This is going to be a special Mercury retrograde for me, because it’s in Scorpio, which is my natal Mercury sign, and I have Mercury retrograde in Scorpio, AND…Mercury retrograde will pass backward and transit my natal Mercury retrograde.
The retrogrades will negate themselves, and for the first time in my life, I will be a naturally eloquent speaker when it’s not just me speaking off the cuff and putting my foot in my mouth. Words will flow beautifully off my tongue or onto the page, and this will be the beginning of a fruitful and never-ending career as a normal person.
My likely reality:
I will fall into and tumble helplessly down a sinkhole that opens in my unconscious mind, enveloped by the darkness of my soul like a woman reborn into a new world, an Adam to myself, also the Creator, searching for words to give names to the sights, shapes, forms, and experiences that surface in the dark garden of my version of history and the present, too afraid to leave Eden, too tempted by the snake to stay in the dark.
Hopefully, I can write some good stuff since I will probably not be any good for conversation.
Double double, toil and trouble.
Mercury retrograde isn’t actually that big of a deal.
Mercury is the ruler of little things, things that move quickly, and things that are transient and intangible, like spoken words.
Mercury retrograde does NOT rule big things or cause major calamities or tragedies. With that being said, a lot of small things going wrong could snowball into something bigger, but generally speaking, they’re usually not Mercury related. Big things are ruled by the outer planets, and no one astrological phenomenon is responsible for major events.
Mercury retrogrades three times a year. Could you imagine if the world fell apart three times a year? Most of us make it through an entire year without a major disaster – even those among us who go looking for them.
Also, I’ve seen relationship problems ascribed to Mercury retrograde. While communication problems, forgetfulness, and small errors can certainly affect relationships, you’re more likely to see a long-term, permanent, or major change to a relationship from Venus retrograde, or more likely transits to one’s natal seventh house, progressions of planets onto one’s natal seventh house, or transits in the relationship’s composite chart.
Thus, if a Mercury retrograde brain fart leads to the end of a relationship, that relationship was already strained.
But it can be a big deal…depending.
Like any other transit, Mercury retrograde can be a big deal to an individual or the world, depending on other factors, such as planetary aspects, sign, and house.
The stationary phase of the retrograde tends to cause delays and frustration rather than actions or communications that are unintended or result in unwanted ends. This is perhaps even more so when Mercury is stationary in a fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) as it is now. This shadow period accounts for the frustration, delays, and problems that occur before the retrograde.
I’m not sure what I can add to what is known about Mercury retrograde.
There’s a lot out there already, and most casual astrology enthusiasts have a working idea of what it means.
But there are some of us who just aren’t extraordinary affected by the retrograde, and maybe I can illuminate that.
I believe I’ve written about this before though.
Those of us who were born during the retrograde days, which are only 17% of the days of the year, aren’t usually extraordinarily affected, at least not externally. The world gets a taste of what we experience all the time, and we just sort of blend in for once.
Internally, the retrograde can affect us profoundly, because we’re used to a fundamentally internal thought process that reaches from the inside out instead of synthesizing information grabbed from the environment.
This is what I think is different about Mercury retrograde folks:
People who have Mercury retrograde natally tend to process information on the inside then reach out the world for confirmation, observations, and tangible evidence of what we think. That sounds weird, right? Don’t people normally take observations and communicate with other people, synthesize all of it, then formulate an idea, impression, or belief?
Yeah, actually. That’s probably how all people think, because humans don’t really create ideas whole cloth from a vacuum. However, it doesn’t feel that way to Mercury retrograde folks. The ideas, visions, mental pictures, and conclusion are formed through the very same synthesis all human brains perform, but we don’t recall the linear process; we go backward. We tend to have ideas, visions, mental pictures, and conclusions uncertain of the origin, and then go find the origin and proof of the process somewhere in material reality.
Losing small things, like keys, commonly occurs during Mercury retrograde. A typical person would retrace their steps and go through all the places in the house they were since they last saw their keys and do this until they find the keys.
