Mercury begins its latest retrograde process on October 31st, which will last until November 20th/21st. In the weeks (and especially days) leading up to it we start to notice its influence as Mercury slows down and comes to a stop before moving the other way. This is known as the ‘pre-shadow’ period which began on October 11th.
This entire retrograde is occurring during a Lunar cycle that began on October 27th/28th at the New Moon in the same sign. You can read that article here for further insights on this period.
If you have read my previous Mercury retrograde articles, the first two sections of this article are nearly the same and you can skip to the third section if you don’t want to re-read all the general themes associated with these periods. The other sections are more specific to this edition of it.
Mercury retrograde is known for the problematic effects it often has on communication technology, transactions, motor vehicles, anything with moving parts, and commuting in general. Some people even get headaches near the beginning of it. We could experience some challenges, misunderstandings, and errors around our communications, numbers/details, and commerce, as well as changes, cancellations, or delays in our schedules. We may also feel more challenged when we are doing excessive analytical work without using our internal guidance.
Mercury Retrograde can also be a good time to revisit or redo tasks, projects, ideas, or anything else that was initiated in the past. It can give us a different perspective or shift in thinking that can help us to approach these things in ways we wouldn’t have done so before. This may also be a period of reconnecting with old friends, family, lovers, or others you haven’t seen in a while. When we reconnect with people during a retrograde, it can help to facilitate a shift in the relationship. In some cases, issues from the past can come up which may need to be hashed out.
The Deeper Purpose of Mercury Retrograde
Ultimately, Mercury Retrograde is a time for us to recalibrate and adjust specific areas of our lives as well as how we apply our minds towards these issues. It is a period in which we may receive important insights and see things in a new light. In most cases, it can be mildly transformational, but in some cases it can facilitate more major transformations depending on how it corresponds to your personal astrological chart.
During and following the retrograde, certain areas of our lives can go through changes or shifts, or we can experience a re-orientation of some sort which influences how we proceed over the coming months or in some cases, it can have a more long-term significance. In the 2 weeks afterwards, known as the ‘post-shadow’ period, we move forward with some sort of new awareness, adjustment, as well as new ideas and thoughts that have been seeded which will develop and become more defined as time progresses.
The things that you have been doing or circumstances in the two to three weeks leading up to this period could determine how and where this energy plays out. It is also possible that there could have been changes or things that came up at that time which may go through a sorting out process. There could have been unknown variables, either positive or negative, that were either unseen or hadn’t been conceived yet, which may become apparent over the coming weeks.
The sign(s) and element(s) in which Mercury retrograde travels shows the energy we are re-orienting ourselves with. More importantly, if you are familiar with your natal astrology chart, then your house(s) or any planetary placements being affected will show more specifically what areas of life you will be experiencing its energy in. For the astrologically literate, it begins at 27’38 degrees of Scorpio and will retrograde all the way to 11’35 degrees of Scorpio, before turning forward again.
Occurring In Scorpio, Part of a Series in Water Signs
Mercury Retrograde always happens in primarily one element for 1-2 years. This is the third of a series occurring in water signs, with the final one happening in the Fall of 2020. The water element is about emotion, feelings, sensitivity, compassion, intuition, and fluidity. This period is about re-aligning ourselves with these qualities and expressing them in new or revamped ways.
With this retrograde happening in Scorpio, we may experience or process re-orientations, adjustments, developments, circumstances, or reflect on themes connected to shadows, fears, sexuality, mysteries, obsessions, esoteric practices, alchemy, conspiracies, taboo subjects, death, suspicions, secrets, investigating, research, depth, regeneration, or the pursuit of mastery. Psychotherapy, psychology, astrology, tarot, and other similar practices may come up at this time.
This can be a great period to do any sort of ‘shadow work’ to help us on our path to achieving wholeness and greater self-awareness. Scorpio is about going deep which can be a key to facilitate emotional healing at this time. Sometimes we encounter crisis to help to push us towards some sort of transformation and this can be one of the ways this retrograde may be experienced.
Scorpio is also associated with debt, taxes, investments, credit, inheritance, loans, mortgages, and anything to do with shared or other people’s resources. In our relationships or other types of partnerships, themes around shared values or shared worth may also come up.
Scorpio can also be about purging and releasing. This can play out when it comes to our physical belongings or obligations. Emotionally or psychologically, it could have to do with overcoming negative patterns or attachments through deep understanding or discovering and healing the root cause. When it comes to our physical body, it could be about cleansing through dietary changes or practices such as colon hydrotherapy, which can help with emotional healing as well.
