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DIY Mercury Returns

My Mercury had a birthday on Valentine’s Day. It’s just taken me this long to post the return chart.

Just like our birthday – or the day when our Sun returns to its natal position – is a recharging of our vital energies; when Mercury returns to its natal position, it’s a time when our mind – and how we use it to think, learn and communicate – is revitalized. New ideas are inspired, new ways of thinking, new channels of communication. 

Just as we cast a chart for the Solar Return, we can also do one for the “return” of other personal planets to their positions on the birth chart:

  • In the case of lunar returns, the Moon returns home 13 times a year and the “lunar” return gives you the emotional themes for the month
  • The Venus return will show the upcoming themes around Venus issues ie relationships, finance, partnership
  • The Mercury Return is concerned with all things Mercurial eg communication, thinking, learning, study, perceptions. It gives you an idea about where your thoughts, ideas and learning will be focused.
  • The Mars return (about every 2 years) is about Mars type of things- courage, independent action, where you may need to stand up for yourself and exert your will.
  • The Jupiter return (about every 12 years) is about growth, expansion and opportunities and where you may need to believe and have faith.
  • Saturn Return (about every 28 years) is about reality and life in all of it’s responsible glory.

The Mercury Return (MR) chart is a transit chart, like any other, and forecasts the Mercurial themes for the next 12 months. As such, we read it much like we’d read any other transit chart.

In this way, it isn’t a lot different from reading a Solar Return chart – the principles are the same; with the exception that Mercury is now the star of the show. Just as the house of the Solar Return shows the area of life that will be a focus for the next 12 months, the house where Mercury is in the Mercury Return chart shows you the themes for the year from a Mercury viewpoint – where you’re mentally invested, intellectually interested, how you will be “using” your Mercury for the next 12 months. 

  • The return chart can be read in isolation, but really makes sense against the natal chart. As with all transits, they will only deliver to the potential of the birth chart – and this potential within the birth chart becomes really important if any Mercury aspects are replicated in the return chart eg Mercury and Mars are linked by sextile in my chart. If this is repeated in the return chart by any aspect those parts of life will be areas of focus
  • Return charts are similar to transit charts – they are temporary and will apply only for the period of the return. In Mercury’s case this is usually a year – unless your return occurs during the Mercury shadow period… in which case you will have three returns. Each return will last until the next.
  • The chart can be relocated ie cast at the place where you are at the time of that return rather than the birthplace. I tend not to do this, but many astrologers do – besides, I’m a boring sod and even though I don’t live in the city where I was born, I was there for work on my Mercury Return.
  • We’re interested in the house positions of Mercury, the ruler of the Return Ascendant, and also the dispositor of Mercury – and any aspects with other planets to these.

Last year…

Last year the sign of Sagittarius was on my MR Ascendant. The degree of the Ascendant brought matters of career and work firmly into all matters Mercury. Both were pretty much behind every thought and decision last year.

Mercury fell in the 4h house under the beams of the Sun with a Venus/Neptune conjunction just 7 degrees away. All my writing and work are done at home, so this was no surprise. In 2018 I also published my 4th book – Happy Ever After – one that I’m really very proud of. It’s also possibly the one that is closest to home for me. 

Last year felt very workman-like – almost as if I was sharpening my Mercurial tools. With Virgo on both the MC of the Return Chart and the Moon in Taurus in the 6th, this feeling makes absolute sense.

This year’s Mercury Return…

What Sign is on the Ascendant?


What natal house is being brought to the Ascendant?

I’ve started working with whole signs very recently – particularly in my return charts. 

Anyways, it’s making sense. For me, anyway. You feel free to do what you’d normally do.

Where was I? Yes, the 2nd house is being brought to the ASC of the return chart. I’ve recently started doing more around the marketing of my work. I’m responsible for this as a business and as the only income earner in the house can’t justify spend without return on investment – both monetary and energetic – for much longer.

The Ruler of the Ascendant?


It’s in the 1st house, exactly conjunct Uranus. Time to mix things up a bit. It’s also time to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak.

The Dispositor of Mercury?

Mercury is in Pisces, and the traditional ruler of Pisces is Jupiter. Jupiter is Sagittarius in the 9thhouse square the modern ruler of Pisces, Neptune. The aspect is a separating one. Jupiter is not only in the sign that he rules, but is also in the house he’s most associated with – the 9th.

The House of Mercury in the Return Chart

The 12thhouse.

I’m cool with that – it is, after all a Pisces Mercury and Pisces Mercury is comfortable in the 12th. In many ways it’s the perfect place for a writer’s Mercury to be.

Aspects to Mercury in the Return Chart

Mercury is square the Moon in Gemini in the return chart and sextile the MC. There will be challenges in order to make myself heard. It is interesting in that what I’m writing at present has a relatively large gossip element to it.

Interestingly my husband’s Moon is natally in Gemini and because Mercury natally rules my 7thhouse it also represents my husband. Hmmmm.

Other stuff…

  • Aside from how you think, learn, communicate and  how and where you might be following your curiosity, consider also what Mercury represents in your chart. What houses does it rule in your natal chart? These will be the houses with Gemini and Virgo on the cusp. These areas of life will also be under consideration in your Mercury Return. In my chart Mercury rules the 3rdhouse (siblings, routines, early learning, short journeys) and the 7th(partnerships etc).
  • The Moon needs to be looked at – this shows where the heart is in relation to Mercurial issues…it’s in the 3rdand, as I’ve already mentioned, is square Mercury.
  • Check out any planets at the degree of the nodes – this always indicates something quite karmic. Nothing there this year.
  • Lastly, take a look at any planets at critical degrees ie at 0 or 29. Chiron, Mars and Uranus. This will be an important year.

Obviously, this is a quick look/ interpretation designed just to give you an idea of how a Mercury return can work. This is the way that I do it – although other astrologers may have different ideas…as always, the best method is the one that works for you.


How do you work out when your Mercury return is? Technically it’s the time that Mercury returns to the exact degree and minute of your birth. I use astro gold on my phone and on my mac (both paid apps but so worth it). The dynamic reports function of this will tell you the time of each aspect to your personal planets. I cast the chart from that.