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Oct 3: Mercury enters Scorpio
Oct 31: Mercury Retrograde begins
Nov 20: Mercury Retrograde ends
Artist: Christina Mrozik
Planets in retrograde are not actually spinning backwards – it is an optical illusion as seen from Earth due to the fact that all of the planets are traveling at their own respective speeds around the sun. In astrology, this illusion manifests as a “backwards” functioning of the planetary roles. Click here to learn more about retrograde.
Mercury turns retrograde three times a year, more frequently than any other planet. From EarthSky:
On Mercury, for example, the Sun sometimes moves in retrograde! As the planet speeds through its closest approach with the sun, its orbital speed overtakes its rotational speed. An astronaut on the surface would see the sun partially rise, then dip back below the horizon, then rise again before resuming its east-to-west trek across the sky. Once a year, Mercury gets two sunrises on the same day!
Mercury represents communication, travel and technology. These realms are particularly affected by Mercury Retrograde. Expect delays, cancellations and sudden changes; technological failures, especially cell phones, laptops or automobiles; miscommunication; lost/stolen items; general malfunction and wtf moments. I do not recommend starting a new job, buying a car, moving to a new place or signing any contracts/documents. This is not a good time for travel, life-altering commitments or investments.
This Mercury Retrograde takes place entirely in Scorpio. Mercury first enters Scorpio on Oct 3. We will begin to feel the effects of the retrograde as early as Oct 11. Life will feel back to normal by Dec 7, two days before Mercury moves on to Sagittarius.
As the word “retrograde” implies, it is time to go back, finish, review, redo. Mercury Retrograde shuffles stifled energy out, across the tongue. With Mercury (Retrograde) in Scorpio, we return to the past to address old wounds. This is a cathartic yet emotionally-charged cycle rendering healthy death of that which must die. Scorpio heals all that has been repressed. She abides in crypts where others dare not swim, probing for insight and understanding. When Mercury wades through Scorpio, it is time to cleanse and detox the aching soul. Long overdue conversations, forgiveness, apologies and brutal honesty are all welcome. In particular, issues related to money or sexual trauma may be broached. An old debt may resurface. Let’s move beyond resentment, intransigence and manipulation.
Scorpio is passionate and lusty; pointed, fierce, forceful; profound, suspicious, psychoanalytical; fearless, persevering. In India, Scorpio is said to be ruled by Mars, god of war. Though western astrologers recognize Pluto as Scorpio’s ruler, I see her warrior roots too. Animals associated with Mercury include the rooster, ram, goat and tortoise. In Scorpio, the ram gleams triumphantly from Mercury’s breast. This is Scorpio’s martial power in animal form, climbing mountains with ease, sometimes locking horns in battle.
Mercury (Retrograde) in Scorpio makes the mind and tongue so sharp they cut bones clean open, yet this cycle is also sensual, mystical. Scorpio uncovers motivating forces. She is obsessive, fatalistic, yet meaningful, poignant. We will be able to read our environs with astounding clairvoyance. No small talk here. Speech runs to the root of the root of the greatest psychic taproot. The scorpion lives in the sacral chakra of the body. This is why Scorpio is so intimately linked to sex, survival and trauma. She is a hungry animal gnawing and growling, wailing us back to hard nights in the dark autumn woods, alone, fur standing on end.
On a global scale, this period will bring more financial/sexual scandals, hidden agendas and hypocrisy to light. On an individual level, let’s think about how and where our desires control us. Imagine a netherworld cave with the door sealed shut. Inside are all of our jealous skeletons and ancient pains, all of our secrets, festering away. Mercury (Retrograde) in Scorpio is a heavy lock opened by a skeleton key at the bottom of the darkest ocean. Stand back and let it flow, do not be afraid. Scorpio removes the blocks, and in come streams of light and fresh air. Let go, let go, let go. This is the proverbial death of the psyche’s worn knots and tatters. Let them die. Create your neural pathways anew. Surrender to the diamond star dome, let Gaia’s breath fill your lungs. Rediscover your power. Rehabilitate, regenerate, revitalize.
Words and actions carry extraordinary power during Mercury Retrograde. Stay true to yourself and don’t give in to impulse. Channel your emotional energy into creative and spiritual projects. Every constellation prepares us for the next. Scorpio prepares us forSagittarius, the fiery amethyst centaur. Mercury in Scorpio allows us to actually see what lies below, drawing out everything ghoulish to create space for the glowing flames of Sagittarius.
Dates worth mentioning before the retrograde: Oct 6 (difficult); Oct 15 (harmonious); Oct 30 (harmonious). The gold star day during the retrograde cycle is Nov 11 when the sun in Scorpio will be conjunct Mercury – this is the best day to do things that are normally taboo during the retrograde, such as sign documents or make a big purchase. We’ll see Mercury trine Neptune Retrograde in Pisces on Nov 13 for the second time (first time is Oct 15 – pay attention to what you feel then to get an idea of what we’ll revisit in November).
In meditation, focus on the sacral and solar plexus chakras. Go deep with Scorpio Yoga. If you were born with Mercury in Scorpio, you’re in for an interesting Mercury Return. To find your Mercury sign and whether he was direct or retrograde at the time of your birth, click here.
Affirmation: I am ready to surrender