Mercury stations retrograde on October 31st (Halloween! – Samhain in the Pagan Wheel of the Year), 3.41pm GMT at 27 degrees 38 Scorpio. Mercury appears to stop, before gliding backwards through the zodiac to 11 degrees 35 Scorpio, where Mercury will station direct on November 20th, 7.12pm GMT.
As Mercury journeys back and forth through dark, mysterious Scorpio we may find ourselves engaged with deep, intense, complex matters and issues – Survival, ancestors, relationships, secrets, joint resources, debts, inheritances – perhaps, along the way discovering emotional depths and fears we were unaware of.
Mercury stations retrograde conjunct Venus, at the same moment as the Moon is conjunct Jupiter. This suggests Mercury rerograde although in intricate Scorpio, will encourage thoughts and ideas towards being harmonious and optimistic. Help us realise, allow us to decipher something important about ourselves, bringing the potential to release, let go or sacrifice whatever is necessary, opening an opportunity for transformation and healing.
The Mercury Retrograde Cycle
The retrograde phase of Mercury is just one part of the complete cycle Mercury retrograde cycle. The entire cycle encompasses Mercury travelling the same degrees of the zodiac three times. Firstly in direct motion – known as the pre-shadow phase, then in retrograde motion, before again travelling them in direct motion – known as the post-shadow phase.
Mercury retrograde typically happens 3 or 4 times a year, it’s a routine part of Mercury’s cycle. Mercury retrograde is associated with communication, travel and technology errors, confusion, disruptions and breakdowns – the trickster aspect of Mercury at work! At the crux of this is that Mercury is mind – our thoughts, our memories, our logic, how we reason, learn, analyse, process and share information.
Mercury retrograde interrupts and alters the flow of energy inwards. Encountering outer disruptions is a way of jolting us out of drifting along oblivious, failing to recognise something beneficial to us. Mercury retrograde is a process that encourages and motivates us towards an internal, private sifting and assesment of our behaviour and actions – which can be powerfully rewarding and even healing.
A more detailed, in depth, post I wrote about Mercury retrograde is here – Mercury Retrograde ~ Wisdom from The Messenger and Trickster
Mercury Retrograde Cycle ~ Dates – October/November 2019
Pre-shadow phase – Mercury enters the retrograde zone – October 11th, 11.49pm BST at 11 degrees 35 Scorpio.
Retrograde phase – Mercury stations retrograde – October 31st, 15.41 GMT, at 27 degrees 38 Scorpio.
Mercury’s Inferior Conjunction with the Sun – Mercury Cazimi – November 11th, 15.21 GMT, at 18 degrees 55 Scorpio.
Post-shadow phase – Mercury stations direct – November 20th, 19.12 GMT, at 11 degrees 35 Scorpio. Mercury leaves the retrograde zone on December 7th at 27 degrees 38 Scorpio.
Mercury Retrograde ~ Aspects
Every Mercury retrograde is variable in effect and feel, the sign/s involved, and the aspects formed indicate the style and flow of the energy. On a personal level, if Mercury retrograde is occuring on, or very near a natal planet or point, the energy and impact will be more intense.
This Mercury retrograde takes place in fixed water sign Scorpio, traditionally ruled by Mars, and now additionally Pluto. Mercury retrograde can feel like a journey through the underworld, and in Scorpio, realm of Pluto, lord of the underworld, this may be enhanced.
Mercury retrograde – when the present converges with the past, enables us (intuitively – especially in Scorpio) to connect with things we may have missed, or failed to notice before, prompting us to re-think and even re-do something. Mercury retrograde in Scorpio is likely to encourage delving deep, a need to uncover and reveal everything, possibly motivating a desire to research, and gather information.
Pre-shadow phase – During the pre-shadow phase, Mercury’s initial passage of the retrograde zone is likely to offer an idea of the themes on the horizon for the retrograde phase.
Mercury enters the retrograde zone on October 11th, conjunct Venus, sextile Saturn and trine Neptune. Mercury and Venus travel through Scorpio together, their exact conjunction is on October 30th, just before Mercury stations retrograde.
Venus is goddess of love, she describes what we want and desire, but before the Greeks and the Romans, to the Babylonians she was Ishtar – who was also a warrior goddess. In Babylonian myth, Ishtar descended into the underworld after the death of her lover Tammuz to seek his soul. On her descent to the underworld, Ishtar was gradually stripped of all her regalia, until she was left naked and hung on a meat hook, to die. Eventually because of the will of the gods, Ishtar is rescued and returns transformed, her journey through the darkness generating inner wisdom.
