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The Myth And The Reality Of Mercury Retrograde

“I’m sorry for what I said when Mercury was in retrograde”

There are many myths about Mercury Retrograde:

  • “When retrograde, Mercury moves backward – so does my life”
  • “Mercury Retrograde makes me say the wrong things, makes my computer crash, and locks me out of my email”
  • “Don’t pay attention to what happens when Mercury is retrograde – wait until life gets back to normal”
  • “If you do something when Mercury is retrograde, you will regret it later”
  • “Don’t start anything new when Mercury is retrograde”

But is Mercury Retrograde really the root of all astrological evil? Should you never sign contracts, meet new people, go on a trip, or buy a new smartphone when Mercury is retrograde?

mercury-retrograde

Not really.

In fact, not only is Mercury Retrograde not as bad as its reputation, but Mercury Retrograde is, in fact, a great time to understand yourself and the world better, to make informed decisions, and to even start something new.

Let’s demonstrate this by debunking some common Mercury Retrograde myths.

Myth #1: When Retrograde, Mercury Moves Backward

Reality: Mercury only appears to move backward. Mercury only changes direction from our perspective, as seen from Earth. If we would look at Mercury from the cosmos, Mercury is still moving forward, circling around the Sun.

Yet, from here, we see it moving backward. This basically means that things are not what they seem when Mercury is retrograde. That is, from our perspective – as seen from the Earth. Seen with the Universe’s eyes, everything makes perfect sense.

Because things are not what they seem, that’s why astrologers advise not to make important decisions when Mercury is retrograde. Indeed, your perception of what’s really going on can be skewed.

But it’s one thing not to understand what’s going on – and another to put your life on hold because of that.

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If life brings you something when Mercury is retrograde, that’s because that thing requires your attention.

You can run, but you cannot hide from Mercury Retrograde. Best is to try to understand why things happen the way they happen when Mercury is retrograde, instead of building a wall around you.

Myth #2: Mercury Retrograde Brings Chaos In Communication, Makes Computers Crash, Makes You Sign The Wrong Contracts

Reality: When Mercury is retrograde, its speed is slower than usual. Mercury Retrograde takes its time. The reason Mercury Retrograde can bring chaos is that it points to those things that you may have overlooked while Mercury was direct.

And when we overlook something, of course, life feels like chaos. However, those overlooked elements are nevertheless important, otherwise Mercury Retrograde wouldn’t have brought them to your attention.

You may find yourself having to redo a lot of stuff when Mercury is retrograde, but that’s absolutely fine. Sometimes you need to take your time to understand what you’re doing, so you can do it right.

If anything, Mercury retrograde is the helping hand of the Universe that makes sure you stay on track and do the right thing.

When Mercury is direct and has a high speed, we tend to overlook some details. Mercury retrograde is nothing else but catching up with what we have missed, misunderstood or overlooked.

Mercury Retrograde does not create chaos, Mercury Retrograde clears up the chaos.

Myth #3: Don’t Pay Attention To What Happens When Mercury Is Retrograde. Wait Until Life Gets Back To Normal

Reality: When Mercury is retrograde, Mercury is at its closest to the Earth. This means we have ‘more’ Mercury energy than usual. If anything, now is the time to actually pay attention to Mercury, if you haven’t had time to catch up with Mercury when direct.

You absolutely have to pay attention to what happens in your life when Mercury is retrograde – otherwise, the chaos will only perpetrate when Mercury goes out of retrograde!

Myth #4: If You Do Something When Mercury Is Retrograde, You Will Regret It Later

Reality: If you do something when Mercury is retrograde – and chances are you will not lock yourself in a cave for the next 3 weeks – that thing may not turn out the way you expected, but it doesn’t mean it will turn out bad.

In fact, because Mercury is so close to the Earth when retrograde – and more powerful than ever – that thing will turn out exactly how it should turn out.

Whether or not we are happy with that, is a different story.

But in the big picture, whatever happens when Mercury is retrograde is exactly what should happen.

While you may regret what you did while Mercury is retrograde, your regret won’t last long. Rather sooner than later, you will realize that whatever happened while Mercury was retrograde served a higher good.

Myth #5 – Don’t Start Anything New When Mercury Is Retrograde

Reality: The short answer to this question is: don’t start something fundamentally new in the first 10-11 days of Mercury Retrograde. However, it’s absolutely fine (and even recommended) to start new things in the 2nd half of Mercury Retrograde.

From all myths, this one encounters the most resistance, because it absolutely goes against what we know about Mercury Retrograde. How is it possible to start something new when Mercury is retrograde?

