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The planet Mercury is in its retrograde phase from December 19th/20th until January 8th/9th 2017. This is an astronomical/astrological phenomenon that occurs roughly every four months for over a three week period.

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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 and interpret retrograde planets in a different way 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 December 1st/2nd; therefore certain things that have been put in place or events that have occurred, between then and the 19th, will influence the following three weeks of the retrograde itself. This is an insightful time, as we need to pay careful attention to what the universe is trying to show us in order to help us proceed forward once the retrograde has ended.

Changes, Errors, Delays, 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, in different variations for everyone. This is what Mercury Retrograde has become famous for.

merc-rx-glyph-embossed-smallerIt is a great time for revisiting, redoing, and reconnecting with people, projects, and circumstances from the past. Some people have anxiety close to when it starts. 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.

As mentioned above, there is also a deeper and more meaningful purpose to each Mercury retrograde. It is an opportunity to reflect and gain insight in response to any challenging circumstances we may face. Mercury retrograde is also a time when our intuition can be heightened. The more we tune in, then, the fewer complications should arise that try to shift our attention.

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Traditionally, Mercury is the planet of alchemy. During its retrograde periods, circumstances that are occuring help us make necessary changes and, in some cases, transformations serving our personal evolution. For each individual, different Mercury retrograde periods will be more significant than others in this regard.

Mercury Retrograde Mostly in Capricorn, Also in Sagittarius

This is the 4th of a series of Mercury Retrograding in Earth signs that will last until September 2017. The Earth element is associated with practicality, resourcefulness, dependability, foundation, and material/financial resources.

cap-glyph-embossThis is also the 2nd edition of it being in Capricorn in this ‘Earth series,’ as it also occurred in this sign between January 5th and 25th, 2016. Capricorn is the realm of responsibilities, plans, ambition, career, social status, physical and social structures, strategy, management, and control. Capricorn is also a very goal-oriented sign. 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.

Mercury will also be returning to Sagittarius during its retrograde on January 4th/5th. As a result, some of the effects of the retrograde, such as challenges with doing anything analytical, will be amplified. We may find it easy to overlook details during this time. On a more positive note, this can be a period in which we revisit our hopes, wishes, and beliefs, and make necessary adjustments to help us in our Capricornian goals and ambitions.

The cusp of Sagittarius and Capricorn is also the cusp of the 3rd and 4th quarter of the zodiac. This is where the Sun is located when the seasons shift, from Fall to Winter in the Northern Hemisphere during the Winter Solstice. This part of the zodiac symbolizes a transition, as it is where the Sun is reborn. Since Mercury retrograde will be occurring over this cusp, we can expect this symbolism of rebirth to play out in some way.

Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn in the Mix

The planets Saturn, Uranus, and Jupiter will all be interacting with each other during this period. Uranus in Aries is in a tough opposition with Jupiter in Libra, while Saturn in Sagittarius is in a harmonious aspect with them all.

merc-rx-cap-2016-2017-editedUranus here wants to seek freedom and independence, while Jupiter, in the opposite sign, is about expanding in partnerships and relationships or being considerate, fair, and diplomatic. Saturn in Sagittarius is helping these two energies work together, which could manifest as the need to look at everything realistically from a ‘higher perspective.’

Saturn trine Uranus can also suggest a time when we can be putting serious effort or discipline toward anything innovative, or it may be a time when we can easily balance or have a good flow between things conventional and unconventional. There can be a connection between this and the expansiveness in our relationship/partnerships, or in our efforts to find equality and common ground.

The Journey of Mercury Retrograde – Significant Dates

For each interpretation below, the earlier 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. In some cases, certain people may notice some of these effects during the days just outside of the written duration.

December 19th/20th – Mercury begins its retrograde process. Many people experience the more typical retrograde complications during this period. Avoid taking on any major mental tasks during this time. It is best to take it easy mentally and possibly even meditate to help you tune in to this shift in energy. It is also a good idea to pay attention to what comes up on this day, as it can indicate what themes will be coming up over the next three weeks.

