Mercury, the Cosmic Messenger, goes retrograde three times a year for a brief period of about three weeks. During this phase, hiccups are likely to occur with communication, travel, transport, misunderstandings, lack of information, phone problems, breakdowns with certain 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, 5th / 4th house.
This is the remainder of the Mercury retrograde phase that began last year on December 19th, in your 5th house of romance, creativity and speculation. Mercury is retrograde at the start of January, briefly heading back into Sagittarius, your 4th house, on January 4th. You’ll pick up where you left off on the domestic scene, clearing disagreements with family members, and attending to phone calls to relatives. Review any concepts and plans that you had at the end of last year and see whether they are still practical to continue with. Matters of real estate, property, home and telecommunications will need fine tuning.
The Cosmic Prankster turns direct on January 8th in Sagittarius, and trots back into Capricorn your 5th house on January 12th. Back to the drawing board for holiday season entertainment, especially for bored children who could do with some fun. Pick up where you left off with creative plans or writing, resolve squabbles with loved ones and reconnect with friends. You’ll be eager to get back to computer games, providing they work and don’t need to be replaced. Mind games of course are another matter! Normality will return once Mercury comes out of the shadow phase on January 28th.
April 9th – 20th, Mercury Retrograde in Taurus, 9th/8th house
On April 9th, Mercury turns retrograde in Taurus, your 9th house of the higher mind, affecting the incentive for gaining higher knowledge through advanced educational studies, law, philosophy, foreign languages, publishing, travel and cultural differences, just to mention a few. For one reason or another you will experience irritating problems that create delays. Court matters may be held over; studying may be harder to achieve, especially if you are relaying on receiving answers through home study colleges and university. If travelling, double-check your booking details, foreign exchange, and transport arrangements.
The Cosmic Prankster then re-enters Aries on April 20th, your 8th house of sex, death and taxes. You will find yourself involved with discussions analysing your finances, investments, legacies, taxes and other people’s money. If you have applied for a credit card or loan, this will take longer than anticipated. You may find it a critical time getting into the nitty-gritty of handling expenses and obligations. Past arguments could arise over joint resources and possessions during March 23rd to the 28th, and from April 27th to the 30th. Mercury turns direct on May 3rd in Aries, then moves forward on May 16th to re-enter Taurus, your 9th house, although he remains in a shadow phase until May 21st, when you can zoom onwards with cultural plans.
August 13th to 31st, Mercury Retrograde in Virgo, 1st / 12th house
On August 13th, the Cosmic Prankster turns retrograde in your 1st house of personality. Your mind will be full of expressive thoughts, wit and charm and you’ll be very analytical with your approach. However, the rush to speak first and think later could result in saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, causing misunderstandings with others. You may have to be accountable during September and hold back on impulsive words and actions. On the 31st, Mercury re-enters Leo, your 12th house briefly when you will keep most things to yourself, and worry unnecessarily. On September 5th, Mercury turns direct in Leo before re-entering Virgo on the 10th. Be thorough with information, and read through all documents carefully, as confusion and cloudy thinking is possible from September 19th to the 21st, when Mercury opposes deceptive Neptune. Mercury will be out of the shadow phase on September 20th just as the New Moon and Venus enters your 1st house. Yippee!
December 3 – 23rd, 2017, Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius, 4th house
This will mark the last Mercury retrograde phase for the year, beginning on December 3rd in your 4th house of home and family. Mercury will be conjunct stern Saturn from December 1st to the 8th, compounding issues on the home front, particularly problems with a parent or older family member. This may coincide with moving house, or affect real estate and rental properties. Repairs, improvements and renovations may be harder to finish, especially when trades people fail to turn up. You will have to face issues that originally arose from November 25th to the 30th. 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 Full Moon occurs on March 12th in Virgo, your 1st house of personality. This Full Moon will see a culmination of major events that took place back in September 2016. The emphasis will be on your self-image, having greater self-confidence and getting in tune with your emotions. You will once more focus on relationships, partnerships, marriage, agreements, and open enemies. With Mercury and Venus about to turn about face in April, make sure you dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s”, as errors and misperception are very likely. Your emotions are likely get in the way of your better judgement and rationality. Difficulties will arise with changes and adjustments to joint resources and possessions, business partnership dealings and other sources of income. Problems with real estate contracts and family agreements also surface.
Your personal New Moon occurs on September 20th in Virgo, your 1st house of personality. It will be a powerhouse for you, dear Virgo, and you will feel your vitality rising from the 18th. This marks a marvellous start, with a stellium of planets in your 1st house. However Mercury could interfere with your thoughts, due to nebulous Neptune opposing from your 7th house of serious relationships. Avoid making decisions from the 19th to the 21st of September, as circumstances and naughty people could bring deception, or stimulate delusion on your part. A good influence for self-development, or thinking about your future plans and needs, this New Moon will also call for adjustment to finances and joint resources with other people. In the coming weeks you will be faced with certain obstructions and responsibilities on the home front, thanks to Saturn, although dark Pluto will assist in furthering your creative pursuits, love relationships, recreation and entertainment.