The planet Mercury is in its retrograde phase from April 28th until May 22nd, 2016. This is an astronomical/astrological phenomenon that occurs roughly every four months for over a three week period.
From our perspective on Earth, it looks as if Mercury is going backwards because of the relationship between both Earth’s and Mercury’s orbit around the Sun. Accordingly, astrologers observe retrograde planets differently compared to when they appear to be forward moving. Retrogrades are recognized as a time when we are reworking how we orientate ourselves with the themes and energies of that specific planet in a specific sign.
Mercury started its pre-retrograde phase on April 14th; therefore certain things that have been put in place or occurred between then and the 28th will still be going through a ‘sorting out’ process throughout the following three weeks.
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, circumstances that are trying to get our attention to help us make necessary changes and transformations in our own ‘alchemical process’ will occur.
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.
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This Retrograde Is Occurring In Taurus
This is the 2nd of a series of Mercury Retrograding in Earth signs that will last until September 2017; the first was in Capricorn this past January (read more about it here). The Earth element is associated with practicality, resourcefulness, dependability, foundation, and material/financial resources.
Taurus is about our personal values, income, and self worth, as well as our value to others in our lives, such as an employer. This sign is also associated with food/substances, possessions, patience, creativity, pleasure, sensuality, and comfort. Throughout this Mercury retrograde we are making the necessary changes and adjustments, as well as receiving insight and gaining awareness, into many of these aforementioned areas.
Mars Is Also Retrograde
Mars went retrograde on April 17th and this will last until June 29th. This represents a period of making changes in how we assert ourselves overall. (You can read more about it here.) The combination of both of these planets going retrograde really emphasizes the themes of revisitation and adjustment.
It is common for many to experience more frustration during times like this; however, if that is the case, it is because we are not reflecting enough. If something isn’t working for you, then you need to really think about it. What needs to be changed?
Interestingly, five days after Mercury starts moving ‘forward’ again, Mars will re-enter Scorpio, which is the opposite sign of Taurus. The reorientation we have experienced regarding the themes of our personal worth, values, and money/resources will undergo some more adjustment and/or challenges in how assert ourselves in anything related to shared worth, values, and money/resources over the coming months.
The Journey Of Mercury Retrograde – Significant Dates
For each interpretation below, I have put 2-3 dates. The early dates pertain more to those in the Western part of the world, like the Americas, Western Europe, and Africa, and the later dates to those in Eastern parts of the world, such as Eastern Europe, Asia, and Oceania.
April 28th/29th: Mercury Begins Retrograde While Sextile Chiron
Mercury begins its journey backwards as it is very close to making a sextile aspect with Chiron. This indicates that the upcoming retrograde period can help us find our gifts and/or work towards fulfilling our purpose and/or any needed healing. Mercury must make the journey backwards before it actually makes the exact aspect with Chiron, which indicates a need for us to go back and make the necessary adjustments in the Taurus realm.
May 8th-10th: Mercury Trine North Node in Virgo, Then Conjunct Sun
This can be a period of revelations and can also be a chaotic time as well, depending on how you are working with it and how your subconscious has positioned you. Certain things that occur during this period can bring a new awareness or confirm an existing potential awareness. Whatever occurs can be significant towards what you are working towards, perhaps related to your life purpose. In some cases it can be a shift in values, while in other cases it could be related to skills and/or duties that you have in place and/or need to develop. This can be about expanding/enhancing your own personal self-worth, value, and income.
May 12th-14th: Mercury Trine Pluto in Capricorn, Conjunct Venus
Like all astrological transits, this one can manifest in different ways. Some people may receive some sort of assistance, which could be from a person and/or organization and/or it could also be money or something else of value. Others may receive praise for the value they bring or have in some area of their life. Some people may feel a new sense of power. In fewer cases, there may be a realization or shift in a relationship and/or sexually.
May 21st-23rd: Full Moon In Sagittarius conjunct Mars, Mercury Goes Direct While Trine Jupiter in Virgo
The Full Moon at this period will be aligned with Mars retrograde, which could indicate that it will trigger the need to change or let go of a method of assertion that we may have. Mercury will be close to an exact trine with Jupiter in Virgo when it finishes retrograde, which indicates that any revelations, circumstances, and changes we have experienced will assist us in our goals around our work, duties, routine, health, and/or lifestyle.
From May 22nd/23rd until June 7th we will be progressing forward from the realizations and new developments that have been unfolding since April 28th. Whatever has occurred in the period of May 12th-14th will take its next major step on May 30th-31st.
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