December 24th-26th – The Uranus-Jupiter-Saturn energy mentioned above lasts a few weeks, but it is strongest during this period. Venus will also be involved in a harmonious aspect. Social gatherings during this time could be expansive. They could involve discussions and actions where there can be an easy flow between things that are traditional and things that are unconventional, innovative, and futuristic. It is important to look at different sides and to embrace the new while staying realistic and considerate.

December 25th-27th – Mercury sextile Neptune, Sun trine North Node, Mars conjunct South Node and semi-square Uranus, Jupiter opposite Uranus. This can be a period when we experience a reoccurrence or revisitation of some our past actions that are not serving us anymore. It could be related to delusional or deceptive behaviour, escapism, fantasizing, self-sacrifice, self-sabotage, or avoiding responsibilities. Some people may experience conflict, rebellion, and negatively impulsive actions in some way. However things play out, it is important to consider what is sustainable and balanced in order to create a better future.

December 28th/29th – Mercury conjunct Sun and sextile Mars, Saturn square Chiron exact. This is one of the more significant times of retrograde, when we can receive the most insights. This day also has the potential to be more chaotic as well. We may have to face limitations related to our wounds, and at the same time, reflect on how we can assert ourselves in the future to move beyond them. There may be a connection between what occurs during this period and what occurred in early-mid December near or on the Full Moon. Pay attention to what the Universe is trying to tell you.  

December 29th/30th – Uranus goes stationary direct. After being retrograde since July 29th/30th, Uranus will start to move forward again. Some people may have thoughts of or act on doing something new, exciting, unique or perhaps wanting to separate, liberate, or rebel from an inhibiting situation or others. If it does affect you in this way, it could be a sign of things that will develop over the next 7 months.

December 30th/31st – Mercury trine North Node, Sun sextile Neptune. This is a good day to really think about the future and how you can best apply yourself in a way that aligns with your spirituality and purpose. Collaborating and/or cooperating with others by communicating and sharing ideas may also be helpful in this regard.

December 31st/Jan 1st – Mars conjunct Neptune In Pisces. Although this transit isn’t directly connected to Mercury, for some people any potential negative manifestations can be connected to any life lessons occurring during this time. Neptune and Pisces are associated with alcohol and narcotics and Mars has to with aggression and assertion, so it’s interesting to see this energy combination occurring exactly on New Year’s eve. This can be a period of overly asserting yourself in this way, but it can also be a great time to partake in celebrations that are visually stimulating, magical, or spiritual. Sexual relationships may also be magical for some and undiscerning for others. 

January 3rd/4th – Mercury sextile Venus. This is a good day for harmonious interactions with others, especially if it is with someone from our past or we are revisiting something related to the past. In many cases it can be about meeting an old friend or lover you haven’t seen in a while. This can also be a time when these interactions provide insights and allow us to see things in a new light.

January 4th/5th – Mercury re-enters Sagittarius. This can be a period in which we revisit our hopes, wishes, and beliefs, and make necessary adjustments to help us in our Capricornian goals and ambitions. We may also notice some of the negative effects of Mercury retrograde amplified during this time, such as overlooking details and experiencing challenges with analytical tasks.

January 6th/7th – Sun conjunct Pluto in Capricorn. Themes around power and control can come up today. It can be about how you or others apply yourselves in this way. Some people may experience some of the transformative effects of Mercury retrograde mentioned earlier in the article. Alternatively, we may obsess about our ambitions.

January 8th/9th – Mercury goes stationary direct near the Galactic Center. This is when Mercury changes motions from retrograde to forward moving, but it is a slow process and Mercury will appear to be still for the following few days. During this period and/or over the following week, things start to become clearer and disruptions begin to dissipate. This is the time to starting thinking about how to proceed forward based on what you have learned over the previous weeks. For some of those on the spiritually conscious path, there may be a shift in consciousness with the potential to tap into some divine information that may have even started a few days leading up to this date.

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