Welcome to Part 3 of my 3 series blog issue on this year’s Mercury Retrograde cycles. This blog provides an overview of all 4 retrogrades for 2016, including themes, tips and how to best use these energies. As previously mentioned, this year we will experience 4 vs. the more typical 3 retrogrades. All in all 2016 provides you with many opportunities to learn more about yourself and others so you can continue to personally grow.
Let’s start out with an introduction to Mercury Retrogrades and what they mean. Three or four times a year, Mercury passes the earth in its orbit. As it rounds the bend, Mercury slows down and appears to stop (also known as station) and spin backward (retrograde). Of course it’s really not
moving backward and is simply an optical illusion. In light of this, this time has been traditionally associated with confusions, delay, and frustration.
Many people have misconceptions about Mercury Retrograde and believe that what occurs during these chunks of time are simply a series of miscommunications, technology malfunctions and overall chaos. While often these themes do play out, there are usually many factors contributing to these types of energetic expressions, which may have little to nothing to do with the retrograde itself.
I’d like to focus on the healthier and more beneficial aspects of our Mercury Retrogrades so you can truly take advantage of these unique energies orchestrated by our lovely cosmos. These pockets of time involve Mercury slowing down and revisiting the degrees of the particular sign it’s in to provide an opportunity for you to learn more on a deeper level. It’s a wonderful opportunity, not only for a redo, but a way to enhance and deepen your learning in particular areas.
Mercury is the planet associated with communications, finding your voice, your mind, ability to learn, perceptions and how we filter these into our understanding. It’s a fast moving planet, highly flexible and one of the mutual signs in astrology. When Mercury makes itself present in the cosmos, you are provided with a unique opportunity to revisit your perceptions about the world, find your voice and integrate personal enhancements in order to create a better world for yourself.
A very important aspect of the Mercury Retrograde is where it occurs, specifically which sign it slows down in during its orbit. As they say, it’s all about location, location, location! In this case we’re talking about planets, their respective signs and what that energetically means. Each year Mercury spends time in planetary locations during its retrograde experience and in 2016 it’s all about the Earth signs! Fellow Earth peeps, think of this as a project where you can score extra points for doing a little extra homework! This includes those with Earth signs in their Sun, Ascending/Rising, and Moon signs as well as Earth representation in other significant areas of your personal Natal Birth chart.
Now let’s get into the specifics of each retrograde, including dates, planets and degrees.
Retrograde #1: January 5-25, 2016 Signs: Aquarius & Capricorn
Mercury turns retrograde in Aquarius (1o 3") on January 5 at 1:05pm Greenwich or Universal Time/8:05am Eastern Time. Mercury turns direct in Capricorn (14o 55") on January 25 at 9:50pm Universal Time/ 4:50pm Eastern Time.
Now that you have some specifics let’s take a closer look at the focus and themes and how you can take advantage of this time and make it work for you. It’s important to note that the retrograde starts in Aquarius, ruled by Uranus, which is about revolution and innovation. Are there areas you can identify where innovation can be introduced, embraced or infused in new ways? During the beginning part of this phase, take some time to think about where you need a new vision and change. This could be in any area of your life, but there’s a strong likelihood it will show up with your job, career or life purpose. This matches up nicely with the New Year energy where many people move into deeper internal reflection and contemplate what they’re doing, why they're here, and where they’re headed.
Then Mercury travels to Capricorn which is ruled by Saturn, the sign of the great organizer, task master, and getting things done. Saturn themes involve achievement and taking the necessary steps, one at a time, to get there. It also puts the spotlight on honoring any necessary sacrifices along your path in order to accomplish your goals. In addition, this sign embodies focus, patience and perseverance which are large planetary influences of Saturn. Many of you may feel a strong pull to clean and declutter your space during this time. The New Year is often associated with fresh new energy to support new beginnings and so cleansing is a great investment of your energy in order to make room for the new. And the new is definitely above to arrive!
While combining the different energies of Uranus and Saturn during this time, you'll be given an opportunity to revisit your work and dig deeper to find ways to be more innovative. Perhaps you're a business owner and now want to take your work to the next level. Maybe you've decided to work towards a promotion and move from an individual contributor to a leadership role. Or you could be considering starting a new side business that reflects one of your passions. Whatever the goal may be, take some time to determine ways to add some spice and your own personal uniqueness, determine what needs to be done to get there and be ready to launch your new plan once the retrograde completes its cycle. Make sure whatever you’re tweaking or starting infuses your own unique, one-of-a-kind, style. Each of us is an original, so find your voice and personal expression and don’t hold back from expressing who you truly are!
Retrograde #2: April 28-May 22, 2016 Signs: Taurus
Mercury turns retrograde in Taurus (23o 36") on April 28 at 5:20pm Universal Time/ 1:20pm Eastern Daylight Time. Mercury turns direct in Taurus (14o 20 minutes of arc) on May 22 at 1:20pm Universal Time/9:20am Eastern Daylight Time.
Now that you have some specifics let’s take a closer look at the focus and themes and how you can take advantage of this time and make it work for you. Taurus is ruled by Venus the Goddess of Love and she loves beauty, comfort, indulging all the senses and love. Taurus focuses on your financial situation and resources, your environment, and enjoying physical pleasures and material goods. Think of indulging in fine cuisine, collecting beautiful art work, and creating a stylish home with only the best modern luxuries.
