Today an astrology friend mentioned to me her observation about the current Mercury retrograde: “It seems like I have to go backward rather than being able to go forward with my plans. But when I really look at it I see that all the stuff that comes up does serve my plans from a larger perspective… Just not the ones I had at the top of my most current to do list.” This is a helpful way to perceive the classic delays or needed repairs that occur during Mercury retrograde.
My experience with this Mercury retrograde is the uncanniness of how unresolved issues from the past pop up like clockwork during Mercury’s retrograde phase. Especially when it is something that was initiated during a previous Mercury retrograde cycle. It seems it will forevermore come up in subsequent Mercury retrogrades, in hopes of resolution! Yet in many circumstances it may be that a final resolution will be impossible until a resolution is reached while Mercury is direct and not retrograde. Remembering this can help when patience for things to be resolved is needed. Because even if it is resolved during Mercury retrograde it may not *really* be resolved, so might as well sit tight and peacefully wait for that desired resolution until after Mercury turns direct!
Likewise, I am once again observing that if a decision is made during the shadow phase, which started on May 4th this time, I should be prepared that it may not be as final as it seems. The issue will probably surface again for review during the retrograde phase, and the decision may even appear to move in the reverse direction (appropriate symbolism for a retrograde planet). Further reviews may occur in the post-retrograde shadow phase. However when a decision is come to after Mercury is direct, it has usually gone through the necessary back and forth process and will actually be final.
The same astrology friend as mentioned above said another telling thing that reflects this back and forth process of a retrograde planet: “It was like ironing. I had to go back and forth till I got the thing ironed out.”
Mercury is preparing to turn retrograde Jan 21st—Feb 11th, and we are already in the shadow period. Mercury retrograde can be thought of as a time when Mercury takes a break from normal duties and goes on a little vacation. This is often considered a frustration for people, but in actuality it is meant to give all of us a vacation of sorts. The pre-retrograde shadow period from Jan 5th—Jan 20th is a built in span of time that can help us prepare mentally and take some practical steps to get ready for this type of vacation. Read more...
Here are a few examples of the ways in which we can try to flow harmoniously with Mercury’s holiday. Mercury retrograde can be a vacation from making big decisions, since one may not have all the pertinent information and clarity until after Mercury turns direct. Or it can be a vacation from shopping for anything beyond day-to-day necessities, since one may be a bit more blurry on details and relevant factors when considering the options presented. And it certainly can be a vacation from jumping to conclusions or assumptions about what someone said or meant, as it will be revealed in time, but perhaps not fully during the retrograde period.
Taking a break from things like this creates room for what Mercury retrograde is actually for: introspection, introversion, slowing down the pace, reviewing the past, clearing up or fixing things from the past, pondering, mulling things over, and sleeping on it, etc. The delays that are often associated with Mercury retrograde can be seen as beneficial and helpful in allowing the type of spaciousness that is needed to balance the habitual go go go energy of typical daily life.
The next Mercury retrograde period is immanent (Oct 4th thru 25th), and we have been in the shadow period since Sep 13th. Mercury goes retrograde 3 to 4 times a year, so it is something to embrace! Yes, Mercury is a little mischievous, but there is nothing to fear or dread about Mercury appearing to go backwards for a few weeks! Having awareness of when it is and what it means, however, helps to either avoid those stereotypical mishaps associated with it, or have more patience and understanding about the message Mercury is trying to convey through those mishaps, when they do happen. If I were to try to briefly sum up my observations about Mercury retrograde it would be this:
Mercury retrograde gives us an opportunity to slow down and be more conscientious about how we are thinking, speaking, connecting, and interacting. Things that are said, heard, decided, bought, sold, created, or destroyed, etc. by you or those you are dealing with or relating to, during Mercury retrograde and possibly during the shadow period before it, will often need to be revisited and altered after Mercury goes direct. Knowing this makes all the difference. Read more...
So, for example, when you find yourself making an important decision, judgement, or purchase during Mercury retrograde, remember it might not be written in stone, as more information will often be revealed in the situation after Mercury goes direct, which may add to your perspective at that point. Regarding electronics, vehicles, and other equipment having problems during Mercury retrograde — Mercury is just the messenger. These problems were most likely developing for a long time under the surface and thanks to Mercury, they are now brought to your attention so you can deal with them.
