Most people, even those not interested in the study of astrology, have some awareness of Mercury retrograde. Awareness does not equal understanding, however. Indeed, Mercury retrograde is generally misunderstood only as a time when things go wrong, when we shouldn’t travel, when we should decide anything or when our computer or car breaks down. It has become a scapegoat, something to blame when things don’t go right. Of course, in reality this is an overly simplistic and therefore incomplete understanding. Mercury retrograde is best viewed as part of a broader Mercury cycle. There are eight stages to that cycle and each one of them (including the time Mercury is retrograde) represents an important stage in the development of ideas and other Mercury-related matters in our lives. We’ll look at each of the eight stages in upcoming articles, but initially, let’s take a closer look at Mercury itself.