The singer jokingly blamed a hand injury on the astrological event. You could be feeling its effects, too
We are experiencing an especially heated time of year when communications fail, accidents happen, unpredictable events occur, and travel delays set us back hours. No, we aren’t talking about the weather warming up for spring — rather, it’s Mercury retrograde, which lasts from April 21 to May 14. This is an astrological transit when the planet Mercury moves slower than the Earth. It makes us earthlings feel powerless and unhinged as a result, since Mercury’s leisurely pace makes us think too hard and too much. Even though Mercury isn’t actually moving backward, the optical illusion we see from its unhurried movement makes us think that it is. It affects us all. As you can see on social media, celebrities hate it, too.
Taylor Swift used Mercury retrograde as the excuse for her fall at the Houston leg of her Eras tour that led to a hand injury. The singer wrote on social media in part: “…for those asking how I cut my hand, I’m totally fine and it was my fault completely – tripped on my dress hem and fell in the dark backstage while running to a quick change – braced my fall with my palm. It was all very Mercury in retrograde coded. Don’t worry about me I’m gooooood.” In 2015, Swift told MTV that we “can’t blame ourselves” for issues that occur at this time. Instead, she suggested we blame Mercury retrograde for messing everything up in our lives. Apparently, she dislikes it just as much as the rest of us.
Katy Perry shared similar sentiments when she tweeted in 2014, “I see u mercury in retrograde…come at me bruh.” More recently, the singer posted on Twitter, “Don’t trip y’all, #idol is live tonight,” along with a video of her slipping while walking by a sign reading “Caution: Watch Your Step” backstage at American Idol. This was on April 24, a mere three days after Mercury retrograde commenced. Could this have been a subliminal warning here, given she’s a believer in the intense effects of the planetary moonwalk? The tweet went live hours after Swift’s own post.
Time and again, celebrities and everyday folks alike get into mishaps when Mercury is retrograde because they’re in a rush. Remember that it’s best spent as a time to slow down. Our minds can become anxious faster, as we overthink things and forget to prioritize what’s right in front of us. Swift and Perry might not have been paying attention to where they were walking or what they were walking into. My advice here is to focus on one task at a time and try not to get distracted — even if you are onstage performing for a live audience.
Other celebrities have previously thrown shade at Mercury retrograde, blaming this astrological transit for the havoc and chaos in their lives. After a 2017 meet-and-greet event with fans was rescheduled, SZA got frustrated with Mercury’s backspin and tweeted, “Lol retrograde really tried to square up w me that’s crazy.” Diplo responded, “You should throw hands at retrograde.” Halsey, a self-identified witch who posts about astrology regularly, wrote on Twitter in 2014, “Dealing with the hell the Mercury retrograde left in [its] wake.” This is further proof that no one is immune from miscommunications, travel issues, technological meltdowns, and arguments with loved ones during this time.
When Phoebe Bridgers was asked by Australian publication Purple Sneakers in 2020 about the release of her album at the height of Mercury retrograde, Bridgers gave an apt response. “Forgot I’m releasing music,” she said. “So maybe I’m inherently fucked?” Yes, the backward spin of Mercury can make us forgetful. Bridgers carried on and didn’t let the news affect her release date — unlike Lady Gaga, who considered canceling a 2012 world tour to avoid potential unforeseen issues. Lady Gaga’s response to the planetary phenomenon expressed her frustration and concern, “If [Mercury] doesn’t get the f*ck out of retrograde I may give birth to a small menstrual alien [onstage].” Many in the astrology community assume that Lady Gaga consults a professional astrologer to plan her tours and events to avoid Mercury’s backward march when performing.
Avril Lavigne’s 2022 song about this astrological transit, “Mercury in Retrograde,” highlights a love that goes wrong due to the cosmos. “Everythin’ was goin’ great / Then Mercury went into retrograde, yeah,” she sings. “What a beautiful mess we made / When Mercury went into retrograde.” These lyrics capture the heightened emotions and drama sure to emerge from the topsy-turvy celestial event. And back in 2018, Madonna posted a video on Meta hinting that she would re-release two of her older albums on Record Store Day, revisiting older projects when Mercury retrograde ended. However, she probably wasn’t aware that the effects of the retrograde can last up to two weeks after it concludes its backward journey. I like to call this period “retroshade” due to the fact that weird, tragic things happen when Mercury is tracing over the same degrees for a third time.
Although Mercury retrograde can have a negative impact on us, it can also be a positive moment. Rather than starting projects, going on tour, or working on lyrics, you should reconnect with the past. Get nostalgic. Say hello to old ghosts, bitter exes, and estranged friends. Look at past situations with an open heart. As long as you use the retrograde as a reflective measure and reassess, revisit, reevaluate, and rebuild, then you’re golden. And don’t forget about retroshade. This will set the tone for the three-week astrological phase that can change our lives.
The good news is that we can always revise the drama that occurs and make it right — if we want to and are given the chance. For better or worse, Mercury retrograde rocks our world, whether you’re a pop icon or an office worker. But knowing that these superstars are experiencing the same issues as us makes them seem more down to earth than ever.
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