The last Mercury retrograde of 2020, from 11 Scorpio to 25 Libra – Water (emotions/intuition) to Air (ideas/communication).
The Sun’s entry into Libra on September 23rd – the Autumnal Equinox – announced the arrival of the last quarter of the year. For sure, it’s hard to grasp, that it’s only been months since the start of 2020, and that, oh my … there is still has another 3 months to go. So far, 2020, has been a monumental year of change, far-reaching goings-on have materialised, whilst simultaneously, a great extent of everyday life has been cancelled or put on hold.
Everything is discombobulated, along with nonsensical. Everybody is worn to a frazzle. We are desperate for some respite, not to mention some clarity around the future. Whilst it is likely to be tough going, Mercury retrograde will encourage us to navigate our way towards handling our sorrow at what has been lost, face our fears for the future and address our relationships with others. A passage of time, that as it unfolds, will help guide us towards what we need to release, let go of, along with what is emerging, what we can develop and push ahead with.
Mercury retrograde relates to a time where we are pulled inwards to re-think and re-evaluate situations in our lives, potentially promting us to realise or re-do something of importance. This Mercury retrograde is especially intense, as currently, Mars – action and will-power – is also retrograde.
Bringing to the fore, that likely on a personal, and without doubt on a global level, we are at a crossroads. The choices and actions we make now, are creating the futue. What is put in place now, in the world at large, will be inherited by future generations. Presently, we are all painfully aware that our individual paths are tangled up with – determined by – collective scenarios, together with decisions taken by the powers that be.
Slowly but surely, the sense of unity and solidarity at the onset of the pandemic has dissolved. Divisions between governments and the people, divided opinions between scientists, arguments between people on the street and on social media.
It’s time to scrutinise what we are being told. Question the ever changing rules we are asked to follow. Does the threat from the disease justify the repercussions from the preventative measures? The freedoms we willingly gave up for the collective good, may not be so easy to retrieve, what is on the agenda ahead? All of us are being called to decipher what we believe – our inner truth – along with what we can do, what we can control, and who we trust. To slow down and listen to our inner conversations.
Mercury as psychopomp is the guide of souls between this world and the underworld. A role given to Mercury by Apollo, the sun god, along with the caduceus – a staff with two serpents entwined around it topped with wings, which has many symbolic meanings.
The two winding serpents illustrate the dualities in life – night and day, good and evil, life and death, physical and spiritual – as well as the connection between these opposing universal forces. Time, eternity, and the continually changing cycles of life. How life is cyclical, circular.
Our own life span from birth, features a cycle of expansion as our bodies reach a peak, then a cycle of contraction as our bodies advance in years and start to decline. This is mirrored throughout life, in personal circumstances, in nature, as well as in the world at large – economies, nations. Peaks and declines, growth and decay, good and bad fortune. Essentially, nothing continues on an upward or downward trajectory permanently, as the opposing universal force will seek to restore balance.
Serpents also symbolise wisdom. The wings signify that by expanding our outlook, our insight into the positive and negative energy of the universal forces increases. An end always leads to a beginning, death leads to a rebirth. Change is ceaseless, never-ending. It can be destructive, but it can also be transforming, creative and healing – as what is dissolved doesn’t vanish, the energy is transmuted. This knowledge assists us to discover inner equilibrium, an acceptance of the ups and downs in life, along with a desire for outer equilibrium, peacefulness with others.
Mercury is retrograde in Scorpio, before returning to Libra. The highest expression of Scorpionic energy is symbolised by The Phoenix, who is reborn from the ashes, Libra is symbolised by The Scales of Justice – fair agreements and harmonious relationships. Mercury retrograde is encouraging and supporting a rebalancing in ourselves and our relationships.
Mercury Retrograde Dates
Mercury enters the pre-shadow phase ~ September 23rd at 25 53′ Libra ~ Fixed Stars Spica & Arcturus
Mercury Retrograde ~ October 14th at 11 40′ Scorpio ~ Fixed Stars Acrux & Alphecca
Mercury’s Inferior Conjunction with the Sun ~ Mercury Cazimi ~ October 25th at 2 47′ Scorpio, exact at 18.22 GMT ~ Fixed Star Princeps
Mercury Direct ~ November 3rd at 25 53′ Libra ~ Fixed Stars Spica & Arcturus
Mercury leaves the post-shadow phase ~ November 19th at 11 40 Scorpio ~ Fixed Stars Acrux & Alphecca
Mercury Retrograde Chart
Mercury stations retrograde in Scorpio, a sign traditionally ruled by Mars.
During the whole of Mercury retrograde – simultaneously – Mars is retrograde in fiery Aries, Mars’ other domicile home (Mars is direct on November 14th). Whilst Mercury is in Scorpio, Mars, as ruler, has a responsibility to direct and guide Scorpio matters, along with treating guest, Mercury well.
Simplistically, Mercury is our thoughts, Mars our actions – the need to think deeply, carefully consider our options – before taking action, is essential to navigating the times ahead.
