The planet Mercury started its retrograde phase on January 5th/6th and it will last until January 25th/26th. This is an astronomical/astrological phenomenon that occurs roughly every four months for over a three week period.
From an Earth based perspective, it looks as if Mercury is going backwards, but this is not actually the case. It only appears that way due to the relationship between both Earth’s and Mercury’s orbit around the Sun. Accordingly, astrologers observe it differently than when it appears to be forward moving.
Mercury Retrograde: Changes, Errors, Chaos, Insights, Revisitation, and Transformation
Mercury rules over all types of communication, whether it is writing, speaking, reading, social media interactions, communication technology, or any other method of transmitting information. It also rules commuting and driving, as well as moving parts, such as those found in cars. During Mercury retrograde periods, there are more noticeable errors, disruptions, breakdowns, and complications with all of these things, and this is what Mercury Retrograde has become famous for.
It is a great time for revisiting, redoing, and reconnecting with people, projects, and circumstances from the past. It is ‘generally’ not a good time for starting anything new, though this is not the case in every instance, as there are other factors and variables that need to be considered.
There is also a much deeper and more meaningful purpose to each Mercury retrograde. It is an opportunity to reflect and gain insight.
Traditionally, Mercury is the planet of ‘Alchemy,’ and during its retrograde periods there are circumstances that occur in our lives that are trying to get our attention to help us make necessary changes and transformations in our own ‘alchemical process.’
It is up to to us to pay attention to these signs from the Universe. If we do not pay attention and/or act accordingly, then there is even more potential for unpleasant events and complications to unfold throughout Mercury’s retrograde, and even in the beginning of the post-retrograde period.
The Beginning of Mercury’s Retrogrades In The Earth Element
Throughout 2014 and 2015, all of the Mercury retrogrades that have occurred have been in Air signs. This current edition of Mercury retrograde marks the beginning of a series that will occur in Earth signs until September 2017. As a collective, we are experiencing changes, adjustments, and transformations with our relationship to this element.
The Earth signs Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are associated with practicality, resourcefulness, dependability, foundation, money, and material resources. The last time Mercury retrograde occurred in Earth signs was from May 2009 to December 2010. Over the next 2 years you will find yourself making similar changes, adjustments, and transformations in the same areas of your lives as you were then.
If you have some knowledge of your astrology chart and your birth time, you could look to see what specific areas of your life these next 2 years will influence examining what houses the Earth signs are in.
Mercury Retrograde Mostly In Capricorn, But Starting at First Degree of Aquarius
Capricorn is the realm of responsibilities, ambition, career, social status, physical and social structures, strategy, management, tradition, and control. Capricorn is also a very ‘goal oriented’ sign. The traditional symbol of this sign is the Mountain Goat that is pushing towards its goal of reaching the top of the mountain while overcoming obstacles and challenges along the way. Throughout this Mercury retrograde we are making the necessary changes and adjustments, as well as receiving insight and gaining awareness, into these areas of our lives.
Although more than 90% of this Mercury Retrograde will occur in Capricorn, its journey backwards will start at the very beginning of the Air sign Aquarius, right on the cusp.
As an Air sign, Aquarius is intellectual and social, and is naturally associated with sharing ideas. It is about groups, social networks, associates, and friends, and also represents the ‘global community.’ It is associated with science, technology, innovation, and overall progressive and forward thinking. For example, the internet is literally the most Aquarian thing imaginable.
Considering that Mercury retrograde will start off in Aquarius before delving deep into Capricorn, there is a connection with what needs to be done in the Capricornian realm that will be of benefit to the Aquarian one. Mercury is revisiting and making the necessary changes and adjustments in our structures, goals, ambitions, and the overall the way we manage our lives so that we can pursue our ideas, innovations, and ‘forward thinking’ agenda that may be of service to a particular group and/or community, whether it is large or small, international or local.
The Journey of Mercury Retrograde – Timeline
For each interpretation below, I put 2-3 dates. The early dates are more for those in the Western part of the world, like the Americas, Western Europe, and Africa. The later dates are for those in Eastern parts of the world, such as Eastern Europe, Asia, and Oceania.
