonna be due for reading. So I went to my laptop first thing the next morning, started the backup process, and the computer wouldn't turn on. The whole thing just like failed. It just was a black screen and then I went to the Genius Bar and I tried to fix it. And it was like before iCloud, like only your backups. And I hadn't backed up my computer in quite a while. And so I lost like this whole script, and like had to recreate it based off like something I emailed but I lost everything that I had written and it was very dramatic and so that turned me into like a fan and a disciple of Susan Miller because it was the first time I ever read her horoscopes and she said like, you have to back up your computer or tragedy will befall you, and it did befall me. And so that's why I have been reading Susan Miller horoscopes ever since.

Alex: That is an inspirational story. I do want to say, I like that, I know that this was a formative experience because something bad did actually happen.

Laura: Yeah.

Alex: But I do like that it sounds as if you read your first Susan Miller horoscope and you were

on board from day one

Susan: Right away. I think if she hadn't been so insistent on Mercury retrograde I wouldn't have paid attention because I didn’t remember what else she said but it was like a lot about like you have to back up your computer. And I was like I've never heard of this, and all right, and then also in the back of my head I was like, I haven't backed up my computer in way too long anyway so sure I'll take this cue.

Alex: Well, that's the Susan patented practical advice angle.

rcury retrograde periods from:

Alex: I hope so.

Laura: Alright, so she gives some very handy headers and we're going to go through these. So the first question, Mercury in retrograde: does mercury really move backward? Alex, final answer.

Alex: Final answer, Laura, I don't even need to phone a friend. No.

Laura: No, it does not.

Alex: The planets move in the same direction.

Laura: Phew.

Alex: I know. That's a real load off.

Laura: That’s a real load off. So Mercury in retrograde is not actually reversing. However, it looks like that in the sky, and my takeaway from that is that like when ye old ancient stargazers we're tracking astrology and astronomy, it looked like it was going backwards so they're like, oh it's reversing, but I think also at that point in time we also thought that our planet was the center, not the Sun.

Alex: That could explain a lot.

Laura: That is key data that they were missing.

Alex: That is an understatement.

Laura: Now we have you know satellites and things and we know that we're all moving around the Sun.

Alex: We do. We’ve come a long way in science.

Laura: Susan gave this example to try to illustrate why it looks like it's moving backwards, and it reminded me of like some of the diagrams in my physics class and did not make any sense to me and so I can't really tell you why but basically Mercury's closer to the Sun. So its orbit is shorter, and it's kind of like when there's a car next to you, it's moving faster, but if you pass it looks like it's going backwards. Very confusing, again. Anyway, it's not moving backwards, it just looks like that to us here on little Earth, but it's not actually moving backwards, so

Alex: Great.

Laura: Yeah, it's not doing like, I don't know, what's a backwards dance? it's just Mercury’s just moving. Okay. It's our perspective that's messed up.

Alex: Exactly. But we've since incorporated this language, retrograde and direct, but it actually doesn't fully explain what's happening.

Laura Yeah, but so Mercury retrograde just refers to the time period where it appears to us that Mercury's moving backwards but it's just a weird anomaly in like our orbit and how it appears in our sky.

Alex: Perfect description

Laura: And ultimately she said, in astrology we always believe the following rule is true: as above so too below. I was like, okay, so if it's going retrograde and looks like things are going backwards in the sky it looks like things would go backwards on earth that's why.

Alex: Okay, so then she moves on to tell us about the areas of life that Mercury rules and in true Susan fashion she gives us an exhaustive list but I think we can really boil it down to communication.

Laura: Yes. And also like code, transportation, shipping, and travel, like, which I guess is things move and communicate, like that's how I think of it.

Alex: Yeah, definitely. And then she says what you should and should not do during a Mercury retrograde phase. The overarching theme is don't make any important moves when Mercury is retrograde, and then she goes into some more specifics.

Laura: And she says nothing will be settled successfully for the future during these periods anyway so if you, if you're like, I've gotta nail this down, it's like later on you're gonna have to change it anyway, so that’s why she advises caution against making like hard fast decisions.

Alex: Hard fast decisions and maybe starting new things, too.

Laura: Starting new things, yeah like anything like signing a contract or like even verbal agreements. What she says is it's not because people are duplicitous, it’s because nobody can predict what the conditions are going to be like later so you're going to change it all again later.

