Hermes/Mercury Messenger God, taking a pause

Hermes/Mercury Messenger God, pausing to reflect

I know, I know, it’s the Year of the Horse and we’re all supposed to be galloping ahead into our exciting new lives. However. The planets have a different story to tell, one that suggests the Horse might not be entirely ready to get up to speed until this summer.

We’ve just emerged from Venus Retrograde, ideally with more clarity about our bottom-line needs and priorities. Now, Mercury is about to turn Retrograde on Thursday, until February 28, a time to slow down, complete unfinished business, and rethink where you’re headed.

Mercury Retro is always a time when intuition is more powerful than logic, but that’s extra-true for this one. Mercury is in Pisces, closely conjunct Neptune, God/Goddess of the Ocean, modern ruler of the Fish. A Neptunian/Piscean Retrograde Mercury works best when you drop into a level of information beneath the rational mind, trust your feelings, and pay attention to subtle clues from your dreams and fantasies. (This would be a good time to keep a dream journal.)

piscesAlthough Mercury Retro begins in Pisces (3 degrees), the Messenger returns to Aquarius on February 12, where it will remain for the rest of the Retrograde. Aquarius and Pisces are the last two signs of the zodiac, both gifted with seeing the bigger picture and higher perspective.

This Retrograde wants you to re-imagine your dream for the future; reconnect with the psychic, mystical, magical, all-knowing part of yourself; replenish your well of inspiration; and regenerate your faith in humanity. This is a time for dissolving old perceptions and perspectives, freeing your mind from illusions that block you from living your truth, from bringing forth your genius and sharing your gifts with the world.

The basic guidelines for Mercury Retro:  take your time with important communications; don’t be afraid to repeat yourself or ask for clarification; leave extra time getting to appointments; double-check the details; and avoid signing contracts and buying electronics (cars, computers, etc.). If you need to break the Mercury-Retro rules, best to wait until after February 15, the midpoint of the Retrograde cycle.

With some astro-technical know-how, you can get more insight into what this Mercury Retro means for YOU by finding the house or houses in your chart that contain 18 degrees Aquarius to 3 degrees Pisces. The areas of life signified by that house (or houses) are where you’re invited to: revisit the past; restore your faith; reconsider your dreams; get a higher perspective; and reconnect with your radical genius, creativity and individuality. (You can find information about the houses here.)

marsMercury turns Direct (forward) on February 28, and the very next day Mars – planet of action, passion and desire – will turn Retrograde, until May 20. Mars Retrograde is the masculine principle on a vision quest, a time to slow down and turn inward, regenerate your vitality, and reconsider what you really want and what you feel passionate about.

I really like how Caroline Casey describes Retrograde planets, with the image of pulling back an arrow in a bow. It may feel like you’re moving backwards and it might look like nothing’s happening, but you’re actually generating momentum, behind the scenes, for your Horse’s future gallop.

– Emily Trinkaus