Mercury entered its shadow period January 23, at 18 degrees of Aquarius, several weeks before the February retrograde, that begins on February 6. During the shadow period you will feel the mental energy start to shift. You may float between wanting to move forward with something, or just relax. If you start any long term/new projects at this time or when Mercury retrogrades look to make changes later or the project could fade out.
With a retrograde Mercury the usual warnings apply: look for slowdowns, mixed or confused conversation, don't marry, have plastic surgery, or any elective surgery, buy electronics, big ticket purchases, broken equipment may occur, and look for glitches and communication problems in many areas to pop up and have to re-do and re-think. Mercury retrogrades three or four times each year, three weeks at a time, so no need to hide in the closet! But, it is important to be aware of the time we are in.
Much of the retrograde time can actually be a magical period when many situations are revealed and in some way we may revisit the past to deal with situations that are unfinished. Sometimes we can reconnect with people from our past, and often retrograde "themes" occur that deal with past situations that can be resolved. You may feel extra sensitive, or have a heightened sense of things. You may also start to become more forgetful or misunderstand what people say, or change your mind! Now is a time to reflect and re-do.
Mercury in Aquarius is an open minded type of mentality, geared more toward logical than emotional thinking, and taking bold steps forward, mentally. It is an Air sign and moves quickly and with ease and new ideas come out of the blue at times.
Mercury squared Saturn on January 24-25, and this is important because this transit will re-occur two more times during this eight week period, on February 18-19 while it is retrograde and again March 11. This may be significant is it aspects a critical point in your chart.
January 31, Mercury enters the sign Pisces at 9:29 a.m., EST. Pisces is considerably different mental energy from Aquarius which is ruled by Saturn and Uranus. Pisces, is the ruler of the 12th house of the zodiac, and its planetary ruler is Neptune, the planet of illusion, delusion and confusion. It is creative, sensitive, and thinking is emotional and intuitive rather than logical.
Mercury in Pisces is at its fall here, meaning the mental energy does not work as well in this sign. Sometimes thoughts can be intuitive, reflective, incorrect or depressing. On the other hand this is the sign ruling psychics and meta-physicians, artists and creative endeavors of all types, and all of these things and senses will be heightened, along with your sensitivity to others. Pisces is also about compassion, spirituality and getting in touch with others in the human race in general.
As Mercury enters Pisces it will conjunct Neptune, becoming within a degree of being exact February 5-8. Mercury/Neptune can be an extremely psychic and sensitive transit that may even seem other worldly to some. You may have vivid dreams and flights of imagination, and feel a desire to escape the ordinary world. Whether or not you do well with this transit depends on whether you are comfortable with this type of emotional based thinking and the intuitive process. As Mercury retrogrades at this degree thinking and feelings can be incorrect, hazy or negative for some.
February 12, Mercury re-enters Aquarius, and we switch back to a more logical form of thinking for the next four and a half weeks. Again, our mental world will change once again as retrograde Mercury takes us on a trip of dealing with situations and perhaps people from the past, fixing, re-doing and re-thinking our plans. Now is the time to review and reflect and take care of past issues!
February 28, Mercury enters its direct station, (Mercury goes direct) having reached its final degree of 18 Aquarius. This is the point where things, situations and plans can change again, equipment breaks, appointments still get cancelled, but within a few days we may start to move forward with plans.
Retrograde Mercury is a cycle that actually lasts much longer than 3 weeks. During this time events that are karmic in nature seemingly occur. Slowly, we will start to get back to where we were before the retrograde, but with more clarity, and with luck, more solid plans. We remain in the post shadow period of the retrograde until March 21.
Mercury re-enters Pisces for the second time March 17, switching the mental energy once again and again we can take a walk between the two world of the rational and the intuitive.
Retrograde Mercury is part of the natural cycle and flow of life. There is a time to move forward with new things and a time to reflect on the old. By following and understanding the natural order of things we can prosper and grow.