On August 12, Mercury will station retrograde in 11° of Virgo and begin its journey backwards to 28° of Leo. With Mercury about to station retrograde, many of us are already feeling a bit of the retro-funk; fuzzy brained, slow motion reality, indecisiveness and a general feeling of discontentment with life. However, because this retrograde happens to take place in between eclipses – a period of time where life typically feels fast paced, urges us to move forward, and make big changes – this retro-funk may display itself a bit differently than usual.
For more on the eclipses, check out:
Aquarius Lunar Eclipse August 7: Channeling Our Inner Fire
Leo Solar Eclipse August 21 : The Great American Eclipse
While most of the time it is not really advisable to pursue new endeavors or develop new routines when Mercury is retrograde, the eclipses help to guide our intentions and ability to manifest, toward being more productive. Additionally, though Mercury retrograde tends to make life feel slow paced, the acceleration of the eclipses adds its own dimension to things; leading to feeling like life is zooming by, full speed one minute and as though it is slowly, crawling by the next. And, while retrogrades are often accompanied with a feeling of discontentment, the bold energy of the eclipses helps this to dissipate a little, as our inner flame pushes us to break through to new heights. That said, we are still likely to experience the familiar sensation that we have been here before, as we find ourselves reviewing, re-doing and revisiting themes from the last couple of weeks.
[For more on Mercury retrograde, read the following indented excerpt. For more on Mercury’s retrograde through Virgo, skip ahead!]
Mercury retrograde is an Earthly “optical illusion” where Mercury appears to be moving backwards, for 3 weeks, 3 times a year. During these times, one may notice “things” of a mercurial nature tend to go a bit awry.
As Mercury rules communication, we may find issues arise in all the many forms we use to communicate today, as well as with all those we communicate with. Mercury retrograde will affect everyone differently, however those who have strong Virgo, Gemini energy or highly aspected Mercury in their charts, may notice these periods of time to feel particularly frustrating.
As Mercury slows to station retrograde, our logic and abilities to reason may slow down with it. Most will notice their thoughts become sluggish, while at the same time creating a scatterbrained effect. It is common for listening and staying focused for extended periods of time to prove more difficult than usual; and to find that in the midst of a conversation you lose your train of thought. This often accompanied by the thought/feeling that “nothing is going right or according to plan.”
As legal agreements and contracts also fall under Mercury’s ruling, it is best not to sign or commit to anything new during these times. Retrogrades are ideal for re-visiting ideas, jobs, or relationships from the past, but attempting to begin or commit to new endeavors during these periods can backfire and is not recommended. With the constant change and the rather peculiar way of Mercury retrograde, it can be hard to predict what the outcome of situations will be. There is the tendency for whatever was agreed upon in said contract to change once Mercury goes direct.
However, in today’s world, it is difficult to stop from functioning and living in a “forward” motion. Many people find themselves in situations or careers where they must sign agreements or initiate new projects, life happens and deadlines are set, waiting until Mercury goes direct is not an option. It would be wise to be extremely cautious when/if you do find yourself in these situations, that all facts are thoroughly discussed and all fine print is carefully gone over (and over and over again). Though there are many inconveniences of its nature, (re-doing things over again being one of them) Mercury retrogrades can serve as a time for slowing down and really taking a good look at what is happening in our lives and how we can redirect things and make them better. There is no reason for fear or withdrawal from life, (though you may feel a bit more introverted during these times) but there is the need for heightened awareness, clear intentions, patience and preparation.
When Mercury is retrograde, it is a good time to expect the unexpected. Delayed flights, traffic jams at odd hours, computer/electronic malfunctions and miscommunications are often a very obvious part of the experience. Preparation is key to avoiding and overcoming such obstacles during this time. Some ways one can prepare are: allowing for more time to get from point A to point B, making copies of important documents, backing up computer files and double checking details you wouldn’t normally think twice about. When Mercury is retrograde, plans seem to never quite be set, life feels wobbly and uncertain. Leaving room for error and time for backtracking is helpful, while being uptight and trying to “fight” against the current will likely prove a waste of energy. Though we may consider these things to be inconvenient to our daily lives, they serve to help guide us. Underneath the mental fog and distractions is opportunity. Practice going with the flow.
While Mercury is retracing its path, there is increased mental ability to use retrospect in a positive way. To reassess the way we have done something, to revisit old ideas and thoughts- things that we didn’t commit to at the time but find new reason to appreciate now. There is support for reconnecting with old friends, rekindling old flames as well as the likelihood that current relationships will be under scrutiny and review.
It is common for old relationship issues that have been brushed aside to rear their head, and it is likely that with the flux in communication, it will be difficult to deliver the message so both in conversation are on the same page. It may be necessary to confirm that your message is heard and comprehended by the other party in the way in which you intended, and to make sure that you are hearing and understanding others correctly too. It is important to note, that this is really not the time to take drastic measures. Do not do anything that you cannot undo – if necessary.
