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Forums Forums Astrology Re-imagining Mercury RX, and How it May Work out for You in Aquarius (Jan 30 – Feb 20)

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    I am not a Mercury retrograde doomsayer. Much of the narrative around this thrice annual retrogradation event is hyperbolic to me. So, much of what I write here will be informed by a cooler sensibility. Which is wonderfully evocative of Mercury’s nature in Aquarius anyway.

    What are the facts?

    Well, in 2021, Mercury will retrograde three times: once in Aquarius, once in Gemini, and once in Libra. A suite of air signs. The retrograde of note in this write up is the Aquarius one. Mercury has begun to slow down in the sky as it stations retrograde. This lead up to the actual event is called a shadow period, and much of what is happening now specific to Mercury in Aquarius topics in *your* chart have already reared and will come up again for resolution when Mercury stations direct and treads back over these same degrees. Mercury will officially retrograde on January 30th at 26 degrees of Aquarius and then station direct on February 20th at 11 degrees of Aquarius. Accounting for shadow periods, the bread on the retrograde sandwich at either side, Mercury technically began annoying us on January 15th and won’t stop until March 13th.

    Folks, this is no insignificant amount of time. When you factor in Mercury shadow, plus the retrograde, plus the fact that Mercury will do this two more times in 2021, it accounts for approximately 20 weeks of the year (or 6ish months) where Mercury things are subject to hiccups. Compound that over a lifetime.

    All that to say, I think it’s time we find a way to function within Mercury retrograde periods with less histrionics. My reimagining of Mercury retrograde is less about avoidance of decision making, and more about *intentional* decision making. When Mercury turns within, we are also invited to turn within. I agree that the outward and functional Mercury retrograde advice is important. These are the things we have all heard and try to heed. Review! Cross your T’s and dot your I’s! Don’t call your ex! These are all great ways to either avoid or abate those damned miscommunications and crossed wires. But—life has to go on. People need to sign leases. People need to interview for jobs. People need to travel. People need to pay bills. Conversations will need to be had. Life won’t stop on Mercury’s dime. Plus, you probably shouldn’t be calling your ex at any point in the 365-day year! And believe you me, technological issues, miscommunications, and typos are equal opportunity culprits, abound even when Mercury is direct.

    So, what is my more soulful take on productively working with this energy? Think of Mercury retrograde as a quieted planet, energy directed inward, the mind tending more to internal landscapes versus external ones. This sets Mercury retrograde up in a much more positive way than the “Mercury is asleep at the wheel” take, by implying that Mercury doesn’t just cease to function or be there, but that it continues to work as powerfully as ever. All that has changed is the arena. Low key, there is an unmanifested brilliance of Mercury turning within that allows us to imagine up some best laid plans that we can put to use later. It allows us to unfurl some of our more hidden thoughts, to ponder, ruminate, and make decisions with a full-body YES or NO, because we have accounted for our intentions, and the energy we bring into life’s forked roads. The big decisions, the triggering emails, the miscommunications will come. But instead of approaching it from an avoidance mindset, or even a fix-it-all mindset, what if there were more curiosity? What is Mercury perhaps inviting you to discover or unpack? What rigid conclusions or narratives or habits need a bit more thought? Mercury is the perennial student after all, seeking the *why* behind it all. Turning a mindset of “why is this happening to me” into “what is this teaching me,” and co-creating in tandem with Mercury instead of in spite of Mercury.

    Mercury turned inward can take what would normally be thinking and enhances it to *critical thinking*.

    For example, a job comes along. A job you wanted! A contract needs to be signed. You look at your apps and realize Mercury is RX. What now? Do you stall? Do you rescind your offer? Do you proceed with unfounded fear because an Allure article told you Mercury RX is a bad time to do anything and that you may actually die if you sign anything, casting shame upon your family for generations to come? Do you pour over the employment agreement like a madman, fixated on the smallest comma, starting what should be a joyous chapter of your life with anxiety? Or…can you take a deep breath, and look at Mercury RX instead as a time to *re*mind yourself of the big *why* of what you’re doing? To become clear about why this job is the one, why you wanted it, why you are well-suited for it? May it also be a time to flex your patience, instead of avoiding miscommunication, becoming a student of miscommunication, letting it leave behind some tools for the next miscommunication that occurs? Maybe you actually do not want the job, you were going through the motions, or you made up your mind that you *should* want it. The fear Mercury RX stoked served as proxy for an intuitive nudge—that this path isn’t for you. The full-body NO.

    Funnily, Mercury rules the lungs, the nervous system. And when Mercury retrogrades (and hell, even when it doesn’t) certain flare ups of situations that produce physical nervousness and constriction can serve as reminders to calm the hell down, to bring Mercury inward with a deep inhale that reorganizes your anxiety into a supple and confident mind. It slows down your thinking to mirror how Mercury has slowed down in the sky. Try it out.

