the planet of communication, short trips and details, appears to stop
dead in its tracks on February 6 at 3 degrees of Pisces. The planet
then turns backwards in its apparent path through the zodiac. It stops
again on February 28, then turns to resume its direct motion at 18 degrees of Aquarius.
turns retrograde three times a year, spending a bit more than three weeks in "reverse"
gear each time. The
retrograde cycle is due to the fact that we are viewing the planets from a moving
platform, the Earth. The planets, in fact, do not actually
change direction, but appear to do so from our perspective. This geocentric, or
earth-centered, point of view is the basis for astrological measurements. In a
sense, what you see is what you get.
Does It Mean?
retrograde planet is generally considered more introverted than when it's in the
normal direct motion mode. Astrologers have traditionally considered Mercury retrograde
to be a time of difficulty in Mercury related endeavors like communication, travel
and matters of detail. Some counsel the avoidance of launching new projects or
signing contracts at this time. Glitches are considered more commonplace now,
as are misunderstood or poorly delivered messages.
are, fortunately, more optimistic views of what Mercury retrograde means. Rather
than hunkering down in your bunker, this is a positive time to tie up loose ends,
reconnect with people from the past, make mechanical repairs and get systems in
order. This can also be a productive period for psychological review as new information
can be gleaned from old experiences.
Long Does It Last?
The primary effect of a retrograde is felt during its backward phase, in this case, from February 6 until February 28. However, there is an additional period of lesser influence called the "shadow" that extends the Mercury retrograde effect for roughly two weeks before and after the retrograde. The "front end" of the shadow began on January 22, the day when Mercury first hit 18 Aquarius, the point where it later turns direct. It ended on February 6, the first day of the retrograde. The "back end" of the shadow begins on February 28, the last day of the retrograde, and ends on March 20when Mercury returns to 3 Pisces, the place where it first went retrograde.
retrograde, in spite of the fears of some, is not a "bad" time. It is, rather,
a period in which the flow of information is easily diverted and can be associated
with a variety of challenges. Yet, the purpose of astrological prediction is to
increase, not limit, our choices by describing the energies of the moment. Pay
attention to how you communicate and gather information now. Look at the details
in your life more carefully. Take the time to be introspective. These steps may
not only reduce the risk of undesirable snafus, but open doors to new levels of
awareness and effectiveness.
all do, but in different ways. The idea of being more careful with communication
and details is a good one for all of us now. Yet, some people are more sensitive
to Mercury retrograde than others. Generally, those with strong Gemini or Virgo (the two Mercury-related signs) in their charts are more tuned to this cycle.
fifteen percent of the population was born with Mercury retrograde. Experience
shows that some of these people do quite well with this planet moving backward,
yet others struggle even more than usual. Each case is unique.
with planets close to the station (turning) points of 3 Pisces and 18 Aquarius are more likely to be touched by the current Mercury
retrograde cycle. Also, each of us has these degrees somewhere in our
charts. The house(s) where these
show the areas of life in which communication issues are most likely
to arise at this time.
more on Mercury retrograde read:
Retrograde: A Modern Look
more on Mercury read:
with the Messenger