But if we look at the actual Mercury cycle, then the statement makes absolute sense. Mercury has a 116-day synodic cycle. Every planet has sidereal and synodic cycles. For example, the Earth has a 365 cycle (this is what we call a year), and the Moon has a 29-day synodic cycle (this is what we call a month).

Mercury Retrograde is nothing else but a New Moon or a New Year – we could very well call it “New Mercury”.  

In the middle of Mercury Retrograde, Mercury is conjunct the Sun (as seen from the Earth), and a new Mercury cycle begins. When Mercury is conjunct the Sun (half-way through Mercury Retrograde) we have the “New Moon” phase of Mercury.

And just as we are advised to start something new at a New Moon – when a new Moon cycle starts – in the same way, starting something new when a new Mercury cycle starts, makes absolute sense. So yes, it is absolutely fine (and even recommended) to start something completely new in the 2nd half of Mercury retrograde (but not before).

The Current Mercury Retrograde

Mercury goes retrograde on November 17, 2018, at 13°Sagittarius and goes direct on December 5th, 2018 at 27° Scorpio.

Mercury goes retrograde through the first half of Sagittarius. You may know already that on November 8th, 2018 Jupiter entered Sagittarius (its home sign) for a 13-months stay. Just like a brush, Mercury retrograde clears the path for Jupiter in Sagittarius.

Mercury and Jupiter have a very interesting relationship. Both Mercury and Jupiter and concerned with the mind. It is said that Mercury rules the ‘lower mind’, while Jupiter rules the ‘higher mind’.

There’s nothing inferior about the ‘lower mind’. The lower mind is the mind we are most accustomed with: it is the mind of our physical soul: what we see, how we make sense of the world, how we speak, how we listen, how we communicate. The lower mind comprises the five senses and it’s very concrete. The lower mind believes in what it can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch.

The higher mind (ruled by Jupiter) is our 6th sense, our ‘intuition’. When we put all the information we gather with our lower mind together, a bigger picture emerges. This is our higher, Jupiterian mind.

If Mercury is the pieces of the puzzle, Jupiter is the puzzle. We need both the lower mind and the higher mind, we need both Mercury and Jupiter in our lives.

But what does it mean that Mercury goes retrograde in the sign of Jupiter? It means that we need to clear the paths of our lower mind, so that in the coming year – when Jupiter travels through Sagittarius – the higher mind can connect the dots and put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Whatever it is that keeps your lower mind stuck in old patterns of behaviors, needs to be fixed now. Now is the time to clean your mind of any outdated beliefs, negative thoughts, compulsive behaviors, preconceptions, and prejudices.

Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius will help you do just that!

Mercury Retrograde Square Neptune

Mercury starts its retrograde with a square to Neptune. This can be a confusing aspect  – you may know that Neptune is the planet of illusions.

But Neptune is much more than illusions. Neptune dissolves everything it touches. And right now, Neptune ‘dissolves’ Mercury. Before you think this is bad news, reflect upon this: Neptune only dissolves what you believe to be the truth. And yes, seeing your ‘truth’ dissolved can be discomforting.

In fact, there’s nothing wrong with our old ways of being. What it’s wrong, is getting stuck in old ways of being.

You have outgrown them. You are not the person you were yesterday. Take this opportunity to ‘dissolve’ outdated thoughts, ingrained judgments, unhealthy behaviors, resentments, half-truths, fears, or limiting beliefs. It’s time for a change. It’s time to do something different.

Neptune will show you there is another way – a better way – but you need to be willing to let go of old ways of being, thinking and doing.

Read more about how to make the best out of Mercury Retrograde here: How Not Only to Survive, But to Thrive During the Next 3 Weeks of Mercury Retrograde

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Triple Conjunction: Mercury Venus Chiron in Pisces – Invisible Ties

On March 4th we have a rare alignment: Mercury, Venus and Chiron meet up at 27° Pisces. On the same day, just few hours earlier, we have another exact alignment: Sun conjunct Neptune at 13° Pisces.

This is a lot of Piscean energy to deal with. Let’s go back for a moment to the symbolism of Pisces. The Pisces symbol is two fish tied together by a rope. Yet, the two fish swim (or at least, try to swim) in completely different directions – one swimming toward individuality, and the other towards universality.

Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac, a symbol for a journey that has come to an end. At the crossroads, we have two choices: to go back into the material realm and restart the cycle or incarnations, or to leave behind the material realm to become one with the spirit.