–Excerpt from Mercury Retrograde in Gemini”
Virgo is the sign of the perfectionist; with its uncanny attention to detail, the desire to refine and improve, and the ability to visualize the most ideal, yet sometimes unrealistic outcomes. With Mercury stationing retrograde here, it is just as easy to get hung up on details as to overlook them. While it is important to be especially attentive to details during retrogrades, obsessing over flaws does not necessarily lead to solutions. Aim to be objective and open-minded.
It is important to remember that we are students of life and that our mistakes and imperfections can serve as our teachers, if we let them. Virgo lessons tend to present themselves as lessons of humility, but this need not require obsessing over either. By providing space for us to continue to grow, and directing us to the parts of us that still need some fine-tuning and adjusting, our shortcomings and failures can guide us, just the same as our talents and successes.
Virgo is also associated with a sense of apprenticeship, and the energy required to master ones’ skill. It is this intelligent, anxious energy, the one that fuels curious thoughts into carefully planned out action and seemingly finds and corrects even the smallest flaw, that allows for such mastery to eventually exist.
The chart for Mercury stationing retrograde places it in the 8th house, associated with the Scorpio themes of transformation, rebirth/death, inheritance, sex and power. Mercury stationing retrograde here represents a sort of “death” relating to the way we view, think of or understand something. It is likely we are learning to look at “something” in a new way, but in order to truly gain this perspective, current ways of thinking and being must be challenged. Mercury stationing retrograde in Virgo in the 8th house presents us with these challenges, lessons that must be learned and integrated into our beings – so we can evolve past our current phase.
With Virgo on the cusp of the 8th house, there is power in details. Mercury retrograde here emphasizes the need to pay attention to the little things, cross your t’s and dot your i’s; double check your information. Aim for awareness and stick to the facts. Be aware of your surroundings and the way things are worded or instructed. Paying attention to the specifics and being able to recall them will likely prove to be a vital asset during this time.
Mercury stationing retrograde in the 8th house presents us with issues or leaves us contemplating ideas, revolving around “biological obligations.” Birth, puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, the way in which the body ages, and death are all issues belonging to the 8th house. With life only seeming to move faster as we get older, our bodies and cells changing and aging every second, Mercury stationing retrograde here forces us to be more in touch with our evolving body and the current phase we find ourselves in. With critical Virgo in the picture, we may find we are picking ourselves a part, analyzing our wrinkles, comparing our current reflection to that of our past. However, the intent behind the often fault-finding Virgo is not to focus on the flaws but to learn how to appreciate them. Remember that the body you have now, is the very same one you were born with, and the one you will die with. Engraved in it, lines from your smiles and frowns of yesterday, scars from your adventures, aches from the stresses you’ve allowed yourself to carry and the strength from the obstacles you have overcome. Have respect for yourself, respect for your experience and for your own personal vessel.
Meanwhile, the Moon conjunct Uranus in Aries in the 3rd house, gives rise to emotional unpredictability. The Aries fire, fueling the tendency to feel headstrong and act out impulsively. However, with this taking place in the Mercury ruled 3rd house, associated with our perception and environment, our emotional behavior is likely a result of feeling stifled in ones environment and needing something new or different. This is not necessarily the time to expect others to be emotionally sensitive to your needs. We are more likely to find that instead, most of us are devoting quite a bit of energy to conquering our own inner demons and moving forward along our own personal paths. Leave space for yourself and for others – as we are all undergoing a sort of evolutionary growth spurt.
Pluto reiterates the evolutionary growth we are taking part in, as it makes its way through Capricorn in the 12th house, breaking down our mental barriers and helping us to empty our cups, so that we may be better able and more willing to receive the knowledge, love, and other gifts of the universe.
It is easy to get caught up in re-living experiences, allowing them to repeat in our minds, or in our emotional reactions to unrelated situations we find ourselves in. Whether it is replaying what we said to someone and kicking ourselves because of how we did or didn’t sound, the feeling of being taken advantage of, lied to, ignored or put down; holding on to these feelings ultimately only brings us pain. Holding onto these experiences so tightly, fails to allow one to view things objectively. Often preventing one from rising above situations and shortcomings of the past, by keeping them trapped in the initial moment of pain. Pluto’s presence here helps us to break these cycles and rid ourselves of attachments to memories that have kept us bogged down; empowering us to re-write our script, channel our inner light, be the author’s of our own thoughts and inventors of our own reality.
On August 21st, the Sun and Moon will meet in Leo for the Great American Eclipse, in the very same degree that Mercury will station direct in once it completes its retrograde. This closely connects and ties together the intentions of the retrograde and eclipse, helping us to grow, to let go of ways of the past, to recognize our inner strength, and to face our demons.
The specific effects of planetary transits differ based on where planets are located in one’s natal chart and where the current planets are transiting. The above is a general forecast based off a chart designed for the aspect discussed. If you would like more personalized advice, or have questions or feedback of any kind, please send me an email!