Mercury, the Cosmic Messenger, goes retrograde three times a year for a brief period of about three weeks each time. During this phase, hiccups are likely to occur with communication, travel and transport, misunderstandings and lack of information; phone problems, breakdowns with certain appliances, machinery and component failure are also in the frame. This can happen because of inattention to detail, messages being unclear, or overlooking 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 that begin at the onset of a retrograde period usually get delayed or put on the back burner for another time. While Mercury is retrograde, a process of review can effectively resolve problems, more so when Mercury goes back into direct motion through the zodiac. Not everyone is badly affected by a retrograde phase, depending on Mercury’s condition in the natal chart. For instance, should the Messenger be retrograde at the time of birth, a retro phase in the heavens can give you the flow of tidying up loose ends, clearing paperwork, or looking at areas that need your attention.
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, major purchases, verbal and written agreement and the signing of crucial documents. The year’s Mercury retrograde phases are outlined below, giving an insight into your year ahead:
December 19, 2016 – January 8th, 2017, Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn, 8th house.
This is the remainder of the Mercury retrograde phase that began last year on December 19th, in your 8th house of sex, death and taxes. As mentioned, your planetary ruler is retrograde in Capricorn at the start of January, and briefly moves back into Sagittarius your 7th house on January 4th. During this time, it’s a good idea to read and understand the finer points of agreements, legal contracts, and negotiations in relationships and partnerships. This will touch on issues at the start of December 2016. The Cosmic Messenger turns direct in Sagittarius on January 8th, driving on into Capricorn on January 12th. You’ll revisit your status with finances, recent expenditure, and dialogue with banks or other financial institutions. After January 28th, you’ll continue to oversee joint resources, investments, superannuation and taxes. You’ll handle other people’s money with more resolutions in place, together with the way you relate and express yourself in private relationships.
April 9th – 20th, Mercury Retrograde in Taurus, 12th house
On April 9th, Mercury turns retrograde in Taurus, your 12th house of secrets, sorrows and hidden motivations. During this phase you are likely to keep a low profile, especially when expressing your thoughts and viewpoints. Turn your thoughts inwards, possibly through meditation and other spiritual interests. You are less likely to reveal your deeper concerns, old fears and woes, and people may view you as being secretive about your personal affairs. Why not discuss your worries with a close friend, who may be able to understand your circumstances? Secrets could emerge, which you have to deal with, so some self-analysis and understanding the psychology behind your fears could assist in mending and keeping a positive mind.
The Cosmic Trickster then re-enters Aries, your 11th house of friends, hopes and wishes, on April 20th. You may have to come back and face the music, especially if you have spoken to a friend or associate out of turn. Problems may come about with a partner’s children, or a love relationship disagreement. Past sarcastic comments and other revelations will be brought to your attention, particularly from March 23rd to the 28th.This will generate further talks from April 27th to the 30th. Clear those misunderstandings, and give consideration as to how your friends or love relationship can assist with your aspirations and future dreams. Mercury turns direct on May 3rd in Aries, then moves forward to Taurus, your 12th house on May 16th, sigh! But Mercury remains in a shadow phase until May 21st, so the worst is not over yet. Mercury then moves into Gemini on June 6th, thank heavens, so you will be ripe and ready to chat away about your personal needs.
August 13th to 31st, Mercury Retrograde in Virgo, 4th house
On August 13th, the Cosmic Prankster turns retrograde in your 4th house of home and family. If problems are going to surface on the home front, they will happen now. This will relate to contracts, family agreements, domestic repairs, real estate and property. There may be delays getting relevant documents from your council, getting the go ahead for building applications, or waiting for builders to complete work. You might even spend time dwelling on the past, sorting through old memorabilia, photos and checking through paperwork. On the 31st, Mercury re-enters Leo, your 3rd house of communication briefly, followed on September 5th by Mercury turning direct in Leo before re-entering Virgo on the 10th. Mercury will be out of the shadow phase on September 20th, when you will be able to present new plans with more success on the domestic front.
December 3rd – 23rd, 2017, Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius, 7th house
This will mark the last Mercury retrograde phase for the year, beginning on December 3rd in your 7th house of significant commitments. From December 1st to the 8th, you will knuckle down to the finer points of agreements, negotiations and settlements that have been underway for quite some time. This may be the time when you receive advice from a lawyer, discuss terms and conditions on business partnerships or the final leg of a divorce application. It may be a tedious process, but take time to read through important documentation, and understand what you agree to before signing away.
Issues that were raised in November will need to be resolved during this period, and stern Saturn will be on his way out of your 7th house on December 19th. Mercury returns to direct motion on December 23rd, but will remain in a shadow phase until January 11th, 2018 when you will be in a better frame of mind, and ready to get on with finances.
Lunar Life with Lady Moon
Your personal New Moon occurs on May 25th in your 1st house of personality. As it happens, it will be a Super Moon but of course difficult to see. You will to surface and express your individuality with new thoughts and ideas, emotionally energised although sensitive, open to mood swings and as curious as ever. Release your enthusiasm and bring out a new self-image. This will give you inner emotional contentment. With Saturn in your 7th house, relationships, partnerships, and open enemies have caused you a great deal of stress of late. Although the New Moon in your sign is not in close opposition, it should make it easier in lifting restrictions that have been experienced fin past months. Don’t take other people’s help for granted, as your actions will determine your future karma. Start thinking about your how to fulfil those inner urges and needs, together with ways to take relationships to a new height.
Your Full Moon occurs on December 3rd, representing a culmination of actions that began last May. As it turns out Mercury also turns retrograde at this time in your 7th house of significant commitments, joining up with stern Saturn from December 1st to the 8th. This will give a serious tone to discussion and agreements in relationships and partnerships. It may be the time to get legal advice, or speak with an authority figure on problems that are bothering you. At the same time, with evasive Neptune squaring the moody Moon, it will be difficult to comprehend reality and see the full picture without being overwhelmed by emotions. However, thanks to Venus dancing into your 7th house on the 1st, the 15th and 16th will be a constructive time to talk over misgivings and work towards a resolution.