Mercury is the planet that signifies our communication, our daily environment and routine. Mercury is the one that keeps us in pace: waking up, dressing according to where we need to go, driving or commuting to work (ruler of Gemini), communicating while at work, and doing our tasks (ruler of Virgo). The pace of daily life is in many regards ruled by Mercury, while the moon rules the pace of the emotional life, and the Sun rules the pace of the personality life.
Mercury is also the planet of information, all those tid bits and packets of knowledge we store, knowingly or unknowingly. The way we talk, listen, write, watch TV, answer E-mails are all under Mercury’s rule. Our way of navigating through the environment we are familiar with can be detected by the personal Mercury in the birth chart (by sign and house).
Every three months for 3 weeks, Mercury turns retrograde, each time in a different sign. When Mercury turns retrograde we are forced out of our auto pilot, and need to concentrate on mundane tasks, we cannot take anything for granted: the bus to work is late, we miss an important E-mail, small routine issues seem to go slowly or different than the usual. This can also operate in a good way, in which we finally master new computer software easily, or figure out a solution to something that is hard for us to understand.
All Mercury in retrograde is asking from us is to wake up and be a bit more alert to our small daily chores that make up our routine. To see where it affects each one personally, it is best to see in the personal chart the house where the current retrograde is placed, and any planets that are affected (by conjunction). You are also welcome to ask the astrologer for more in depth look of your personal Mercury Retrograde. Any real impact will be felt only by those who have planets or angles on the same degree in which the retrograde either begins or ends.
You can continue life as usual, you can sign on contracts, you can start new projects, and you should fix up anything that breaks down during mercury retrograde. The days in which we are more frustrated are the days around the beginning and the end of the retrograde. The rest of the time can be far more creative and interesting than the usual.
For people who are not Virgos or Gemini, these times are good times to tidy up on open issues. For example, I am a Sagittarius, and I tend to leave things open. When Mercury is retrograde, I get those E-mails that force me into closing those open issues. It could be in business, in finance management, a lot of paper work, small inconveniences which need my attention before they turn into major trouble.
The following are points to consider in each retrograde by house and sign:
Mercury retrograde in the Aries / First house: the personal assertion feels stuck or inhibited. You may find yourself angrier than the usual, or the opposite, able to manage your temper better than the usual. You can experience yourself in surprising new ways like buying different cloths than the usual, doing something daring, saying what you really feel, or just having less energy than you are used to.
Mercury retrograde in Taurus / Second house: Financial concern surface (real or imagined), you fell unappreciated, and are forced to take a good look at your spending vs. your earnings. Any open issues with finances surface at this time. You can find hidden talents that you did not know you have.
Mercury retrograde in Gemini / Third house: this retrograde causes many miscommunications with others, forcing you to become clearer in the way you talk and express yourself. Open issues with siblings’ surface, as well as opportunities to travel, to move to a new home, or needing to fix your car once and for all.
Mercury retrograde in Cancer / Fourth house: Family issues and old karma rise and need to be looked at. You may discover something new about your ancestors, or just need to help your parents or your children in their lives. This is a time in which you communication becomes very emotional.
Mercury retrograde in Leo / Fifth house: This is time when old romantic attachment can show up, or you dare to start a new one with someone different than your usual romantic attachments. Creativity is at its best, but very hard to manage or control and put into practical use. You could experience the wish for parenting, or anything regarding parenthood.
Mercury Retrograde in Virgo / Sixth house: your daily routine is affected. You may be sick, or just tired more than the usually. This is a time in which you may be forced to change the way you take care of yourself nutrition, workout and meditations become important all of a sudden. Some people just have hard time at work, forcing them to examine their schedules.
Mercury retrograde in Libra / Seventh house: a time in which we must learn to communicate differently with spouses. Any close relationship will feel a bit stuck, and in demand of a new way of relating especially the way you talk to your loved ones. This is also a time in which any legal matter demands a lot of attention from you.
Mercury retrograde in Scorpio / Eighth house: this is the hardest one to predict. Something deeply personal can come up relating to: sex, abuse of power, debts, or old wounds. This is the time in which the soul speaks to you, and you can tune in easily and listen. This is the time to go within, doing the best we can to forgive ourselves and others. Many go to astrologers at this time.
Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius / Ninth house: This is a time for learning something new, traveling to a different place, or reading new books. Many question their belief system, religious doctrines or philosophies at this time.
Mercury retrograde in Capricorn / Tenth house: A time in which the status you have shakes up a bit. Issues with authority come to the surface to be dealt with (by communicating better). The name you have built for yourself looks differently to you. This could be a time in which your career route seems stuck and in need of re-thinking.
Mercury retrograde in Aquarius / Eleventh house: a time in which issues with friends and associates rise up to be re-addressed. You find that you need to communicate differently with them. You can either join or leave groups and associations at this time. This is a good time to feel into your individuality.
Mercury retrograde in Pieces / Twelfth house: this is a time filled with unrest, sleepless nights with weird dreams. The universe communicates with you, but it is very hard to understand, and even harder to explain this to anyone else. This is a good time for meditations, intuitive perception, and not a good time for any precise, logical project.