Here we are in yet another round of Mercury Retrograde and this time it looks like it will be intense and impactful! It takes place entirely in the sign of Scorpio, known for extremes. Mercury travels between 11 degrees 35’ and 27 degrees 38’ (descending from the higher degree to the lower degree, as retrogrades always do). Mercury entered this degree range on 10/11, backtracks from 10/31 to 11/20, and leaves the degree range 12/7. Any Mercury Retrograde is a time for reflection, review and re-doing. Research is also suitable for a Mercury Retrograde, especially in the sign of Scorpio, which is ruled by the Lord of the Underworld, Pluto. It’s a great time for digging and exposing what’s been hidden or out of sight. This sign and ruling planet are related to finances and economic indicators, so be sure to take a look at your fiscal picture and maybe do some tax strategizing before the end of the year closes in on us.
There could be important developments with a wide sway during this time since Mercury passes three rimes through the very middle of Scorpio, the halfway point between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. Degrees midway between solstices and equinoxes are considered nearly as powerful as the degrees when the seasons change, a phenomenon that occurs worldwide. Mercury is at that 15 degrees of Scorpio on 10/15, 11/14 and 11/28 (Thanksgiving).
Venus may add a sweet flavor to this Mercury Retrograde cycle, since she breezed by Mercury and blew him a kiss on October 30, about 18 hours before he turned tail. Or perhaps she’s signaling a time to attempt some harmony or balance. While those are her favorite traits, she’s in Scorpio, too, not at her most pleasant. It’s a sign that prefers the extremes to the middle.
During this period, Mercury is in series of three favorable connections to three slower planets. The most important of these is the helpful 60º sextile relationship to Pluto, the ruler of Scorpio, exact on 10/19, 11/9 (during the retrograde) and 12/2-3 (just past midnight on the 3rd EST). Since Saturn is traveling close to Pluto in Capricorn (the Earth element sign which Saturn rules), Mercury is sextile to Saturn, too, three times exact on 10/14, 11/13 (during the retrograde) and 11/30. Meanwhile, Saturn is traveling in a sextile with Neptune in the sign it rules, Pisces. Mercury is in the very harmonious and beneficial 120º relationship called a trine with Neptune, exact on 10/15, 11/13 (during the retrograde) and 11/30. Note how close these three dates are to the dates of the Mercury-Saturn sextile. That’s because slow Saturn and Neptune are in an exact sextile on 11/8. Neptune is traveling even slower than usual because it’s nearing its stopping point, ending its backtrack on 11/27, right in the middle of the sign of Pisces.
These four planets form a wonderful triangle composed of two sextiles joined together into a trine. There’s no common name for this pattern* and it deserves a catchy one! Essentially, Saturn and Pluto are midway between Mercury and Neptune. A trine brings benefits automatically and sextiles give the most assistance when we put in some effort. To get the best use of this configuration – particularly around 11/13 and the Full Moon in Taurus the day before – envision what you want to accomplish in the near- and longer-terms and figure out the steps and changes you need to make to meet your goals. You may need to shift some resources around to achieve your objective.
Neptune in Pisces is as watery as it gets – the god of the oceans in the sign of the fishes! Beware its power; it’s slippery. It can fool you. It erodes and erases, like the force of a destructive flood, if it’s unchecked. Your imagination or fears may run away with you. Luckily, the harmonious emphasis on the powerful planets in Capricorn intervening between the two planets in Water signs should keep us from going adrift. The energy of the practical Earth element grounds the Water element’s emotions and gives our feelings a positive avenue for expression.
About that Nov. 12 Full Moon: Mercury participates strongly in its workings! The Sun and Mercury cross paths on the 11th, marking the half-way point of Mercury Retrograde. The Moon in Taurus opposes Mercury just hours before the Full Moon when it opposes the Sun (that’s a Full Moon by definition). The two signs involved are the “money signs,” related to possessions, assets and investments, and also associated with values. Our thinking, communications and decisions are likely to be focused on finances. Mercury as “Messenger of the Gods” is the planet most related to the news; there may be news that impacts the markets from the 11th to the 13th. (The markets will be open on Veterans Day.) This Full Moon could be a “top,” perhaps before a reversal (another potential association of a retrograde). Full Moons frequently signal a peak. The Moon is security-oriented and protective, and it’s said to be “exalted” (working at its best) in Taurus, an Earth sign that stabilizes the Moon’s changeable nature. This is a time to adhere to your values and appreciate the worth of what you hold dear, taking steps to protect it.
* Some astrologers call it an “Inverse Grand Trine.” If something occupied the point across from the middle of the trine, there would be a Grand Trine bisected into what’s called a Kite. Grand Trines and Kites are some of the best kinds of planetary formations. This arrangement looks like the top of a kite. Maybe we should call it a “kite top.”