5 Things Christians Need to Know about Mercury Retrograde and the Dangers of Astrology

Whitney Hopler

Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
Published Apr 19, 2024
5 Things Christians Need to Know about Mercury Retrograde and the Dangers of Astrology

Recently, the topic of Mercury Retrograde in astrology has been trending in internet searches and becoming popular on social media. In 2024, Mercury will enter retrograde three times: from April 1 to April 24, August 5 to August 27, and November 25 to December 15. You may have heard that during Mercury Retrograde, various communication mishaps and misunderstands can happen.  Many people find themselves curious about these celestial events and their supposed impact on daily life. 

Mercury retrograde is an optical illusion where the planet appears to move backward relative to Earth for about three weeks. This illusion affects how we communicate, travel, and connect with others and ourselves. Despite the disruptions it is said to cause, Mercury retrograde is not actually the planet reversing its orbit. While astrology may seem harmless or even intriguing, it’s important for us as Christians to approach such practices with discernment and a commitment to truth. So, let’s explore the phenomenon of Mercury Retrograde, along with the dangers of embracing astrology.

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1. Scientific Perspective of Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde is a fascinating scientific phenomenon that occurs when the planet Mercury appears to move backward in its orbit around the sun. This optical illusion happens due to the relative positions and speeds of Earth and Mercury in their respective orbits. While Mercury isn’t actually reversing its path, its position in relation to Earth creates the illusion of retrograde (backward) motion. From a scientific perspective, Mercury Retrograde is a natural occurrence with no spiritual significance at all. Mercury Retrograde is simply a result of the complex dynamics of our solar system.

In reality, all planets undergo retrograde motion at various points in their orbits. Mercury’s retrograde periods tend to be more frequent than other planets, because of Mercury’s proximity to the sun and its faster orbital speed. During Mercury Retrograde, the planet appears to backtrack through the sky’s zodiac for approximately three weeks. But Mercury Retrograde is only an optical illusion.

As Christians, we can appreciate the beauty of Mercury’s motion as a fascinating aspect of astronomy. We can learn more about nature – including the other planets in our solar system – and let that inspire us to appreciate our Creator’s work in creation. However, we must be careful not to attribute any more significance to the motion of planets in their orbits than is truly there. Instead of trying to read meaning into the way Mercury moves through the sky, we’re called to find meaning directly from God. Real wisdom comes from the Creator – not from creation. Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

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2. Astrological Perspective of Mercury Retrograde

From an astrological standpoint, Mercury Retrograde is a time that astrologers associate with confusion, frustration, and chaos. Astrologers believe that Mercury governs thinking, communication, and travel, and they think its retrograde motion influences these areas of life in negative ways. During Mercury Retrograde periods, astrologers caution against making major decisions, starting new projects, or signing contracts. This is because Mercury’s retrograde motion supposedly causes confusion, misunderstandings, and delays in communication on Earth. Astrologists warn that, during Mercury Retrograde, all sorts of chaos may happen. People may not be able to think or communicate clearly, plans may fall through unexpectedly, technological glitches may occur, and mechanical failures may happen. Those who follow astrology may blame Mercury Retrograde for computer crashes, dropped phone calls, flight delays, and traffic jams.

However, it’s important to approach these astrological interpretations with discernment. While some people may experience challenges during Mercury Retrograde periods, there is no real evidence to support the notion that celestial events directly influence human affairs in the ways astrology describes. Isaiah 47:13-14 speaks about worthless astrological guidance: “All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. These are not coals for warmth; this is not a fire to sit by.”

God calls us to trust his eternal wisdom instead of relying on the guidance of astrologers or the movements of celestial bodies. While astrology may offer explanations for life’s challenges, it doesn’t provide any actual evidence for those explanations. Astrology ultimately leads to a worldview that turns us away from God and his wisdom. If we’re seeking guidance from astrological charts, we’re distracted from finding and fulfilling our true purposes through relationships with God. So, it’s vital to place our faith in God rather than trusting the unreliable predictions of astrology.

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3. Discerning truth from illusion.

3. Discerning truth from illusion.

In this fallen world, all sorts of beliefs are presented as real when, in fact, they are actually false. Mercury Retrograde is an optical illusion, and the beliefs about it in astrology aren’t real either. Astrology operates on the premise that the positions and movements of celestial bodies can influence human affairs. However, this belief system relies on interpretations that lack empirical evidence. Instead of placing our faith in the shifting positions of planets, we as Christians should place our faith in God, who is unchanging and completely reliable.

