Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Mercury Retrograde – The trickster of the night sky prepares to play his games again.


Mercury retrograde

Oh yes, here we go once again. In just a couple of day’s time on 23rd February, Mercury Retrograde will be upon us all, this time in the watery sign of Pisces. Three and a half weeks of the most irritating kinds of difficulties and problems could pop up out of the blue and test our resolve. You know with the big problems in life we get a chance to sit and mull over what we are actually going to do to solve them, simply because the outer planets that create these changes move so very slowly. Mercury Retrograde on the other hand is so infuriating because it triggers small little testy issues that appear out of nowhere, often in quick succession, causing us any amount of grief and frustration. As such, Mercury Retrograde has gained this reputation as something bad and ominous. Is it as bad as it seems, and how do you go about things to make the best of an admittedly tricky planetary movement?

Mercury Retrograde 1

Retrograde motion happens when the planet in the sky in relation to the earth seems to loop back on itself, retracing it’s steps in a part of the sky before it stations and starts to move forward once again. Any planet that goes into retrograde motion seems to have the effect that the normal function that it carries out does not work as well as it normally does if the planet was moving direct. The planet in question moving retrograde is retracing it’s steps, going over old ground and is highlighting events and issues that it visited and triggered in direct motion, so it stands to reason that these issues need to be revisited or reviewed before final decisive (direct) action can be taken. 

Now all the planets except for the Sun and Moon go into retrograde motion at some point, however Mercury retrograde is firmly in the consciousness of many people, even those who do not follow astrology very closely. Why is this? Well Mercury is the planet that rules many mundane yet vitally important areas of our everyday lives. For example it rules communication, all forms of transportation, journeys, the brain and of thought, of books, language and writing, paperwork and details, computers and communication devices, health and doctors, brothers and sisters, the press and media, literature, lecturing, the nerves and nervous tension, tricks, jokes and mischief, schools and teachers, trade and commerce, service and routine, I could go on and on and on…

It is because Mercury has such a wide and diverse affect on all our individual lives in so many ways that we feel and are acutely aware of this particularly notorious time. When Mercury moves retrograde, all of these areas of life are liable to be out of sync, technical things don’t function or work as they should do, our minds get affected and in turn our decision making becomes questionable, other people become unreliable and we don’t pick the signs up as we should, messages and letters get lost or diverted, we misinterpret, we misunderstand and we get delays and cancellations. Be aware that some of the mistakes we initially make under Mercury retrograde may come back to haunt us much later on.

As Mercury regresses in out charts, there are things to look out for. Look at the degree that Mercury stations and see if it connects with one of your natal planets. If it does, then a theme connected to that aspect and position in your chart for the whole retrograde period may appear, one which will not be resolved until Mercury finally passes over this spot for a last time once full out of the retrograde “shadow zone”. The house or houses where Mercury is reversing will be strongly in focus and issues concerning those houses may be in review for a few weeks. At the end of this article for those of you who are not sure, I have listed some basic meanings of each house, and what they represent. If Mercury connects with any other planets, then the matters concerning the other planet will be activated for a short time too.

Look as well where your natal Mercury sits and which houses he has rulership over. I will give you the example of myself as I thoroughly dislike Mercury retrograde. My natal Mercury sits in my 10th house of career conjunct to my Midheaven, so I have a double link to Mercury retrograde, my personal profile and work. Gemini rules my 9th house of publishing, travel, learning and faith and Virgo my 12th house of hidden issues.

Whenever Mercury turns retrograde, I get matters going wrong at work, often technical problems like phones or issues with computers going wrong. I often seem to get long distance travel delays and I seem more susceptible to making mistakes in publishing my articles in my work or on my blog (9th house/10th house). Also, things happening that I was not aware of always tend to cause me grief and trouble (12th house). These are trends that always happen to me, no matter where Mercury is travelling in my chart. Of course, different matters can also crop up too depending on the particular positioning of the retrograde action.

So is Mercury retrograde all bad?  No, definitely not. It is said that those with Mercury retrograde natally in their charts tend to do better and make wiser decisions during a Mercury retrograde period. As yet I haven’t seen any direct proof in my own work to back this up. I think that as Mercury is moving at a slower in speed than during most of it’s direct motion period, we are able to review and reassess parts of our lives in clearer focus, making sure that the things we are doing is correct. I believe that we naturally sense that things are not entirely right, and so we go back to check to make sure. Have you ever had this sense when Mercury is reversing?