Themes around relationships and finances are likely, getting to the true reality of issues, to possibly resolve and heal them. Scorpio is concerned with emotional values – Intimacy, aware that ultimately only the spiritual is permanent, the material can be lost or taken away. The wisdom that emotional honesty, trust and loyalty are more valuable than material glitter.
The conjuction to Venus, combined with the trine to Neptune, suggests creative ideas and expression may also be inspired and flowing.
Mercury trine Neptune, with Saturn sextile both, forms a Minor Grand Trine. This is a favourable aspect pattern. The planet that is sextile the other two (in this case – Saturn), aids and assists the flowing energy of the trine by highlighting opportunities that bring about, and materialise, creative expression of the trine.
Of Note – Mercury sextile Saturn/trine Neptune are repeating aspects
Mercury (direct) sextile Saturn – October 14th
Mercury (direct) trine Neptune – October 15th
Mercury (RX) sextile Saturn/trine Neptune – November 13th
Mercury (direct) trine Neptune – November 28th
Mercury (direct) sextile Saturn – November 30th
The third and final, exact sextile between Saturn and Neptune occurs on November 9th. Saturn sextile Neptune, in aspect throughout 2019, has been infusing Saturn’s influence, some guiding and shaping, into the scenarios concocted and envisioned by the other aspect colouring 2019 – Jupiter square Neptune.
It is possible that Mercury retrograde, by urging us to review, re-think and re-do, is connecting us to practical, realistic ways (Saturn) to make ideas and dreams possible, bring the truth, reality to light, and emphasise compassion for others and ourselves (Neptune).
Retrograde phase – Mercury begins his retrograde phase on October 31st, commencing an inner review and/or an outer reveal of the consequences that may arise from overlooking details or making wrong assumptions.
There is a New Moon in Scorpio at 4 degrees 25′ on October 28th, 3 days before Mercury stations retrograde. The New Moon is opposite Uranus, and sure to stir things up in unpredictable ways.
Just before Mercury Rx, Mars the traditional ruler of Scorpio will square Saturn on October 27th – our own or others actions may be slowed down or blocked, possibly bringing feelings of frustration or fatigue to the surface. On November 5th Mars will square Pluto the modern ruler of Scorpio – suggesting power struggles, alongside a competitive and aggressive vibe, or as Pluto can bring both light and darkness, potentially open the way to compromising with others, to resolve and heal problems.
Mercury stations retrograde on October 31st conjunct Venus. This will enhance a desire to be sociable, and motivate conversations that express and articulate deep, heartfelt thoughts and feelings. Venus will encourage a wish to be harmonious, to resolve any difficulties.
As Mercury stations retrograde, the Moon is conjunct Jupiter. Emotions are likely to be prominent and flow with ease, be flavoured with some hope and optimism.
October 31st – Halloween/Samhain is a time when the veils between the worlds are considered to be very thin. Halloween originates from the Celtic festival of Samhain, the end of the Celtic year and the start of the new one. At Samhain the dead are honoured and offered hospitality, the past remembered and it is thought to be an auspicious time for divination of the future.
It is very possible that our thoughts and conversations will bring up those close to us that we have lost, or something we treasured and cherished that came to be extinguished – we may feel potent, emotional connections that turn out to be soothing and healing.
Mercury Cazimi – exact on November 11th at 3.21pm GMT. Traditional astrologers term a planet between zero and 17 minutes from the Sun “Cazimi.” Any planet that is Cazimi, is greatly strengthened, they have the ear of the King, the Sun. Approximately 2.5 hours either side of this time, ( 3.21pm GMT – if you are not in the UK, adjust this for your own time zone) is when, Mercury, is within 17 minutes from the Sun, literally – “In the Heart of the Sun.” Mercurial activities are literally sprinkled with magic during this brief period!
Use this moment to focus, and be decisive, about your plans and intentions. If you need to sign a contract, write something important or have a crucial, candid conversation, try and time it to coincide with Mercury Cazimi.
