Mercury Returns- the Technical Faff

Chart from Solarfire
Chart from Solarfire

As I mentioned yesterday, my Mercury had a birthday.

This is what the auto forecast I received in my mailbox said:

It’s your Mercury birthday, the day when the planet of information returns to where it was when you were born. This opens a path to clear thinking, new ideas and fresh channels of communication. Your mind may be moving fast, but you’ll probably need the speed to keep up with all the details that are demanding your attention at this time. Stay flexible, so that you don’t take one minor fact and make too much of it. Intelligence is high, but it works best when you balance the demands of the present with your long-term goals and principles.

Hmmm. Clear thinking? Nope. I did a boxing workout yesterday morning that made me believe that multi tasking (and my inability to do it) actually went as far as needing my brain to work at the same time as my arms and legs.

New ideas? Nope. I spent the rest of the day procrastinating over catch up TV, but that was also because some idiot was attempting to spam bomb my website again using an array of zombie computers and the result was more down time than up.

I don’t know about you, but when I think about it I have the picture of a James Bond type bunker under the sea, with rows and rows of zombie computers (are they just computers run by zombies or half dead computers or not really computers?) and Dr Evil type of person (that looks a little similar to the one we all like to hate at the moment on My Kitchen Rules) patrolling the perimeter yelling orders like ‘Bank 2345- are you ready? Hit it NOW!’

Needless to say, productivity did not run high.

Anyways, the forecast above from Star IQ is absolutely what a Mercury Return should look like.

OK, now for the warning: non Astro peeps what follows is technical guff- you may want to opt out. If so, have a great weekend & we’ll catch up when the Sun is in Pisces.

For the rest of you, a lesson in Mercury Returns- the casting of, that is.

Just as we cast a chart for the Solar Return (see my posts Solar Return Part 1 and Part 2 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 next 12 months
  • The Venus return (I have one of them in a week or so) 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
  • The Jupiter return (about every 12 years) is about growth, expansion and opportunities and where you may need to believe and have faith.

So, how do we read a Mercury return chart?

Chart from Solarfire
Chart from Solarfire

To be honest, 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. The potentials 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 (perhaps Mercury square Mars), 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
  • 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):

Distribution of Planets

Most of the planets are below the horizon. This year is going to be one where the emphasis is on going within, or using my reserves to make my Mercury tick, so to speak.

What Sign is on the Ascendant?

Scorpio. This replicates my last Solar Return, which also had the focused intensity of Scorpio brought to the Ascendant. This adds an intensity, power and focus to all things Mercury this year.

What natal house is being brought to the Ascendant?

In my case it is the 8th house- nothing like adding a little intensity to intensity. The 8th is life and death stuff, transformation, other peoples money, taxes, inheritances etc.

More importantly, 8 Scorpio is conjunct my South node and any point on any return chart which is at the degree of or aspects the nodes will add a degree of karma or fate to the period.

The Ruler of the Ascendant?

The traditional ruler of Scorpio is Mars. In the MR, Mars is exactly at the point of my natal Pluto. Intensity on intensity on intensity.

It is in the 11th house- groups, communities will be important for me to make the most of things Mercury this year. Interestingly, I have just bitten the bullet and joined a writers group and forum…it’s great fun! Further, community facilities are becoming my office of choice when the distractions at home get too much.

Pluto, the modern ruler of Scorpio is currently at 8 Capricorn, which also aspects my natal nodal axis. It is in the 3rd house conjunct the Moon.

The House of Mercury in the Return Chart

The 5th house adds an element of play and risk to the chart. This makes sense given that this year I intend to use the best parts of my Mercury to create, this is a writing year, it is also a year involving risk as I look to sell my work and send my “babies” out into the world to fend for themselves.

Aspects to Mercury in the Return Chart

Mercury aspects both Jupiter and Pluto/Moon by sextile. Opportunities are out there for some solid success and expansion if I choose to put in the hard yards.

Speaking of which, the Moon needs to be looked at- this shows where the heart is in relation to Mercurial issues…yep, in the 3rd house.

Lastly, take a look at any planets at critical degrees ie at 0 or 29. Neptune at 0 can’t be ignored…especially since Neptune was conjunct the Ascendant in my last Solar Return.

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.