Perhaps you have heard or read the phrase that ‘Mercury is retrograde’, what does this mean though?
Well, all planets reach a retrograde position at some point in their orbit and because Mercury is a fast-moving planet it goes retrograde approximately, four times a year. In 2016 for example, the periods that Mercury is retrograde is for 2016 are:
- 5th January -25th January 2016
- 28th April – 22nd May 2016
- 30th August – 22nd September 2016
- 19th December – 8th January 2017
As you can see we are about to enter a period of Mercury being retrograde.
But what does retrograde mean? Well the meaning of retrograde is that a planet is moving backwards. At some point the planet will stop moving backwards and will become stationary, which means it is about to go into direct motion, i.e. move forward and this position is called Station Direct. The astrological symbol for Direct is ‘D’ while the symbol for retrograde is which, when shown in the natal chart and ephemeris has an ‘r’ next to the planet it is in.
You may already know that the symbol for Mercury is and that it also rules both Gemini and Virgo. I have checked in ‘Compass of The Stars’ and just two of my subjects have Mercury retrograde in their natal charts. They are both astrologers funnily enough: one is the American astrologer Linda Goodman (Sun sign Aries) and the other is the English Horary astrologer William Lilly (Sun sign Taurus).
Interestingly enough they both have Mercury retrograde in Taurus and even more interestingly, Goodman’s Mercury is unaspected with other planets…but unaspectation is a conversation for another day! Those born when Mercury was retrograde may be better equipped to deal with the energy whenever it comes around, because they are naturally at home with that position.
All of us are affected by the Mercury retrograde themes which are communication and transport (Gemini) and health (Virgo). Some examples include:-
Challenges with communication such as phones, emailing, documents, post, miscommunication and mixed messages, passwords and commerce.
Challenges with travel which includes bicycles, cars and trains, tickets and passes.
Challenges with appointments, diet, exercise and treatment.
Once you know about the Mercury retrograde period you can do your own research and reflect back to how Mercury impacted on your life during the retrograde period.
Astrology can help us to find the balance in life, so the Mercury Retrograde period is not all about challenges. The way I think of this area is to think of the word ‘re’ as from ‘retrograde’ and think about all the words that can help you to manage this time, almost like you are going return to something almost like going backwards like the planet Mercury if you get what I mean . So for example:
Reset, resend, revise, revisit, reschedule, rethink, revitalise, reassure, reboot, rebuild, recharger, receipt…
The list is endless really but I hope you get the gist so as to help you identify and see the astrology in action as it were by the Mercury retrograde period.