It’s Mercury Retrograde—first one of 2015—from today until February 11. And it’s a doozy, if only because it’s more emotionally charged than a retrograde is supposed to be, and those strong feelings tip the normal frustration of a retrograde to extremes. For those new to astrology, let me explain: Three times a year (and sometimes four), Mercury appears to be moving backwards in the sky relative to its orbit and our orbit around the Sun. Within the astrological system, Mercury symbolizes all things related to communication and language, as well as commerce and travel. So according to astrological wisdom, when Mercury seemingly retraces its path (as it does during a retrograde), all things contained within its vast domain tend to go a little strange.
Contracts of every type need extra revisions, mail of every class gets lost in the same place where the socks disappear in the dryer, detours of every dimension from the physical to the psychic are problematic, meetings are endlessly postponed or delayed, and smart phones just turn stupid.
Those not new to astrology know the drill: Mercury Retrograde is a great time to review, reflect, revise, and reconsider plans and projects already in motion. Mercury Retrograde is not a good time to initiate anything new. And at the risk of repeating myself, during Mercury Retrograde you need more than the normal amount of patience. It’s not that what you’re working on won’t come to fruition eventually; it will simply take much longer than you’d like—or it should.
Because of that lag, Mercury Retrograde phases are normally highly charged with frustration—the “Gee, I want to get this done now, so why aren’t the printer, wifi, or any of my apps working?” But the current retrograde (the one that starts today) is supercharged because as Mercury turns around at 17 degrees Aquarius, the Moon, which symbolizes feelings, is also in Aquarius, only 12 minutes (nothing in astrological time) away from Mercury. And this Moon/Mercury conjunction amplifies the normal retrograde rub. For those who follow retrogrades closely, (and you know who you are) having this conjunction occur in Aquarius is kinda like having Uranus Retrograde simultaneously with Mercury Retrograde—a combination that just spells trouble.
Uranus has a very special relationship to electronics, a liaison that’s deadly for recording equipment, cameras, printers, routers, scanners, and just about every type of wireless device you can name.
But that’s not all: Uranus is actually sextile both Mercury and the Moon at the moment of today’s retrograde, so don’t be surprised if your TV stops working or your network goes down for no known reason.
And there’s more: Jupiter opposes that Moon/Mercury conjunction, creating a potent interaction that throws the entire bundle to extremes. Jupiter signifies expansion, and when it is in an opposition to any planet, the tension of the opposition often resembles a seesaw—one minute it’s up and the next, down. Be prepared for mood swings, yours or others’, to dominate daily to-dos.
The good news is that the pernicious influence of the Mars/Saturn square that generated so much harshness last week is replaced by a Sun/Saturn sextile, a positive interaction that offers the possibility of stability—and even a little will go a long way.
Sometimes—not often—I actually love Mercury Retrograde. To the ears of most believers, I know those words are heresy, but Mercury Retrograde is one of those categories of astrology that turn non-believers into staunch followers—at least when it comes to retrogrades. What’s more, Mercury Retrograde is so well known that it has become a modern astral myth. Even those who do not consider the stars causal—like me—pay attention to Mercury Retrograde. I mean it when I say, “Don’t buy a computer or a printer or a phone under Mercury Retrograde because it will be a purchase filled with hassles.”
As the next weeks unfold, see how the retrograde unfolds in your life and in the lives of those around you. And if you notice an increase in testy tempers and frayed nerves, yours or others’, do your best to be kind to your fellow travelers. A compassionate gesture or word could shift the energy and make life easier for everyone.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
Anticipate old allies, associates, or acquaintances to appear during this Mercury Retrograde phase, and while some of these contacts could be simply a rehash of old news, others might offer the potential for mending fences. Stay open to sincere offers to make peace, and you could find yourself pleasantly surprised.
Taurus April 20-May 20
Mercury Retrograde reviews career issues—even if you are retired—so don’t be surprised if you find yourself ruminating over important concerns that are directly related to what you want to accomplish. Take your time with this process. Remember, this is about refining what is already in motion, with an eye toward improving your participation.
Gemini May 21-June 21
The retrograde puts the emphasis on reviewing different styles of communication, from intimate to casual to professional. Listen to what’s being said, notice how you respond, but don’t believe everything you hear. Pay no attention to gossip—it will only encourage you to make decisions based on others’ fantasies.
Cancer June 22-July 22
Mercury Retrograde focuses on finances, and that’s not such a bad thing if your financial situation is improved by the attention. Keep in mind that this focus is also about values: your values versus the values of others. So while you may not feel the stress in your bank account, you could experience a deficit or surplus in some of your relationships.
Leo July 23-August 22
It’s a relationship retrograde, dear Leo, and as part of the process, you could find yourself reflecting on significant others, past, present, or future. Remember, Mercury Retrograde doesn’t directly relate to partnerships, but in this instance it does. So pay attention and don’t repeat past mistakes. Be in the moment and be in your wisdom.
Virgo August 23-September 22
Mercury Retrograde focuses its attention on your health issues. Use this phase to your advantage with your willingness to investigate the many ways you can improve your self-care—whether it is your diet, exercise, general supplement plan…or embarking on an existential journey through therapy or other processes aimed at positive holistic improvement.
Libra September 23-October 22
Mercury Retrograde stimulates your creative process and simultaneously ignites a love affair—with yourself. (Yes…I am serious.) Reflect on how you can come to a better understanding of you—your passions, dreams, and fears, as well as your commitment to making your life all you want it to be.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
Mercury Retrograde focuses on the issue of belonging, specifically the what, where, and how you get to feel at home with yourself internally as well as with others, externally. As you experience this phase, pay close attention to what defines “home,” as well as what’s needed to create an environment where you feel safe and secure.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
This is a particularly potent Mercury Retrograde for you because it occurs in your Solar House of communication, a position that pretty much guarantees that you will be repeating yourself—a lot. You’ll need lots of patience for others, but also more than a smidgen of compassion for yourself. Mistakes will be made, but they aren’t the end of the world.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
Mercury Retrograde reviews your finances, and as it does, it poses the following question: How much of your self-worth is based on your bank balance and how much is based upon who you are as a human being? Yes, money is a measure of value, but it only measures material goods; it doesn’t have the capacity to assess the ultimate value of the soul.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
Holding your own without being too distant or too close is one of the alchemical secrets of relating, and Mercury Retrograde is inviting you to reflect on how you can improve your autonomy in relationships. This isn’t only about becoming less merged or even more enmeshed; it’s about how you can be more of yourself without polarizing with significant others.
Pisces February 19-March 20
Mercury Retrograde has you ruminating over several recent decisions about home and significant others. Allow yourself this process, and you will be using the best facets of the retrograde. This is not about ferreting out regrets and dwelling on them. It is about realizing what needs to change and how you can improve all your relations with the intention to grow.
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 email@example.com.
Copyright © 2015 by Ralfee Finn