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Feb 10: Mercury enters Pisces
Mar 5: Mercury Retrograde begins
Mar 28: Mercury Retrograde ends
Planets in retrograde are not actually spinning backwards – it is an optical illusion as seen from Earth. Backwards motion appears to happen when Earth passes slower moving planets in the outer solar system. 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 are the realms 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 Pisces. Mercury first enters Pisces on Feb 10. We will begin to feel the effects of the retrograde as early as Feb 19. Life will feel completely back to normal by Apr 16, the last day of Mercury in Pisces.
Mercury Retrograde in Pisces is a scattered, undisciplined influence. In Pisces, life slows to a crawl. Action is tucked away for later, all thoughts and feelings deeply internalized. Inside the nebulous fish vault, words never make it to the surface, never come out, never get to be heard or digested or discussed. Pisces stuffs everything in her psyche, then masterfully ignores the inevitable inward pressure by granting endless free passes to herself and others. Then we see her shadow: evasion, denial and deceit. Pisces blurs dreams and reality until life feels illogical and irrational. As such, this cycle has the potential to bring humanity to our knees in an opaque cloud of delusion. Don’t swim away at the first sign of discord! Gather your power!
One of Pisces’ great karmic responsibilities involves learning to be of equal service to herself and others, and I don’t mean that she needs to be less selfish, but more selfish. Pisces gives until nothing remains, not even stores of energy originally set aside for herself. This leaves the fishes chronically depleted in mind, body and spirit. Allow yourself and other fishy friends to marinade in prolonged introversion. This is how we rehabilitate, regenerate, revitalize the spirit.
The fishes twist and flow like wise water wends the bends of the cosmic riverbed. Consider small, intentional doses of psilocybin; consider letting go, letting go, letting go. Creative projects will prove unusually gratifying as they will feed the growing, unmistakable feeling of all things fated. This is the irrevocable attunement – first confusing, muddling, swirling, then wide open, a spectacle of light. This is the proverbial death of the mind’s worn knots and tatters. Let them die. Create your neural pathways anew, fresh as a daffodil on a warm spring afternoon.
Animals associated with Mercury include the rooster, ram, goat and tortoise. In Pisces, the tortoise smiles shyly from Mercury’s breast. The fishes are sage, ancient, glacial in pace. In Native American astrology, Pisces belongs to the Frog clan. She is also associated with turquoise and all shades of blue or green. Meditate on the slippery frog, hibernating at the bottom of her pond, waiting patiently for spring to come. Meditate on the myriad hues of the ocean. Feel cerulean droplets beading on your skin, gathering around your third eye, trickling to your toes. Pray beneath the diamond star dome, let Gaia’s bated breath fill your lungs. Rediscover your healing powers.
Dates worth mentioning: Feb 18 is going to be an incredible day – first Venus conjunct Saturn in Capricorn, then the Sun enters Pisces, and then Mercury conjunct Neptune in Pisces to close down the night! Avoid travel on Feb 22 and Mar 15, the latter date being perhaps the most difficult day of the retrograde. (However, on the day before [Mar 14], Mercury will be conjunct the Sun in Pisces, so if you need to do anything that is normally taboo during Mercury Rx – such as signing documents or making a major purchase – Mar 14 is the day to do it.) On Mar 24, Mercury meets up with Neptune for another fishy conjunction – this should be one of the best days of the retrograde. We will see this influence once more on Apr 2 – an excellent day to get together with friends and work on a creative project. Lastly, avoid travel on Apr 11.
Words and actions carry extraordinary power during Mercury Retrograde. Stay true to yourself and don’t give in to impulse so easily. Channel your passion into creative projects. Every constellation prepares us for the next. Pisces prepares us for Aries, the fiery newborn lamb. Let these waves wash everything away, leaving beautiful empty space for the flames of spring. What we need is music, dancing and languid daydreams. Unleash your imagination. Rest your body with Pisces Yoga. In meditation, focus on the third eye and crown chakra. If you were born with Mercury in Pisces, 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.
Mantra: I surrender