Initially in Aries, Mercury retrograde connects us to Mars, who also happens to be retrograde--so it's as if Mercury is taking all that stuff we've been strengthening and building up (over the past month or so), and mentalizes it--reconsiders it, revises, reworks it, thinks it over--makes more sense out of it intellectually--like writing it out or sharing ideas with others. This is very valuable time to really connect with impulses, desires, and most of all--addictive habits and behaviors. Mars retrograde is notorious for bringing up these issues within us, and now with Mercury retrograde, we can reflect much more deeply on what's come up over the past month or so. Pay attention to what drives you, and see if you can reflect on the root of those motivations, whatever they may be. Where do they stem from? Do they seemingly control your actions and behavior?
Mars retrograde is a bit easier on us, in the sense that it tends to be much more obvious in what it's doing--we can see those events unfolding for a mile away if we payed much attention. Mercury retrograde, however, enjoys carrying around that metaphoric wrench, and you never know where he'll throw it (usually at your head, when your back is turned). Used productively, we can take this time to go back over things, to be more precise, more thorough--making sure everything is in line. Whatever breaks down now, falls apart, etc......is simply revealing to us the flaws which we have ignored for too long, and it's the natural time to address these things. Naturally, Mercury retrograde tends to bring up all kinds of mechanical breakdowns, technical failures, setbacks, and minor annoyances. These things tend to escalate the more we fight against the flow. But sometimes, it's just the natural time for check-ups and tune-ups of all kinds, and Mercury just likes to help out by bringing it all to our attention ;-) The best advice--surrender, seriously. You will find that by just kicking back, throwing up your hands, and saying....OK universe, show me--all will be well--for the most part.
All these mixed and coalescing energies can feel confusing, it is likely that one part of us wants to push forward so badly--and yet another part doesn't know where the hell it's going. This occurs right in the midst of the Spring Equinox, which is usually this ideal time for new beginnings. Well it is, really, there is a lot of new energy cropping up here--but if you look carefully, it is really a new beginning with the past. All these symbols point to a process which is occurring collectively and individually, that is bringing a new beginning to past constructs. Many flashbacks, people, situations, memories--from this life or another, are likely to really crop up consistently in the first half of the year, begging for our attention. Logically then, we can conclude that this is a time for closing and completing cycles, chapters, relations, karma, connections, ties--it is a time to process, integrate, and move on into the new beginning just around the corner.
Mercury will conjoin Uranus during its retrograde, which will peak on March 18th. Hold on tight for this one, you don't get an electrifying omen like that everyday. This cycle has the potential to be a shocker, which could be quite stimulating--this is a time to seriously keep an open mind--because if anything, Uranus hates solidification on any matter. Let loose, open up, and ultimately--let go of your preconceived notions. This is an excellent time for breaking out of the mold, experimenting, trying things out, and seeing what new perspectives they offer you. There is such opportunity this cycle to really free yourself, really connect to yourself authentically, and learn to love and embrace who you really are. On the practical end, it might be wise to clear your computer up a bit--get that anti-virus software you've been thinking about, run your Spy Bot Search and Destroy, or back up those files your intuition keeps bugging you about--consider enhancing your technological boundaries. I'm not saying there will be surge of hackers coming at everyone, but I definitely get the feel that such issues will likely arise, or at least in metaphor.
This could also manifest as a sudden identity crisis--or we may find ourselves sorting out the details of our self image, and all the fragments that make up our identity. Perhaps needing to break out of the mold of how others have perceived us, and creating a whole new image. Perhaps reconsidering our impact on others, and how to uniquely define ourselves, our internal drives, and passions. Going deep into our inner workings to really see ourselves as fragments of all creation, and the responsibility we share. With the conjunction with Uranus, this will likely allow us to reconsider our connection to technology, such as technological devices, systems, etc. Perhaps we get more involved with it--or conversely, realize that too much techno saturation is keeping us from what we really need to be doing, and feel the need to withdraw and find out who we are. Most of all, it feels, that the most complications and turmoil we experience this cycle will likely stem directly from our own actions, and hubris. It would be wise to think before you speak, or before commencing with anything you are aggressively pushing or pursuing.....really reflect deeply on things before acting.
Above all, let go of who or what you think you are, and let the universe show you some alternatives. Some may feel very weak, drained, and unmotivated at this time--and if so, it's likely you've been striving and pushing for a bit too long, and it's time for a break. On the other end, this particular cycle, with the inclusion of Mars retrograde, could kick some into high gear, feeling more motivated and ready for action after a period of stagnation or rest. Whichever end of the spectrum you're on, don't fight or second guess yourself, go with your intuition, and let it all guide you.
Mercury retrogrades into Pisces on March 23rd, switching its rulership over to Neptune--whom we are quite well acquainted with this lunation. As Mercury dips into nebulous Pisces for the remainder of the retrograde, there may be another influx of spaciness, confusion, mystery, paranoia, or uncertainty. Conversely, this process could allow for enhanced intuition, psychic receptivity, miraculous synchronicities, and an ability to "see behind the veil" a bit more deeply. Again, with the remainder of the retrograde process, it would be wise to heed Neptune's greatest-lesson.........surrender! If things become unclear, foggy, or if everything appears intangible--just disengage from trying to figure it out and let the universe show you--paying attention to everything around, allow yourself to see the inter connectivity in all creation and how each event is apart of grand and intelligent unfolding of consciousness.