There is a Full Moon in Taurus at 19 degrees 51 on November 12th. The Full Moon is opposite Mercury Rx, it’s also trine Saturn and Pluto, and sextile Neptune. Mars is also exactly sextile Jupiter. Moon opposite Mercury means emotions and thoughts are conflicted, head versus heart, but something is going to be clarified, the end or a transformation of a situation (Saturn/Pluto) – it could also be dreams starting to materialise (Saturn sextile Neptune/Mars sextile Jupiter).
Post-shadow phase – The post-shadow phase instigates a clearer focus, more certainty about prior proceedings and how to move forwards.
Mercury stations direct on November 20th, sextile the Moon and trine Neptune, the Moon is opposite Neptune.
Thoughts and communications are in touch with emotions (Moon) alongside intuition and compassion (Neptune), wonderful for inspiring imaginative ideas and seeing the best in others. But, keep in mind that equally it could possibly bring a susceptibility to fantasy and deception (Neptune).
Mercury enters the pre-shadow phase, and stations direct, conjunct Acrux – at 12 degrees 08 Scorpio, and Alphecca – at 12 degrees 34 Scorpio.
Acrux – “Inventive mind, intuition and wisdom, a grasp for the inner nature of one’s fellow man. The gift of successful investigation of the hidden side of things. A deeply religious nature connected with mystical and theosophical interests.” Fixed Stars and their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928 ~ page 63
Alphecca – “According to Ptolemy it is like Venus and Mercury. It is said to give artistic ability, love of flowers, lassitude and disillusionment, but to bring its natives to a position of command.” Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, Vivian E Robson, 1923 ~ page 40
Mercury stations retrograde conjunct Venus and Toliman – at 29 degrees 43 Scorpio
Toliman is in the Constellation Centaurus, and is located on the right front hoof of Chiron, the centaur.
Constellation Centaurus – “According to Ptolemy the stars in the human part of the figure are of the nature of Venus and Mercury, and the bright stars in the horse’s part of Venus and Jupiter. It is said to give hard-heartedness, inclination to vengeance, love of arms, strong passion and an energetic nature. It may be connected with poisons.” Robson ~ page 37
Toliman – “gives beneficence, friends, refinement and a posistion of honour” Robson ~ page 148
Toliman with Mercury – “changeable, vacilating, fault finding, good intellect, business success, trouble in domestic affairs through enemies, family sickness, disappointed ambitions” Robson ~ page 149
Toliman with Venus – “popular, artistic and musical abilities, benefits from friends, danger from love affairs” Robson ~ page 149
TAROT ~ 6 and 7 of Cups
Mercury enters the pre-shadow phase and stations direct in Scorpio decan 2, ruled by the Sun, Jupiter by triplicity. The corresponding tarot card is the 6 of Cups.
The 6 of Cups is about nostalgia, feeling emotional about the past, sentimental about attachments to people and places. It’s a card about emotional connections and ties, with family, friends and home. It suggests a trip down memory lane, recalling the past. Understanding how the past shapes your character.
In the Rider-Waite-Smith card, the little boy is passing the little girl one of the flower filled cups, signifying abundance and happiness. Raising themes, along with the past, of children and childhood, innocence and kindness, along with sharing with others – giving or receiving gifts.
In a reading – something significant about or from the past is entwined in the present. It could even be a literal return to the past – someone or something reappearing (very apt for Mercury Rx!).
Mercury stations retrograde in Scorpio decan 3, ruled by Venus, the Moon by triplicity. The corresponding tarot card is the 7 of Cups.
The 7 of Cups is about the temptation of an array of enticing possibilities, and an inability to choose between them. The Rider-Waite-Smith card shows a man, facing 7 cups that are floating in the clouds, depicting wishful thinking rather than real, solid foundations. Certainly the future is uncertain, none of the options are guaranteed – it is the card of fantasy V reality.
This card is about objects of desire and about choosing what we truly
desire. The 7 cups represent – sexuality/lust (the woman’s head), spirituality (figure in the veil), wisdom (snake), power (castle), wealth (jewels), ambition/success (wreath) and untamed emotions/evil (dragon).
In a reading – options needed to carefully assessed before a decision is taken, our thoughts could be confused and the appeal of superficial sparkle may lead to following the wrong path. In a worst case scenario it can be addictions and indulging ourselves – escapism. Contrastingly, it can also mean creative endeavours are favoured, powerful imagination and enchanted ideas or someone in search of spiritual knowledge, greater meaning in life who is turning away from material temptations.