Mercury ingresses the sign of Libra on August 28th 2015 and the same day it enters its shadow period, that is, it is moving forward through the degrees of Libra that it will backtrack over during the retrograde movement. Although the actual retrograde period itself goes from 17th September 2015 (15°50’) to 9th October 2015 (0°54’) its shadow period terminates on the 24th October 2015. I believe that the shadow period is as important as the actual retrograde period itself.
During the whole period therefore it means that we will have the opportunity to re-think any ideas or decisions we have made during the period previous to August 28th to see if they really fit into our life-style or if, in fact, they are at all feasible in every-day life. During the same length of time, hiccups and delays may also occur to frustrate us!
Mercury in Libra is all about relationships and how we deal with them, the Mercury retrograde cycle in the Air signs, according to Erin Sullivan, is likely to be one of the most amusing and frustrating periods of all!
When Mercury goes retrograde in the Air signs it highlights our thinking and communicating patterns and how these patterns shape our life. This is the last Air sign in which Mercury will go retrograde, its next retrograde cycle will be in the Earth sign of Capricorn. Since how we communicate is fundamental to all types of relationships it may be to these where our head will be going now with questions such as “Where am I going in my relationships now” or “What is the meaning of the relationships I have in my life at this present moment?” and “How can I improve my relationship to make it more harmonious?”. Mercury allows us to view these patterns from an “outside” observation point with less emotional involvement so this cycle is best used for clearing out complications particularly in relationships.
A Mercury retrograde period is also an excellent time for doing some research about any mechanical or technological devices we might need to purchase so that we will have gathered all the information we need when the planets starts its forward motion once again and we’ll be in a good position to find exactly what we’re looking for.
Many astrologers view a Mercury retrograde period as a time when communications of all types (telephone calls, emails, transport problems etc.) might go askew but it is also a good time to catch up on old correspondence or to go over previous plans to make sure they’re workable. However, it may not be a good idea to sign contracts or binding documents during a Mercury retrograde period or to book travel tickets because there could be some hindrance or complication in these tasks.
Mercury will also “meet up” with the transiting North Node on the 10-13th October 2015 at 1° Libra so add that to the conundrum if you have planets or angles at those degrees, I advise taking note only of planets in Libra or Aries for this particular conjunction.
Another significant contact for Mercury will be three exact squares with Pluto in Capricorn at 12-13°, the dates are: September 10th, September 25th and October 22nd. Mercury actually remains within a 7° orb of squaring Pluto throughout September urging us to uncover truths and deal with them.
Mercury rules the signs of Gemini and Virgo so these will be particularly affected by the retrograde motion as will any planets or angles (0-15° Libra) you might have in your third house which is traditionally associated with Mercury as well, of course, as any planets or angles (0-15°) in the signs of Libra (conjunction), Aries (opposition) and Capricorn and Cancer (square).
A little bit of history:
Mercury in the Greek myth is associated with Hermes and he held an amazing number of roles here; thief, storyteller (aka liar), trickster, magician, craftsman, messenger of the gods, the god of boundaries, commerce, merchants, words and language among the many. He was the only god who had permission to travel freely between the Underworld and the heights of Olympus.
Mercury is so versatile that he can take on any of the archetypes represented by the other planets too and in this way he is also good at making deals or compromises and the house placement of Mercury in your chart will show where you’re good at this also.
Where is Mercury in your natal chart and which house has Libra on its cusp?
Adams J. (2015), Mercury Retrograde Shadow: be afraid, be very afraid, The Astrological Journal (September/October 2015), pp 32-34
Greene L. and Sasportas H. (1993) The Inner Planets, pp3-31, Samuel Weiser Inc, York Beach, ME, USA
Sullivan E. (1992), Retrograde Planets, pp45-70, Samuel Weiser Inc, York Beach, ME, USA