January 4th-5th: Mercury Square Mars, Then Mercury Goes Retrograde While In Aquarius
Mars in Scorpio forms a tense aspect with Mercury one hour before it goes retrograde. This can bring awareness of some sort of need to transform or make necessary changes. For some people, this may have been done in a painful or intense way. It could also have manifested as arguments or conflicts amongst groups, friends, or even lovers and family.
There could be tension or even some sort of emergency situation that requires action. It is also possible that something that has been hidden could have come to your awareness in an assertive or intense way. For other people, this could have also manifested as intense mental and/or physical activity that is somehow related to this Mercury retrograde’s themes for those individuals.
January 8th – 10th: Mercury enters Capricorn, Venus conjunct Saturn, and New Moon in Capricorn
As Mercury retrogrades back into Capricorn, the energy will shift to a more serious tone. More emphasis on Capricorn themes (mentioned above) take over. Venus (the planet of fun/pleasure) will be joining Capricorn’s ruler, Saturn, which also has a potential to take the ‘fun’ out of Venus — unless, however, you are having fun living out the Saturnian-Capricornian principles, such as focusing on your career, building a career that you love, or even taking on some other Capricorn role, or integration, that is enjoyable to you. These aspects are also part of the New Moon, meaning that they will influence the entire upcoming lunar month.
January 14th-15th: Mercury Conjunct The Sun, Then Trine the North Node and Jupiter
Whenever Mercury Retrograde joins the Sun, this is known as the ‘Inferior Conjunction,’ and is viewed as a New Beginning for Mercury. During this time there is even more potential for tremendous insight, but this can also be the most chaotic part of it as well, depending on how well you have listened. Or both!
This is an important time to pay attention to what the Universe is trying to tell you. Whatever theme has been building up since December 19th, this is a time where we can make more meaning out of it. The more you have been paying attention to and reflecting on what your experiences/circumstances have been trying to tell you, the less potential chaos or problems during this time, though that is not always guaranteed. It’s important to understand that although this can be a very insightful time, there is still more clarity to come over the next month.
Following Mercury’s conjunction with the Sun, Mercury then forms a trine to Jupiter which has also gone retrograde a few days after Mercury did. This is a time where we can reflect on how what we have learned at this time can help us in our future goals and life purpose.
January 20th – 24th: Mercury Square Uranus in Aries, Then Conjunct Pluto and a Full Moon
This is a time where there can be sudden and or unexpected things happening, or something very surprising can come to your awareness. There is also potential here for rebellion, separation, or the need for you (or others) to be free and/or independent.
Considering that Mercury is in Capricorn, and applying conjunction to Pluto, it could also have something to do with one party being controlling, bossy, manipulating, and maybe even intense. Perhaps it could have something to do with needing to focus on career goals and separating from circumstances that get in the way of that. When Mercury reaches Pluto, there is even more potential for any types of revelation or deep insight, and for some people there is also great potential here for further transformations.
The Full Moon will occur on the 23rd-24th. Full Moons are an emotionally charged time which sometimes can bring about some sort of important release and change due to the circumstances in our lives. Considering Mercury’s aspects in the days leading up to it, this specific Full Moon (and in the 2 weeks following) has much more potential for significant changes.
January 25th – February 14th: Mercury Stops and Slowly Begins To Move Forward, Gradually Picking Up Speed
On January 25th/26th Mercury goes stationary direct which is when it appears to be ‘still’ in the sky, and then in the days following slowly starts moving forward again. This period can also be very insightful, however; since Mercury is starting to move forward this signifies a time where we too can begin to move forward with what we have learned during the retrograde. Some of the Pluto and Uranus influence mentioned above could still play out in the first week of this period. This process of moving forward with more clarity will continue until February 14th.
How does 2016 look for you? Find out by getting a personalized reading with astrologer Carmen Di Luccio. These readings are specific to the date, time, and location of your birth. For more information, visit his services page here. You can also join his email mailing list here to be informed of any future astrology articles written by Carmen.
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