In Mythology, where we glean much of our astrological symbolism from and apply it psychologically, Mercury is a complex archetype. He is not only associated with day-to-day things like commerce and communication, but he is also the only god who can travel freely between the worlds, transporting souls to and from the underworld, and the staff that he carries, the Caduceus, is a mystical symbol indeed…
Mercury is now direct, as of this morning. However, he is stationary, in the same degree or so for a couple of days before gaining momentum forward, possibly bringing some intensity to all Mercury related things (thinking, communication, commerce, travel, etc) as they become “un-stuck.” Mercury is still in his “shadow,” in that he will be traveling over the part of the zodiac that he traversed while moving “backwards.” But this time he is moving forwards, without needing to go back over this same ground again after this. So although Mercury will not reach new territory, so to speak, until about Apr 23rd, this post-retrograde shadow is not the same as the pre-retrograde shadow. This period may still include working through some issues that arose in the past, but final resolution is more likely now. Whatever is agreed upon from this point forward will most likely not need to be redone or revised, as is often the case with agreements made during the pre-retrograde shadow and the retrograde period.
Though Mars is still retrograde in Virgo through Apr 13th, Mars retrograde may not affect the agreements per se, as much as Mercury does. Rather, Mars affects the actions that need to happen in order to follow through on those agreements. This just suggests that the actions to fulfill the agreements may still take more time while full analysis is completed during the end of the retrograde cycle... In short, moving forward on agreements is supported, while patience for the fulfillment of them may still be needed.
We’re gearing up for another Mercury retrograde (Nov 24-Dec 13)
Mercury retrograde is a wonderful opportunity to slow down the increasingly busy pace of day-to-day life and attempt to calm the restless “monkey mind.” Beginning tomorrow, Nov 5th, Mercury enters it’s shadow (the time preceding Mercury retrograde), meaning that everything Mercury-related (travel, commerce, and communication, etc) will potentially have to be reviewed or redone when Mercury retraces his steps over the same segment of the zodiac. The shadow period, and the retrograde period even more so, are ideal times to be extra conscientious, patient, and attentive to details, so as to minimize misunderstandings, confusion, or other small mistakes (such as uninformed or impulse purchases... I’m planning on using this period as a shopping fast, buying only routine or necessary things, as opposed to new or important items)!
Gemini Moon conjunct Mars, Sun trine Uranus, and Mercury’s Shadow
7/27: The mood is one of action and drive with Moon conjunct Mars, so one may feel bold and assertive. Also, Sun trine Uranus today is conducive for harmonious alignment with what frees you to be your true self and express your genius.
However, important ideas and decisions made now during Mercurys shadow (7/15-8/2), can be unstable and may go back and forth for reevaluation during Mercury retrograde (8/2-8/26). This back and forth is likely to apply both personally and collectively (political, national changes and decisions, etc.)... Rather than trying to solidify something now, it is a great time for reflective pondering and, what is for you, revolutionary thinking.
Also, regarding the image above, the Moon is in Gemini ♊ today. Butterflies are a symbol for the Gemini archetype - flitting from one person, idea, or project, etc. to the next - but spending moments of whole-hearted and unfeigned interest with each. Curious and intelligent, Gemini embodies the bliss of soaking up new information. No shrinking back from life here!
Heads up - another Mercury retrograde phase coming soon!
7/15-8/2: Mercurys shadow
8/2-8/26: Mercury retrograde
Important communications from 7/15 thru Mercury going direct on 8/26 may need to be reviewed & corrected, so it is wise to be extra conscientious now. If certain communications are delayed during this time, one may take comfort knowing that it is all part of a cyclical pattern and will resolve in time.
Mercurys retrograde route consists of a movement (that from earths vantage point appears to go backwards), reviewing the zodiacal span from 1º Virgo ♍ back to 19º Leo ♌. Wherever this falls in your chart will give clues as to what may be up in the air for you during this period.
Its that time again! Mercury will be on vacation (retrograde) Mar 30-Apr 23 (24º Aries back to 13ºAries). Today we begin Mercurys shadow period, which means its a good idea to begin being extra mindful of details, of what you say and hear, of what you write or read, of what you buy and sell, etc. Otherwise it may have to be reviewed. Try to get major, important, or delicate transactions completed before Mar 30th.
When Mercury goes on vacation, a part of us can too. One reason its great to complete important transactions before Mercury goes retrograde, is so that during the retrograde period you have an opportunity to take a small break from all the mundane details of daily life, and go inward for a more contemplative and relaxed time...
We are now clear of Mercurys Shadow, meaning the process of reevaluation that occurred during Mercury retrograde in December is fully complete. Our minds are ready to absorb fresh material. With all planets direct, things are moving forward and changing rapidly. The vibrational frequency is going to continue to rise with upcoming celestial events. The opportunity and challenge is to stay centered - as we all adjust up.
We also enter Mercurys ☿ shadow today, which precedes its retrograde cycle 12/10-12/30. Ground covered from now until the end of December, in Mercurys domain of communication and day-to-day business, may need to be reviewed or revised at some point in the future. So its a good idea to begin giving extra attention to being ultra clear and minding the details.