You may well be familiar with the term ‘Mercury retrograde’ as there has been an increase in articles about this over the past years. This is understandable in today’s world where global connectedness through communication of some kind is one of the driving forces behind our daily existence. Even so, it was a great and pleasant surprise to hear that this phenomenon (which happens approximately 3 times a year) received a front page article in the New York Times on the 9th January 2015 (here is a link from Astrolabe “Retrograde Beliefs,” ). What an acknowledgment of astrology! Mercury goes retrograde in motion on the 21st January for 21 days. It signifies all matters of communication, information, the mind, learning, reason, traveling, buying and selling and more. So, what does this all mean?
Let’s recap. When we say that a planet’s motion is retrograde, it is a perceived backward movement in the sky. It is similar to when a faster train passes a slower whilst traveling in the same direction. The passengers in the faster train perceive the slower train to be moving backwards at a point in time. All the planets (other than the two luminaries Sun and Moon) turn retrograde at various times. Thus, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter (currently retrograde and will go direct again on the 8th April 2015), Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto also have retrograde periods.
During retrogradation the normal expression of a planet is disrupted. The qualities that the planet represents are discontinuous, delayed and prone to sudden changes. Mercury turns retrograde on 21st January (see dates below). So by example matters of information, communication (learning, speaking, reasoning, computers, messages, decisions and contracts/deals) and even travel may be prone to delays and changes during time. It is a time to re-think or re-consider matters. Often people change their minds on decisions made just prior to the Mercury retrograde period. In order to use this energy productively and in line with its expression one could revisit old territory, finish uncompleted projects, pause and reflect on matters and also turn your attention and reflection inwards and read the fine print on any contracts or paperwork. It is also said that during this period it is easier to get out of old ruts as Mercurial matters are stimulated and enables us to look at life from a new viewpoint. Depending on your own chart, the degrees and area of life where the planet goes retrograde and forward again will be highlighted and become particularly sensitive to Mercurial matters.
For your reference here are the 2015 Mercury retrograde dates:
21 January (at 17° Aquarius) and goes direct in motion 11 February (at 1° Aquarius)
19 May (13° Gemini) and goes direct in motion 11 June (at 4° Gemini), and
17 September (at 15° Libra) and goes direct again 9 October (at 1° Libra)