Mercury began the latest edition of its retrograde process on November 16th/17th, which will last until December 6th/7th. In the weeks (and especially days) leading up to it we start to notice its influence as Mercury slows down and comes to a stop before moving the other way. This is known as the ‘pre-shadow’ period which began on October 29th.
If you have read my previous Mercury retrograde articles, the first two sections of this article are nearly the same and you can skip to the third section if you don’t want to re-read all the general themes associated with these periods. The other sections are more specific to this edition of it.
Mercury retrograde is known for the problematic effects it often has on communication technology, transactions, motor vehicles, anything with moving parts, and commuting in general. Some people even get headaches near the beginning of it. We could experience some challenges, misunderstandings, and errors around our communications, numbers/details, and commerce, as well as changes, cancellations, or delays in our schedules. We may also feel more challenged when we are doing excessive analytical work without using our internal guidance.
Although there is a higher probability of experiencing more of these problems during this time, they won’t necessarily apply to every situation. Some people may not notice these energies as much, depending on what types of things they are doing and how the astrology is playing out unique to the person’s astrological blueprint.
Mercury Retrograde can also be a good time to revisit or redo tasks, projects, ideas, or anything else that was initiated in the past. It can give us a different perspective or shift in thinking that can help us to approach these things in ways we wouldn’t have done so before. This may also be a period of reconnecting with old friends, family, sometimes lovers, or others you haven’t seen in a while.
The Deeper Purpose of Mercury Retrograde
Ultimately, Mercury Retrograde is a time for us to recalibrate and adjust specific areas of our lives as well as how we apply our minds towards these issues. It is a period in which we may receive important insights and see things in a new light. In most cases, it can be mildly transformational, but in some cases it can facilitate more major transformations depending on how it corresponds to your personal astrological chart.
During and following the retrograde, certain areas of our lives can go through changes or shifts, or we can experience a reorientation of some sort which influences how we proceed over the coming months or in some cases, it can have a more long-term significance. In the 2 weeks afterwards, known as the ‘post-shadow’ period, we move forward with some sort of new awareness, adjustment, as well as new ideas and thoughts that have been seeded which will develop as time progresses.
The things that you have been doing or circumstances in the two to three weeks leading up to this period could determine how and where this energy plays out. It is also possible that there could have been changes put in place at that time which may go through a sorting out process. There could have been unknown variables, both positive and negative, that were either unseen or hadn’t been conceived yet, which may become apparent over the coming weeks.
The sign(s) and element(s) in which Mercury retrograde travels shows the energy we are re-orienting ourselves with. More importantly, if you are more familiar with your natal astrology chart, your house(s) or any planetary placements being affected will show more specifically what areas of life you will be experiencing its energy in. For the astrologically literate, it began at 13’30 degrees of Leo and will retrograde all the way to 27’17 degrees of the Scorpio, before turning forward again.
This One Is Occurring Mostly In Sagittarius, Part of A Series In Fire Signs
Mercury retrograde always happens in primarily one element for more than a year. It is currently occurring in the Fire element which is about passion, creativity, instinct, inspiration, assertiveness, courage, confidence, and spirit. It also ends in the Water sign of Scorpio leading to the transition into Water signs which kicks off more so at the next Mercury retrograde in Pisces.
This Fire period is about re-aligning ourselves with these themes and expressing them in new or revamped ways. This ‘Fire process’ began in the spring of 2017 as it was transitioning out of Earth signs, with the first Mercury Retrograde to be completely in Fire occurring last December.
This one is more specific to a reorientation around Sagittarius themes, which is about beliefs, opinions, perspectives, teaching, hope, optimism, exploration, travel, and higher education. It is visionary and ‘big picture’ oriented. Sagittarius is also associated with marketing, sales, publishing, and media. It is idealistic, philosophical, and expansive. Expressed negatively, Sagittarius energy can also be judgemental, excessive, blunt, egotistical, argumentative, preachy, too scattered, and have a ‘know-it-all’ complex.
Mercury Retrograde Begins With a Square To Neptune
Mercury in Sagittarius begins its retrograde in a square with Neptune in Pisces which it will return to at the end of the post-shadow period. The combination can make it a little difficult to focus and deal with details and facts. However, it can stimulate abstract thought and help us to perceive things symbolically.
