For many of us, Mercury Retrograde is an event that occurs 3 or 4 times a year. Sometimes it wrecks havoc with scheduling, commuter travel, minor accidents, electronics, and communicating what we mean. And then it's done and life gets back to normal.
And by the way, the next Mercury Retrograde is approaching, starting on July 26. This time the passage with all be in Leo. In general, this could be a period when some should expect frustration with creative pursuits, increased arguments and conflicts, and possible minor accidents.
But some of us, about 25% according to one source, were born during a period of Mercury Retrograde, and thus have its particular challenges almost all the time. This is an indication that there were extra Mercury challenges in a past life that this time around you are given another chance to conquer.
In general, those with a natal Merc Retro have had a past life in which hiding one's thoughts or refraining from truth-telling was paramount. The zodiac element that a natal Merc Retro is in gives clues as to the past life problems.
If your natal Mercury is in a Fire sign -- Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius -- past life challenges likely involved being afraid to speak up lest your survival was at stake, express yourself creatively for fear of getting criticized, or suffering a persistently negative attitude.
With a natal Mercury in an Air sign -- Gemini, Libra, Aquarius -- past life challenges might have included being painfully shy, unable to assert yourself in a relationship, or speaking out of turn or inappropriately such that your words caused a lot of trouble for yourself or others.
If Mercury for you is in an Earth sign -- Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn -- you could have had a learning disability in a past life, been ignored for your intellect, or unable to make practical use of information you acquired.
Mercury in Water signs -- Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces -- suggests past life trouble with emotional processing especially of sensitive and personal topics, being unable to recognize contributing factors to a situation, or overwhelmed with anything requiring logical thought.
Karma Punishments, Curses, and Left-Over Challenges
Now you may have been told that difficulties you might have in your current lifetime are due to bad karma, that you're being punished somehow for something you did in the past. This is not true. No deity is trying to punish you. That kind of reasoning is used to exert social control over your choices.
Nor have you been cursed by any wielder of psychic powers. People who talk about curses are either trying to scam you, or are ignorant of how spiritual energies work.
An astrology chart is like a road map. It shows us the soul plan we have agreed to for the current lifetime, where the easy valleys and accomplishment peaks are most likely to be found, as well as where the rough roads and detours are probably going to be. In this metaphor, the rough roads are the left over karmic lessons that weren't completed in a past life.
With respect to Mercury Retrograde -- which is always creating lessons for us in reconsidering, re-planning, reviewing, re-positioning, relearning and so on -- we have lifetimes that are relatively easy, with few major breakdowns due to this zodiac trickster. But then we also balance that out with some lifetimes in which we are re-learning or reconfirming certain lessons.
Both situations are meant to improve intellectual understanding, mental processing, synthesis and integration of facts, problem solving, and the ability to clearly, assertively yet gently speak our minds.