Don’t Look Back in Anger- Mercury Retrograde April 2011

© Edward Bartel |
© Edward Bartel |

Mercury has slowed right down and is getting ready to turn retrograde.

Now we all know the basics about Mercury retrograde:

  • The planet isn’t really going backwards, it just appears that way from where we stand here on Earth
  • During any retrograde cycle of any planet we bring our attentions within. The energy of the planet is intensified, and that energy is brought within. In that case of Mercury that means how we think, how we transmit messages and how messages are communicated and understood around us
  • this is your signal to slow down, go within, review, revise, rewind. We review and revise in our head the nature of the area of life this retrograde is happening in for us. With our brains occupied in a different way we lose focus on what is happening around us- and that is when things, generally shitty things happen.

We know all about the re words:

  • Take the time to recharge your batteries
  • Revise your goals
  • Review your bright ideas
  • Regain your faith in the future
  • Recommit to habits, goals, the things you need to recommit to
  • Reconnect with colleagues & friends you haven’t seen or spoken to for some time
  • Renew and refresh whatever is jaded and old
  • Revisit places, books, movies that mean something to you
  • Rest and relax

We know the type of things Mercury retrogrades can impact:

  • Appointment times
  • Travel times & arrangements
  • Computers, phones & other electronic devices
  • Getting to & from places
  • Contracts and other documents

And we know how to mitigate the possible damage:

  • Re-confirm appointments
  • Check & re-check your travel arrangements
  • Insure your luggage and tickets and make sure you have copies of all travel documents- preferably not in your bag
  • Avoid mechanical problems, by making sure your car services are up to date
  • Back up computers
  • Avoid purchasing any major technology over this period
  • Avoid signing contracts, but if you have to, make sure you have read & re-read all the fine print
  • If you must commence a new project, do the scoping work carefully- and seriously people, we should be doing this anyway!
  • If you have any changes going “live” or being implemented, test, re-test, regression test, test the back out, test the install & test again. Test.

We even know the people most likely to be impacted by the retrograde cycle:

  • People with strong Mercury charts eg people with the Sun, Moon, Ascendant or Mercury in Mercury ruled signs ie Gemini or Virgo.
  • People with these planets in the 3rd house
  • People who have the Sun, Moon, Mercury or Ascendant in the sign which is receiving the retrograde
  • People who have planets or chart points at the position where Mercury stations- either to go retrograde or direct.

Essentially those who have a crappy Mercury (such as my own- the worst Mercury in history) tend (with some exceptions) to escape relatively lightly. Why? Because natally our Mercury operates in the same way as when it is retrograde- we review and revise and go into our own heads as part of a normal day.

So, what makes a bad (and when I say bad I don’t mean evil bad, I mean that it works differently to the way Mercury is supposed to work…personally mine is crappy, but it suits me- if you know what I mean)  Mercury?:

  • Mercury in Pisces (check)
  • Mercury in the 12th house (check)
  • Mercury tightly aspecting Neptune
  • Mercury retrograde natally (check)

This year all the Mercury retrogrades take place in fire signs. This changes the playing field a little. First cab off the rank is Aries (of course…).

This means that:

  • People who have the Sun, Moon, Ascendant or Mercury in Aries will be impacted by this retrograde
  • If you have planets or chart points (eg Ascendant, Midheaven, Descendant or IC) at 24 Aries (where Mercury stations to go retrograde) or 12 Aries (where he stations to go direct), you will also feel this one.

Fire Mercury is assertive, impulsive, demonstrative and energetic. Aries Mercury is all of these things plus you can add combative and aggressive to the mix. So, the types of things we may expect (in addition to the above) are:

  • Decisions made impulsively may be regretted later
  • Discussions & communication to be more combative & aggressive than usual
  • Ideas come fast & furious but may be abandoned just as quickly
  • Tempers may flare quicker than usual for seemingly insignificant reasons

So, some extra Aries type stuff to remember:

  • It doesn’t matter if you lose an argument- especially if you hadn’t thought the consequences through in the 1st place. You are not always right.
  • Sometimes an idea is actually pretty crappy and has no chance of ever working. Walk away from it without flexing your muscles in the process.
  • Save the temper for something worth fighting over.
  • Just because you’re bored is no reason to pick a fight.

For all of us, check out where 12-24 Aries falls in your chart. This is the part of life where you need to do extra re stuff. As an example, in my case this transit is in my 2nd house. Mercury will pass back across Venus and station direct exactly (to the minute) on the cusp of my 2nd house. Values, ideals, money & possession are the key words around the 2nd house. Mercury natally rules the relationship and home sectors in my chart and is in Pisces in the 12th house. Venus rules the 8th (debts, other peoples money etc).

This retrograde period I intend to spend some time on budgets. I know I have major changes on a financial front coming in the next 6-9 months, so a re-think and some discussion with my husband regarding our finances & spending patterns is definitely in order.

This is all happening as Jupiter is tearing through my 2nd house…and Jupiter transits of the 2nd we know are renowned for over indulgence, over-spending, over-reaching and over-commitment of personal resources!

With so many material changes on the horizon, I will also be doing some good hard thinking over just what is really important to me…and finishing some UFPs (UnFinished Projects) around the house…I have a mind to be doing some landscape reconstruction in the near future, and still haven’t re-decorated our bedroom…and Five Foot Nothing is talking about re-doing hers as well….

Where does Aries fall in your chart? What are your plans for this particular retrograde? With the fire energy being enhanced and amplified by the recent battles for supremacy between the Sun and Pluto, and Saturn and Jupiter, perhaps frustrations and obstacles coming out of these transits will have a bearing on how you spend the next few weeks? Is there any anger you need to let go of? I’d love to know…


  1. I’m a learner about astrology but I notice I have Mercury in the 12th and it’s retro, it’s in Sag.I don’t know what you mean about tightly aspecting Neptune, but I’m guessing I’m not cause Neptune is in the previous sign and not within 3degrees. Anyway I’ve noticed that sometimes during Mercury Retro good things happen and then recur only during that time… is that due to the natal chart 12th house or retro? How does it work?

  2. Hi Joh. You are right, Neptune in a different sign, I would not class as being conjunct. However, retrograde Merc in the 12th will absolutely feel like a Pisces Mercury in many ways. In your case, the answer to your question is all of the above! I often find the same, good stuff can happen. Maybe we notice it because we are allowing ourselves to go even more inward at this time? Just a theory… Thanks for taking the time to ask.

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