    And before I get off my soap box, I am a technically-minded Astrologer. I care about Mercury’s aspects, its placements, how to elect a time in the sky that is favorable for decision-making. Mercury archetypes do not change. Shit happens. I would also have the knee-jerk reaction of *uh oh* if I see someone planning a cross-country trek during the 3-week period Mercury is retrograde. My intention in writing this (ha) is that we don’t have to stop at that *uh-oh*.

    Here are some short blurbs about how Mercury RX may manifest for you, and the intentionality that may be behind its lessons. Even if things just *suck* full stop, no spiritual insight needed, learning to live with the *suck* and armor your mind for dealing with such things is more appropriate of a lesson than trying to avoid it, and the frenetic energy that contributes to the mismanagement of it.

    Lastly, keep in mind that Mercury in Aquarius is the cool operator, functioning with an intensity of logic, a mind primed more towards dealing with things on a conceptual or abstract level first before bringing it down into workable reality. So, engaging with this time period of potential mishaps from a cool, distant, innovative and objective mind will act as medicine.

    **Aries Rising, 11H:** Gossip, backstabbers, he said-she said, subtweeting. When Mercury retrogrades in this social house, the places where we expand into community of like-minded folks can feel like a subplot of *Mean Girls.* There is something tenuous and stressful about the places where we could once share of ourselves freely, only to have that sharing be misinterpreted or judged. You may change your mind, become aware of group think, dissolve your place in groups whose political or societal leanings no longer support you. Mercury RX here is all about peering past the drama, and letting it inform where your values have fallen out of step with your friends and networks, and to get started on finding the tribe where those values are respected. It can also reveal where our standing in society is, and whether or not the alliances you have relied on are to be brought further on the journey. Where we feel unpopular, or shunned, or like we have one leg to stand on, become opportunities to carve out your true voice, to scream into what looks like the void, until someone screams back.

    **Taurus Rising, 10H:** Your reputation on the world stage feels to be fluctuating. One moment you are managing others and the next your performance is under scrutiny. Where you once felt on top of the world, now you see the world receding from view. Boss and authority figures appear on shaky ground. Your ability to take charge and lead, to co-pilot your own destiny, to work well within professional frameworks becomes subject to random diversions. People who once supported your place on the world stage—clients, bosses, collaborators, family—fall back on their word or cease to show up as readily. This is a time to be intentional about the plans you have for yourself, the progress you have made so far, and if the path you are on will lead to a satisfactory result. Mercury RX here may see you thinking more critically about your public image—where it may be time to step down, turn around, or choose a more stratifying path altogether.

    **Gemini Rising, 9H:** You might not know what you think you know! Mercury RX here is like the professor who, in frustration, throws the papers on her desk out into the room, a confetti of information now spread about, needing to be put back together. This can be a test of professional character, a test of your faith, a test of how to best use your education and specialized skills to advance in life. Like with Cancer below, the sage advice of double and triple checking your itineraries fits literally. But the metaphorical ways we invest in itineraries that we hope will land us at an ideal destination—university, belief systems, professional certifications—also matters. Mercury may frustrate your implied wisdom and belief in self, but like the professor above, intentionally putting back together the reams of information you have earned and want to share makes the message come across with far more agency.

    **Cancer Rising, 8H:** The contract giveth and the contract taketh away. More so than any other Mercury RX transit, the sage old advice to double and triple check what you are getting yourself into matters. Like my example above, let the trepidation it causes also invite you to think a bit more about why you want to align yourself and your assets in an irrevocable way with a person, an entity, a product. Think about the ramifications of that debt obligation, or where you overextend and share yourself with others in equally consequential ways. Get smart about literal payment plans, how they are too rigid and could use some revision. Mercury RX here, like the 4th house, can also introduce us to the deeper recesses of our minds, the things that go bump in the night. It allows a reflective lens that provides profound clarity about your human condition.

    **Leo Rising, 7H:** Hell is other people, huh? The Mercury brand of hell is less hellish, but still equally frustrating in terms of feeling on equal footing with someone else or being able to communicate ourselves into and out of and within relationships with ease. So, when Mercury retrogrades here, we, too, can descend into Hades of our own relationships: spats, disagreements, a clash of beliefs or ideas about the relationship. If you are able to ignore the impulse to tell a certain someone about themselves, as devastating and dashing as your take may be, Mercury RX can teach you wise and steadied conflict resolution, how to come to the table with people of different opinions and break bread, how to reflect before you raise the sword of fighting words. It may also introduce you to a line in the stand, a word that took it too far, opinions that just aren’t simpatico, that allows you to emerge with firmer boundaries.

    **Virgo Rising, 6H:** There can be stall with getting a project done, finding the health advice or products that you need, or being able to commit to or continue a routine. Or those routines could use some dusting off—as could your desk, your refrigerator, your bookshelves.…. Mercury RX here can get to work with you (literally) by identifying the little nits that need ironing out, by organizing your organizational skills. It is a time to take inventory: of your schedules, your health, how you serve the world and yourself. Did you really need that gym membership? Or…would that gym membership help keep you more accountable? It is only through these nagging day-to-day hiccups that we become aware of how much more smoothly our machines could function, and how an intentional purification of the dusty bits serves our happiness in the long run.

