Mercury, the Cosmic Messenger, goes retrograde three times a year for a brief period of about three weeks. Hiccups are likely to occur with communication, travel, transport, misunderstandings, lack of information, phone problems, breakdowns with appliances, machinery and component failure. 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, 9th house.
This Mercury retrograde phase began last year on December 19th, in your 9th house of the higher mind. With this phase stretching into the New Year, travel arrangements are likely to go haywire, accompanied by indecision about study options, waiting on mail from overseas, with other relevant news and correspondence in abeyance. Plans that you have made could be placed on hold or will need alternative arrangements, so check information you receive. Ongoing decisions about publications, law matters, marketing avenues and foreign affairs are best left to be reviewed later. Your relationship with the in-laws may not be as friendly as you had hoped; perhaps it’s time to clear any misunderstandings with them.
Mercury re-enters Sagittarius on January 4th briefly before turning direct on January 8th, then back into Capricorn on January 12th. You’ll revisit your status with finances, checking over recent expenditure, joint resources and meeting your financial obligations. From January 28th, you will have a clearer idea of your plans, travel and educational matters. Your keenness to absorb new frontiers of knowledge will be back in gear.
April 9th – 20th, Mercury Retrograde in Taurus, 1st house
On April 9th, Mercury turns retrograde in your 1st house of personality. Just when you were ready to talk the talk and express your new ideas and thoughts on intellectual topics and personal plans, all will come to a halt. Prior to this phase, be careful not to offend people, especially from March 23rd to the 28th. Don’t be snarky or say things that may come back to haunt you. Take the time to listen to other people’s opinions. The Cosmic Joker re-enters Aries, your 12th house of secrets, sorrows and hidden motivations, on April 20th. Health and work issues could plague you, your relationships, or your partner’s health. You’ll be analysing your own problems, as well as sifting beneath the surface to uncover hidden meanings, but this phase could have you chasing your own tail for answers. You are likely to keep your business to yourself, work in seclusion, or take an interest in forms of psychology and secret societies.
Mercury turns direct on May 3rd in Aries, moving forward to re-enter Taurus, your 1st house on May 16th. What a relief! The Trickster remains in a shadow phase until May 21st. By then you will have changed your ideas and direction, having given more thought to your situation. But be careful that reoccurring problems from March 26th to the 28th don’t resurface from April 27th to the 30th for a final debate.
August 13th to 31st, Mercury Retrograde in Virgo, 5th house
On August 13th, the Cosmic Prankster turns retrograde in your 5th house of romance, creativity and speculation. The kettle will be boiling during August and September with much to say and do. Firstly, the Cosmic Joker will make tedious trouble for you with indiscreet love messages. You may have a lot of explaining to do if your mobile phone gets into the wrong hands! Make sure you send messages to the right person — and not too cryptic to avoid misunderstandings. If you are a creative writer, this is not the time to publish a romance novel, because you are likely to be more critical than ever with your projects. Avenues of entertainment may not be quite so amusing, for instance computer games and machines could be faulty. Social plans, bookings, invitations and celebrations may have to be postponed.
On the 31st, Mercury retrogrades back to Leo, your 4th house of home and family. You may have to backtrack to July on family agreements, real estate contracts and rental properties. Removalists could create a problem, especially if you have made plans to move. Redecorating ideas could fall by the wayside as other interruptions take hold. On September 5th, Mercury turns direct in Leo before re-entering Virgo on the 10th. On the same day, Mars marches into your 5th house, stirring up your creative passion and boosting your personal magnetism. However, Mercury will clash with Mars from September 15th to the 18th, so expect some fireworks. Mercury will be out of the shadow phase on September 20th, just as the Goddess swirls into your house of romance; the New Moon in Virgo at this time is sure to set you off in a new direction.
December 3 – 23rd, 2017, Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius, 8th house
This will mark the last Mercury retrograde phase for the year, beginning on December 3rd in your 8th house of sex, death and taxes. It will be time to discuss your finances, analysing and gaining insight into monetary affairs. This can be with joint resources, handling investments on behalf of others, inheritances, taxes and corporate business. Applications for loans, credit cards or sorting through debts will need careful scrutiny. You may have to uncover further information and facts, but finance companies and banks could be slow in getting back to you. This is the time to make adjustments, double-check information, and read through any documentation. Issues that were raised in November will need to be resolved during this period. Mercury returns to direct motion on December 23rd, but will remain in a shadow phase until January 11th, 2018 when you can progress with negotiations and new ideas.
Lunar Life with Lady Moon
Your personal New Moon occurs on April 26th in your first house of personality. Things may not quite get off the ground with your personal thoughts and plans. Thanks to both Mercury and Venus in retrograde phases, you will have a great deal to think about with relationships, friends and your social activities. You may breeze along being self-assured, motivated and charming, but on the other hand you may feel the need to do a tremendous amount of soul-searching about your personal needs and future plans. Nevertheless, a new direction will be underway, so take a moment to look dapper with a new outfit, hairdo, or change your appearance in some way. Your usual cheerful self may be a touch reserved, particularly if you need to reveal your feelings for another. If you are totally wrapped in your own private affairs at this stage, remember to show consideration and empathy for others who may not understand your preoccupations.
Your Full Moon blazes on November 4th, representing a culmination of actions that began approximately six months ago. It will be a significant Full Moon for the Bull, with the emphasis on relationships. Giant Jupiter is making his mark in your 7th house with gorgeous Venus following suit on November 7th. Powerful emotions will surround you, as well as fulfilling your own needs. You will bloom with attractive magnetism, self-confidence and the ability to compromise with those closest to you. You will also do well with litigation, public relations and settling differences with open enemies.