On April 28, Mercury stations retrograde in Taurus, joining Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in this backwards phase. With so many planets currently retrograde, many of us are definitely feeling the funk; fuzzy brained, slow motion reality, indecisiveness and a general feeling of discontentment with life. There may be a sensation that we have been here before, as we find ourselves reviewing, re-doing and revisiting themes from the last several months.
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. [With Mercury retrograde in Taurus, those with highly aspected Taurus or Venus will also feel the tug a bit more.]
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 likely hood 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 an older Starface Blog, available here.
As Mercury approaches the 23° of Taurus on Thursday, at 10:20am PST it will appear to slow to a stop, and then slowly begin retracing its path of the last two weeks. Taurus is associated with stability, ones’ sense of security (inner, physical and financial), and the ability to persevere and strive no matter what obstacles may be in the way. It is ruled by Venus, and is therefore also associated with things of a sensual nature, that which we find pleasure in, as well as matters of the heart. With Mercury stationing retrograde here, it is likely we will find ourselves feeling rather uncomfortable and our lives rather precarious. There may be issues surrounding what we normally consider our security blanket, where we find that that which once kept us safe, brought us peace or helped set our mind at ease might not offer the same level of comfort it once did. Shifting perspectives present us with dilemmas, as we find ourselves torn between choosing that which has always seemed safe, and that which we know will bring us future security. In addition to the usual quirks and inconveniences of Mercury retrograde, with Taurus in the picture, there is likely an instinctive response to withdraw and become self-reliant, or hide away. If you find yourself giving into hermit-like tendencies, allow yourself the necessary solitude, for it is truly in the quiet times alone, that you may reconnect with and regain your inner strength and momentum.
Mercury stationing retrograde in the 11th house finds us re-evaluating our ideas, beliefs and the social groups and networks we find ourselves to be members of. We will likely be considering how safe we feel among the groups in which we consider ourselves a part, and the stability or lack thereof, that it brings to our lives. Do the groups you are a part of bring out the best in you? Do you feel supported, like you are able to be true to yourself? Or do you find you must wear a mask to fit in? There may be a need to re-create one’s group identity, perhaps taking on more responsibility or relinquishing some so others may uphold their part. As the 11th house is also associated with the earnings of the 10th house, or our career, there may be a need to look at and reassess how we handle our successes, whether it be money, social status or power. We also may find there to be some sort of connection with the “outcome of our efforts” and some emotional stirring that is taking place within our closest relationships.
With the Moon and Pluto both in Capricorn, making a trine to Mercury retrograde, we are likely to experience a deep urge to express our emotions, to speak what we feel and think. However, with Mercury retrograde, there is a very good chance that those expressed emotions will be shared in such a way that they feel cold and detached, this likely leading down a road of one miscommunicated encounter after another. Try not to assume or finish others sentences. Practice your listening skills. Give yourself and others space; physical space, mental space, and a safe space to share and be without judgement. In removing judgment for others, you may notice that you lighten the load on the judgments you hold against yourself.
Meanwhile, Mars retrograde in the 5th house squaring both Neptune and Jupiter puts an extra big damper on our sense of creativity, sexuality and overall sense of fun. There may be difficulties letting go and managing stress; and activities which may usually bring pleasure and or release may lead down a frustrating road of anxiety and criticism. It would be wise to question whether being unnecessarily harsh on yourself or others is likely to produce the intended results. Know the difference between constructive criticism and being an asshole, and do your best to avoid the latter, but recognize that with the ease in which things are likely to be miscommunicated, it might be safer to just bite your tongue for now.
As with all retrogrades, the next few weeks will be full of ups and downs and lots of backwards. Focus on planning ahead and going with the flow. Make sure to allow for some alone time, let your mind wander and your thoughts and creativity flow. Aim to be present in your body, getting a massage or some kind of bodywork can really help provide some much needed grounding, especially when everything feels so up in the air. But most importantly, remember to be gentle with yourself and with those around you, a little TLC really does go a long way.
The specific affects 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 us an email!
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