There are several significant dates during Mercury's retrograde cycle as follows....
February 26- Mercury enters shadow--Circumstances and events which transpire in the initial shadow, will give us clues as to what we will be revising, reconsidering, revamping, renovating, etc during the rest of the retrograde process.
March 12- Mercury goes retrograde @ 06 degrees Aries 49'
March 18- Mercury conjunct Uranus--This is an electrifying archetypal configuration. On one end, prepare for Mercury's trickery to hone in on techno gadgetry--and on the other, opportunities to radically alter perceptions, through sudden insights, breakthroughs, or discoveries which could greatly affect one's worldview,their place in the world, or how they impact the larger world. Pay attention to sudden revelations about yourself, such as self presentation, image, projection, etc....and look for ways to radically alter or change how you initiate action, or present yourself to others.
March 21- Mercury conjunct Sun--Mercury meets the Sun near the Aries point, which is the Spring Equinox epicenter. Events which stimulate this point have wide reaching effects which can impact the whole world--pay attention to Mercury's influence to be coated in collective events in the days surrounding this date. As Mercury moves into Pisces, this suggests many of these events will not be what they appear to be--look for the truth behind appearances.
March 23- Mercury Retrogrades into Pisces--Mercury's archetype shifts backwards into the sometimes placid, and sometimes magnificently miraculous waters of mystery. This phase of the cycle will focus more heavily on getting behind the truth of things, uncovering hidden secrets, knowledge, and information lying dormant in our lives and psyches.
March 29- Mercury sextile Venus--For the most part, a mild combination--perhaps allowing for a time to revise financial or relationship issues.
April 4- Mercury goes direct at @ 23 Pisces 51'
April 16- Mercury re-enters Aries- If you've felt stagnate, drained, blocked, fatigued, inhibited, during the coalescing of Mars and Mercury retrograde, then this will mark a period where energy will likely return collectively, circumstances will begin flowing back to normal and more in the favor of aggressive action and forward movement. Mars goes direct two days prior, on April 14th.
April 23- Mercury leaves shadow--This is, for the most, the completion of the cycle, and situations and events which occurred from April 4th to this point represent the finishing up phase, where we are tying up loose ends and putting things in place.
Ultimately, this Mercury retrograde cycle allows us to turn more inwardly, to reflect upon ourselves and our abilities. We may discover insights which allow us to see how truly capable, and how powerful we really are. True strength comes from within, from the preservation of our inner reserves, talents, and capacities. "Doing, doing, doing" isn't always productive, sometimes it has us going in circles without really going anywhere. Trust that you can actually move forward, you can actually grow and evolve by sometimes not doing too much at all--going within, deeply reflecting, allowing the universe to reflect back its timeless beauty, it's endless wonder and mystique. There are many paths toward growth, success, and achievement, and not all of them conform to our society's pre-made image. Trust that you can lead your life, by sometimes letting the universe take the reins. Conversely, if you feel impelled toward action, be mindful of doing things carefully, piece by piece, step by step. This is a good time to be methodical, and allow yourself the time to hone in on what you want to achieve. This is a highly useful time for preparation, so relax, and then make use of it.
Additional Mercury Retrograde Tips
--Practice impeccability, be very clear and sincere when communicating with others--you may need to go over or repeat things more than once to make sure there isn't any confusion.
--Double check all transactions and dealings, especially when it comes to money, and especially if the process is electronic. Don't just trust that things will work out or function as usual, it doesn't hurt to pay extra attention.
--Go over things in your mind that you know need to be fixed, adjusted, or serviced--cars, computers, appliances, etc....before and during the retrograde. Mainly anything that you consider to be important for things to function more smoothly, or could be costly if broken down.
--Avoid making serious or major agreements, such as signing contracts, or making big business dealings. Take this time to reconsider other options before jumping into action right away.
--Keep an open mind when dealing with others, especially when it comes to opinions or advice--there may be much to learn that you didn't know or understand before. Practice humility and receptivity.
--Be patient, just know that things are not going to flow or move as they usually do--so practicing patience by remaining calm if things "go wrong" can reduce a lot of unnecessary stress, anxiety, or confusion.
--If you find yourself coming up against resistance in attempting to make something happen, try backing off, and allowing things to work out on their own.
--Focus mainly on the "Re" prefix--any activity which incorporates doing something over or making adjustments--all such activities are highly favored and will be successful: Revising, reworking, reassessing, revamping, reconfiguring, resettling, reverting, refurbishing, reapplying, reassembling, reassociating, reattaining, refocusing, remembering, regrouping, reclaiming, repairing, reducing, replacing, reconnecting, rekindling, etc......
--Keep a sense of humor, and approach things from a playful mentality--this is the natural time to experiment without much attachment to the outcome. Allow yourself to be guided more now, you will be surprised with where things lead you and how they end up.