Pisces does not give us the answer to this struggle, it simply depicts the struggle of having one foot in the ‘real’ world and the other in the invisible world. Wherever you have Pisces in your natal chart, that is a place of restlessness and ambivalence.

Now let’s have a closer look at the triple conjunction – Venus, Mercury and Chiron at 27° Pisces.

Triple conjunctions (three planets lined up at the same degree of the zodiac) are very rare and therefore highly significant. What makes this conjunction special is the link to Chiron. Chiron will move in Aries on April 17th so this is the last time Chiron meets up with Venus and Mercury in the last sign of the zodiac for the next 50 years.

The ‘key’ to understanding this triple conjunction is Chiron itself. Mercury and Venus are personal planets and they are much more accessible to us.

Mercury represents our mind, how we make sense of the world around us, how we communicate with others, how we express ourselves.

Venus represents how we relate to others, how we make connections with the outside world. If Mercury is concerned strictly with exchange of information, Venus wants to make something valuable with this information – to establish exchanges, to negotiate, to give and take.

That’s why Venus is not only connected to love and beauty, but also with money and possessions. Venus is our unit of value exchange.

Therefore, Mercury and Venus coming together are concerned with exchange of information (Mercury) about what we value, about what is important to us (Venus).

Chiron is a different ‘animal’ altogether and probably the most cryptic astrological significator in one’s chart. While Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (the transpersonal planets) are even more enigmatic than Chiron, they are completely inaccessible to us. Chiron comes with the potential to be – at least to a certain extent – grasped within the limitations of the human mind.

To understand the nature of Chiron we need to keep in mind that Chiron orbits between Saturn and Uranus. Saturn is the most material planet, the last planet visible with a naked eye. Saturn represents the highest form of our ‘mortal’ existence.

Uranus on the other hand is on a higher order. Uranus breaks free from the limitations of the material world – Uranus represents liberation from the chains of what is holding us down here on Earth.

Chiron is therefore KEY, the link between the world as we know and the higher realm of consciousness.

Chiron rules our DNA, which is nothing more than the ‘code’ passed down from one generation to another. This code represents that part of us that never dies, that information that cannot be destroyed. When nothing else is left of our bodies, we still live through our children, a part of us is still manifesting and unfolding with each coming generation.

The reason we keep on passing on a part of ourselves is to bring the potential of our human existence to the highest possible form of manifestation. 

And that’s why Chiron is connected to the concept of Gifts. Only the strongest sequences or our DNA are passed on to the next generations, so they can become stronger and stronger, and come closer and closer to ‘perfection’.

But until we learn how to integrate this genetic information that has been passed on to us and to bring it to a higher order of manifestation (the Uranian side of Chiron), Chironian gifts can feel like wounds.

The enigmatic “Las Meninas” by Velazquez is one of the most important paintings of the all time.

Las_Meninas,_by_Diego_Velázquez Chiron

The painting depicts a scene from the Spanish court of king Philip IV. The young princess in the center of the scene is Infanta Margaret, the daughter of the king and queen of Spain and the heiress to the throne. Apparently, the whole scene and all the characters revolve around the little princess.

If we look more closely however, we notice a painting in the background of the scene showing the king and the queen of Spain who are the little princess’ parents. If we take an even closer look, we notice that this is not a painting, but a mirror. The mirror in fact shows a reflection from the painting Velazquez (the painter in the left side) is working on. He is actually painting the royal couple!

The main character of the scene is not Infanta Margaret anymore, but her parents. The royal couple is posing in front of the scene as Velazques paints them, while their daughter and several other characters watch. The painting therefore shows their view of the scene. Of the nine figures depicted, five are looking directly out at the royal couple. Their glances which seek for approval, affirm the royal couple’s presence and potency. 

The painting was commissioned by the king himself. He chose not to have himself or the queen painted. At least at the first sight, they are missing from the artwork. However, if we dig deeper and understand the cryptic composition of the scene, we understand that they are the ones in the center of everything. Their power is unquestionable. Their power is what gives everything meaning.

But again, the painting says more than that. Although the royal couple’s power is unquestionable, they are merely a reflection in the mirror. The future is in front of them. Infanta Margaret, the future Queen of Spain, will pass on their power to the next generations. Infanta is still a child, and although she doesn’t have yet any real authority, she has the promise of power encoded in her genes.

The triple conjunction between Mercury, Venus and Chiron will give us ‘access’ to one of our gifts. As we described earlier, Mercury and Venus are accessible planets. They will bring to our awareness Chiron’s otherwise cryptic information.