Alex: Right. And maybe the decisions that people are making while their brains are under the influence of Merc retro are not things that can be trusted. But it's not like they're trying to screw you, they just can't make a clear decision.

Laura: Yeah, things are going to change later when we when Mercury goes direct. It’s just like the same thing. Our POV is wrong right now you know because we didn't know that we were moving around the Sun. We just didn't know. We just didn't know.

Alex: Nothing wrong with that. We're always learning.

Laura: Always learning. Good job, humans.

Alex: The next heading is pretty good. Susan is a very quick to warn everyone: do not have plastic surgery or other elective surgery when Mercury, Venus. and Mars are retrograde.

Laura: Like each individually and also maybe collectively. Right, okay. Those are bad times to have

Alex: Bad times. Susan, of course doesn't want to lead anyone astray and give out irresponsible advice, so she makes a very clear point of saying that if you need surgery, please get surgery. Laura: Yes.

Alex: Do not let Mercury retrograde stop you.

Laura: Yes, you should get surgery if you really need it. It’s for elective or cosmetic surgery, just plan that for a time when you, if it's not like immediately lifesaving, plan it a time when Mercury is not in retrograde.

Alex: Right, yeah. She also says, avoid plastic surgery when Venus retrogrades, so not a huge window for plastic surgery frankly, now that we’re examining this.

Laura: No, there’s quite only just a few months where you can get your plastic surgery. Yeah. All right, well everybody, I don't know, but like it’s just like surgery, like you could still get Botox. Probably.

Alex: She doesn't say anything about injectables to be honest but you know

Laura: I mean I’m unclear I don't know so I would probably play it safer and just be like, there's only the three months that I do my Botox. I don't do Botox but if I did, if I did injectables I'd be like, I gotta make sure Venus is for sure not in retrograde yeah

Alex: Yeah you want Venus on your side if you're getting Botox.

Laura: Oh my god you know what I just realized? I have a friend, I won't say their name, they got I filler and they did it in another state because it can be cheaper than New York, and it like went awry and they have like black eyes and I'm like oh my god because Mercury's in retrograde but I hadn't read this article yet I would have warned them off of it.

Alex: Okay, so maybe don't get Botox during or fillers.

Laura: But this one piece of anecdotal information. Anyway, she advises against it is the main point. I'm just realizing maybe that's what happened. I won’t tell them that because I don't think they'll appreciate it. Okay, so then she says, what other specific things should you watch out for? The mail and conveyance of information, or if you send faxes. That was my favorite. I was like, do people still send faxes? Well, be careful sending faxes.

Alex: Right, yeah. This section is really just a treasure trove of practical.

Laura: Yes yes treasure trove.

Alex: You know, backup your computer, your favorite Merc retro activity.

Laura: Yeah, be careful about who you send email to. And you know what I was just thinking? I was at a picnic earlier today and we were remembering Eliot Spitzer

Alex: Oh boy.

Alex: He sent a lot of wrong pictures to the wrong people. Anyway, I was like I wonder if Mercury was in retrograde when his sexting was discovered.

Alex: It's possible but also let's not blame Mercury know for

Laura: for, like for the foibles of one man. Like you shouldn't sexting minors any time.

Was it a minor? I hope I'm not disparaging. Anyway, you just shouldn't be if you're a politician like

Alex: No, no.

Laura: Like standard practice.

Alex: Standard practice. Another one she said was if you’re, a good piece of practical advice was if you're driving a significant distance in a period where Mercury is retrograde, bring extra maps. Practical advice, you know?

Laura: So it just like if you're doing anything like very major during Mercury retrograde is you have backups and like plan extra plans.

Alex: Yeah, and she actually stressed overall that that Merc retro is a good time to like be purposeful and deliberate and it makes you kind of think things through because there is this greater chance of Mercury coming in. She often throughout the years I've read her she often refers to mercury as Dennis the Menace with his little slingshot.

Laura: Oh yes

Alex: And I actually, I hadn't read that in a long time and then a loyal listener of our podcast and friend of mine, Laurel, said that Dennis the Menace popped up in hers. So Susan really likes that metaphor, and I think it's good. He's a little scamp as we described him.

