On the evening of May 18th, Mercury will station retrograde in the 13° Gemini. Mercury goes retrograde, an Earthly “optical illusion” where Mercury appears to be moving backwards, for 3 weeks, 3 times a year. During these times, one may notice “things” of a mercurial nature tend to go a bit awry.
As Mercury rules communication, we may find issues arise in all the many forms we use to communicate today, as well as with all those we communicate with. Mercury retrograde will affect everyone differently, however those who have strong Virgo, Gemini energy or highly aspected Mercury in their charts, may notice these periods of time to feel particularly frustrating.
As Mercury slows to station retrograde, our logic and abilities to reason may slow down with it. Most will notice their thoughts become sluggish, while at the same time creating a scatterbrained effect. It is common for listening and staying focused for extended periods of time to prove more difficult than usual; and to find that in the midst of a conversation you lose your train of thought. This often accompanied by the thought/feeling that “nothing is going right or according to plan.”
As legal agreements and contracts also fall under Mercury’s ruling, it is best not to sign or commit to anything new during these times. Retrogrades are ideal for re-visiting ideas, jobs, or relationships from the past, but attempting to begin or commit to new endeavors during these periods can backfire and is not recommended. With the constant change and the rather peculiar way of Mercury retrograde, it can be hard to predict what the outcome of situations will be. There is the tendency for whatever was agreed upon in said contract to change once Mercury goes direct.
However, in today’s world, it is difficult to stop from functioning and living in a “forward” motion. Many people find themselves in situations or careers where they must sign agreements or initiate new projects, life happens and deadlines are set, waiting until Mercury goes direct is not an option. It would be wise to be extremely cautious when/if you do find yourself in these situations, that all facts are thoroughly discussed and all fine print is carefully gone over (and over and over again). Though there are many inconveniences of its nature, (re-doing things over again being one of them) Mercury retrogrades can serve as a time for slowing down and really taking a good look at what is happening in our lives and how we can redirect things and make them better. There is no reason for fear or withdrawal from life, (though you may feel a bit more introverted during these times) but there is the need for heightened awareness, clear intentions, patience and preparation.
When Mercury is retrograde, it is a good time to expect the unexpected. Delayed flights, traffic jams at odd hours, computer/electronic malfunctions and miscommunications are often a very obvious part of the experience. Preparation is key to avoiding and overcoming such obstacles during this time. Some ways one can prepare are: allowing for more time to get from point A to point B, making copies of important documents, backing up computer files and double checking details you wouldn’t normally think twice about. When Mercury is retrograde, plans seem to never quite be set, life feels wobbly and uncertain. Leaving room for error and time for backtracking is helpful, while being uptight and trying to “fight” against the current will likely prove a waste of energy. Though we may consider these things to be inconvenient to our daily lives, they serve to help guide us. Underneath the mental fog and distractions is opportunity. Practice going with the flow.
While Mercury is retracing its path, there is increased mental ability to use retrospect in a positive way. To reassess the way we have done something, to revisit old ideas and thoughts- things that we didn’t commit to at the time but find new reason to appreciate now. There is support for reconnecting with old friends, rekindling old flames as well as the likely hood that current relationships will be under scrutiny and review. It is common for old relationship issues that have been brushed aside to rear their head, and it is likely that with the flux in communication, it will be difficult to deliver the message so both in conversation are on the same page. It is important to note, that this is really not the time to take drastic measures. Do not do anything that you cannot undo – if necessary.
As mentioned, Mercury will be retrograde in the air sign Gemini, and places in the 6th house based off the chart for the time of the retrograde in eastern standard time. This sign is ruled by Mercury and therefore associated with communication as well, further emphasizing the realms in which we communicate. The effects of Mercury retrograde will be different for everyone, (depending on which sign it retrograding through, the planets it is making aspect to and the relation between the current sky and that of the natal chart) but we can all expect to feel it mentally in a rather similar way. Our methods of communication today consist mostly of: in-person – using both verbal and non-verbal cues, phone conversation, text, email, skype/video phone, and “snail mail”. We are all likely to feel these “paths” of communication experience some disruption during the retrograde.