Just as Las Meninas becomes more and more accessible to us as we look at it, some highly important pieces of information about who we are, and what we are meant to become in this lifetime, will be revealed to us.

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Full Moon In Gemini And Mercury Retrograde – The Symphony Of Truth

The Full Moon in Gemini takes place on December 3rd, the same day that Mercury goes retrograde. This Full Moon is also a Supermoon, which means its energy is going to be amplified.

The Moon is most powerful when at Full Moon, when her light outshines the light of the Sun and our emotions are stronger than our Solar consciousness. Just look at the Full Moon. The Full Moon is honest, the Full Moon reveals herself entirely. When full, the Moon wants to expose everything, to show things as they really are.

The Full Moon on the 3rd of December is in Gemini, and will be all about illuminating the truth.

Full Moon Gemini Mercury Retro

But if you want to find it, get ready to get your mind blown.

The Full Moon is in an exact square to Neptune, forming a mutable T-square – we have the Moon (in Gemini), Sun (in Sagittarius), and Neptune (in Pisces). Facts (air, Gemini) come into conflict with our faith (fire, Sagittarius) and our emotions (water, Pisces).

In this symphony where the mind, the spirit and the feelings – all want to get their voice heard, it is worth noticing what keeps them together – that is, the mutable energy. Gemini, Sagittarius and Pisces are all mutable signs. The only constant is change.

Jazz is the only type of music characterized by spontaneity and improvisation. Jazz payers go on stage often without knowing what they are going to play. They have one thing in common: the willingness to listen and to adapt to what other members are playing, the ability to improvise, and as a result, they create something that is greater than the sum of its parts. Jazz music in very Neptunian and Gemini-like in nature.

To tune into the Full Moon in Gemini you have to be a bit like a jazz player.

To say Neptune will make this Full Moon interesting is an understatement. Neptune is the abstract understanding of life. Where the mind fails to understand abstract concepts such as time, space, infinity, Neptune has the answers. But Neptune’s answers are not clear definitions, cook book recipes.

“Lady, if I told you, your mind would explode.” — Louis Armstrong, when a woman asked him what he thought about when he played

Neptune got the bad rap of planet of confusion and  lies. But how many of Neptune’s lies are really lies? And how many are truths in disguise, truths we don’t want to accept because we don’t understand, and out of comfort, we label them as lies? Neptune is about going beyond the here and how, and beyond form and spirit.

The Neptune square to the Full Moon can make you doubt your own sanity, but if you push through, you can go through to the other side. You can finally understand things you were never able to understand before.

Let’s not forget that the Full Moon is in Gemini, the sign of the mind.

Gemini is all about observable facts.  Gemini’s superpower is its ability to pay attention to what is going on and discover the world though immediate experience.

Remember when you were a child and you were curious about everything? Children learn how to speak, how to learn, how to relate to the world through trial and error. So does Gemini, and even when we grow up, our innate curiosity to explore and make sense of the world is what keeps us sane.

Sagittarius, on the other hand, believes without seeking evidence. Sagittarius is the sign of faith. If Gemini is Google, Sagittarius is Wikipedia. If Gemini is one detail at a time, Sagittarius is the big picture.

Sagittarius is the cook book recipe. It’s the news on television. Is the books you read, the ‘truths’ you don’t question.

The full Moon on the Gemini / Sagittarius axis is a quest for the truth. Do you explore the world in your terms (Gemini) and risk to have a one-side vision, or do you follow the tested path, with the risk that the path you walk is someone’s else (Sagittarius)? The Full Moon, which is an opposition, will strike to find a balance. As a result, you can have an epiphany.

You can have a sudden and striking realization, something you completely overlooked can finally come to place to give you an unblurred vision. Mercury, the ruler of the Full Moon, stands still in the sky in that very moment, preparing to turn retrograde.

When Mercury changes course its energy is the most powerful. Mercury turns retrograde in the last degree of Sagittarius.

Sagittarius stands for the big picture, for the truth…or more exactly, what you believe to be the truth.

Retrogrades are about going back in time, to review and process events and dynamics that have not been fully processed. What knowledge have you taken for granted?

Mercury will walk the sky path from 30° Sagittarius back to 13° Sagittarius twice – firstly in retrograde from December 3rd until December 22nd to ‘fix the problems’. The 2nd time Mercury (now direct) will walk the path will be from December 22nd until January 10th.

Mercury goes retrograde exactly at the time of the Full Moon, just when he was about to complete his journey in Sagittarius.

