Mercury retrograde in Scorpio: these people are masters of non-verbal communication, or deciphering it, such that they tend to put the least focus on the actual words a person says or writes. They read between the lines the way others take things at face value. This is even more so with the retrograde, because it inverts the verbal expression. These folks avoid banter and social niceties. When they do talk, it may be sharp and cutting, and may even seem to come not so much from left field, but it actually comes from the depths of the abyss. Are they psychic? They do tend to put into words what everyone else is thinking, even if they do so without regard to custom or convention. About as psychic as the detective on Psych, perhaps: they synthesize all of the things we‘re not supposed to look at. These people love watching magic shows to figure out how the magician is fooling people.
They can be sensitive. They can also be quite strong, and their intentions can be hard to decipher. Crazy like a fox may be fitting for some of them. However, they are perfectly comfortable with the darkness of human existence and may be baffled as to how others may want to live life in lightheartedness. Of course everyone hates, experiences jealousy, wishes harm on others, and thinks of committing harm. This is human nature. Anyone who says otherwise is a fool who will be bitten in the ass when his or her own dark side comes for him or her. These people make a sport of chipping the paint off of white-washed fences. They are natural detectives on a mission.
These people tend to think a lot about sex, violence, death, power, and anything taboo. They may simply not hold much to be taboo. They may be interested in the occult, either as an academic or intellectual pursuit, or they may actually engage in occult practices. Or it may be a little of both. Either way, they like to follow their curiosity down the rabbit hole.
Luckily, these folks have a tendency to see the writing on the wall before others do and are more likely to be the first to leave a sinking ship (especially if they have Sagittarius suns). This is especially true when it comes to business and finances, but also when it comes down to things just plain going to crazy town. They may look and listen, but commitment may be a different thing: anything that demands that they shift their center of power away from their own minds is abandoned, ignored, or verbally cut down. And when they abandon things, they do it in their minds first, and they plan their escape rather than make a jailbreak. While not as skilled at negotiating as Mercury direct in Scorpio, they can figure out what the other party wants and cut a deal, though they may often compromise more.
The stubbornness of the fixed sign of Mercury comes out in speech and thought. Once the mind is made up, the mind is made up, and nothing can change it, regardless of whether the opinion is expressed. Silence doesn‘t mean defeat; it simply means that this person is being silent. If you get into an argument with a person with Mercury retrograde in Scorpio and you think you‘ve won, you may get a shocking surprise when the same argument comes up again, or when Mercury retrograde, after all this time, still hasn‘t budged. The retrograde nature tends toward avoiding outright power struggles when it comes to thoughts and words.
Arguments: this depends on the nature of Mars in the chart as well, but because Mercury retrograde in Scorpio is ruled by Mars by tradition and Pluto in modern times, it does tend toward struggle and conflict. However, because it is fixed, it can wait, and by wait, I mean that it can bide its time. If a person with this planetary placement is feeling malice toward another person whom they are in conflict with, they may use their powers of manipulation to get the better of another person, particularly in arousing anger and defensiveness. Consider the difference between a person with Mercury in Aries, also ruled by Mars, and a person with Mercury in Scorpio. The person with Mercury in Aries is more prone to argumentative outbursts, shouting, and aggressive speech. The person with Mercury in Scorpio, however, especially with the retrograde, is more likely to stay calm, bide time until the other person reveals a moment of vulnerability. Or, they may simply feed into the other person‘s anger and let the situation escalate until the other person loses control and by default, loses, because they have lost control. Mercury retrograde in Scorpio won‘t tell the other person to calm down unless doing so gets them the very reaction they‘re looking for, and it certainly won‘t soothe them.
A person with Mercury in Scorpio has a quiet power to their speech, and it can be venomous, but it can also be healing. There is inverted power with the retrograde, and it can be a power to heal the self. They may have strong or wacky immune systems, depending on which house has Virgo on the cusp. They may have immune systems that react strongly and suffer allergies or autoimmune problems. They may be resistant to viruses. They may actually have a higher than normal resistance to sexually transmitted diseases. These folks may have genetic neural disorders or connective tissue disorders. However, those with Mercury retrograde in Scorpio are more prone to the negative health effects of Mercury in Scorpio overall.
Secretiveness is a key word for those with Mercury in Scorpio and even more so for those with the retrograde. For those with the retrograde planet, early life may have required hiding or create subterfuge to protect oneself from being engulfed by something else. This can depend on what house the planet is in. For example, by the mother or local culture if in the 4th house, by disease or servitude if in the 6th, by siblings if in the 3rd, by family finances and/or family secrets if in the 8th, etc. Later in life, living behind the cloak of secrecy has become normal for them. If they are involved in the occult, this is not something they may make well-known, and even if they do, may chose a pseudonym for practicing. Even if involved in an conventional religion, they may be more drawn to the dark side of it: Hell, demons, and ideas of demonic possession may hold a lot of fascination for Christians with Mercury retrograde in Scorpio. They may enjoy reading about the Crusades or the Salem Witch Trials. Either way, the esoterica, superstitions, and dark side of the religion may be more interesting to them, at least in secret.