Alex: He's a little scamp, yeah. Also she warned that forgetfulness can be a problem during these phases and this is one of my favorite tips. She was she was like, you might leave your phone or glasses or your gloves in the backseat of a cab. So, you should put your business card on the back of your computer or your smartphone case so that someone can return them to you.

Alex: Yeah, which to me is like a glimpse into how Susan runs her life, which I love.

Laura: Yeah. I'm also like, are her business cards like her website on her like glasses case. I want to know. Yeah. Oh, then she said just FYI in general like you should photocopy your passport and give that to your family. That’s not Merc retrograde specific, she's like, while I'm giving you tips. Romance can also go haywire because it depends on communication and there can be miscommunication or people might be jumping to conclusions, or your sweetheart could have a sudden change of mind. And then later on they might be like I want to break up and then later they'll say, they're like no I didn't mean it Mercury’s direct and I still love you. I don't know, that was just me elaborating.

Alex: I think that's exactly the situation.

Laura: Yeah, yeah. So, if Mercury goes retrograde in your sign delays and frustrations will become even more pronounced than usual. So you have to be doubly vigilant.

Alex: So good luck, people, and yes current one is in Gemini

Laura: So Geminis, double check everything.

Alex: Right. Let's see other things.

Oh wait, so, so this year in:

Alex: Oh my gosh. Yes, so she said that you can use, you know, Mercury retrograde is coming being Dennis the Menace causing problems for you and you can look to the type of sign it is to try to figure out the solution.

Laura: Yeah. And then she said, the next section says, what if you can't put off a decision until a later date. She said, look, just know that the conditions could change, so plan to be flexible and know that like things might just change later. And then also, this is my favorite, she said that one of her daughters had resigned her least are in retrograde because she's an Aries and doesn't like to hear what the rules, and I was like this is like the cobbler’s children not having shoes. Your mother's an astrologist and you signed the lease during Merc retro. Well four months later, the landlord sold the building and their daughter had to move.

Alex: Do you think that Susan was like, told you so.

Susan: I mean this paragraph reads like I told you so. So, yeah, yeah, yeah. Ok so what can you do during Mercury retrograde? She said that there are situations where you can move forward. Like if you're, especially with a new that you're going back to the past either to correct something or do more with a person you know and admire so if it's something that's put on

the back burner and that comes up again during Mercury Retrograde like that, that's okay if it was started well before, like that's fine. It just can't be like started within Mercury retrograde or the period right before or right after.

Alex: Exactly. If it’s something that you have a history with, that’s better than something that's a truly new endeavor.

Laura: Yeah, and it sounds like the anything that like Mercury retrograde is good for anything that means like review or research is you know like I think with the word “re” in it.

Alex: Yes.

Laura: Yeah. Then, then like reconnecting, reuniting, reviewing, redirecting, that's, that's okay. Alex: Absolutely. Yeah, she also has a very interesting section titled: What if you were born under Mercury Retrograde?

Laura: Wow.

Alex: Now Laura and I have both figured out that we were not born under Mercury retrograde so we can't add our, our thoughts into this unfortunately from our personal experiences. This is interesting, Susan disagrees with the other astrologers out there who think that if you were born under Mercury retrograde, you might not feel it as much as people who were born when Mercury was direct. She feels that this is not this is not true. She was born while Mercury was in retrograde, and she says that she finds the Merc retro periods very difficult. So that's not a thing. You know, just something to think about.

Laura: Okay. So, then there was a section which we enjoy which is: Is Mercury Retrograde all bad? No. Like we said it's for reconnecting. So here's some examples of ways that Mercury Retrograde can help you: if you've been working on a project that seems to have gone down the wrong path, Mercury will make it evident that you need to alter it or redirect it. If you stall on accepting a job offer, a better one become your way. If you refrain from buying a big, expensive item, then that item might go on sale later and you'll be glad you waited, an important meeting could be postponed and you'll have time to gather information. If you're in sales, you can go back to old customers and clients, and missing objects are likely to be found.

Alex: I liked that one a lot. I put a big star next to that. That made me feel good.

Laura: Yeah, good. yeah.

Alex: She also says it's great time to reorganize your files or your closet. You know, pack your clothes up, organize your shoes, see which of your appliances like need to go to the shop.

Laura: Yeah.

Alex: And then, related to that, she says when you're doing these things like organizing your stuff and cleaning your closets and your files, you're going to be reunited with some things that you forgot about.

