Maybe I’m more aware of Mercury retrogrades because the trickster planet rules my sign, Gemini, and that of Virgo, the sign of my daughter and some goods friends. It does this little retro routine three times a year, and typically, the areas that Mercury rules go haywire during the three weeks it’s misbehaving.
Which areas? Communication. Contracts. Travel. Your conscious mind, your capacity to learn, relationships with siblings, neighbors, friends. My rule of thumb for these three-week periods is simple: revise, review, reconsider. That means it’s a bad idea to submit manuscripts or book your next trip or sign a contract during a Merc retro. Don’t buy a car or electronics, either.
Christmas shopping? Well, the retro starts in Sagittarius at 11:34 pm Pacific time on December 2 and at 2:34 am ET on December 3. It ends on December 22. I hope you did your shopping before the 3rd, but if not, head out on the 23rd. That date is still cutting it pretty close because Mercury takes a few days to stabilize after a retro. Then again, you have to live your life regardless of what the stars are doing!
On December 3, Mercury turns retro in fire sign Sagittarius. So if you don’t have a copy of your natal chart – get one here and look at where Sagittarius is in your chart. It’s represented by an arrow. Café Astrology is a treasure trove of info and here’s their explanation about what the houses mean.
That house is where the retro will impact you personally. But on a broader scale, it impacts all of us regardless of where it falls in our natal charts because it’s the planet of communication, something we do daily in this 24/7 connected world. Cell phones act up, computers often crash, our internet goes down, we have a power blackout. Irritating stuff that tends to slow us down. And maybe that’s really the point. During a Merc retro, you shouldn’t rush or push against anything. Just chill, try to go with the flow. Double check appointments you have scheduled.
Not everything about Merc retro periods is challenging. Sometimes, old lovers and friends show up. Relationships with friends and siblings can be mended because the past is rehashed in a way everyone understands. If your flight is delayed, cancelled, or overbooked, you may end up with a flight voucher worth many times the cost of your original ticket. Some of what happens depends on your intentions, desires, goals.
My astro mentor, Renie Wiley, used to say that the place you traveled to during a Mercury retro was a place to which you would return within a year. I’ve seen this proven out time and again in terms of physical travel. But it may also be true in terms of emotional travel. If you and your partner have issues you’re working on, those issues may become more in your face during a Merc retro. If you receive a health diagnosis during a Merc retro, get a second and third opinion. The same thing goes for insurance claims.
You’ve probably already had some hints about events during this Merc retro. I found that some emails were never received, that I had questions about a contract, that appliances needed repairing – our fridge, the pool vacuum cleaner, our AC.
And, full disclosure here, I still haven’t finished my holiday shopping and will probably end up in that long return line on December 26!