Mercury in Sagittarius is about the big picture – Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius will ask you to de-construct the big picture and look at each individual piece of the puzzle. How do you arrive to conclusions? How does your mind really work?

Most of the time, our decisions are emotional, reptilian, and the mind just comes with a narrative to justify what our reptilian brain has already chosen.

Mercury will press the rewind button in the last degree of Sagittarius. “Wait a minute…just when I thought I got this right, just when I thought I am done with the Sagittarian lessons, there is still something that I don’t quite get”.

Right at the end of Sagittarius, Mercury is also conjunct Saturn, which is about to leave Sagittarius in the coming days. Before Saturn leaves Sagittarius for good, he passes the torch to Mercury and says: “Go back. See if you did not miss anything. But this time, take it slowly, be diligent and cautious just like I am. Don’t let anything escape your sight”.

Mercury is in detriment in Sagittarius. The path he is asked to explore is awkward and unfamiliar.  Not only that, but he has to walk it backwards. Not an easy task, but he has no choice. He needs to clear the path and sort things out.

This is not the path of knowledge as we know it. Mercury’s backwards journey in Sagittarius will expose a basic truth: you cannot ‘download’ knowledge, you cannot copy paste it, you cannot  take it from someone else. You have to walk the path yourself.

Just imagine what would have happened if Adam and Eve hadn’t been tempted to eat off the tree of knowledge, hadn’t been seduced into taking a shortcut.

Today, in the era of instant gratification of knowledge, the message of the Full Moon in Gemini with Mercury retrograde conjunct Saturn couldn’t be more actual: Take your time, do the research – you only get to knowledge through real experience, by walking the path yourself. There is no such thing as universal truth, you have to find your own.

The path of true knowledge combines Gemini’s quest for discovery with a beginner’s mind, with Sagittarius’ faith that we already have all the answers we need, and that the Universe has our back.

The coming weeks are a time to (re)discover the truth, beyond any stereotypical ideas and outdated beliefs, a truth that shines so bright that cannot be dimmed.

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Mercury Goes Retrograde – How Not Only to Survive, But to Thrive During the Next 3 Weeks of Mercury Retrograde

What Is Mercury Retrograde?

Mercury Retrograde. You’ve heard about it a million times. The dreaded time of the year when you should back up our computer and watch what you’re saying.

Mercury Retrograde has gained a negative reputation, but if we really want to understand what Mercury Retrograde is really about, we need to go back to basics and do what our ancestors were doing for thousands of years: look at the sky and observe.

mercury-retrograde

Mercury is perhaps the most misunderstood personal planet. The close proximity to the Sun makes it difficult to observe and interpret.

If you look at the sky, you will notice Mercury in the evening sky, only to see it after a few weeks appearing to fall towards the Sun. Mercury would then appear again in the morning sky and slowly climb away, just to fall back in again towards the Sun. Mercury never strays far from the Sun!

When a planet is at least 15° away from the Sun, the planet can express its qualities freely, unobstructed by the rays of the Sun. Most planets spend most of their cycles far away from the Sun.

But not Mercury. Mercury spends most of the time so close to the Sun, so close to its rays, that it is literally invisible in the sky.  Its energy is blended with the energy of the Sun.

Mercury And The Mind

And what does Mercury stand for? The Mind. What does the Sun stand for? The Self. That’s why it is so natural for us humans to identify with our mind. It is so close the connection between Mercury and the Sun (the Self) that we literally believe that we are what we think. We are one with our mind.

Mercurial energy is the most familiar energy to the Self, but ironically, at the same time, our biggest blind spot.  The Messenger God is our constant companion, active in our thinking, planning, worrying, speaking, shopping, writing, moving from one place to another.

And what happens when Mercury is retrograde? It gets even closer to the Sun, it comes even closer to us, it merges with us.

If you have difficulties with Mercury (your mind, your thoughts, your communication) when Mercury is direct, you will have even more difficulties with the Mercury stuff when the planet is retrograde.

But we only experience difficulties when we resist the energy of Mercury, when we resist change, shift and growth.

If we are not “awake”, if we don’t live with awareness, during Mercury Retrograde we are usually forced to “wake up” and take care of what we’ve been neglecting.

The Two Phases of Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde has two main phases.

The 1st retrograde phaseAnalyze: From Mercury Retrograde until Mercury conjuncts the Sun – approximately first half (the first 10-11 days) of Mercury Retrograde

During this phase, Mercury is contemplative, introspective and seeks inner meaning. This is the time to reflect on how the previous Mercury cycle has affected you.

