Do you ever read much good about Mercury retrograde periods? They’re a notorious pain in the ass; even people who don’t follow astrology much or at all have heard the reputation Mercury retrograde has. The last Mercury retrograde fell largely in Capricorn and was particularly brutal, the kind of retrograde that earns its stereotype. Well, the upcoming Mercury retrograde from April 9th until May 3rd would like a chance to literally rearrange our thinking. It’s gonna get weird…
Most of my readers know that the god Mercury was considered to be a psychopomp, an entity that escorted the newly deceased into the afterlife. Mercury was/is a medium in the truest sense of the word: a carrier vessel, a mode of transportation, expression and communication. The planet Mercury, during its retrograde period, appears to behave as a psychopomp due to the retrograde motion giving the appearance of Mercury disappearing behind the Sun and re-emerging on the other side. Dipping into the darkness, the underworld, and resurfacing with exciting shiny new stories and perspectives to share.
This Mercury retrograde contains two very different vibes, as would benefit the ruling planet of Gemini (The Twins/duality). The retrograde shadow starts March 27th in late Aries with a conjunction to rebellious freedom fighter Uranus, stirring up excitement and quick flashes of insight. The retrograde period begins in the stubborn earthly fixed sign of Taurus; when retrograde, slow as molasses. Imagine driving 90 miles an hour high on adrenaline and running straight into a brick wall. After being brought down to earth with a thud, Mercury throws the gears in reverse, finding its mojo again when it re-enters Aries (still in retrograde motion) April 20th. This time, Mercury retrograde in Aries will be forming an inferior conjunction to the Sun as well as reconnecting with Uranus. It will also catch support from Mars in Gemini (April 21st-June 4th) which will form a mutual reception (Aries ruler in Mercury’s sign, Gemini’s ruler in Mars’ sign) to Mercury Rx.
There’s lots of moments of being slapped awake and shocked into awareness with this particular Mercury retrograde. This is upsetting to some at the time it happens, but it’s not necessarily a negative thing. It gets us excited to make things happen while direct in Aries, and while conjunct Uranus unexpected events leave us with no choice but to follow newly opened roads. Once Mercury enters Taurus on March 31st and especially at the retrograde station in Taurus April 9th, we’re stopped in our tracks enough to reconsider the material practicality of the outrageous ideas that seemed so plausible just days previous. It’s a jarring transition. The portion of the retrograde that falls in Taurus (April 9th-20th) will feel the most like a stereotypical retrograde.
However, the rest of the retrograde in Aries (April 20th-May 3rd) has potential for those savvy enough to harness it. Which you are, that’s why you’re reading this right now! Remember that Mercury brings up nuggets of gold when it reemerges from the underworld. The retrograde shadow starts with ingenuity that’s tested on the material plane while in Taurus, which in turn lays more stable, solid groundwork for the even more ingenious flow of inspiration that comes with Mercury retrograde then direct in conjunction to Uranus. What is being harvested in the dark and eventually brought out into the daylight are Uranian themes of creative solutions, busting out of ruts and blazing new trails, seeking freedom from whatever threw a spoke in your wheels.
You’ll know you’re doing this retrograde right when you start surprising even yourself with what you’re saying and thinking!
Mercury retrograde re-enters Aries April 20th, but not before forming an inferior conjunction to the Sun at 0 degrees Taurus the same day. Mercury Rx will also still be in mutual reception to Mars in Gemini. The Sun is strong at 0 degrees, which along with the following mutual reception to Mars gives this segment of the retrograde a feeling of purpose and mission and meaning. This particular day is one to pay special attention to messages received, a special day to signal messages yourself. This period of the retrograde until the end lights a fire in our minds. We see both the past and the future with new perspective, which gives rise to new vision. Since the retrograde started in a steady earth sign, we can in turn make practical use of such visions. No pipe dreams here! Mercury in Aries will form three exact trines to Saturn in Sagittarius, another gung-ho fire sign stabilized and matured by the celestial taskmaster planet. Continuing the roundabout theme of duality, this retrograde looks to me to be a blending of realistic limitations and practical concerns with an inspired drive for authenticity, originality, autonomy.
