It’s that time of year again when we play host to Mercury retrograde. During these periods, the cosmic trickster sometimes puts spanner in the works to see if you are paying attention. Mercury is about the mind, communication and learning. He shows how you speak, your mannerisms and how you connect with others. Mercury also rules how you learn – how you connect fact to fact.
When Mercury is retrograde, there are usually dire warnings that everything will break, the computer will die and anything you buy will be a dud. The thing is, in real life, we can’t always put things on hold just because Mercury is retrograde. As an astrologer, I would normally advise waiting until the Mercury retrograde is over before making a large purchase or signing an agreement or contract. But, that said, if it isn’t practical to wait, then it’s about being vigilant. Check the facts – then check them again. Start out earlier if you are travelling somewhere to curb problems with delays. Check and re-check where important items are. It’s just about paying attention because Mercury will get up to tricks when you aren’t looking otherwise.
Mercury was the only one of the Gods to have an access all areas pass – heaven, hell and earth in between. He knows the depths of your subconscious, he dips into the collective pool of the unconscious and he is there when you are trying to remember where you put your to-do list. Mercury is the carrier of dreams from the realm of sleep to waking consciousness and he’s there in the shadows when you lay wakeful in the middle of night tormented by dark thoughts. He’s also there when the penny drops and you finally ‘get’ what you were trying to figure out. He connects.
But Mercury is a God and he doesn’t work with human time. Mercury retrograde reminds you that there is cosmic time as well. When your train is delayed and you stand aimlessly waiting, your thoughts turn inwards. Mercury presses for reassessment. No matter how much you need the train to arrive, Mercury may quietly insist you need some thinking time instead.
This year, Mercury will turn retrograde each time in a water sign but then back up into an air sign. It suggests that the focus then is on a reassessment of the emotional life (water) in order to relate better to others (air).
The first retrograde of the year will begin in the spiritual sign of Pisces so Mercury is diving into the depths, retrieving long forgotten dreams and wishes you once yearned for. As Mercury stirs these oceanic waters, you may find a message in a bottle popping up from the depths – a message to yourself.
Traditionally, Mercury in Pisces can be forgetful – retrograde, doubly so. Check where you put your keys! This is a dreamy time where it may be hard to get a handle on what is happening. Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow. To add to the confusion, when Mercury stations retrograde, he will be conjunct Neptune. It’s surrealism at its best. Mixed messages, going round the houses and forgetting something really important are all possible manifestations. As are vivid dreams, a sense on peace and a moment for quiet contemplation.
Check the house where Mercury stations retrograde in your chart. This may be the area of life where muddled messages manifest. It may also indicate an area where you need to retreat and rest. This area is sensitised and spiritualised. As I write these words, healing flows from my hands. Maybe you can feel it too…
The Mercury Retrograde Cycle
On the 6th February, Mercury stations retrograde on the Sabian symbol :-
Heavy Car Traffic On A Narrow Isthmus Linking Two Seashore Resorts
Things being clogged up. There’s a danger of not being able to make the right connections. It’s information overload. Maybe you feel stuck. Perhaps you have relied too much on the facts and followed your head instead of listening to your intuition and following you heart. The retrograde period will clear the way.
Mercury will trine the North Node on the 11th February, pulling you towards an as yet untried path. You may have a feeling that something is missing and a longing to search for it. A trine to Ceres on the same day is like a deep motherly love, the kind of unconditional love a mother has for a child. Reach into the depths of your soul to find it. It will help you to honour that karmic pull.
Mercury backtracks into Aquarius on the 13th February. The energy of the retrograde shifts from something deeply emotional into something more airy. Maybe now that you’ve done a little soul searching, you realise that you need some space. Alternatively maybe you’ve recognised that you need to widen your social circle and make connections with new groups.
Mercury retrograde will oppose the Full Moon on the 14th February and the chart’s aspects indicate there may be some heavy feelings as you struggle between what you want and what others want. A helping hand however is offered by a trine between Mercury and Vesta on the same day. She gently whispers, focus on maintaining harmony.
The inferior conjunction between the Sun and Mercury occurs on the 15th February. At this point Mercury is like Prometheus stealing fire from the Gods. In Aquarius, this conjunction seems to fan the flames of intent. You feel ready to move forwards. The future looks bright and you want to be there now! But it’s important to stay cool and let things unfold a little first.
A trine from Mercury to Mars on the 16th February gives you the impetus to want to get ahead whilst the ideas are fresh in your mind but be warned as a square to Saturn on the 19th February may put a spanner in the works! This uneasy duo will bring you up short if you’ve gone barrelling ahead anyway. Even if you have been patient, retrograde Mercury square Saturn brings a tendency to badger and berate. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Just use this energy to fix what needs to be fixed.
Mercury finally turns direct on the 28th February so cautious steps forward are starred. Bear in mind though that Mercury won’t be completely out of it’s shadow until the 20th March.
Mercury stations direct on the Sabian symbol :-
A Forest Fire Is Being Subdued By the Use of Water, Chemicals and Sheer Muscular Energy.
Whether it’s too much traffic on the road or a forest fire, both stationing symbols represent something has got out of control and needs to be re-assessed. It’s about course correction before you crash land The second symbol gives the impression that you need to throw everything at it in order to resolve the problem. No half measures will do.
Mercury Retrograde Dates
Mercury enters shadow zone 22nd January
Mercury stations retrograde 6th Feb
Mercury trine north Node 11th February
Mercury trine Ceres 11th Feb
Mercury re-enters Aquarius 13th Feb
Mercury trine Vesta 14th Feb
Sun conjunct Mercury 15th Feb
Mercury trine Mars 16th Feb
Mercury square Saturn 19th Feb
Mercury direct 28th Feb
Mercury exits shadow zone 20th March
Need more? Check my other post…
Painting – The Fish and the Moon by Mordecai Ardon