This phase is great to “analyze” what you did in the past 3 months. Are you unhappy with the results? Now is your chance to start again. Are you unhappy with the results?  How can you take what you have learned and make it even better?

The first half of Mercury Retrograde is a great time to analyze, reflect and ponder on the past.

The 2nd retrograde phase – Observe and Insight: From Mercury’s conjunction to the Sun until Mercury goes direct –  approximately the 2nd half (the last 11-12 days) of Mercury Retrograde 

Mercury is now “born again” with a clear sense of purpose. When it meets with the Sun, Mercury brings its qualities and puts them into the perspective of the Sun, the Self. The Mind becomes one with the Self, in full alignment with the purpose of the Sun. Mercury now takes what he has learned in the previous cycle and brings it to the “next level” of awareness.

This is the perfect time to initiate something new related to Mercury. Although you may want to wait until Mercury goes direct for those big changes, you can already outline your next initiative. You are ready for something new.

Is Mercury Retrograde a Bad Thing?

Mercury Retrograde is not a bad thing. When retrograde, Mercury actually travels faster than the Earth (that’s why as seen from Earth it appears to go backward) so its energy is intensified. Like any other planet, Mercury has a goal – its goal is to make you aware of what is really important in your life.

If your computer crashes during Mercury Retrograde, is maybe because you need to stay away from distractions and pay attention to other things. If you get stuck in traffic on your way to an important meeting is maybe because that meeting was not that important, and Mercury wants you to be honest about what really matters.

Pay attention to those thoughts that come to you right now. Whatever it is, however unpleasant, requires your attention. Listen to what your mind is telling you.

Keep your mind open when Mercury is retrograde. Be willing to question yourself and to dig deep to get to the Source of things. When you open your mind to new ways of thinking, being, and doing – this is when you will not only ‘survive’, but thrive during Mercury Retrograde.

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A New Mercury Cycle Begins – Time to Start a New Project

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

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.

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Five Planets Retrograde In April – How To Survive Them

In April we have a record number of 5 (FIVE) planets retrograde. The Universe is asking us to “sort out” our life and redefine our reality and how we operate in it. This retrograde period is “three-dimensional” as it will ask us to look at ourselves (our thoughts, our communication – Mercury and our set of values – Venus) at our environment (Jupiter and Saturn) and at how everything  fits together in the grand scheme of things (Pluto).

5 retrograde planets

When is so much retrograde power in the air, we need to slow down any pay attention. Old patterns of thinking and old habits that no longer serve us will be brought to our awareness and challenged.

What is even more interesting is that 4 planets out of the 5 actually change direction in April. Yes, only Jupiter is already retrograde and won’t change direction. All the other planets station and change direction in April, increasing their influence few days before and after their station:

  • Saturn turns retrograde on April 6th at 27° Sagittarius
  • Mercury turns retrograde on April 9th at 4° Taurus
  • Venus turns direct on April 15th at 26° Pisces
  • Pluto turns retrograde on April 20th at 19° Capricorn

So if you have planets or angles around 27° Sagittarius, 4° Taurus, 26° Pisces or 19° Capricorn you will be especially affected. Pay attention especially if you have planets around 26°-27° in any Mutable sign (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) because the square between Venus and Saturn, – both stationary – will hit you hard.

Retrograde periods are good times to remember, re-assess , re-think, repair ,  restructure, re-invent  anything that needs a “RE” in your life.

And although the world will seem to “slow down”,  for some of us things will feel “just right”. Yes, if you have in your natal chart 4, 5 or even more planets retrograde then you will rather feel “in sync” with this energy, especially if you have a combination of Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn or Pluto retrograde.

For people with none, 1 or maximum 2 planets retrograde, things will be quite different. For example, I don’t have any planet retrograde. Everytime there are 4 or more planets retrograde I feel very tired, that’s why I learned to schedule holidays around the retrogrades and take the opportunity to recharge my batteries.

Now let’s have a look at how to deal with each of these retrogrades – focus on the one affecting you the most:

Saturn and Venus (26°-27° mutable signs)

I group them together because they are at the same mathematical degree and in square – so if you have planets around 26-27° in Mutable signs both Venus and Saturn stations will affect you.

The transit is quite heavy and will very likely ask you to sort out some emotional baggage from your life – old lovers, events from the past, buried feelings of rejection, isolation, and loneliness.

“The only baggage you can bring is all that you can’t leave behind” – Venus square Saturn will ask you to do some soul searching and decide what are you going to keep in this baggage. What are those key values that you cannot live without?

