• Is the fog lifting? Nope…it’s getting thicker!

    This retrograde will begin at 12°53’ Pisces (antiscion 17°07’ Libra) and the planet will seemingly (but not actually) backtrack until 9th March when it stations direct at 28°14’ Aquarius. So, the retrograde period will initiate in a Water sign and terminate in an Air sign.

    Worth noting perhaps is the fact that Mercury will be parallel Venus for the first three days of the retrograde period and this may add a softer note to the beginning part of the period.

    A Mercury retrograde in a Water sign invites us ponder on the quality of our life and rethink our emotional responses, in an Air sign, rationality reigns as we may feel the need to examine our relationships from a less emotionally-involved perspective.

    In Pisces, Mercury finds itself at odds with the signs naturally ruled by Mercury, which are Gemini and Virgo, in Aquarius the aspect is more harmonic with Gemini (trine) but could be rather more difficult with Virgo (Aquarius is in a 150° quincunx aspect with Virgo). So, look to the natal placement of your Mercury, to the houses ruled by Gemini and Virgo and to the house where the planet is transiting to get an idea of how this retrograde might affect you.

    Astrologer Erin Sullivan explains the retrograde cycle:

    “Mercury’s stations always occur when the planet is farthest from the Sun in longitude so when it appears stationary, it is either travelling toward or directly away from the Earth. When Mercury is at its greatest eastern elongation (Epimetheus) it appears as an evening star and is stationary retrograde. It is heading towards Earth in its orbit, symbolically “bringing home the knowledge of experience”. This phase demands careful consideration and retrospection.

    When Mercury is at its greatest western elongation (Prometheus) and a morning star, it stations direct, moving away from the Earth in its orbit. This phase of the cycle signals the time when risk and adventure are the prime motivating forces.

    The Epimethean phase is a time of reaping results whilst the Promethean phase is symbolized by the need to move away from introspection and experiment, often recklessly, using only inner guidelines.”

    As always, the usual suggestions apply to the Mercury retrograde: great for putting “re” in front of everything, planning, but waiting for the direct station, before acting. Expecting possible delays in transport of all kinds, upheavals in the planning of appointments, electronic equipment going haywire etc. Avoiding signing contracts (where possible, but again contracts are between people so it’s a retrograde season for everyone and if its “bad” for one it may be “good” for the other party).

    There is a lot of spin around Mercury retrogrades nowadays in the mainstream news but it really boils down to the condition of your natal Mercury and how you have responded to the various retrograde periods over the years.

    The Sabian symbol for 13° Pisces: “An ancient sword, used in many battles, is displayed in a museum.” Indicating that through the effectual use of his will a consecrated man can become a symbol of courage for all those who follow in his footsteps.

    For 18° Libra: “Two men placed under arrest.” Indicating a breakdown in the constructive relationship between the individual and society, and the expectable result.

    “Nebulat ergo cogito.”  Umberto Eco


    Rudhyar D. (1974) “An Astrological Mandala: the cycles of transformations and its 360 symbolic phases”. p 183, 276, Vintage Books Edition, Random House Inc., New York, USA

    Sullivan E. (1989), “Planets, The Astrological Tools” edited by Joan McEvers, chapter on Mercury, pp. 97-99. Llewellyn Publications, St Paul, Minnesota USA

    Artwork: myskypie2020