This actually something I stress anyone should do under Mercury retrograde, double check everything!! This is a time when you can successfully review your own decisions, look into your own attitudes and analyse if you are doings things right or wrong. It is perfectly acceptable and probably a good idea to make your mind up during Mercury retrograde, however it’s best not to sign on the dotted line confirming your plans and decisions until Mercury is moving direct. By the same token it is generally accepted that one should desist from starting any new projects, making drastic changes at work, getting any new technology (phones, computers) or items ruled by Mercury (like cars), sending important documents, booking travel tickets or making important plans.

This first Mercury retrograde period occurs in Pisces, the sign of solitude, suffering and of infinite possibilities and this is Mercury’s sign of detriment, so it will not appreciate going retrograde here. Mercury reversing in Pisces will cloud our minds like never before, so this is definitely a three week period when you must be careful what you say or write or agree to, and I would triple check rather than double check everything. On an instinctive level, I think it is great for anyone with artistic leanings. Because Mercury retrograde works on an internal level and in Pisces the mind will wander far and wide, this influence will be able to pick up ideas and influences in using one’s imagination in the most artistic and beautiful of ways. From song writing to painting on canvas, creative writing to thinking up new fashions and designs, I think this can be an incredibly productive time. Psychically and spiritually, I think we can also benefit through focusing our minds and letting our thought patterns flow to let those hidden talents out.
In the world, watch out for disruption or trouble through water transport, on ships and boats or via flooding. Matters of corruption, deceit and illegal practices may be fully drawn out by the end of this retrograde period and I would expect issues concerning faith leaders (the new Pope) or health institutions, films, movies, TV and music stars, alcohol and drugs to be in the news in some manner as these next 3–4 weeks draw to a close…  

There are three Mercury retrograde periods this year…

The first one occurs between Sat 23rd February and Sun 17th March 2013 between as Mercury reverses between 19  degrees Pisces and 5 Pisces.

The second one starts on Wed 26th June and Sat 20th July 2013 between as Mercury reverses between 23 degrees Cancer and 13 Cancer.

The third and final retrograde period happens between Mon 21st October and Sun 10th November 2013 as Mercury reverses between 18 Scorpio and 2 degrees Scorpio.

Where might Mercury Retrograde affect your life?

If Mercury is moving retrograde in your 1st House these areas of life may be affected…
The front door to one's world; the self-Image; reaction to one's environment; how others see one; physical characteristics; outer personality; how one initiates action; beginnings.

2nd House
The process of valuing; self worth; body awareness; how one develops one's natural resources; attitudes towards money and possessions; emotional attachments to objects.

3rd House
Communications of all types; the analytical mind; early and immediate environment; school years; relatives; brothers and sisters; early peer groups; using any sort of transport or making any short journeys.

4th House
Home and family issues; one's sense of belonging; psychological foundations; how one is in private; the 'background' parent normally the Mother; childhood conditioning; late years of life.

5th House
Creative instincts; the urge to express one's self spontaneously; children; how one gives love; love affairs; leisure; speculation.

6th House
Daily routine; work; practical skills; techniques; relations with employers and employees; health issues.

7th House
One to one encounters; partners; marriage; lawsuits; challenges; open enemies; how one co-operates or competes with others.

8th House
Results of what one shares; intense relationships; sex; other people's money and possessions; legacies; death and rebirth; crises; change.

9th House
The abstract or higher mind; belief systems; higher education; teachers; foreign travel and connections abroad; religion; the spirit of the law.

10th House
Public role and status; career; volunteer work; ambition; influence; how one sets out to achieve one's aims; the dominant parent normally the Father; relations with authority figures; one's tendency to be dominant or dominated.

11th House
The need to make contact with others; how one receives love; friendships; social groups; shared hopes and ideals; group activities.

12th House
The un-integrated, unconscious self; what one projects on to intimate relationships; dreams; hidden fears and enemies; breakdowns; sacrifice and service to a greater cause.

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