Anything else can be left behind. Remember, you will carry this luggage for the rest of your life (or at least until you have another potent Venus transit) – so you want to keep it light. How much are you willing to carry on your back from now on?

Now is your opportunity to really incorporate the Saturnine lessons. Your heart will be stronger and wiser after this process. And because Chiron is conjunct Venus, the opportunity for healing is real. Old wounds may the toughest to heal, but it is when we take the courage to face them, that we can release them and set ourselves free.

What to do about Venus retrograde: Make a list with your values, everything that is dear to you. For each value associate an object. How much does the object weight? Write it down – how many pounds/kilos? Now sum everything up. How heavy it is? What do you need to cut from that list so you leave only few items that you can carry on lightly?

Mercury (4° Taurus)

The lesson of this Mercury station is sustained focus. A Mercury Taurus retrograde cycle is here to teach us to focus our mind and be resilient against distractions.

What to do about Mercury retrograde: Make a list with all the worries, all the distractions, all the unfinished tasks that clutter your mind and affect your focus. Then “schedule” 1 hour per day to solve them. You may notice that by simply writing down your unfinished tasks and worries on a piece of paper, by “acknowledging” them, your mind can finally relax and focus on things that are more important. You can do this exercise anytime, best to do it around April 19th when Mercury and Sun will be in an inferior conjunction. Later in April you may discover you have found some innovative solutions for some of your worries, as Mercury will spend quite a lot of time near Uranus.

Pluto (19° Capricorn)

Pluto will activate the Jupiter Uranus opposition, making this station very confrontational – BUT also thanks to the progressive energy of Jupiter and Uranus, this station will give you an unique opportunity to achieve great progress in the area of your life (the house) transited by Pluto.

When direct, Pluto transforms matter and energy from one state to another. When retrograde, Pluto purges the “toxins” from the body, the mind, the spirit, so that a new cycle of life can emerge. What needs to be purged from your life?  Pluto stationary retrograde will ask you to allow natural death to take its course for anything that no longer serves you.  Let nature have its way. You will not only “survive” without this debrief, but you will be better equipped for the future.

What to do about Pluto retrograde: Keep a diary and write down in detail each event, each thought, each feeling that triggers a defense mechanism inside you. For each of these items, write down what are you afraid of losing if you “submit” to change. And then write down what could be the possible “benefits” for each of these changes. 

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Mercury in Sagittarius

Let’s welcome Mercury in Sagittarius! Freedom of thought, vision, leadership, optimism – this is what Mercury in Sagittarius stands for.

Not so keen on details, Mercury in Sagittarius prefers to focus on the big picture. He likes to have the freedom to think for himself, and to focus on the topics that he likes, especially if that is:

  • An opinion that is different than yours
  • Fun
  • Philosophical

mercury-in-sagittarius

Forget about political correctness during the next few weeks. Mercury in Sagittarius, with his restless intellect, has a hard time with rules, limits and he could not care less about what other people think (of course, those people who don’t share HIS opinions). He won’t have the patience to deal with other people’s opinions – especially if he has heard them many times before – as he see them as a waste of time. Life is too big and there is always so much to think about.

But Mercury is Sagittarius is not narcissistic, nor naïve. With his broad viewpoints, he is able to put things together in a way that other people can’t see them.

Things to do during the Mercury in Sagittarius transit:

  • Focus on the full side of the glass – Mercury in Sagittarius is known for its contagious optimism
  • Do stand up comedy or any type of public speaking
  • Go ‘big picture’ – if Mercury in Gemini is about connecting things and ideas and thinking inside the box, Mercury in Sagittarius is about thinking outside the box. In Sagittarius, Mercury is Jupiter-like, so he likes to ‘go big’ in everything he does
  • Share your great ideas with others, while allowing them to draw their own conclusions and develop their own opinions. A good, honest debate will always lead to better outcomes
  • Travel – either with your mind, or literally, pick a destination and go and explore a different culture
  • Start learning a new language
  • Philosophize – this is the best time of the year to attempt to answer the big questions of life. “What does it all mean?”

Famous natives with Mercury in Sagittarius: Martin Luther, Marie Curie, Woody Allen, Jimi Hendrix, Voltaire.

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Mercury in Scorpio

Mercury enters Scorpio on the 24th of October and will stay here until 12th of November.

