Just a reminder that Mercury has been slowing down over the past few weeks and stationed (meaning he appears to have stopped) at 18 degrees of Scorpio on Friday, Oct. 18, and will turn Retrograde on Oct. 21. He will be Retrograde until Nov. 10, reaching back to 2 degrees of Scorpio. (Read the article Mercury Retrograde: The Unlikely Healing Gift here for an in-depth look at the meaning of this phenomenon in general, a bit of Mercury mythology, and how to navigate the Retrograde with better ease and understanding.)
If you’ve been feeling, like I have, that it seems Mercury Retrograde has already been happening for a while, remember that there are two shadow periods during every Retrograde phase. The pre-shadow that occurs for about 2 weeks when things feel as though they’re slowing down prior to the actual Retrograde and when, if you pay close attention, you are getting clues as to how a particular Retrograde period will impact you; and the post-shadow that occurs for about 3 weeks afterwards, when things are picking back up, but you are still integrating and seeking resolution. So really, the entire Mercury Retrograde phase takes about 8 weeks.
Our typically fleet footed planet appears to slow down, stop, and then turn and trudge in the opposite direction once every 4 months. This phenomenon occurs when Mercury is at his greatest distance from the Sun (when he appears as the Evening or Morning Star), and then turns back toward the Earth, appearing to us as though he’s going backwards. It’s as though Mercury is conferring with the Sun who gives him information to bring back to Earth for the use of us mere mortals – thus Mercury’s ancient reputation as the Messenger of the Gods.
If you know your birthchart, look to the house that contains Scorpio, and to any planets in that house to gain understanding of how this particular Retrograde period will impact you. Also look to any planets in your birthchart that fall between 2 and 18 degrees and find what sort of angle (the geometric distance between) this Mercury in Scorpio is making to them. This will give you further insights.
Folks born between 1956 and 1970 all have Neptune in Scorpio. If you were born between late 1956 and late 1966 your Neptune is somewhere between 0 and 22 degrees of Scorpio, meaning that it is in range of being impacted by this particular Mercury Retrograde. If your natal Neptune is also in aspect to (having a significant geometric distance between) any of your natal personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars), then this Mercury Retrograde period could be a significant one for you.
Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio brings our inner attention to probing topics like sexuality, long-standing emotional issues, death and dying, our deepest psychological fears, profound shamanic healing and making the unconscious conscious. The tendency and purpose is to thin the veil between our typical movement away from these somewhat taboo areas of life and bring them into greater awareness – and ultimately greater integration. Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio can help us heal our Shadow. (What more perfect energy could be afoot for Samhain / Halloween / All Saints Day when the veil between the living and dead is reportedly thin, allowing connection between the two worlds!)
Mercury connected to Neptune (just for those late forties and fifty-somethings among us that I mentioned earlier) is a complex combination of energies. On the one hand Mercury and Neptune combined can bring up visionary experiences, loosen the imagination, prompt us to express our dreams and give voice to the images that arise from our Souls. On the other hand we can feel muddled in our thinking, express ourselves chaotically, or tune in to our fondest modes of escape – which can translate into a Mercury Retrograde double whammy. Watch for your tendencies, one way or the other, but understand that you have the choice of which way to direct yourself.
If you’d like help figuring this Mercury Retrograde phase out in your own life, please contact me ASAP for a Mercury Retrograde consult by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. It will only set you back $25. Mayhem possible during Mercury Retrograde = frustration and anxiety. Navigating Mercury Retrograde with confidence = priceless. 🙂