Mercury Retrograde Conjunct Sun – A new Mercury Cycle Begins
Whenever Mercury Retrograde makes a conjunction to the Sun, a new Mercury cycle begins. Just like the Moon has cycles, Mercury has cycles, too. Every year we have approximately 3 Mercury cycles.
A retrograde planet conjunct the Sun is called an interior or inferior conjunction. A direct planet conjunct the Sun is called a superior conjunction.
If inferior conjunctions act like New Moons and are time for new beginnings, superior conjunctions are like Full Moons and mark a culmination of whatever has been started at the time of the inferior conjunction.
A Mercury cycle usually lasts for 116 days and begins with the inferior conjunction with the Sun. When Mercury is conjunct the Sun the previous Mercury cycle comes to an end, and a new Mercury cycle begins.
The Mercury-Sun conjunction takes place in the middle of Mercury Retrograde. That’s why Mercury Retrograde periods can be confusing. A 4-month Mercury cycle ends, and a new 4-month Mercury cycle begins. Change is always confusing! But nevertheless necessary.
Mercury Retrograde conjunct Sun is similar to a New Moon and it’s a time to start something new.
If New Moons (Moon conjunct Sun) are great to start an activity you can complete in one month time, if Jupiter cycles (Jupiter conjunct Sun, happens only once a year) are great for initiating a goal you can complete in one year, Mercury cycles are great for starting projects you can complete in a 4-month time.
The duration of the cycle (approx. 4 months) is ideal to kick-start and complete medium-term projects.
Mercury – The Most Familiar Energy To The Self
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 and commerce, but also the mind – with its thoughts, feelings and communication.
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, Mercury is the most familiar energy to the Self.
In fact, it is so familiar, that we don’t even notice it. That’s why we are in our mind most of the time – because Mercury is ALWAYS somewhere close to the Sun. In fact, we confuse our sense of self – who we are, a.k.a the Sun – with our mind – a.k.a Mercury.
When you become aware that you are not your mind, and that in fact, you – the individual expression of the divine – is something completely different, then you can make Mercury work in your favor. You can work with your mind to serve the agenda of the spirit.
Learning how to work with Mercury is the most overlooked – and perhaps the most important – thing that astrology can help you with.
Mercury cycles and Mercury Retrogrades are great ways to become familiar with the energy of Mercury so you can make them work in your favor.
The Four Phases Of A Mercury Cycle
The Mercury Cycle, just like all the planetary cycles, is part of a continuous spiral of growth. The retrograde phase marks 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.
In this phase, Mercury has a strong will and a clear sense of purpose, thanks to the encounter with the Sun. Sudden clarity can come at this phase. You can find new ways of doing things or find new solutions to your problems.
And although this phase might not yet lead to clear answers, right now you are aware of what’s going on and you can envision new ways of action.
Phase II – Prototype and Test: From Mercury direct until Mercury’s superior conjunction to the Sun.
This phase starts when Mercury is stationary direct and ends around 50 days later.
Mercury is at its highest speed now – this is when we are capable of intense mental work. This is a good phase to kick off and work towards fulfilling the initiative you started at the time of the inferior conjunction.
This is a good time to test different elements of your plan. Try to get feedback, see what works and what doesn’t.
Phase III – Build: From Mercury’s superior conjunction until Mercury turns retrograde
Mercury’s superior conjunction with the Sun marks a phase of culmination. Take what you started in phase I and “prototyped” and “tested” in phase II. Your project can now finally take shape and materialize.
Mercury is getting now a “reality check” from the Sun, who acts like a “curator” and synthesizes the good bits and pieces that have been produced in the previous phases.
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.
Mercury’s forth phase is contemplative and introspective. You now want to discover the higher meaning of what you have done in the past 3 months.
The last phase is great to “analyze” what you did in the first three phases and see how the outcome can lead to an even better outcome, to be initiated in the next cycle.
Mercury cycles last 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.
You always want to keep your projects within this timeframe. Do you have a goal that takes more than 4 months to complete? No problem! Simply break it down into 4-month mini projects. That how you can make your greatest goals come true!
The 3-Step Process To Work With The Mercury Cycle
Take your time 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. These priorities should not require a long time to complete. Getting a master’s degree, building a house, personal transformation will take longer than 4 months.
Similarly, your Mercury project should require enough time so you don’t complete it in a few days only – for example writing an article, finishing a presentation or learning how to cook a new dish.
You want to identify something in between, 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 may want to start a project to generate a new source of income, if it falls in your 4th house you may want to do home improvement, in your 6th house you may want to start a diet and so on.
3) After you have identified your project – split it into 4 different phases according to the 4 phases of the Mercury cycle. Try to stick to the timeline. You want to spend 2 weeks for the 1st and 4th phase, and around 5 weeks for the 2nd and 3rd phases.