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artist: Broken Fingaz
Mercury enters Libra: Sep 5
Mercury enters Scorpio: Sep 27
Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio: Oct 13 – 27
Mercury Retrograde in Libra: Oct 27 – Nov 3
Mercury direct in Libra: Nov 3 – 10
Mercury in Scorpio: Nov 10 – Dec 1
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. 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.
The first two weeks of Mercury Retrograde take place in Scorpio, and the last week in Libra. We will begin to feel the effects as soon as Sep 23. Things should feel back to “normal” by no later than Nov 19.
As the word “retrograde” implies, it is time to go back, finish, review, redo. Mercury Retrograde shuffles stifled energy out, across the tongue. Let’s first discuss Mercury (Retrograde) in Scorpio, since this is where most of the action takes place:
With Mercury (Retrograde) in Scorpio, we return to the past to address old wounds. This is a cathartic yet emotionally-charged cycle. 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.
Scorpio is passionate and lusty; pointed, fierce, profound; suspicious, psychoanalytical; fearless and persevering. In Ayurvedic astrology, Scorpio is ruled by Mars, god of war. With Mercury (Retrograde) in Scorpio, the mind and tongue become wicked sharp, yet this cycle is also sensual and mystical. Scorpio uncovers motivating forces. She is obsessive, fatalistic, yet meaningful, poignant. No small talk here. Speech runs to the root of the root. 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 transit will bring more financial/sexual scandals, corruption, and hidden agendas to light. On an individual level, we will examine how and where our desires control us. Imagine a cave with the door sealed shut. Inside are all of your jealous skeletons and ancient pains, all of your secrets. Scorpio removes the blocks, and in come streams of brilliant golden light and fresh air. In meditation, focus on the sacral and solar plexus chakras. Go deep with Scorpio Yoga.
Now Mercury (Retrograde) in Libra: a thorough review of our partnerships and interpersonal life. Who makes you feel loved and appreciated? Which relationships are unhealthy? This transit is a master class in diplomacy: what it means to relate, to express, to co-exist. Be assertive. Step boldly, speak honestly.
Libra falls in the middle of the zodiac wheel. She represents compromise – meeting halfway – pacification of polarities. But the scales are not level; they vacillate wildly until the very end. This is the reason for Libra’s infamous indecision. She swings in the wind, hearing both sides of the story, sympathizing with all parties; she gazes down every path, far into the future, unsure of which to choose.
It is Libra who prepares us to enter the waters of Scorpio, and the transition from activism and social justice to scorpionic depths is not so abrupt once we familiarize ourselves with Libra’s supernatural attributes. Libra was a mystical crystal-gazer. Libra comes from the oracle Themis, Greek goddess of divine law and the first oracle of the ancient temple of Delphi. What happened when someone disregarded her psychic wisdom? Nemesis, goddess of retribution, paid a visit. In English the word nemesis means enemy; apparently those we consider problematic are sent to us because we have ignored the sage counsel of Libra/Themis!
The most important thing to remember during Libra season is that if you stay silent in toxic social situations, you will be trampled. Libra insists on truth and I do not recommend testing her. Choose assertive rather than avoidant behavior; choose reconciliation over suppression; choose self-validation over external validation. It is possible to accommodate others while still respecting our own needs. There is also marvelous potential for true love to bloom during this time.
Libra is known for her excellent taste and style. This is the perfect time to clean, beautify or rearrange your living space. In meditation, focus on the heart chakra. Give special attention to your pelvis and sacrum. Balance your heart with Libra Yoga.
Dates worth mentioning before the retrograde (all challenging): new moon on Sep 17 (challenging), Sep 20 (challenging), quarter moon on Sep 23 (challenging), Sep 24 (challenging), Oct 7 (challenging)
Dates to watch during the retrograde: Oct 19 (challenging), Oct 25 (harmonious), Nov 1 (challenging)
And dates to watch after: Nov 6 (challenging), Nov 17 (challenging), Nov 23 (harmonious)
If you were born with Mercury in Libra or Scorpio, you’re in for an interesting Mercury Return. To determine your Mercury sign and whether he was direct or retrograde at the time of your birth, click here.