    **Libra Rising, 5H:** Those creative yearnings can feel stifled during this time. Projects, pieces, recipes, prose you wish to unveil to the world meet resistance, in the form of an inattentive mind, or an unconfident one. Mercury RX here can be about turning within and having a chat with your inner child, and reconnecting with those thoughts and feelings that make you feel young. In any creative endeavor, becoming intentional about your intended message, the piece of your soul that will involve itself in that message, makes this period fertile for more authentic works. You bring more of yourself out when you allow Mercury to0 discover more of what is being kept within.

    **Scorpio Rising, 4H:** Roommate agreements gone awry, disagreements with your family, stale décor, a confusing line of legalese in your lease or mortgage contracts that stifle the enjoyment of your nest, the leaky faucet. Your living arrangements, your family structures, the foundations that support you require some actual mental fortitude now. Mercury RX here, while literally manifesting within the universe of the above-mentioned issues, can be an invitation to sort out and sort through the ways your house isn’t actually a home. At the bottom of your chart, Mercury RX sees you going deep within, perhaps uncovering gnarlier familial issues, the roots you thought were there to stabilize you but that actually suffocate you. Becoming quiet to discover the disquiet. In this closer felt chaos, you can clean house, and emerge with a more supportive base.

    **Sagittarius Rising, 3H:** Miscommunications in the house of communication, perception, and habitual thought. This is where Mercury RX can appear to wreak the most apparent havoc, but also where its lessons of *pause* provide some sublime neuroplasticity. This energy comes in to silence words that don’t need to be said, thoughts that are stale, learning that needs to be reengaged, lies that masquerade as truth. Maybe even a voracious energy to say what needs to be said. Going within here helps us to silence the chatter from the daily players in our lives, and selectively choose with whom to share ideas, when, and why. Movements in your habitat of choice, in your vessel of choice, may feel encumbered, broken, but invite you to savor the scenic routes, to find progress in what is slow, and reinvent new ways of movement that will open the highways of your life.

    **Capricorn Rising, 2H:** Hiccups in your pocketbook, expenses that come out of nowhere, a need to withdraw more than more than normal. Spending on things not in your best interest, or garden-variety review of things that do or do not bring value. An invitation to become more financially literate, and to move currency in ways that intentionally support your well-being. Using momentary lags in funds to become clearer about their use and worth. Mercury RX here can also have you retooling your apparent worth, your confidence, by introducing you to situations that mirror your lack of self-sufficiency.

    **Aquarius Rising, 1H:** Mishaps that serve to undermine how you communicate your identity. Saying things that make you come across poorly, or that don’t mesh with your authentic self. Having other’s thoughts and perceptions of you be wildly incorrect or misleading. Standing by a controversial idea/belief. Mercury RX for you is about pausing to ask yourself: which ideas about myself are worth the conviction, are worth communicating, and how can I steady myself against naysayers? What opinions do I carry of myself or of my path that I can let go versus hold onto?

    **Pisces Rising, 12H:** Quiet your mind, grasshopper. All the answers are within you. Mercury retrograde is digging deeper into this unconscious sector of your chart, perhaps dredging up private drama, psychic issues and entanglements, but also what is called that small, still voice underneath it all. It feels frustrating that, at this time, the world has no answers to give you. And that the part of yourself that does have the answers is obscured. Be intentional about sitting in literal silence, not judging what comes up, in using metaphysical tools like singing bowls, tarot, meditation, whatever… to find a voice until yours returns. Sometimes, Mercury retrograde here can also grant you the fortitude to carve out necessary isolation for a creative or research project, or otherwise make it easier to turn down the volume of life for a moment.

  • Re-imagining Mercury RX, and How it May Work out for You in Aquarius (Jan 30 – Feb 20)

    TheHobbyWaitress updated 3 years, 3 months ago 1 Member · 4 Replies
  • Deadstarblvd

    February 1, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    As always very eloquent. I have a question however, whenever I read about mercury retrograde I find it hard to decipher the meanings because natally I have Mercury retrograde already. So how would the general retrograde affect someone who already has it retrograde natally ?

  • FireEyesRed

    February 1, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    Very well-written. Thank you for the time and energy you always put into your posts! I personally find them extremely edifying & this one gives me some things to think about. Entering 2nd Sat Return and there’s a strong need for a paradigm shift in several areas. So thanks! Much appreciated! ????

  • chuchule21

    February 1, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks for this post. I discovered that transit mercury is going to station direct exactly conjunct my 11 degree natal (retrograde) mercury on the day of my solar return all in my 1st house (aqua rising). With a lot of activity around my Asc (mercury, Jupiter, then Saturn) in the coming months I’m intrigued to see how it will all play out.

  • TheHobbyWaitress

    February 1, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    Very well written, thank you!

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