It is not easy to say what we really mean, especially when we talk about feelings. Even with the closest of friends, we have a natural defense mechanism to push people away, exactly in those moments when we feel most vulnerable. We hold a piece of ourselves back, and we are especially guarded when it comes to revealing a truth about ourselves, sometimes, ironically, even to ourselves.

rene-magritte-mercury-scorpio

Painting: Rene Magritte – La Reproduction interdite

Mercury in Scorpio gets us in touch the depth of our feelings and helps us deal with those sides of ourselves that we usually hide. Our awareness of the underlying motivations of our thoughts and perceptions is increased now.

Mercury is a personal planet, together with Venus and Mars, so it has to do with how we relate to the others and with our interpersonal relationships in general.

Be aware that if you are not totally honest  with yourself about your motives and feelings when communicating with others, your unconscious or hidden agendas can harm the others even when that was not your intention. However, if you approach your interactions with honesty, the Mercury in Scorpio transit can bring a great opportunity to dramatically improve your relationships.

Things to do during this transit

  • Dig deep to understand what really drives you in your relationships with others – why do you reach out for contact, why do you need to be understood and appreciated? What are you afraid of? What makes you tick?
  • Reflect on the concept of honesty. Why is being untruthful, even exaggerating or omitting to mention something, so harmful?
  • Do some research and investigation on some controversial topic – what you will find might change your perspective completely on that specific topic
  • Read a crime or mystery book
  • Check out the concept of “radical honesty”. The idea behind is to always tell the truth, no matter what. Check out the internet, you will find plenty of resources
  • Reflect on the implications of telling the truth – can you tell the truth and be kind in the same time? We all know that telling the truth is the right thing, be we should strive to do it with compassion
  • Have an honest conversation with your partner or with an close friend or relative. Don’t make excuses, try to lower your defenses and let your imperfections be seen
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Mercury in Libra is opposite Uranus in Aries

Our thoughts, ideas and opinions will be a little bit “different”, if not unusual!, and our mind will shine brighter during this transit. Both Mercury and Uranus rule the intellect, with Uranus being the higher octave of Mercury. Uranus transforms the logical processes of Mercury into sudden shifts of awareness. Together, the two will look at mundane things from innovative, highly interesting perspectives.

mercury-libra-opposition-uranus

Image: Michael Cheval – Swing of Love

Speaking our mind, not matter what, will become more important than ever. The Mercury / Uranus aspect is found in the natal charts of Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, James Madison and other epic figures that have set the foundations of what we call now “freedom of speech”.

Mercury in opposition with Uranus will also manifest in some sort of “rebelling” on a mental level. We can get easily distracted and disconnected from activities that bore us, and let our mind instead take off to some more interesting places. And because Mercury is in Libra, these places will tend to be beautiful and have plenty of socializing opportunities.

Things to do during this transit:

  • Question anything that society says is “the way it is”. Or, how Buddha puts it: “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” Doubt everything, find your own light 😉
  • Write a blog / conduct a research / communicate about an idea that no one has explored before. Research studies such as “Couples who drink more red wine stay together longer and partners are less likely to develop dementia “ or “How chicken feathers can be used to determine the speed of a tornado” were probably conducted during a Mercury /Uranus transit 😉
  • If single, check some internet dating websites – Mercury is in the sign of partnerships and Uranus can make anything possible 😉

 

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Mercury enters Libra on the 7th of October

Mercury will transit the cardinal Air sign of Libra for about three weeks until October 25th when he moves into Scorpio.

During this transit, we’re more diplomatic and find it easier to see another’s point of view. Libra transits always draw awareness on the areas of our life where balance is needed. Are we too judgmental or on contrary too accommodating?  Are we so stubborn that we cannot accept other people’s viewpoints, or too wishy washy, going back and forth and never seeming to make up our mind? Whatever it is, Mercury in Libra will help us identify the imbalance, and direct us towards those areas we need to adjust in order to create more balance in our life.

7-libra-mercury

Another characteristic of this transit is that our ideas, our communication – in any form – will become more artistic. Music  and painting are beautiful mediums of communication – and Mercury in Libra a has a strong desire for harmony and aesthetics. He loves fine music, poetry,  a good art gallery or performing arts.

Last and not least, Mercury in Libra will sharpen our negotiation skills. If the answer to the question “what is in for me” does not satisfy us, we are more likely than usual to take action (Libra is a Cardinal sign after all) and do something about it: discuss, fight and make up with our spouse, get things straight with our business partner, ask the boss for a promotion. The good news for the spouse, business partner or the boss is that Libra in Mercury will also make us reflect on “what is in for the other”. The magic of negotiation happens when we truly understand our needs, we truly understand the other’s needs, and then we agree on what is the proper ratio of “give and take” to have happy and healthy relationships.