My Mercury is having a birthday today.
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 (see my post for more info and a “how to” guide), 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 (I have one of them when Venus is in Aries) 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.
- 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. For me, this will be in August this year.
- The Jupiter return (about every 12 years) is about growth, expansion and opportunities and where you may need to believe and have faith. I have one of them this year too.
- Saturn Return (about every 28 years) is about reality and life in all of it’s responsible glory.
The Mercury Return 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 to reading a Solar Return chart- the principles are the same…with the exception that Mercury is now the star of the show. The other basic rules apply:
- 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 become really important if replicated in the return chart eg if Mercury and Mars are linked by any aspect in the birth chart (eg it is a sextile in my case) and this is repeated in the return chart by any aspect that will be an area of focus
- Return charts are similar to transit charts- they are temporary and will apply only for the period of the return
- If, like happened to me last year, your return occurs during the shadow period, 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 birth place. In my case, I’m a boring sod and live in the city where I was born.
So, let’s look (briefly) at my Mercury Return (MR):
What Sign is on the Ascendant?
Gemini. This adds more Mercury to the chart. With Gemini on the Ascendant, this will be a busy year socially, and also from a learning and headspace viewpoint.
What natal house is being brought to the Ascendant?
In my case it’s the third house- the house associated with learning, communication, siblings…and all things Gemini and Mercury. As I said, this will be a busy year Mercurially speaking.
The Ruler of the Ascendant?
It’s in the 9th house, conjunct Neptune (to the degree) and conjunct Chiron. Mercury is also trine Jupiter, the planet that is associated with the 9th house. More importantly, Mercury (in Pisces) is aspected by both the traditional and modern ruler of Pisces.
The House of Mercury in the Return Chart
The 9th house- viewpoints will be widened and faith and exploration is important. Naturally, I’m also choosing to link this to the 9th house association with publishing and travel…as you do.
Aspects to Mercury in the Return Chart
Mercury is conjunct Neptune (to the degree) and conjunct Chiron. Mercury is also trine Jupiter, the planet that is associated with the 9th house. More importantly, Mercury (in Pisces) is aspected by both the traditional and modern ruler of Pisces.
Neptune adds inspiration and intuition, and reinforces the Neptunian nature of my natal 12th house Mercury.
Speaking of which, the Moon needs to be looked at- this shows where the heart is in relation to Mercurial issues…it’s in the 7th– just as it was last year.
Check out any planets at the degree of the nodes- this always indicates something quite karmic.
Lastly, take a look at any planets at critical degrees ie at 0 or 29.
Obviously, this is a quick look/ interpretation designed just to give you an idea. 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.