Mercury Retrograde

What's it all about? 
  Table of Mercury Retrograde Periods  2015      Table of Keywords for Zodiac Houses   
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Three times a year Mercury goes through one of its infamous retrograde periods.  But, what does that mean?  What sort of effect does it really have?  Does it serve a happy purpose?

First of all, while retrograde literally means backward,  none of the planets ever really throw their engines in reverse and accelerate backward.  It just appears that all of them (with the exception of the two lights, the Sun and Moon) appear to do so on occasion, when viewed from the perspective of earth.  What's really happening is that the earth is moving faster than the planet, hence giving the appearance, when viewed from the earth, that it is moving backward.

Whether or not we have retrograde planets in our natal charts, all of us do experience the influence of a transiting planetary retrograde period, especially if the planet that is retrograde is making key contacts in our natal chart. In general, the affairs of the house being transited and the house ruled by the planet transiting retrograde may be slowed down and we are advised to be more introspective concerning them.  In heeding that reflective energy, we have the opportunity to gain greater insight into how that planetary energy is manifesting in our lives.  

Mercury orbits the Sun in about eighty-eight days, but because of its retrograde motion it takes about a year to traverse the entire zodiac.  Mercury normally takes less than three weeks to move through a sign when its motion is direct.  It will take eight to ten weeks in a sign when it is retrograde. Those five or more extra weeks Mercury retrograde spends in one of your natal houses means that Mercury's energy is directed at the affairs associated with that arena of life as represented in your natal birth chart. If you have a copy of your chart, you can review the table of keywords for the houses in this article for deeper insight into the focus of Mercury's retrograde for you.
If you don't have a copy of your birth chart, you can order one here!

Mercury rules mental processes, perceptions and all forms of information exchange and travel in your neighboring environment.  This means that speaking, writing, messages, letters, books, magazines, contracts, the signing of documents, neighbors, the neighboring environment, commuter-type travel, and transportation facilities all fall under Mercury's rulership.  Think of Mercury as the Ambassador of the Communication Department and while retrograde, it's on retreat for about five weeks.  There can be confused communications, changed plans, indecisiveness, mail-slowdowns, lost letters, transportation problems, electronic equipment breakdowns, and failures in negotiations--all the more if Mercury's retrograde involves the sign Gemini, Virgo or your natal third or sixth house.  For these reasons, it is felt that the Mercury retrograde period is not a good time for signing contracts, scheduling negotiations, or launching new projects. It's a good time for planning and organizing anything that will be finalized after Mercury has returned to direct motion.  One of the most typical things that tends to happen if we push ahead while Mercury is retrograde is that we don't have all the information that we need to make good decisions. 

So, you may be wondering, what exactly are these Mercury retrograde periods good for?  Most importantly, they are a fine time to draw on knowledge and guidance from within yourself.  When a planet is retrograde, its influence is turned inward. The three weeks that Mercury is retrograde presents us with an opportunity for careful consideration of all the possible ramifications of pending actions and decisions.  We are encouraged to take care of unfinished business, especially business put into motion during the months following Mercury's last retrograde period. 

Mercury is that facet of our psyche that not only receives information but also processes it. When Mercury is direct our contemplative side is generally less active and often virtually on hold. Then when Mercury is retrograde it gives rise to any issues that have lain dormant while it was direct in motion. Messages from our Higher Self will begin to surface as soon as Mercury slows down in preparation for its station retrograde. It’s important to be open to the messages your inner self is bringing to your awareness because we do not really resolve or improve on anything that we are not consciously aware of. During Mercury’s retrograde, taking a time out to listen to your inner voice then brings to conscious awareness what your Inner Being wants you to know because it will make the coming three months so much easier to navigate if you do!

Mercury retrograde periods are a good time to confine activities to those that have "re" at the beginning of the word.  Therefore, rehash, review, rejuvenate, refine, reflect, repair, recheck, reschedule, realign, rewrite, reformulate!!  Take inventory of what has occurred over the previous three months and reconsider and reexamine your experiences.  That is good use of Mercury retrograde energy.  When Mercury is direct in motion again, proceed with confidence in planning and acting on your new activities and endeavors.

Approach Mercury retrograde as an instinctive mental down time. It’s a natural cycle that our body and mind is naturally attuned to. The challenge is our social conditioning doesn’t recognize this normal instinct and so by the time we are adults, we may no longer be as attuned to this natural rhythm symbolized by Mercury’s retrograde. And it is as natural as sleep is to waking. You know how you feel when you haven’t had much sleep—it’s the same if we go through a Mercury retrograde without heeding the instinct to give ourselves mental downtime each day.

