Three or four times a year the planet ruling communication, travel and our mind goes retrograde causing glitches, delays, miscommunication, and reveals aspects of situations and personalities we were not previously aware of. The shadow period of the winter retrograde Mercury began February 9, and this is the time Mercurial energy begins to change and alter.
Mercury officially retrogrades at 19 degrees of Pisces on February 23 at 4:41 a.m. EST. At this point it is stationary retrograde, the point in the cycle it usually becomes obvious that Mercury is starting to go backwards. (Mercury does not actually move backward, it just appears that way!) Energy, however will seem to go backward, and we will have to go backwards ourselves and retrace our steps often re-doing things we thought were finished and re-accessing certain situations to determine if they are worthy of our attentions. Mercury goes direct again on March 17.
Retrograde Mercury means it is time to go back to the drawing board, reflect, and re-access, rewrite, reorganize and often rethink plans you have made. It is time to reflect and think or plan, but not move forward with new plans. Situations that start under a retrograde Mercury generally do not work out, or go through great changes before finally becoming successful.
As Saturn went retrograde February 18, the need for reflecting and restructuring may become more profound and we will be operating on a much more inner level than outer during the next three or four weeks.
Mercury retrogrades in Pisces, the natural ruler of Neptune, and the 12th house of the subconscious mind and things that are secret and hidden. New information may be revealed about people and situations during the three week retrograde cycle.
Pisces and the twelfth house is a mixed bag. Pisces is the planet of psychic ability and creativity, inspiration and intuition, romantic love and daydreams. But, it also rules alcohol and drugs, lies and deception, hidden situations and information, illusion, delusion and confusion.
Mercury retrograde in Pisces can confuse the issue at hand or it could make you more intuitive. Or you could believe you are intuiting a situation only to find out you are off base. Pisces is ruled by Neptune, the planet of illusion, delusion and confusion and it may be hard to get a clear picture. Astrologer Carol Rushman wrote, " When Mercury stations in Pisces the negative qualities of Mercury can surface because Mercury is not comfortable in this sign. There can be replays of sad times and experiences in your past. You may have bouts of depression and paranoia. It is difficult to stay abreast of the joy and beauty in life and you are inclined to look at the dark side. Artistic ability, compassion and psychic talents can be highlighted." As Mercury is in Pisces, this is the sign considered to be its detriment. Thus, it's action is negative, weak and can be misused or non-existent
Fated Events and Situations
Retrograde planets often coincide with events that seem fated: that is events or situations occur that seem to be thrust on us or out of our sphere of ability to control. Business deals and projects fall through, people break up or get back together and we have seem to have no power over what is happening. Issues that have not been previously resolved come back to haunt is. Retrograde Mercury relates to the past and sometimes we reconnect with those from our past.
Full moon in Virgo: critical tendencies
February's full moon falls at 7 degrees of Virgo on February 25 at 3:25 p.m. EST. Virgo is the most critical of signs and along with Mercury retrograde in Pisces can create misunderstandings, critical communication and harsh and discouraging encounters with others. When planets enter Virgo, people have a tendency to become overly picky and critical of others. Of course critical energy can be picky and demanding or it can be discerning, which can be a positive manifestation.
In Virgo, the moon will square Neptune, the planet of illusion, delusion and confusion. This can create a negative, and misleading energy. At its highest, it can manifest a creative, spiritual energy, but sometimes it is best to do nothing. The moon also squares Jupiter creating a tendency to blow things out of proportion, good or bad. With Mercury in its stationary retrograde period through the 28th, events and situations can go haywire, or there can be delays. Events of the full moon can be delayed for days as well. Pick you battles well on this full moon and make sure they are really worth it.
Venus enters Pisces on the 25th and it is exalted in this sign, the opposite of Mercury in Pisces. Venus will square Neptune on February 28 and this can create confusing situations in your love life and other relationships as well.
February 26-27, Mercury will conjunct Mars at 18-19 degrees of Pisces, and this is an argument waiting to happen. Mercury/Mars energy can be used for debate and planning, but Mercury is retrograde and it may come to little. Thinking can be off and tempers may flare. Be careful of accidents and travel can be interrupted in some way.
Retrograde Mercury is a cycle
Retrograde Mercury is part of the natural cycle of life. This time is best used positively to reflect and re-design our lives. The early shadow period of the retrograde warns us the energy is changing and we may face delays or equipment and situations may break down. This period occurs February 9-22. The stationary retrograde period is well known for creating delays and snafu's and this occurs, and this occurs February 23-26. It may be more difficult to accomplish even mundane tasks. After this Mercury goes into the actual three week retrograde period that lasts until March 17. On March 17, at 4:03 p.m. EST, Mercury goes stationary direct, and snafus and glitches are known to occur again. The stationary direct period will last March 17-21. After the 21, Mercury is moving forward again, squaring Neptune. Mercury square Neptune transits are confusing, and sometimes discouraging and it may be hard to see the truth or look at things in a realistic manner for a few more days. As Mercury moves forward it will be in the post retrograde shadow period until April 6. At this point Mercurial energy is resuming normal speed, but not quite up to par. Situations may still be uncovered that need to be redefined, or you may be moving in a new direction entirely at this point. After April 6, Mercury resumes where it left off, and we can reflect on the many changes that occurred during this magical period. While retrograde Mercury has a bad name and things may not seem magical at the time, we will undergo many corrections that will put us on the true and correct path.
Pisces has a dual nature
During the winter retrograde 5 planets will be in Pisces: Neptune, the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars. With this much Pisces energy, it is best to recognize the nature of the sign we are living under. Pisces is represented by the sign of 2 fish, headed in different directions. It has a dual nature. Pisces energy can take us to the greatest of heights both creatively and spiritually, or we can sink to the lowest of depths. It is ruled by Neptune, the planet that represents compassion and spirituality, but also drugs, alcohol, lies and misunderstandings. Herein lies the great mystery of Neptune in its dual nature. Channel your energy wisely during this time. You can use it for self reflection, understanding and betterment, or you can channel it in self destructive behavior. Know yourself- knowledge is power.