So, I don’t see this retrograde as having the usual Mercury Rx issues. But, that’s also partly because -in true original Uranian fashion- even the problems will be unorthodox, wild and taking on a life of their own. Again, while in Taurus the pace will drop to such a slow crawl compared to the rapid excitement that proceeded it that it will feel much longer than it really is. Be patient! Mercury in Taurus excels at thoroughness and during a Mercury retrograde -usually prone to sloppiness anyway- this is a virtue. If it don’t come easy, let it go. Let events unfold at their natural pace and if that happens to be too slow for you, suck it up and deal with it anyway. It’s just a few days, don’t rush things. You’ll find during Mercury in Taurus (especially when retrograde) that the more you push people or events to hurry up, the more they deliberately and intentionally slow down.
This segue from Aries to Taurus reminds me of a scenario common to bullriders/bullfighters: they come out the gate kicking with excitement, only to find the bull ain’t having it and just lays its fat self down to let you know who’s really the boss…
When Mercury is retrograde in Aries, again it will be in mutual reception to Mars in Gemini. This is hugely supportive and one reason I see this retrograde as being full of active potential. This also adds a welcome dose of humor to the mix. Why yell and scream at things going awry when you can laugh at it, join in on the silly fun? However, the downside to this is it will be a particularly combative time verbally. Just because you find something funny or not that serious doesn’t mean another person will see it that way, and while it’s funnier to laugh at people who aren’t laughing with you it is also a quick way to win enemies. Everyone’s mouth will be running, words spilling out that take on a life of their own and will probably step on toes.
As far as the global political scene… if ever there was a time to call “bull” (get it?) on what passes for journalistic integrity these days, this is it. Just don’t buy into what they’re selling. Thats general goid advice for the forseeable future but particularly now. Expect lots of juicy soundbites that are reversed at a later point. So, don’t invest in arguments that won’t hold up later. There will be plenty: Uranus in Aries is still in a cardinal T-square involving Jupiter in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn = chaotic rebalancing of the people vs. their government.
As I mention in every Mercury retrograde write up, Mercury rules (among other things): travels (usually short trips), transportation, communications of every kind, verbal and mental exchanges, media, news, mental thought processes, and daily interactions. These are all trouble spots during a Mercury retrograde. Retrograde periods are a time of looking back, a time to review and reflect. As such, Mercury retrograde periods can be a frustrating and nerve racking time, as our plans, thoughts and the details of everyday life seem to turn into a jumbled mess.
Certain rules apply during every Mercury retrograde, regardless of the sign or any aspects it makes. The biggest one: don’t sign papers or binding contracts, or make binding verbal agreements, if at all possible. Pertinent details are often obscured or overlooked during the retrograde period and can cause trouble when they emerge after Mercury turns direct. This is particularly true of this retrograde: Taurus can make mistakes binding and a real pain to get out of. Plus, the Uranian influence is so wild that the information you think you have to work with can easily be an overturned apple cart the next moment. Not a time of planning too far ahead!
That said, here’s the time line for how it all plays out (with corrections, excuse my blonde moments). Times given are Central Standard Time, so adjust accordingly:
- Mercury enters its retrograde shadow March 27th, 24 degrees Aries; Mercury perfected a conjunction to Uranus the day before
- Mercury in Aries trines Saturn in Sagittarius, 27 degrees each, March 29th, 1:16 PM
- Mercury enters Taurus March 31st, 12:31 PM
- Mercury stations retrograde April 9th, 6:14 PM CST, 4 degrees Taurus
- Sun conjuncts Mercury Rx at 0 degrees Taurus (inferior conjunction), April 20th, 0:54 AM
- Mercury Rx enters 29 degrees Aries April 20th, 12:37 PM
- Mercury Rx in Aries trines Saturn Rx in Sagittarius, 27 degrees each, April 24th, 3:15 AM
- Mercury retrograde conjuncts Uranus at 25 degrees Aries April 28th, 9:49 AM
- Mercury stations direct May 3rd, 11:33 AM CST, 24 degrees Aries
- Mercury direct conjuncts Uranus at 25 degrees Aries May 10th, 0:19 AM
- Mercury direct in Aries trines Saturn Rx in Sagittarius, 26 degrees each, May 11th, 3:14 PM
- Mercury leaves its retrograde shadow May 20th, 4 degrees Taurus
Generally speaking, re-examine your material attachments (Taurus) and attatchments to the past (retrograde) and be prepared to let them go (Uranus), trusting that this time at least it’s for the best (Saturn). You can’t embark on heroic missions weighed down by old baggage!