• ….concentration

    Here we are again on the brink of another Mercury retrograde period, the third and final one of this year. The planet will station at 29°15’ Sagittarius, a mutable, Fire sign.

    The twenty-ninth degree of any zodiac sign is rather special, it is known as the anaretic degree (29°0’-29°59’).

    “The 29th degree appears to carry both omen and overture, it speaks of some sort of unproven karma and stands out among other degrees as a harbinger of change” writes astrologer Michele Adler*.

    Mercury is not only stationing retrograde it is still out-of-bounds (OOB)*** until the 8th of December (OOB period started 8th November), the retrograde shadow period started on the 15th of November and will end on the 9th of January 2018 with the actual retrograde period lasting until 22nd December when the planet will station direct at 15°39’ Sagittarius.

    Mercury is also dancing around a conjunction with Saturn, the first conjunction was on 28th November at 27°35’, the second will take place during the retrograde period on 6th December at 28°23’ and the third and last pass will be on 13th January 2018 at 2°50’ Capricorn.

    Likewise three trines occur with Uranus, on the 25th November at 25°12’ (Sag-Aries) when Uranus is retrograde, on 10th December at 24°40’ with both planets retrograde and on 7th January 2018 at 24°34’ with both planets direct.

    Mercury in Sagittarius is playful and best suits his prankster fame, I also see it as a “foot in the mouth” position, Sagittarius loves the truth and Mercury here often blurts it out in a very tactless fashion. Mercury is also prone to preaching here too but it’s also an excellent placement for travelling and intellectual discourse. The retrograde, OOB and Saturn obviously may put the damper on the above inviting us to be less prone to intellectual thinking and making us walk our talk, the trine to Uranus could provide us with new solutions to old problems which is excellent if we use this period for re-thinking, re-doing and re-inventing our future plans whilst keeping an eye open for the unforeseeable and unexpected in any case.

    All in all, it could be quite a disruptive retrograde for many Sagittarians, Geminis, Virgo and Pisceans, I, myself, have already had some serious hiccups in planning things during the shadow period…which I’ve always paid little attention to despite being a Gemini! Most affected however will be those with planets or angles in the late degrees of the mutable signs.

    The usual advice is valid, expect delays and disruptions to any journeys, appointments etc and avoid buying any hi-tech equipment if possible as well as double-checking any contracts before signing during the retrograde.

    The Sabian symbol for 30° Sagittarius: “The Pope blessing the faithful.” Indicating the need to pay homage to traditional values upon which the Invisible Community of the spirit is built.

    For the direct station at 16° Sagittarius: “Sea gulls fly around a ship in expectation of food.” Indicating the easily acquired dependence of psychic desires upon the stimulation of social circumstances.

    “Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.” Anon

    Are you affected by and have you got plans for this Mercury retrograde?


    *Adler M. (2015) “Reconsidering the Zodiac’s 29th Degree – 3 sides of an enigma” Mountain Astrologer magazine, Edition Oct/Nov 2015, vol. 28, n°6, pp 48-51, The Mountain Astrologer LLC, CA 95945 6840 USA

    **Rudhyar D. (1974) “An Astrological Mandala: the cycles of transformations and its 360 symbolic phases”. pp 219, 227, Vintage Books Edition, Random House Inc., New York, USA

    *** What does it mean for a planet to be OOB? When we cast an astrological chart we use a precise locality (birth place) on the earth and from this observation point we take note of the position of the planets in the sky at the time of birth and this enables us to calculate the angles that the planets form to the given locality. Another point of reference however is the celestial equator (which is the terrestrial equator elongated into space). When planets travel beyond 23°27’ either side of the celestial equator, be it North or South, they are referred to as “out of bounds”.

    Image: painting by Oleg Tchoubakov