In addition to Mercury being fueled by this Gemini energy, we also have fiery Mars, and the moon falling under this sign as well, each within approximately 5° of each other. The added energy of these two other celestial bodies, creates a recipe for what may appear to some as a disaster, but will ultimately serve as a catalyst for growth.
Martian energy can be irrational and impulsive, while the moon tends to bring emotional tides. The combined energies of the moon, Mars and Mercury retrograde indicate that we will likely be confronted by past issues that brought great amounts of emotion, which have not yet been settled. Some may experience as a mild sort of identity/place in life crisis. This is a difficult time to remain in a state of denial, as the energies in the sky seem to be demanding that issues be addressed. However, Mercury retrograde makes it difficult to address things, especially those of an emotional nature – so it is imperative that when one finds themselves in such situations, that they are able to remain as objective as possible. With Mars in the picture, it is likely that elements of ego will also be involved. It is important to remember that there are 2 sides to every story, and that the truth you may observe can be different from the truth someone else may observe. It is okay to agree to disagree. However, when the facts support it, it is also okay to stand your ground, though this may end up being more of an internal version of standing ones ground, to avoid round-in-circle arguments or discussions.
With Gemini and all of its “occupants” in the 6th house, it is also suggested we make sure we are taking care of our health. Check-ups, annuals, finally getting “something” checked out that you have been putting off, whatever it is – take care of it. The combination of Gemini and Virgoan (ruler of the 6th house) can bring about anxiety, and all the physical ailments that entails. It is a good time to practice meditation, yoga, deep breathing and visualization techniques. Take care of you, your body and mind. Finding a way to be “present” is healing.
Additionally, Mars, the moon and the Sun (who is sitting just 3° outside of the Gemini cusp in Taurus) are all in opposition to Saturn who is across the way in the 12th house, in the 1° of Sagittarius. Saturn’s presence here indicates that all this communication taking place (or not taking place), all the steps we are “seemingly” taking backwards, all that is brewing beneath the surface is triggering some kind of metamorphosis. A sense of reinforcement in the decisions we have made, reaffirming our character. As with most crises, or times of great internal conflict, this is a time of re-connecting with soul purpose. Saturn in the 12th indicates that there is great possibility for what we manifest our futures to be. As the 12th house is associated with our greatest strengths and our greatest weaknesses. The energies that fuel creation and destruction are one in the same, it is simply a matter of intention that changes the outcome.
Also involved in this aspect with Saturn, and the stellium in Gemini, is Neptune in Pisces. This can exacerbate the feeling of going crazy. It can bring with it deception, depression and delusional thoughts, which on top of the havoc Mercury retrograde is causing can seem overwhelming.
Luckily, Jupiter and Uranus provide support, and again remind us that if we look to the past, it is likely this problem has arisen before and a solution has been found. It may take getting out of our comfort zone, it may take looking at things from different perspectives, it may take standing tall and strong through challenged beliefs or ideals, but it is possible.
On June 11, at 6:33 pm EST, Mercury will arrive at the end of its backwards journey at 4° Gemini. This is the point in the cycle when Mercury stations direct, and begins its forward motion again. Though Mercury is moving forward, it is in an extremely slow part of its journey, known as the post-shadow period. This is the likely time for the consequences of actions taken or not taken during the retrograde to start revealing themselves. These consequences range in their outcomes, as the element of free will comes in to play when making decisions during this time (and always***).
Each of us has the power within to navigate through this retrograde successfully, we must simply be aware of the signs, slow down and really be clear of intention.
***The planetary positions can be referenced for suggested energies and tendencies of the season. However, how one utilizes, reacts, and responds to such energy is a matter of one’s free will and desire.