Mercury Retrograde in Water Signs
Whenever Mercury is retrograde it creates a state in which the mind is less undifferentiated—that is, the separation between the physical and non-physical or the inner and outer worlds is blurred. In other words, we have the potential to be in a divine state of unity consciousness. And this is especially true when Mercury is retrograde in the water signs and most specifically, when it's retrograde in Pisces.

When Mercury is retrograde in the water signs as it is throughout 2013 and in water/air signs in 2014, your heart and feelings have important messages for you. Especially with Mercury’s retrograde in Pisces, it is important to consider how well every facet of your life is currently aligned with your spiritual ideals. Do you feel that your daily routines and activities serve the high quality life experience you desire to have? Do you feel called to do the work that you are doing? Has your health or relationships been suffering these past three months due to inattention, overwork or from escapist or addictive behavior? What changes can you make to bring your inner and outer lives into better balance? Here’s the beauty, If you seek your answers to those questions from within, your higher self will send you personalized messages in response and in the most delightfully creative ways.

With Mercury retrograde in the water signs the opportunity is to transcend discomforting emotional habits. Subtle messages from the environment will let you know what needs attention. Circumstances arise that tend to be related to the house where Mercury is having its extended stay and they should be carefully examined for the contribution they make to the quality of your life.

Emotional honesty is the goal with Mercury retrograde in the water signs--first with yourself and then with others.  The water signs shadow is to try to avoid or escape from challenging emotional situations and life's grittiness.  But if we avoid our emotions, they will likely surface later with increased complications in the months following Mercury’s retrograde. Emotional and spiritual growth are pressing issues with Mercury's retrograde in the water signs, even if they are disguised as practical matters. However, if you probe deeply enough, it will become apparent that the source is deep within and that the inner self is making you aware of a long-standing patterns that you are now ready to release.

In 2015 Mercury's retrograde cycles will take place in the air signs where all of us will be experiencing quite directly the truth that our thoughts create our experienced realities--especially if those thoughts are supported by strong emotion.


 Mercury Retrograde Periods 2015
Date Begins Rx
Placement at Station Rx
Date Ends Rx
Placement at Station Direct

17 Aquarius


01 Aquarius


13 Gemini


04 Gemini

15 Libra


01 Libra

 Keywords for the Houses
1st House PERSONA & IMAGE:  Your physical body, personality, how others see you, how you present yourself to others.
2nd House VALUES & RESOURCES: Personal finances, personal possessions, personal savings, spending habits, personal values and  self-esteem.
3rd House INFORMATION EXCHANGE & PROCESSING: Communication with the environment, routine interactions, information processing, intellectual endeavors, teaching, writing, messages, correspondence, short journeys and commuting, relatives, neighbors, siblings.
4th House THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Your home, parents, family, roots, emotional security, deepest & most private self, real estate.
5th House YOUR PLAYGROUND: Creative self expression, gambling and risk taking, children, recreation, sports, games, arts, dance, theater, entertainment, investments, romance and love affairs.
6th House DAILY ROUTINES: Health, work environment, coworkers, employees, services you provide, developing your skills, daily habits and routines, diet & nutrition, domestic pets.
7th House COMMITTED PARTNERSHIPS: One-to-one close relationships with others including dear friends, spouse, lovers and business partners.
8th House SHARING & COMMUNING WITH OTHERS: Sexual activities, death and rebirth, joint resources, investments held with others, peak experiences, psychology, subconscious, legacies, wills and inheritance, life insurance.
9th House QUESTING: Spirituality,  ceremonies, developing personal belief system, ethics and morals; travel to distant lands; foreign experiences, countries and people; higher education, teachers, gurus, clergy, publishing, & the law.
10th House SOCIAL IDENTITY & REPUTATION: Your public life and standing in the community, social demographics, profession, career, reputation, achievements, parents, people with power & authority and changes in your life direction.
11th House COMMUNITY: Groups you're involved with, clubs and organizations to which you belong, social causes, goals, ideals, hopes & dreams.
12th House RELEASE: Retreats from the world, solitude and seclusion, secret affairs, institutions, introspection and self-examination, self-undoing, the unconscious or shadow self, sleep patterns, hospitals, prisons or any place of confinement.


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