The significance of the Mercury Retrograde period

 MERCURY RETROGRADE BETWEEN CAPRICORN AND SAGITTARIUS

It is that time of the year again, Mercury has begun his Retro Station on December 10, an event occurring cyclically every four months or so.

Our little neighbor will move back into Sagittarius on December 19, turn Direct on December 30, and finally re-enter Capricorn on January 13.

Often the period of Mercury’s retrogradation is simply interpreted as a time full of misunderstandings, technical glitches, disruption in communication, odd accidents, mis-communications etc. These effects are often obvious, especially for people who happen to have the Sun, Moon, personal planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) or one of the four Angles (Ascendant, Descendant, Mid-Heaven or Lower Heaven) within the span of the zodiac covered by Mercury (19° Sagittarius to 6° Capricorn, this time), or in those areas in major aspect to it.

As far as the Sun Signs are concerned the individuals more directly affected by Mercury’s retrogradation, this time, will be: Capricorn, born December 22/29 ~ Cancer, born June 22/29 ~ Libra, born September 23/30 ~ Aries, born March 21/28. ~ Sagittarius, born December 10/21~ Gemini, born June 10/21 ~ Virgo, born September 11/22 ~ Pisces, born March 9/20.

There is a lot more however to the retrogradation of Mercury. First of all, Mercury might retrograde within one Zodiacal Sign, or pass, in retro motion, from one Sign to the one that precedes it, like it’s happening in this case. The Sign emphasis is in fact also important.

In a Birth Chart, for instance, Mercury in Capricorn encourages the mind to think methodically, to plan ahead, to restrain from flights of fancy keeping it on the narrow and straight path, so to speak. This Earthy Mercury is ideal for business dealings, for any constructive or practical enterprise, also for leadership because the individual’s way of expressing him/herself demands respect and trust from others. Mercury in Capricorn is in fact efficient, ambitious and thorough, with a mind which sticks to facts and figures, and delivers.

Collectively these same qualities will influence everyone, at some level, depending on where Capricorn is in your Birth Chart.

The Retrogradation however will soon move the Mercurial focus from Capricorn’s Earth plane to the intuitive plane of Sagittarius, a Fire Sign.

When Mercury is found in Sagittarius in someone’s Birth Chart it indicates an individual whose mind is unfettered by conditioning and rules of thinking. Sagittarius Mercury is the free thinker par excellence, ready to speculate about everything and easily going on far fetched tangents in his thinking and words.

For all of us this period should afford an opportunity to think out of the box, freeing ourselves from the shackles of conventional ideas and unadventurous communication.  This is symbolically a going back to our source of inspiration before we proceed again to do business as usual.

Mercury in Sagittarius is getting extra calendar time, due to the planet’s slowness when retrograde, inspiring us to look for meaning,  and generally expanding our understanding of life.

The transits a Mercury Retrograde forms during this special time are also important. Due to the extremely reflective nature of this planet, absorbing readily the colour and energy of other planets he comes in contact with, especially via conjunction.

Contrary to the usual Mercury’s transits that last only for very short periods of time, indicating passing moods and ideas, the retro transits of this planet last a relatively long time, impressing their peculiar mark on our personal and collective psyche. All aspects in fact that become exact just before the retro period of a planet are repeated three times: the first pass in direct motion, the second in retro motion and the third in direct motion again. If you happen to have Sun, Moon, Planets, Angles or Nodes around the degree of such transits or in aspect to them, then the effect of a retro Mercury’s transit could be as significant as the transit of a slow moving body.

These Transits will tend to have more of an effect on people who happen to have Sun, Moon, Planets or Angles around the degrees listed.

Mercury conjunct Mars, first in Sagittarius, then in Capricorn, while retrograde, finally in Aquarius again, in direct motion. It is exact on November 21 (on 17° of Sagittarius) , December 14 (on 04° of Capricorn), and February21 (on 28° of Aquarius).

This transit will coincide also with the conjunction Mercury-Pluto and Mars-Pluto, energizing the mind, and also intensifying the desire to know things, lifting the curtain of face value impressions. It is an important transit, helping to penetrate through walls of silence and to express things usually left unspoken. It is however also a dangerous connection, bringing up from the depth mental contents, memories, obsessions, traumas that have been repressed for a long time. Those could get out of hand and cause some major havoc in the lives of those who have a direct connection with the degree occupied each time by the transit.

Mercury square Jupiter and Uranus, while transiting Sagittarius. These transits are exact on November 26/28 (on 23° and 26° of Sagittarius), December 21/22 (on 25° and 26° of Sagittarius), and January 11/12 (on the same degrees as the December pass).

This transit may test our capacity to broaden our world view and to think out of the box. It could prove very creative and exciting for some, but perhaps also somewhat hypo and wasteful for others, increasing mental curiosity but also nervous restlessness.

THE PHASES OF MERCURY

Even after considering all these factors we would still fall short of penetrating the meaning of Mercury’s retro period if we weren’t considering it in the context of Mercury’s entire cycle in relation to the Earth and Sun. The Phases of Mercury are in fact as fundamental to this all important planetary energy as its Sign position, that represents the quality of its energy, or  Mercury’s House placement and the House ruled by Mercury via traditional Sign rulership, indicating the areas of experience where its planetary energy will more likely find expression.

In the light of the entire cycle the Retrogradation of Mercury is a most significant moment, when the planet passes from waning to waxing, from Evening to Morning Star. It is not just the Moon who waxes to the Full phase and wanes toward the New Moon. All planets do, when we observe their relationships with the Sun and the Earth. The phases bring to the ‘reading’ of Mercury an extra dimension, showing it as an ongoing process, rather than a fixed placement to be interpreted in a rigid way.

If interested please check my next post on planetary phases (Mercury’s in particular), to be published soon.

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