Mercury Retrograde Significant Dates
Below are some of the dates and information for some of the major astrological configurations during this retrograde.
*The dates below are based on the Americas. The further East you are located, you may need to consider it as the next day.
Oct 31st Mercury begins its retrograde at 3:42pm Universal Time while separating from a conjunction with Venus. Mercury retrograde themes and complications may come up strongly at this time and in recent days. You may get more indication of some of the things that may be playing out for you over the next month based on how you feel or on what transpires.
Developments, communications, thoughts, or other things that have been occurring recently pertaining to Venus may experience a shift, a change of mind, or a change in direction. It may be connected to love, relationships, friendships, pleasures, values, aesthetics, transactions, money, or other material things in general. However, this can play out in other ways as well.
Nov 2nd-6th The traditional ruler and modern sub-ruler of Scorpio, Mars and Pluto, are in a square with each other, peaking at the first quarter Moon from Nov 4-5. It is also triggered by the Moon on Nov 2. This can stir up deep, suppressed, dark, or perhaps even chaotic feelings. Intensity, power struggles, jealousy, and conflicts could occur. Perhaps challenges around hidden matters may play out. For some people, it can feel like a crisis. We may assert ourselves in obsessive or compulsive ways. More positively, this can also stimulate strong desires, passion, and sexual energy. It can be good for applying ourselves strategically or pursuing change, transformation, or some sort of elimination.
Nov 7th-10th Mercury Retrograde Sextile Pluto (Nov 7th, 9th, 10th). Saturn Sextile Neptune. The Mars-Pluto square (mentioned above for Nov 2nd-6th) also gets triggered by the Moon in the evening and night of the 9th. This is good for looking beneath the surface or perhaps even getting to the bottom of something. We can go deeper in our understandings, and this can be one of the more insightful periods of this retrograde. This can be a time for realizations or pursuits connected to shadows, money, power, hidden matters, what needs to be changed, or how to facilitate change. Conversations, thoughts, or activities may potentially have an empowering or profound theme. This is about being real as superficiality does not fly well during this time.
Saturn in Capricorn is making its 3rd and final sextile to Neptune in Pisces, which began in late January and occurred again in June. This conclusion of this energy started building up in late October and is present throughout this retrograde; however, it peaks this week. This can assist us in taking a committed, disciplined, structured, or realistic approach when it comes to our ideals, spirituality and spiritual practices, imagination, dreams, inspirations, creativity, or anything that involves selflessness, compassion, or healing. For some people it may be connected to career and ambitions.
Nov 11th-13th Mercury Retrograde Conjunct the Sun (Nov 11). Full Moon In Taurus opposite Sun and Mercury, all harmoniously aspecting Neptune, Saturn and Pluto. Mars sextile Jupiter.
This is the halfway point of Mercury retrograde, known as the ‘inferior conjunction,’ which is when it returns to the Sun. This can be a period of increased insights, and the themes of this retrograde may get amplified. However, complications can also be stronger at this time depending on your circumstances or how you are applying yourself. This may also be a period of ridding yourself of certain thoughts, ideas, perceptions, old interests, expectations, or other things that are not serving you while the potential for new ones may be seeded.
The Full Moon and the Mars-Jupiter aspect reflects the potential of this period to be constructive, empowering and growth oriented, and can perhaps present opportunities. Our actions may be more explorative, expansive, or idealistic. If conflicts do occur, which is less likely in comparison to other Full Moons, it may have to do with individual needs, values, or resources being at odds with shared or relationship ones. Perhaps the need to be practical in the midst of complexity may also come up.
I will be writing a separate article on this Full Moon, and you can join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it.
Nov 20th Mercury transitions from Retrograde to Direct. Mercury will slowly begin to move forward from November 20th onward. The areas of our lives that have been affected by this retrograde will start to become more clear and things will fall into place more easily as we progress into the coming days and weeks. As Mercury gradually picks up speed, we can move forward in the areas of life that have been affected. However, usually the first 2-3 days after it ends can still feel like it’s retrograde, as complications may occur due to Mercury’s stationary position. It’s usually best to wait until at least 3 days afterwards before finalizing decisions, agreements, etc.
Later on around January 10th and/or in the days following, there will be even more clarity around certain things that have been seeded during this retrograde. From there, things may develop further with a better perception or other circumstances may indicate that it’s not sufficient, not what was anticipated, or something needs to change.
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