In Scorpio, Mercury will be drawn to research, digging deep to investigate information. To discover the source, the truth. Potentially exposing us to knowledge that differs from the narrative so far. Alters our perspective.
Intensifying this, as Mercury stations direct, Mercury is opposite Uranus. This aspect is in orb and influential for the whole of October, as Mercury will oppose Uranus in Taurus, exactly, three times on
- October 7th
- October 20th
- November 20th
This suggests out of the blue news or information materialising. The discovery of something we were completely unaware of. In our personal lives – especially if Mercury-Uranus touches our natal chart – but without a doubt in media headlines. Surprising, shocking or even scandalous. Secrets or corruption. As such, it could generate some anxious thoughts, leave us feeling slightly on edge or jittery.
This aspect might also enhance our intuition. Convey flashes of guidance – clues – that illuminate the way towards understanding or clarifying something.
Mercury-Uranus brings sudden insight in a multitude of ways. An opposition can be very much experienced as an either/or situation, but equally the key to it is balance, both planets meeting up in the middle. Mercury and Uranus work well together, both are linked with the Air element – mind, intellect, thoughts and communications – so innovative, creative ideas for the future coming to mind or being bought to the table could also be expected.
The day before Mercury stations retrograde – October 13th – the Sun is opposite Mars.
The Sun-Mars cycle begins when the Sun and Mars are conjunct. At the conjunction a new 2 year impetus for action is put in motion, this current cycle started on September 2nd 2019 at 9 41′ Virgo. The opposition between the Sun and Mars retrograde, marks the halfway point of Mars retrograde and the current cycle. This cycle ends/starts a new one, with the next Sun-Mars conjunction on October 8th 2021 at 15 05′ Libra.
Mars retrograde (Aries 15-29) indicates the area where momentum has slowed, the opposition with the Sun illuminates the challenges to be overcome. At the Sun-Mars opposition clarity arrives around what is holding us back, bringing a new focus to the most beneficial action to take, what to re-do or adjust.
But, with Mercury stationing retrograde, as yet, we don’t have all the information we need. It’s best to proceed cautiously, explore further, wait a while longer, before taking action.
Mercury Direct chart
As Mercury stations direct – Mercury is square Saturn – exact on both November 1st & 6th, due to Mercury’s retrograde motion, and highly influential from approximately October 28th – November 12th.
Notably – Mercury entered the pre-shadow phase on September 23rd, when the 1st exact square between Mercury and Saturn took place. What is more, Sun conjunct Mercury – Mercury Cazimi – showing the halfway point of the retrograde period, takes place conjunct fixed star Princeps at 3 25′ Scorpio. Princeps is of the nature of Mercury and Saturn “It gives a keen, studious and profound mind with the ability for research.” ~ Robson. Mercury Cazimi could bring us some helpful insights, enable us to untangle a clearer perspective into what has unfolded so far.
Mercury square Saturn influences the retrograde period with a serious, sombre tone. Our actions may be hindered, there could be obstructions to plans, we could receive frustrating news or experience blockages around information/travel. All the themes of 2020 so far, intensified and impossible to ignore. Our thoughts and conversations may dwell in the realms of despondency, as we grapple with the difficulties and strain we face.
But, Saturn is exalted in Libra, thus likely to treat Mercury (in Libra) kindly. What is more, Venus arrives in Libra on October 28th, where she rules. Venus will provide support for Mercury. Thus Mercury square Saturn also reveals assistance with inviting in mindfulness – focus – bringing potential for strategies to manoeuvre around obstacles, strength to make decisive decisions, as well as negotiations – compromises – that lead to fair, mutual agreements that conclude a bone of contention.
Overall – Whilst Mercury retrograde is going to be far from an easy ride, it could, prove to be a turning point. As realisations and aha moments unlock barriers and simplify the best course of action to take.
At times, feelings of being out of control, powerless, anxious or fearful might emerge. Try to avoid overreacting to any provocation, or becoming flustered. It’s sensible to play it safe for now – whenever it’s possible to do so – withdraw from, or try to neutralise any conflict.
Until a clearer picture develops, have a flexible approach and wait to make any important moves. With Mercury in aspect to both Saturn – the past – and Uranus – the future – we will be releasing something old and embracing something new. Impatience and frustration are likely, as Uranus likes to speed things up, while Saturn slows them down. We can sense something approaching, but it’s going to take time to become defined.
Mercury is direct on November 3rd and leaves the post-shadow zone on November 19th, Mars is direct on November 14th. We also have the third Jupiter-Pluto conjunction on November 12th, followed by a Scorpio New Moon on November 15th – By early to mid-November we should have a better-informed, wiser, view of what is out of balance, unaligned, and how to direct our efforts to attain equilibrium.
More on the Mercury retrograde cycle here ~ Mercury Retrograde ~ Wisdom from The Messenger and Trickster
Top Image by Anne Nygard on Unsplash