Laura: Great.

Alex: So, really stressing this idea of like, Mercury, can be a real problem. I don't want to defend Mercury, but it's also Susan sees it as this opportunity to focus and to think about, like, our work and the quality of it and be deliberate and purposeful. And it's kind of like a nice chance for that. That's her positive spin on it.

Laura: Yeah, that she says Mercuy rules anything that begins with “re.” Redo, reassess, repair repeat, repeat, redesign, or revisit. It's human nature to want to hear that new opportunities are coming our way but we really do need to focus on the quality of our work and improve it to be the best that it can be. So I thought that was like kind of a nice thing to be like this is time to reassess and refine.

Alex: Really nice.

Laura: Yeah, I felt like it was very helpful to hear all these things that could go right during Mercury retrograde

Alex: Me too. I think she must have felt like she had a responsibility to let us know about this.

Laura: Yeah

Alex: Because Mercury, while Mercury is a problem.

Laura: Well I think Mercury has a bad reputation.

Alex: Mercury has a terrible reputation.

Laura: And also, like in the past few years, especially on social media, every time Mercury goes in retrograde people like to freak out about it and then it's like oh we can't do anything or, you know, makes it, it's very anxiety-inducing the amount that people talk about Mercury retrograde, but I think she's kind of redeemed Mercury retrograde

Alex: Look at what you did.

Laura: Yeah, thank you. I'm a writer.

Alex: Look at what you did.

Laura: Yes, that, that Mercury has its purpose. Like all things so. So it's Dennis the Menace but you know, still not all not all bad.

Alex: You know, he has his moments.

Laura: Yeah. And, you know, I just realized Mercury retrograde happens every year and it's in some ways it's also reliable.

Alex: That's true. She says that, too. You can count on it.

Laura: You can count on it. So that's our interpretation of Susan Miller's guide to everything you need to know about Mercury Retrograde. You can find the full article on her website astrologyzone.com. If you have any thoughts about Mercury retrograde, you can email us, Laura and Alex, at astrologyzoned@gmail.com. And I think we always like to tell you: tell a friend about this podcast. They might need to know all about it.

Alex: Yes, and good luck with the remaining periods of Mercury retrograde.

Laura: Yes, good luck with all of your retrogrades.

Alex: Yes.

Laura: We'll see you next time.

Alex: Thanks for listening.

Laura: Okay, bye!

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About the Podcast

Astrology Zoned: A Susan Miller Fan Podcast
Susan Miller Reads The Stars. We Read Susan Miller.
Welcome to Astrology Zoned: A Susan Miller Fan Podcast! Laura von Holt (Taurus) and Alex Gershuny (Scorpio), superfans of Susan Miller and longtime readers of Astrology Zone, share their (non-professional) thoughts on astrology and the woman, the mystic, the oracle herself: Susan Miller. Each month Laura and Alex will break down their Astrology Zone horoscopes and discuss why Susan Miller’s combination of exciting predictions and practical advice causes them to return to her site month after month.

About your hosts

Laura von Holt

Profile picture for Laura von Holt
Laura von Holt is an author, entrepreneur, and creative coach. Her innovative personality and brand have been an inspiration to hundreds of artists living in NYC. She is well known for her speaking series “Don’t Quit Your Daydream!” and has been featured at SXSW & Seriesfest.

Laura is a captivating voice for women of all ages, and works as a coach to harness self-expression and goal setting, while battling the patriarchy and other oppressive forces, like self-doubt! Laura is an expert in the arena because she has followed a life of passion. Whether she is writing plays that earn her top marks in the New York Times, or wild romance novels (under the pen name Laura Lovely), she is a beacon to follow – which is easy to do because she leaves a trail of glitter behind her.

Laura is the host of The Mermaid Podcast and You're Doing Great. She is proud to be the world's foremost mermaid expert and your personal cheerleader. She writes romance novels as Laura Lovely.

Alex Gershuny

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Alex Gershuny has been a Susan Miller enthusiast for over fifteen years. She has a master’s degree in information and library science and most recently worked at an architecture firm. Before becoming a librarian, Alex worked for many years as an editor at an arts nonprofit. Aside from Susan Miller, some of Alex’s interests include art, baths, NY1, and musical theater.