Mercury, the Cosmic Messenger, enters a retrograde phase for a brief period of some three weeks three times a year on average. This year, however, there are four retro phases for you to deal with. During these phases hiccups are likely in communication, travel and transport. Misunderstandings, lack of information, phone and internet problems, along with breakdowns with appliances, machinery and component failure are all in the frame. This occurs thanks to inattention to detail, messages being unclear, or misreading the fine-print in documents. Fine-tune areas that need your attention; other people may be holding back on information that you are after, or has it simply been misplaced, even lost in the mail?
Ideas and plans set in place at the onset of a retrograde period are subject to delays, or being put on the backburner for another time. While Mercury is retrograde, a process of review can effectively resolve problems, more so when Mercury returns to direct motion through the zodiac. Not everyone suffers so much during a retrograde phase, due to Mercury’s condition in the natal chart. For instance, should the Divine Messenger be retrograde at the time of birth, it can give you the flow of tidying up loose ends, clearing paperwork, and looking at areas that need your attention. Those with natal Mercury retrograde often do very well during these transiting retrograde periods. If that’s you, remember that others may not be so fortunate.
It’s important to double-check all arrangements for possible mistakes. Listen to what others have to say and make yourself clearly understood. If possible, hold off on major decisions and purchases, signing crucial documents, and making new verbal or written agreements. This year’s Mercury retrograde phases are outlined below, giving you an insight into the year ahead:
December 19, 2016 – January 8th, 2017, Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn, 12th house.
This contains the remainder of the Mercury retrograde phase that began last year on December 19th in your12th house of secrets and sorrows. Mercury is therefore retrograde at the start of January, and briefly re-enters Sagittarius, your 11th house of friends, hopes and wishes on January 4th. You’ll resume issues within relationships, attractions, hopes and dreams and activities with other people’s children. You might find there are problems getting things to work, such as sending apologies due to misunderstandings with loved ones, or rekindling a friendship with a simple love note. Make sure it is sent to the right person.
The Cosmic Prankster then turns direct on January 8th, and rolls on into Capricorn on January 12th. This is when power and influence are subtle and may, for one reason or another, be hidden. You may be forced to hide your personal influence as well as material assets that may give you power. Your search for control of one sort or another may itself be hidden, or just not very obvious to others. You may develop interest in dream analysis, occult subjects, and the development and use of intuitive and paranormal power such as clairvoyance and ESP. No matter what form it takes, inner strength is what you’re after. Self-pity and playing the martyr are not only unacceptable ploys should you use them, they will simply not work — and they may have unhappy consequences. After January 28th, it will be full steam ahead with general administration and other people getting back to you after a period of absence.
April 9th – 20th, Mercury Retrograde in Taurus, 4th house
On April 9th Mercury turns retrograde in Taurus, your 4th house of domestic conditions and new beginnings. It’s that time of year when the Cosmic Prankster puts a spanner into your home and family. The focus is likely to be directed to real estate transactions, repairs or other matters related to your home or property, so make sure you have read all the small print! Family discussions, family business transactions, and correspondence with or short trips to visit relatives are in the frame, so be sure to get the dates and directions right. You may also be inspired to collect and restore family heirlooms, gather information on your family’s genealogy and other aspects of family history, or visit your childhood home. Make your mark well before Mercury goes retrograde, or expect definite decisions and answers after May 21st.
The Cosmic Prankster then re-enters Aries, your 3rd house of communication on April 20th. Your connections in the local environment, telecommunications and computer gear will experience some sort of interruption. Thanks to Venus also retrograde in the 3rd house, things will not run as smoothly as expected. Mix-ups could occur with accommodation; flight, luggage and connection problems are also in the frame. You may have to resolve differences that came about during the period of March 23rd to the 28th, and from April 27th to the 30th. Gain some insight into the events and dissipate any ill feelings. Mercury turns direct on May 3rd in Aries, then moves forward to re-enter Taurus, your 4th house, on May 16th again, but remains in a shadow phase until May 21st.
August 13th – 31st, Mercury Retrograde in Virgo, 8th house
On August 13th, the Cosmic Prankster turns retrograde in your 8th house of sex, death and taxes. August will be a significant month for Aquarius, with a Solar Eclipse in your 7th house followed by Mercury causing setbacks with money. You’ll go back to talks behind the scenes, and work on plans in secret. Either way it’s time to concentrate on your earning capacity versus the outlay on expenditure. You may need to modify your budget, speak with financial institutions, and settle some debts. Don’t make any hasty decisions with finances just yet, but instead filter through your statements, and read up on the finer points of agreements. If you are waiting on a loan or credit card approval, an increase in your earning or other sources of income, these will take longer than usual. On the 31st, Mercury re-enters Leo, your 7th house, briefly. On September 5th, Mercury turns direct in Leo before re-entering Virgo on the 10th. Mercury will be out of the shadow phase on September 20th, allowing you to make clearer decisions with finances.
December 3 – 23rd, 2017, Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius, 5th house
This will mark the last Mercury retrograde phase for the year, beginning on December 3rd in your 11th house of friends and associates, hopes and dreams. At the start Mercury joins Taskmaster Saturn from December 1st to the 8th, putting a damper on your activities. You’ll find relationships strained, problems with other people’s children and a general lack of interest in activating your hopes and dreams . Projects will be slower to achieve as you will be more critical than usual, even nit-picky over small things which could lead to difficulties with others. News that you receive could be disappointing and will revolve around talks from November 25th to the 30th. You may have to regroup your thoughts and present new ideas from December 10th and 12th. Mercury returns to direct motion on December 23rd, but will remain in a shadow phase until January 11th, 2018.
Lunar Life with Lady Moon
Your Personal New Moon occurs in your first house of personality on January 28th. Congratulations! It is the beginning of another birthday year for you. You can take advantage of the positive potential of each birthday by making it a special time for renewing inner energy and vitality, and your faith in yourself as an individual. Reflect on what the past has taught, look forward to where you would like to be in the future, and above all, adopt the attitude and determination that you will meet and overcome every challenge that the future holds. Your emotional energy will be surging thanks to the influence of Mars, which could tend to make you fired up, irritable, and impatient. Opportunities can lead to furthering your career, or to gaining recognition of your individuality and talent. Demonstrate courage, integrity, and loyalty, or vigorously defend your principles. The ultimate ego satisfaction you get, or goals you attain this week may come through men or a male individual, or from being in competitive or aggressive situations. You cannot sit around waiting for things to happen, so put yourself in different situations, participate in a variety of activities, and circulate among a wide variety of people to attract the opportunity you’re looking for.
Your Personal Full Moon, a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse occurs on August 7th in your 1st house of personality. It will correspond to a culmination of events over the last six months, but also sees positive changes coming up with unexpected luck and good fortune. There’s potential for travel, expanding your mind through study, and emotional fulfilment in spirituality and metaphysics. You’ll enjoy mixing with diverse groups of people; interests in reform, the justice system and publishing material are also in the wind. It will beam on your area of relationships, partnerships, agreements and legal affairs. You may come to a conclusion with agreements with open enemies, or make a commitment with an overseas connection. It’s essential for you to communicate your emotional needs within relationships and make compromises to balance one another’s personality.