A very important Mercury Cycle is about to start on April 20th. The Mercury Cycle starts when Mercury retrograde meets with the Sun for an conjunction at 0° in Taurus, a very potent degree. The Mercury Cycle culminates when we have the superior conjunction of Sun and Mercury at 0° in Cancer, on June 21st.
If inferior conjunctions act like New Moons and are time for new beginnings, superior conjunctions are like Full Moons and mark culminations of whatever has been started at the time of the inferior conjunction. 0° Cancer is one of the 4 most important degrees in the Zodiac – the others are 0° Aries, 0° Libra and 0° Capricorn (yes, the Cardinal signs which mark the 4 axes of the chart, AC-DC and IC-MC).
To have both the beginning and the culmination of a planetary cycle at 0° is extremely rare and highly significant.
All of us will benefit from the New Mercury Cycle but you are especially in focus if you have:
- Gemini or Virgo rising
- Planets or angles around 0° Taurus or 0° Cancer
- The Sun in Gemini or Virgo (especially for men) or the Moon in Gemini or Virgo (especially for women)
A Mercury cycle usually lasts for 120-130 days and begins with the inferior conjunction with the Sun. This phase marks the ending of a planet’s previous synodic cycle and the beginning of the next cycle. This phase, when a planet is still retrograde, but has already encountered the Self (Sun) is when we become conscious of the energy of the planet and we initiate a new cycle of growth.
Occurring in the middle of Mercury’s 3-weeks retrograde period, the inferior conjunction is similar to the New Moon and is a time to initiate projects and get organized.
The duration of the cycle (approx. 4 months) is ideal to kick-start and complete medium-term projects, especially projects that involve the qualities of Mercury: writing, teaching, structuring, organizing, traveling, commerce, or communication of any kind.
Mercury, the Roman God of commerce and travel was the counterpart of the Greek God Hermes, the messenger of the Gods. In Astrology, Mercury rules not only travel, commerce and communication, but also the processes of the mind.
Mercury, or the quicksilver, rules the Mutable signs Gemini and Virgo. Astrologically, we know relatively little about Mercury – the close proximity between Mercury and the Sun makes it difficult to observe and interpret. However, given the proximity to the Sun, we can say Mercury, even if stays invisible most of the time in the sky, is the most familiar energy to the Self.
The Mercury Cycle, just like all the planetary synodic cycles, is part of a continuous spiral of growth, with the retrograde marking the point when we shift from one state of “Mercury” to the next.
There are four Mercury “phases” in a Mercury cycle, determined by Mercury’s direction from the Sun (clockwise or counterclockwise) and whether its motion is direct or retrograde.
Phase I – Observe and Insight: The Phase I starts at Mercury’s inferior conjunction to the Sun and lasts until Mercury turns direct – April 20th 2017 – May 2nd 2017
In this phase Mercury has a strong will and a clear sense of purpose, thanks to the encounter with the Sun. This young Mercury is unimpressed with traditions – it is only interested in manifesting the Insight it got from the Sun. And although this intuitive impulse might not yet lead to clear answers, Mercury is willing to take his time to observe its immediate environment to envision new ways of action.
Phase II – Prototype and Test From Mercury direct until Mercury’s superior conjunction to the Sun – May 3rd 2017 – June 20th 2017
This phase starts when Mercury is stationary turning direct, and ends around 50 days later. A few days after Mercury turns direct, it reaches its furthest distance from the Sun, known as Mercury’s greatest western elongation. This phase symbolizes intensified mental activity seeking external expression. Mercury is at its highest speed now – that’s why our mind is most eager during this phase, and is capable of intense learning. This is a good phase to start putting together a plan to fulfill the initiative started at the time of the inferior conjunction. This is also a good phase to test different elements of our plan to get immediate response from our environment, to see what it works and what it doesn’t.
Phase III – Build From Mercury’s superior conjunction until Mercury turns retrograde – June 21th until August 11th 2017
Mercury’s superior conjunction with the Sun marks a phase of culmination. Whatever has been started in phase I and “prototyped” and “tested” in phase II can now finally take shape and materialize. Mercury is getting now a “reality check” from the Sun, who acts like a “curator” and synthetizes the good bits and pieces that have been produced in the previous phases. The mind becomes now practical, analytical and objective. Now is the time to “go live” with your project.
Phase IV – Analyze From Mercury retrograde station until Mercury’s inferior conjunction to the Sun – August 12th 2017 until August 26th 2017
Mercury’s forth phase is contemplative, deeply introspective and seeks inner meaning. We now want to discover the reason, the meaning and the purpose behind everything, and we are unlikely to be satisfied with easy, superficial answers. The last phase is great to “analyze” what has been produced in the first three phases and see how the outcome can lead to an even better outcome, to be initiated in the nex cycle.
The sabian symbol for the Mercury Cycle starting April 20th is “A clear mountain stream”, signifying the pure, uncontaminated and spontaneous manifestation of one’s own nature.
This Mercury Cycle is especially significant not only because it occurs at highly potent degrees but also because Mercury spends an unusual amount of time around Uranus, due to its slow move around the direct station. Uranus is the higher octave of Mercury and this prolonged conjunction will catapult Mercury’s qualities. Any project that requires innovative thinking and creativity is highly favored. It is especially beneficial to start a project exactly when the cycle commences around April 20th at 0° Taurus.
The Mercury cycle lasts for almost 4 months. It is well known that the ideal timeline for a project is from 3 to 4 months. This is enough time to delve into a topic, do your research, test and build, and then analyze your outputs. Anything that goes beyond 4 months loses momentum or becomes the point.2 version of the previous project so you always want to keep your projects within this timeframe.
Take your time around 20th of April to focus on a project you want to undertake. Follow these 3 steps to identify your project and plan it according to the Mercury cycle:
1) Consider your current priorities in selecting the project you want to start. What are those things you know you need to do but you have been procrastinating? These projects should not require a long time horizon (e.g. if you want to do a master’s degree, completely change your career, get married or have kids then probably these are not the most appropriate undertakings for a Mercury cycle); similarly, these projects should require enough time so you don’t complete them in a few days only (e.g. write an article, finish a PowerPoint presentation or learn how to cook a new dish). You want to identify a project you could complete in 3 to 4 months.
2) For more guidance look in your natal chart to see in which house the Mercury cycle starts – for example if it starts in your 2nd house you want to start a project to generate a new source of income, if it falls in your 4th house you want to do home improvement, in your 6th house a diet and so on.
3) After you have identified your project – split it in 4 different phases according to the 4 phases of the Mercury cycle, as I described above. Try to stick to the timeline (e.g. around 2 weeks for the 1st and 4th phase, around 5 weeks for the 2nd and 3rd phases)