Mercury begins its second retrograde phase of the year early tomorrow morning, and as it “turns around” and joins a several other retrograde planets, it turns the next several weeks into a frustrating but nonetheless powerful review. Be prepared to spend more than a moment reviewing, reflecting and reconsidering plans and projects already in motion. Just be aware, this retrograde phase includes revisiting recent strategies as well as decisions made during 2015. This Mercury Retrograde joins Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto, all retrograde, and the combined effect of this aggregation, particularly the Mars Retrograde, is sure to inhibit and interfere with the routines of daily life. Nothing is moving quickly—and even if you think it is, it isn’t moving as fast as it could. So keep those patience pills handy—you’re going to need them to handle the slog.
Mercury and Mars drive the mechanics of daily life. Mercury symbolizes all things related to communication and travel. Mars represents muscle and movement as well as drive and ambition. And when their retrospectives occur simultaneously, much of our time is spent working on what’s already happened. The problem is that neither Mercury nor Mars likes moving “backwards” and for the most part, neither do we, and the result is often a logjam of details and missed moments that has the potential to throw lots of folks into a dizzy tizzy about meeting deadlines and finishing on time.
Mercury Retrograde is never a good time to start something new. That being said, beginnings can’t always be scheduled according to astral wisdom. So if you must initiate a new endeavor, be patient with a process that’s sure to include delays and detours. The same is true for travel plans, and especially true for daily traffic patterns because those daily comings and goings are Mercury’s strong suit and retrogrades screw around with Mercury’s normally quicksilver pace.
Mercury Retrograde is a great time to sort through the details of just about everything with a fine-toothed comb. From contracts to closets to contacts, use this retrograde to pause and take stock of where you are, how you got here, and what you want to do next.
Mars Retrograde began on April 17 and ends on June 29. Yes, it’s a long haul, but it can be beneficial, especially if you can avoid pushing through perceived obstacles. If you’re willing to observe, witness, and dispassionately contemplate your situation, certain roadblocks can be turned into valuable opportunities for growth—but only if you can put aside your personal agenda and surrender to the moment.
One of the most intriguing characteristics of this year’s three Mercury retrogrades is that they all end at 14 degrees of Earth Signs. In January it was Capricorn. In May it’s Taurus and in September it’s Virgo. All three retrogrades end pointing toward the position Pluto occupied during 2015, which means that part of this year’s retrograde process is seriously reflecting and reconsidering what was set in motion (from an individual as well as a collective perspective) during last year under the intense turmoil generated by the Uranus/Pluto squares. (For those new to this column, please search the archives for information on the Uranus/Pluto squares occurring between 2012 and 2015.)
All astrological interpretations depend upon the individual astrologer, something that the critics of astrology as far back as Cicero have always pointed out as one of astrology’s significant failings. It is undeniable that what and how we see the world is determined by our personal bias. I see retrogrades as opportunities for gaining perspective, even if the actual day-to-day of the retrograde is one test of patience after another. And often during a retrograde, as my teeth are grinding in frustration, I have to remind myself that life is not a race to a finish line, imaginary or real.
As you make your way through the coming weeks, give yourself plenty of time to review your choices. Be kind to yourself in this process, especially if you encounter regret about how you handled certain circumstances. Also be kind to your fellow travelers during this phase—friends, family, strangers at the grocery store—all of us are experiencing a similar review and the last thing any of us needs is a cold or recriminating glance or attitude. I know it’s hard to believe sometimes, but most of us are doing our best even if it’s difficult to see. And kindness always eases stress.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
Mercury is retrograde in your Solar House of personal resources inviting you to review, reflect and ruminate on how you spend your various currencies—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Yes, this includes money, but it is also about time, energy, attitude, desire, and creativity.
Taurus April 20-May 20
Mercury is retrograde in your Sign, in your Solar House of personality, which translates into a thorough examination of how you present yourself to the world. You may want to change some aspect of your persona—clothes, hair, glasses, or smile. Be patient with this process and you’re likely to be pleased with the results.
Gemini May 21-June 21
Mercury, your Ruling Planet, is retrograde in your Solar House of dreams, visions and all other aspects of the psyche. Be prepared for mental activities but don’t let that internal focus turn into a Brain Worm. Rather than brood the days and nights away, learn to self-soothe through meditation.
Cancer June 22-July 22
Mercury is retrograde in your Solar House of community, urging you to reflect on your participation in your immediate environment. By all means think local, but also include the possibility of expanding your “neighborhood” to include a wider geographical range by thinking global.
Leo July 23-August 22
Mercury is retrograde in your Solar House of recognition. Use this time to reflect on what goals or accomplishments you would like to acknowledge or would like others to acknowledge. Try not to limit yourself—include personal endeavors as well as professional efforts.
Virgo August 23-September 22
Mercury is retrograde in your Solar House of belief systems, offering opportunities to review a wide range of ideas. Make the most of this phase by being willing to examine where you are holding on to any rigid ideas of what should be the rules for everyone—and then also be willing to embrace diversity.
Libra September 23-October 22
Mercury is retrograde in your Solar House of transformation, stimulating an internal review of recent growth spurts, yours as well as others’. Rather than focusing on progress, get comfortable with the idea that personal transformation is best measured by a spiral not a yardstick.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
Mercury is retrograde in your Solar House of relationship, so be prepared to revisit recent as well as ancient interactions with significant others. Do your best not to brood on what you or your partners didn’t do right. Instead focus on refining your expectations and aligning them with reality.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
Mercury is retrograde in your Solar House of health and service, reviewing how you care for yourself. Use this phase to take care of all those personal things you’ve been postponing. Don’t worry—I’m not suggesting something is wrong. It’s simply an excellent opportunity to deepen your commitment to self-care.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
Mercury is retrograde in your Solar House of creativity, inviting you to review, reflect and refine how you express your individual point of view. Remember, creativity is not just about an art or a craft. For many, creativity is an attitude that supports how we look at life and living.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
Mercury is retrograde in your Solar House of the home, both your external and internal abodes. While this is not a good time to initiate physical improvements, it is an excellent time to review and refine where you come to rest within through meditation and contemplation.
Pisces February 19-March 20
Mercury is retrograde in your Solar House of communication—yes, a tough place for the symbol of language to be turning around. But—and this is important—this review is an excellent opportunity for you to reconsider and refine how you communicate your ideas.
Ralfee Finn specializes in Transformational Astrology. For readings, call 1-212-222-3232, write P.O. Box 343, New York, NY 10025, visit AquariumAge.com, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2016 by Ralfee Finn