The secret nature of the Mercury retrograde is Scorpio makes them suspicious of others and makes others suspicious of them. They can‘t possibly believe that there are adults in the world who operate without ulterior motives. However, since the Scorpio nature is fluid, they don‘t see selfish motives as good or bad, and don‘t place a value judgment on it. This can be where others are confused: how could you accuse people of terrible things and then not see them as terrible? The world is gray to Mercury retrograde in Scorpio, or at least, both all-white and all-black simultaneously, and conventional black-and-white thinking makes them very uncomfortable. Those without the retrograde can be more prone to extreme thinking, but the retrograde nature keeps inverting the thoughts, churning them over and over again. These people can come to intellectual stalemates with themselves and take a long time to form an opinion.
At the same time, the power of seeing the world as gray makes them good at making judgments and dealing with different parties in disagreement. Loyalty to one person or another based on social connections or biology isn‘t enough; there is a likelihood that the Mercury retrograde in Scorpio person has at least one strained relationship with a sibling, with the other parties not being quite sure what is going on with the Mercury retrograde individual. The individual may feel that he or she has always had to deal with the dark side of the sibling when the parents and everyone else will only see the light side of the sibling. This is especially so with the retrograde, as the energy is inverted, such that he or she may not always make known the conflict with the sibling, or may have been trained as a child to not fight back or defend him- or herself. Mercury retrograde in Scorpio can signify unfairness in from childhood and the lasting effects it has on the native as an adult. This unfairness is of the amount invested in the native; he or she feels that their adults or community may have never given them a real chance as a kid. They may not have gotten the proper socialization, education, or opportunities they felt that others around them received. On the other hand, these individuals may have intimidated or confused adults in their lives, or most of the investment they received was in trying to keep them on the straight and narrow, often by force or coercion. Mercury retrograde individuals tend to have a strained relationship with at least one sibling, neighbor, or peer from his or her youth stemming from this sense of unfairness, which can either lead to lifelong, simmering resentment or alienation. It does not often lead to outright conflict; if it does, by this time, the Mercury retrograde individual has made up his or her mind and is unlikely to budge.
Mercury retrograde in Scorpio enjoys thinking and talking about sexuality, especially taboo sex. While other factors have to come into play, it can be one factor that leads to some alternative sexual interest (again, there are other factors that come into play, and interest and active involvement are two different things). They may want to discuss things you don‘t discuss in polite company. They may also be prone to using dirty language, and may be colorful in their insults, as they don‘t see them as having as much weight as others might. However, when these people use them, they use them in such ways that they strike at the heart.
They can also be very good at helping others put words to thoughts and feelings that may otherwise be unexpressed by others. What makes them good at coring a hole in the heart also makes them good at filling it. They aren‘t comfortable with platitudes or vague well-wishes. They can sit and let someone cry about something horrible without telling them not to cry. They may encourage the other person to cry and let it out. They make good therapists. They accept the range of human thought and emotion well. They may be interested in criminology or criminal law as well.
However, because Mercury retrograde is in a feeling water sign, they may be sensitive to what they perceive, churn it over and over again and come to their own conclusion, which may truly not be what was intended to be communicated. Since these people prefer to think before speaking, they may not let the other person know how he or she feels until much later. If this person is also prone to self-delusion (Neptune and Pisces emphasis in the chart, too), they may have a tendency to think that others care for them more than they actually do, or hate them for reasons not apparent to anyone else.
These people actually feel unusually vulnerable: if you are an open book to them, surely they are an open book to you, right? Since they are constantly ruminating over the gestalt of their environments, they wonder what others can see in them. They may be no better or worse than others, but they are more aware of their dark side than others, and may assume that you are, too. Water signs are slippery, and Scorpio is one of the signs that is both slippery and strong. The scorpion is probably not the most representative animal for this sign; the electric eel would probably be a better one.
How would you know a Mercury retrograde in Scorpio person? One way to tell is if what they tend to say doesn‘t seem to match how they look or appear. This tends to be true of most people with retrograde Mercury. If his or her outward appearance give no indication of his or her intense interests in things, especially dark things. A person who seems to become unusually upset when when his or her concentration is broken. A person whom others may think is stupid or ineffectual, says seemingly crazy or outrageous things that later on turn out be quite right. A person who gives someone else enough rope to hang themselves. A person who manages to say things that bother or fascinate other people, but no one can really articulate why. A person who goes to a party and refuses to speak or to make small talk, or can‘t seem to make small talk, and steers the conversation right into something heavy when given a chance. A person who likes to keep their past hazy, or only talks about the strangest events of their childhood. [This person may very well have had a strange childhood.] A person who will ask pointed questions. A person who doesn‘t mind walking around alone at night. A person who makes you think that you‘ve known them forever, or that they really truly understand you upon first meeting, but doesn‘t actually feel close to you. A person who listens to you talk about something heavy for an hour then summarizes it for you in one sentence. A person who likes to leave false trails: just as you think they will do, say, or like one thing, you find out that they just did, said, or liked something else.
Someone who likes to do disappearing acts.