Mercury, the Cosmic Messenger, goes retrograde three times a year for a brief period of about three weeks. During this phase, hiccups are likely with communication, travel and transport; misunderstandings, 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 it has 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 backburner 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, due to 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 the year ahead:
December 19, 2016 – January 8th, 2017, Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn, 6th house.
This contains the remainder of the Mercury retrograde phase that began last year on December 19th in your 6th house of work and health. Mercury is therefore retrograde at the start of January, and briefly re-enters Sagittarius, your 5th house of romance, creativity and speculation on January 4th. You’ll resume issues within love relationships, attractions, creative projects and activities with children. You could be immersed with mentally stimulating games, the computer and other ways where you can have fun using your mind power.
You might find there are problems getting things to work, 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 back into Capricorn on January 12th. This is when your care and attention will be needed with work efficiency, tidying up after the holidays, being short-staffed and an array of paperwork to sort through. Perhaps you have neglected a dental or doctor’s appointment. It will be a perfect time to start diarising with the start of the New Year. Talk through issues with work colleagues. 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, 10th house
On April 9th Mercury turns retrograde in Taurus, your 10th house of career and ambitions. It’s that time of year when the Cosmic Prankster puts a spanner into your career moves. If you laid down plans and thoughts about career changes and sent your portfolio off, expect the process to slow down into weeks before someone gets back to you. Meetings and discussions may not go as well as anticipated, particularly if they involve an advancement, a pay rise, or speaking publicly. 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 9th house of the higher mind on April 20th. Your thirst for knowledge, travel, mental stimulation and areas of advanced studies will experience some sort of interruption. Thanks to Venus also retrograde in the 9th house, things will not run as smoothly as expected. Mix-ups could occur with hotel 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 10th house, on May 16th, but remains in a shadow phase until May 21st.
August 13th to 31st, Mercury Retrograde in Virgo, 2nd house
On August 13th, the Cosmic Prankster turns retrograde in your 2nd house of personal earnings, values and possessions. August will be a significant month for Leo, with a Solar Eclipse in your sign 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 1st 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 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 5th house of romance, creativity and speculation. At the start Mercury conjuncts Taskmaster Saturn from December 1st to the 8th, putting a damper on your fun activities. You’ll find relationships strained, problems with children and a general lack of interest in expressing your creative and artistic side. 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. This year Lions will have two New Moons in your first house of personality. The first will occur on July 23rd followed by a Solar Eclipse on August 21st. The New Moon on July 23rd will influence those born at the start of Leo and will be the start of your personal Moon affecting approximately the next 12 months. Your emotional energy will be surging thanks to the influence of Mars, which could tend to make you fired up, irritable, and impatient. Be careful not inflame situations with others, especially when you are making plans to gratify your personal needs. It will also impact friends, love relationships, groups and your ability to have fun and be creative. The effects of this will be felt on July 23rd to the 26th, when things may not be as rosy as you had hoped and when you’ll outpour emotions and think later. You are likely to feel restricted in some way, or take a negative view of relationships.
The New Moon and Total Solar Eclipse on August 21st will be significant, especially influencing those born in the latter degrees of Leo. You’ll be looking for different experiences, changes to your public image, and possibly your career. Your energy will be greater, especially the stamina needed for recreational sports, and for pursuing your emotional needs through creativity, art and music. You’ll be able to work through difficulties with children and relationships with a new outlook and emotional satisfaction. It will be time to reveal a new side to your personality, presenting yourself with self-confidence, drive and inspiration. However, Mercury is in a retrograde phase re-entering Leo briefly before going direct on September 5th. You’ll have to revise the initial ideas you had in place for your personal needs, which are likely to change.
Your personal Full Moon
Lions will have a Full Moon and Penumbral Lunar Eclipse on February 26th 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 a grand fire trine with Jupiter and Uranus bringing 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.