Mercury stations retrograde at 1 degrees Aquarius on January 5 at 8:06 AM Eastern time and will remain retrograde through January 25th.
This first Mercury retrograde of the year takes us deep into the depths of the underworld of our own minds. We will see what is inside us reflected in our immediate environments over the course of the retrograde. Our charge is to be honest with others and with ourselves, to be willing to have the courage to face challenges head on, and to actually allow for the transformation that wants to come through, because it is happening and only resistance would slow it down or block it.
Once Mercury stations it will backtrack into the final degrees of Capricorn, making its way back to where it entered the retrograde zone at 14 degrees 55 minutes of Capricorn, conjunct Pluto.
The overarching theme of this Mercury retrograde are the three aspect signatures: Mercury in Capricorn square Mars in Scorpio, Mercury trine Jupiter conjunct the North Node in Virgo, and Mercury conjunct Pluto in Capricorn.
This is a super-powered Mercury retrograde. Mercury and Mars were in a square aspect to each other from around Christmas day, and that aspect pattern breaks only after Mercury is a few days into (apparent) retrograde motion, while Mars is moves ahead, deeper into Scorpio.
Scorpio is one of the signs that is particularly prone to projection, because it is associated with the areas of life that are generally not raised in polite company: sex, money, death, karmic legacies, apparent and uncomfortable power dynamics, energetic vampirism, unbridled neediness, seeing and knowing more than is comfortable, an urge to control or dominate, vengeance and vindication, and other notions along this vein. It’s much easier to observe these qualities in someone else than it is to observe them in ourselves. If these qualities are identified as being projected, it doesn’t mean that those qualities don’t exist in the other person. But noticing a particularly charged reaction to another person might indicate a place where something energetically similar in us overlaps with what is being responded to in the other. As Mercury in Aquarius stations square Mars, this might come in the form of a communication or conversation, or encountering something in a learning environment, a classroom environment, or social setting.
Mercury begins the retrograde in Aquarius and goes back into Capricorn. What was cognized while Mercury was in Aquarius can then be executed with a high level of effectiveness and efficiency. Mercury in Capricorn is about the real world material results from what begins as an understanding when Mercury in Aquarius.
This exchange between Mercury and Mars speaks of a mind on fire. The areas of life that Mercury rules become energized, vivified, very active and very cerebral. Not only that, but because Mars speeds things up, while this aspect is in effect we have the ability to think faster, process faster, drive faster, and accomplish more more quickly and with greater focus.
As usual when Mercury goes retrograde, the order is to re-think, re-do, re-write, and re-visit. The sign Mercury transits gives information about the area of redoing. As Mercury transits earth sign Capricorn our minds turn to re-considering the Capricornian ideas of legacy, status, finances earned, promotions, reputation, the work it takes to achieve a goal, the quality of our work, the quality of our possessions and so on. And since Capricorn’s ruler Saturn is in Sagittarius, these themes are strongly colored with not only an idea of expansiveness but also ethical, moral, or philosophical considerations. For example, what does it mean to ethically conduct a business? What does it mean live a philosophical or spiritual belief in every day life? What does it look like to publicly conduct oneself according to guiding set of principles?
This is another reason the new year begins in earnest at the January new moon on the 9th. Even though Mercury will still be retrograde until January 25th, we can still sow new seeds at that time. If you do choose to sow new seeds to grow with that new moon, among other qualities they will have the quality of a different way of thinking. This difference in thinking is an especially unusual and particularly introspective way of looking at the material concerns of the world.
In one understanding, this Mercury retrograde is sandwiched between two Mercury-Pluto conjunctions. In addition to that, Mars is transiting one financial signs of the zodiac, Scorpio. That means we begin with a deep question about power and the material world. We might ask, how do we associate power and money. How do we think about money and the public use of it. What is a different way of conceiving of wealth and scarcity. What comes up from the inner depths of ourselves and becomes amplified when we really begin to live these questions, not just cognize about them.
In a conversation with Rebecca Solnit, the anarchist and author David Graeber cites an interesting cultural view about the idea of exchange, which is a large part of the message of Scorpio. He says:
“An anthropologist who studied people in central Nigeria showed us how we were completely clueless. She doesn’t really speak the language and she gets a house, and immediately women start showing up from the neighborhood and dropping off little baskets of stuff: somebody bringing some okra, somebody bringing some fish. And she doesn’t know what to do so she takes out her little notebook and eventually somebody takes pity on her and starts explaining how things work. The person says, “Well, you know, you give something back to these people. But the key is you have to figure out exactly what it’s worth, and then give them either something slightly more valuable, or slightly less valuable. So if it’s worth twelve shillings, you give them something worth eleven or thirteen, never give twelve. Because if you give twelve, that’s like saying, ‘go to hell, I don’t ever have to see you again.’” So everyone has to be a little bit beholden.”
Finally, Mercury makes three aspects to the growing-ever-closer Jupiter North Node conjunction in Virgo. This aspect is about many ideas coming in quickly and being broadcast quickly, meaning if you have a message and you want to get it from the tributary to the main river flow, this is your aspect. This aspect is made especially potent when we consider the Virgo tenet of doing work for the sake of the work, and showing up predictably on a routine basis, even when it feels or appears that things are sub-standard, difficult, or moving too slowly. Virgo knows that by routinely sifting through dross does the golden wheat become revealed.
This can be a very deep and very productive start to the year, and perhaps not without its challenges. Though it looks like we might be both optimistic and equipped to do what is being asked of us by forces greater than we know, within and without us.
Have a great Mercury Retrograde! Remember to think thrice, slowly and with intention.
There are 7/10 Year Ahead Forecasts remaining for the January Special. These are detailed personal forecasts for the year with fun and useful additional goodies. Check them out at the link below.
image from Pintrest