Hebrews 13:8 points out that: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” We can find the help and hope we need by trusting Jesus in all circumstances. Astrology is dangerous because it leads us away from our reliable God and toward unreliable human philosophy. Colossians 2:8 warns us: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” Jesus calls us to discern truth from illusion and to avoid being swayed by teachings that contradict the teachings of God’s Word.

While astrology may offer us some temporary comfort or explanations when we face challenges, it ultimately leads us away from God’s truth. Instead of seeking guidance from astrological charts or predictions, we need to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who Jesus reveals “will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit will often direct us toward the truth of God’s Word, the Bible, where we can find clarity and direction in the middle of deceptive illusions like Mercury Retrograde. Psalm 119:105 declares: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” So, let’s be careful to discern illusions from reality and committed to finding guidance from God – not from untrustworthy sources of guidance. We should be lifelong learners who are constantly using the powerful minds God gave us to think critically, investigate claims carefully, and pursue true wisdom. 

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4. Embracing God’s authority over creation.

When we face difficult times, we don’t need to blame those troubles on Mercury Retrograde to find some sort of explanation. Jesus tells us in John 16:33: “… in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” In this fallen world, we can find peace of mind by remembering that God is sovereign over all creation – including the movements of the planets. Psalm 147:4 declares about God: “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.” Our faith is anchored in God’s unchanging character, not in the shifting positions of celestial bodies like Mercury.

As Christians, we know that God’s authority extends far beyond the realm of human understanding. God is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, so nothing happens outside of his control. But even in the middle of challenging circumstances, we can trust that God is working all things together for our good. Romans 8:28 reminds us: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

While astrology may attribute significance to Mercury’s movements, it fails to acknowledge the ultimate authority of God. We never need to be afraid of Mercury Retrograde – or any other kind of astrological philosophy. We can trust in the powerful authority of our loving God. In Psalm 46:10, God encourages us to: ‘’Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” By embracing God’s authority, we can find peace even when we’re dealing with the uncertainties of life, knowing that God is always with us, guiding us, and working all things together for our good.

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5. Pursuing the brightest light.

God’s light shines infinitely brighter than Mercury’s light. As God’s children in relationships with Jesus, we shouldn’t be pursuing the darkness of astrology, but the light of truth found in Jesus. Jesus is the light of the world. In John 8:12, Jesus says: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” Jesus calls us out of the darkness and into the light. So, in this world full of illusions and distractions, let’s focus on Jesus. He tells us in John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Astrology – with its focus on planets, stars, and their supposed influence on people's lives – presents a distorted view of reality. While it may offer temporary explanations or comfort, it ultimately leads us away from the truth, which is only found in relationships with Jesus. By pursuing God as our source of truth and light, we can break free from the deceptive allure of astrology and experience God’s unfailing love. Mercury Retrograde directs our attention to all that can go wrong in our fallen world, causing us to focus on darkness. But God calls us to pay attention to the redemptive work he is doing in our world, shining the bright light of hope into our lives. When we feel surrounded by darkness, we can find hope by pursuing God’s light. 

In conclusion, Mercury Retrograde gets a lot of attention, but it’s actually just an illusion. The scientific phenomenon of Mercury Retrograde is an optical illusion, while the astrological philosophy that Mercury Retrograde causes confusion and chaos is equally deceptive. When we hear about Mercury Retrograde, we should stand firm in our faith in God, who calls us to practice discernment and pursue the truth. We find what’s really true through our relationships with Jesus. So, let’s be careful to go to Jesus when we experience challenges, rather than blaming Mercury Retrograde or any other unreliable belief from astrology. No matter what time of year it is in the zodiac, we can count on Jesus to shine true light into our dark circumstances.

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headshot of author Whitney HoplerWhitney Hopler is the author of the Wake Up to Wonder book and the Wake Up to Wonder blog, which help people thrive through experiencing awe. She leads the communications work at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Whitney has served as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations, including Crosswalk.com, The Salvation Army USA’s national publications, and Dotdash.com (where she produced a popular channel on angels and miracles). She has also written the young adult novel Dream Factory. Connect with Whitney on X/Twitter and on Facebook

Originally published Sunday, 21 April 2024.