February 16 – March 9, 2020
*February 16 – March 4 retrograde in Pisces
*February 5 – 9 retrograde in Aquarius
Here we go again! Mercury Retrograde..
This relatively common celestial phenomenon has gained quite the reputation in the mainstream media over the past few years. But it is nothing- I repeat NOTHING- to be worried or concerned about. That would most definitely be a lower vibrational approach to working with the medicine and invitations of a retrograde.
Rather, a retrograde planet is an opportunity to re-assess and re-appraise. Because Mercury is the planet of communication, this is in regards to matters of correspondence, verbal/written agreements, and ideas/information in general.
No planet ever actually moves backwards. However, in astrology we study the movement of the planets from the perspective of earth (geo-centric), and from our perspective here, it looks as though Mercury moves backwards on a fairy regular basis. This is generally three times per year, for about 3 weeks each. Interestingly, these Mercury retrogrades are pretty evenly spaced throughout the year, and often occur in the same element. In 2020, each of the retrogrades will take place predominantly in water signs.
This first retrograde takes place mostly in the mutual, malleable, spiritual sign of Pisces (only the final few days take us back into Aquarius). In June/July, Mercury will retrograde in Cancer. In October/November Mercury will retrograde for a final time in 2020 mostly in the third water sign of Scorpio (and at the end portion in Libra). This gives us an over-arching story about 2020’s Mercury retrogrades: They are to help us get back in touch with how we really FEEL about what we are hearing, processing, saying, speaking, communicating, and agreeing to.
This Mercury retrograde begins at 12 degrees of Pisces, with Mercury in conjunction to Neptune at 17 degrees. Interestingly, Mercury does not fully unite with Neptune until well AFTER the completion of the retrograde (on April 4th). But Neptune’s signature is all over the retrograde and it has an important message. Neptune represents the spiritual soup of oneness from which all creation (and creativity) emerges- it is formless, both profound and ’empty’. If this sounds confusing, that’s because it can be. Neptune can inspire and confuse in equal measure, and it may be that many of us are struggling with that at this moment.
The fact that Mercury gets within 5 degrees of Neptune- extremely powerful in it’s own sign of Pisces- and then backtracks for 3 weeks, is telling. We must sit longer, perhaps much longer, with the creativity, intuition, inspiration, and feelings that have been rising within us recently. Because there is more to the story- and the other players involved could be feeling just as confused and non-committal as we are. Quite simply, we don’t have all the information, maybe nobody does right now. A glance at the political spectrum and world at large could confirm some of this.
So rather that try/expect/demand the CONCRETE answers/ideas/information/agreements, we must be patient and allow things to unfold. We can, and should, of course speak and share our truth. But pushing and forcing is inadvisable right now, especially since Mars is Out Of Bounds for the first two weeks of this retrograde. This can be a blessing, offering us more information about what truly lights our fires, and feels worth fighting for, but like much of what comes up during this retrograde- that is information to be gleaning and catalogued for active service at a later date.
Getting back to ‘speaking and sharing our own truth’, that may actually be shifting and changing for us throughout this retrograde. For some, perhaps, in quite a profound way. Pisces and Neptune are, after all, the spiritual powerhouses of the zodiac, and Mercury rules our intellect. There is tremendous capacity here for spiritual revelation, creativity and insight. Meditation, journaling and other spiritual practices are advisable now. As are grounding activities that bring us back down to earth.
The final 4/5 days of the retrograde, Mercury will slip back into the air sign of Aquarius. This is an interesting way for the retrograde to end- reminding us that we may (almost certainly) have more work to do to bridge our idealistic notions with the real world we are living in, and get others on board with our vision for what we want. Lower vibrational Aquarius can be alienating, and higher vibration Aquarius is collective and unifying. Which direction are your dreams and visions taking you?
Likewise, lower vibrational Pisces is insincere, unrealistic, irresponsible and prone to feeling like a victim. This can be a terrible combination with Mercury retrograde for those who are unwilling to take self-responsibility. There could be denial, defenses, outright lies and deception. If you sense this pertains to anyone in your life, you should certainly take anything they say or do with a grain of salt (or several) this Mercury retrograde. And we should all take care to be as clear, precise and accurate as possible in our communication and dealings.
Which leads us to the greatest attunement and up-leveling this retrograde offers us, which is a major upgrading of our BS sensor. How do we FEEL when we hear someone speak? Does it seem sincere? How do we FEEL when a certain piece of news or information enters our awareness? Does our body or intuition tell us something different from the ‘official story’? Are we willing to trust our inner sense of ‘knowing’ about certain things even if we have no ‘hard proof’?
Take some time to experiment with this over the course of the next several weeks- indeed months. Mercury, after all, re-enters Pisces again on March 17th and stays there until April 11th. What we notice/learn/intuit/feel about the information that is coming into our awareness during this retrograde can help us to re-tweak our information processing systems so that we are following our bodies intuitive mechanisms as much as possible. And, crucially, learning to say NO to whatever feels false, disingenuous or manipulated in the messages we are receiving, from people in our daily lives as well as in the world ‘out there’.
*image by HHEININGE
PS_ Since I wrote this post several days ago, a few funny and totally apt situations have happened to me or come to my attention that also perfectly illustrate the potentialities of the problematic lower vibrational side of this very watery Piscean retrograde.. You can’t make this stuff up!
- Miscommunications (Mercury Rx) about where to meet for cocktails (Pisces)
- A temporarily broken (Mercury Rx) dishwasher (Pisces)
- Two days in a row of drinks (Pisces) being spilled on technology (Mercury Rx)
- Technology problems (Mercury Rx) with the submission of proposals for a spiritually-related (Pisces) conference
- Problems logging into a website (Mercury Rx) to register for a retreat that involves swimming with dolphins (Pisces)