An evolutionary theme of this retrograde for many people could be about the reworking of how we apply Mercury and Neptune energies together. Mercury rules communication, the mind, commuting, communication technology, and how we process information. Neptune is associated with creativity, imagination, visual or musical arts, selflessness, oneness, compassion, idealism, dreams, spirituality, and mysticism.
Negative expressions of this energy that may come up that we need to work on could be connected to deception, addictions, escapism, illusions, flakiness, delusion, confusion, and lack of boundaries. Then you can also factor in the Sagittarian themes mentioned above.
Jupiter Recently Entered Sagittarius, Venus Finished Retrograde
The ruler of Sagittarius, Jupiter, has returned to its own sign on November 8th where it will stay until December 2019. Jupiter, the planet of expansion, rules the same things associated with Sagittarius and therefore this combined with the current Mercury retrograde really amplifies the Sagittarian themes mentioned earlier in the article.
Mercury will be aligned with Jupiter on its retrograde path which indicates that certain things that play out over the next month will help to set the stage for what Jupiter will bring into our lives over the next year. This month can be a period of tremendous learning, and perhaps even revamping certain perspectives, and how to incorporate the ‘big picture’ in how we proceed following the retrograde.
Venus ended its retrograde less than half a day prior to Mercury going retrograde. For many people, the Venus related developments, issues, or reorientations that have come up in recent weeks might be connected to any adjustments Mercury will be facilitating.
Venus will be in its post-retrograde shadow period until mid-December which will be 11 days after Mercury ends its retrograde. As time progresses over the next month, there will be more forward momentum around Venus-ruled areas of relationships (romantically and socially), values, money, pleasures, or perhaps something to do with aesthetics.
Mercury Retrograde Timeline
*Below, are some of the dates and information for some of the major astrological configurations during this retrograde. However, I also regularly post about other astro energies happening on my social media via Instagram and Facebook, you can follow on those platforms for more forecast content.
Earlier dates are for those in the Western part of the world and later dates for those in the East.
Nov 16th/17th – Mercury begins its retrograde at 1:33 am Universal Time. The days surrounding this period are a time in which complications may be amplified, but you may also start to get a better sense of what these retrograde themes mean for you.
Nov 22nd/23rd – Full Moon In Gemini. We may feel that we are being pulled in many directions and can get easily scattered and restless. There is a possibility of a clash, conflict, or competitiveness around of ideas and viewpoints. I will be doing a separate article on this Full Moon, join my mailing list here to be notified when it gets released.
Nov 25th-28th – Mercury’s Inferior Conjunction, Mercury square Mars, Mercury/Sun Conjunct Jupiter, and Mars Sextile Saturn. This is that halfway point of Mercury retrograde and can be a period of increased insights yet complications can also be stronger at this time depending on how you are applying yourself. Ideas and thoughts that are seeded now may develop over the coming months. This can also be a period where we are more irritable, impulsive, and perhaps have some conflict in some cases. However this can also be a highly productive period if Mercury retrograde complications do not get in the way. This can be a very mind opening period, perhaps lucky and expansive. Considering the ‘big picture’ is a strong theme now.
Nov 30th – Dec 2nd – Venus opposite Uranus, Mercury enters Scorpio while semi-sextile Venus, Mercury quincunx Uranus. Changes, disruptions, or surprises may come up at this time which may require some adjustments. This may affect relationships or financial matters, however, there is also a possibility of some exciting energy as well. Mercury shifting into Scorpio can help us think deeper or in an investigative way. Hidden matters connected to the past may come up.
Dec 3rd/4th – Mercury Trine Chiron and Lunar Nodes. There is a possibility for growth and healing at this time. There can be communications, connections or developments made which can benefit our future. Greater awareness of strengths and weaknesses can be beneficial for where we are headed.
Dec 6th/7th – Mercury Goes Direct in Late Scorpio with New Moon 10 hours later, Mars Conjunct Neptune. Mercury ends its retrograde and will slowly begin to move forward over the coming days. The areas of our lives that have been affected by this retrograde will start to become more clear and things will fall into place more easily. There will be a New Moon shortly afterwards which will help to kickstart new developments due to what has transpired.
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