Mercury Retrograde in Virgo August 30-September 21: Refining the Self


Over the last couple of months, planets have been collecting in the sign of Virgo. It began with Jupiter, which entered Virgo way back in August of 2015, followed by Mercury, which comfortably made its way into its domicile, or sign that it rules, on August 1st of this year. Venus not far behind, entered Virgo on August 6th and a few weeks later on August 22nd, the Sun too, made its way into Virgo.

This stellium in Virgo will continue to shift throughout the next month and a half; as Mercury stations retrograde and backtracks through the latter half of the sign, and the Sun and Moon create the Virgo solar eclipse and Pisces lunar eclipse. These events act to further infuse and shape our thoughts and environments with the conscientious, practical energies of Virgo.

Mercury Retrograde:

On August 30, Mercury will enter the last degree of Virgo and begin its journey backwards through the last half of the sign. With so many planets occupying Mercury ruled Virgo and Mercury approaching its station retrograde here, 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.  There may be a 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. Don’t let this energy go to waste! Allow the inconvenient ways of Mercury retrograde to assist you on your road to mastering that which you wish to create, achieve or become.

With Mercury stationing retrograde in the second house, associated with our sense of self-worth, our resources, values and our finances – there is focus on our personal inventory. Our skills, principals and doubts – all of our wonderful inspiration and horribly immobilizing fears – are up for review. With the heightened critical energy in the air, there may be inspiration to re-organize and weed through this inventory, getting rid of or at least becoming aware of that which no longer serves you.

How do your skills and thoughts define and shape your life and person that you are?

Do you allow your doubts and insecurities to paralyze you – or to stress you into action?

There may be a need to refine ones’ skill set, the desire to pursue hobbies and passions from the past, or an overwhelming eagerness to take on the role of the actual student again. Learning, re-educating, fine-tuning and updating our internal computers with the goal of increasing our self-value.

With Mercury being just a few degrees away from the cusp of the first/second house, the results of our “personal inventory” review are likely to lead to a shift relating to the skills we regularly put on display for the world to see. Things are changing, we are growing, evolving; both in the eyes of others and our own.

The chart for Mercury stationing retrograde places the Leo moon in the 12th house, suggesting a sense of inner strength. Beneath the surfacing anxiety, is the strength to persevere, to conquer and to stand proud and tall. The moon forms a trine to the lingering Mars Saturn conjunction in Sagittarius, this combination creates and fuels a sense of deep purpose and clarity that most of us don’t typically associate with that of Mercury retrograde. Despite the hiccups, confusion and periods of pause that the retrograde may trigger, there is quite a bright light at the end of the tunnel.

On September 21,  Mercury will station direct in mid-Virgo. We begin to see that there is a flexibility that exists within the rigidness of the Virgo need for perfection. That there is a method to the madness, a sense of order to the chaos, and the power to integrate the many seemingly separate parts of the puzzle of life into one beautiful masterpiece.

Hours after Mercury stations direct, the Sun will transition into Libra. The flux in energy will be a welcome one, as our thoughts become more fluid and the anxious energies that have acted as a sort of background noise are comforted by the solar shift into easy going Libra.

The Eclipses:

The Virgo and Pisces eclipses which coincide with Mercury’s retrograde, can intensify the time warp feeling of the retrograde. The slowness of the retrograde combined with the acceleration of the eclipse zone can feel confusing and uncomfortable. The pace of life tends to feel strange, unpredictable and frustrating. You may find yourself rushing to get things done, only to have to wait. Flexibility and staying on your toes is key!

Eclipses also have the tendency to bring things to awareness. With Jupiter and Mercury retrograde forming a conjunction at the exact same time as the Virgo eclipse,  we may be in for some big news. Jupiter is expansive and benevolent, it is spiritual and generous. There may be a sense of something “clicking” or gaining new understanding, as well as a sense of needing to connect to something bigger than the self.

Though retrogrades are not the ideal time to begin new ventures or projects, the eclipse zone – between September 1st and September 16th – provides just the right inertia to boost new habits and changes into our routines. Keep your head up, trust your intuition and know you can.

The Pisces lunar eclipse which closes this eclipse zone,  is exact on September 16. The eclipse takes place amidst a conjunction to Chiron, the centaur associated with our cosmic wound. This suggests there is healing that must take place. As the Sun and Moon oppose to form the eclipse, there may be a sort of magnification of old wounds. However, with the Sun, Mercury and Jupiter all opposing this in the 1oth house – there is the ability to use our wounds to propel us forward. To share our story and inspire others. At the same time, there is the ability to get sucked into the wounds and painful memories of the past and to end up playing the role of the victim. Remember the power of the mind, and again aim to stay present. Retrospect can be a gift, but re-living stressful situations just to wallow in the pain of what was, does not serve anyone. Let yourself detach from these memories, they do not define you.  Recognize your capability to play whichever role you decide, even if it is a role you have never played before. 


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 me an email!


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