During this time take a closer look at your financial matters and resources and what it takes to bring in more abundance. Dig deeper to understand what your available resources are, how you feel about yourself, and how you create life from an earth based way. With Venus as its ruler, an important aspect for this sign is its environment and maintaining one that offers security, comfort and is aesthetically pleasing. Take a look at your personal environments and see if they offer comfort, safety, and beauty that appeals to you. Are you enjoying the kind of luxuries in life that help bring that beauty into your environment? Take the time to determine where there may be opportunities to enrich your environment and make it more luxurious to your personal tastes and needs.
Earth signs are deeply connected to the earth and the physical world and during this time issues with your overall health are illuminated. It’s important to review your physical body and health and ensure your health is in a good state. Many of you will focus on your body, diet, and other health-related areas to identify areas for improvement. Take this time to explore these areas and determine where you need to make changes and bring better balance to yourself. Any changes you make during the retrograde phase can be incorporated into your lifestyle once the retrograde period ends. This time presents an opportunity for you to feel physically stronger with a new sense of vitality and to shift your flow of abundance in positive ways to allow enhancements in the areas that personally matter to you.
Retrograde #3: August 30-September 22, 2016 Signs: Virgo
Mercury turns retrograde in Virgo (29o 05") on August 30 at 1:04pm Universal Time/9:04am Eastern Daylight Time. Mercury turns direct in Virgo (14o 49") on September 22 at 5:30am Greenwich or Universal Time/1:30am Eastern Daylight Time.
Now that you have some specifics let’s take a closer look at the focus and themes and how you can take advantage of this time and make it work for you. Virgo is ruled by Mercury (same as Gemini) and much of its energy brings a focus on providing service to others, health and well-being and details. Virgo is about purity and this includes with thought, word and deed. This energy is very loving and compassionate and enjoys helping others for unselfish reasons.
This period of time spotlights areas of service and our personal sense of wellbeing. How can we be of service to others to enhance our personal well-being? It’s a time to look at ways we can contribute to things beyond us. Examples may include volunteer opportunities, community outreach and other areas we can participate in to help others, create a spirit of teamwork and connection and also bring more light to our overall health and vitality.
The theme of personal health continues from the Taurus retrograde so this deepens for individuals during this time. What other opportunities are available here for you? It may be a good time to revisit the changes you made with the last retrograde and see where you can further change your health on a holistic level. Many of you will be considering things like detoxing, cleansing, physical check-ups, and other general health check-ins to continue to improve your overall quality of life.
During this time, pay extra close attention to details with things such as contracts, emails, and essentially all communications. Double or triple check everything and make you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s. If you do have to sign a contract, go over it with a fine tooth comb to ensure you don’t miss any important details. This time offers you a wonderful opportunity to reach into your heart and identify ways to help others so you can enrich the lives of others which ultimately benefits you and those in your energetic circles. It’s also a wonderful time to further enhance your health and prevent extra stress by double checking your work before approving. Enjoy this opportunity to connect on a deeper level with your inner healer and humanitarian energies.
Retrograde #4: December 19, 2016-January 8, 2017 Signs: Sagittarius, Capricorn
Mercury turns retrograde in Capricorn (15o 08") on December 19 at 10:56am Universal Time/5:56am Eastern Time. Mercury turns direct in Sagittarius (28o 51") on January 8, 2017 at 9:43am Greenwich or Universal Time/4:43am Eastern Time.
Now that you have some specifics let’s take a closer look at the focus and themes and how you can take advantage of this time and make it work for you. The final retrograde in 2016 begins in Capricorn (Saturn) and ends in Sagittarius (Jupiter). This retrograde includes two very different cosmic energetic influences and with Sag on the scene, it’s bound to shake things up!
We talked a lot about the energies of Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, in Retrograde #1. To recap, this energy is about getting clear, applying yourself and making step by step decisions and getting things done. What a great energy to come in at the end of the year to revisit and execute change for the New Year! Sagittarius is a fire sign ruled by Jupiter, the planet of expansion. Sag is about fire, action and moving beyond the comfort zone.
The combination of these energies gives you the unique opportunity to implement a sense of expansion and growth coupled with the action steps. What a powerful combination if you choose to use it correctly! This becomes an important time to ask yourself some deep questions about your level of happiness. Where can you make changes? How can you move toward higher goals? Where can you shift and make changes in order to bring meaning to your life. 2016 is a year of more deeply uncovering your purpose and meaning in life and this unveiling will be happening all year long. Many of you are discovering the reason you are here and what you are meant to do and this will allow you to step into a more authentic expression of self.
The Sagittarius energies also inspire you to look at where can you learn and educate yourself more in order to promote more expansion. How can you get to the truth behind who you are and the overall meaning of life? Jupiter illuminates expansion so carefully consider what you’d like to expand in your life during this time as Jupiter will then deliver on your request. Do you want to expand your life purpose, spiritual journey, family and other relationships, knowledge of the world through travel and studies or other areas that you connect with? These questions are likely to come in for review during this time.
Also, during the Sagittarius portion of the retrograde, note that this is not an ideal time to travel, so reschedule or expect delays, lines, and lost directions. If you can, use this time to take care of all things local. And above all else, practice patience and a sense of humor, with the latter being an easy thing to embrace with the Sagittarian energy! Enjoy this powerful time to get clear with where you’re heading and to allow expansion in those areas.
Enjoy the many gifts and blessings found within this year’s Mercury Retrograde. I hope you use these unique energies from the cosmos to regroup, reflect and re execute what your heart truly desires and live more in alignment with your authentic self.
Much love to each of you!