A Mercury retrograde person knows the keys are lost and has a mental picture of where the keys are, what they were doing at the time they mislaid the keys, how they felt, who they were talking to, a memory of how it sounded to put the keys down, and what else they had to do at the time, and the thoughts they were having, and then go through the house not in the order of the path they took before misplacing the keys, but to the places in the house that likely resonate with them because they could have created the thoughts and impressions that comes with the lost keys.
There was a sound of keys hitting glass, closer to the bathroom because I had to pee as I got in. The bathroom shelf? The dining room table? The tv stand?
I remember that I kicked off my shoes while my boyfriend was watching Anderson Cooper.
::Goes to TV stand::
Is this helpful?
During a retrograde, people can’t get the information they want outside of themselves because of miscommunication, delays, mistakes, and forgetfulness from anywhere and everywhere.
I can’t ask where the keys are because no one knows.
I can’t retrace my steps because I can’t remember what I did.
I can’t shout to someone else to help me look for the keys because they’re lost in their own inner world too, and they don’t hear me, or they mistakenly think that I’m looking for my purse.
I have to rely completely on intuition, and hope I can divine what others are thinking, too.
And I intuit what a person means via the words they said and how they said them, which were the wrong words, because they were engrossed in something else or confused, and now I’m confused because I’m trying to see how that fits into my idea of how things work.
Is this how you guys feel during the retrograde? Because this is just how I think.
Today, my boyfriend and I agreed to do something extraordinary. See, Mercury rules my 3rd, 4th, and 7th houses.
Today, we decided to hire people to clean our home.
I am not one who enjoys cleaning, and I would rather spend my time outside of work doing creative work. However, I have always felt guilty (Mercury retrograde in the 8th house) that I wouldn’t do this myself, but rather relied on someone else (hello, weird power struggle that only exists in my head) to do the cleaning for me when it’s my responsibility to keep my own house clean.
Then I realized a few things: 1) I am paying them to clean; 2) if I pay them to clean, and they clean, then I am honoring my responsibility to clean, and 3) my hang-ups surrounding cleaning and housework is a 4th house problem that is not exclusively mine, but kind of is.
But Mercury, the ruler of my 4th house, is retrograde in the 8th house, so I’m hoping not to find out that something will go wrong, other than the appliances not working and fixtures with problems, of which there is now four and counting.
But this is actually a special Mercury retrograde for me, as previously mentioned, because this Mercury retrograde will transit my natal Mercury retrograde. The last time Mercury went retrograde in Scorpio (and transited my natal Mercury) was in 2013, but the retrograde didn’t transit my natal Mercury. In fact, the last time Mercury retrograde transited my own Mercury retrograde was in 1993 during my freshman year of high school, and then before 1986, shortly before I turned 6, when I was in first grade.
I’m not sure what happens when Mercury retrograde transits natal Mercury retrograde. This will occur in my own chart, exactly, on November 11th, which is a day I mercifully have off from work.
I speculate that the energy of Mercury retrograde will effect the expression of my natal Mercury retrograde, which will either exacerbate the problems and gifts of my Mercury retrograde, or will negate them, because it retrogrades the retrograde, and in effect, makes me operate as if my Mercury is natally direct.
I hope it’s the prior, honestly. While I’d love to be able to think like everyone else for expediency’s sake, I don’t know if, at nearly 40, I want to change my brain.
I can sort of remember what like was like in mid-November of 1986, in first grade, in that little classroom at the far end of Herman Avenue Elementary School, and the little chairs and little desks, the chalkboard where my name was written more than once (does that even work anymore? I secretly enjoyed seeing “Miriam” up there for the world to see, but I am a first house Moon in Aries). I had my first best friend that year, a girl in my class who was also on my bus who also got in trouble often too, who was perhaps the most blatantly manipulative friend I had in elementary school.
She moved away the next year. I saw her when she moved back the year we would have both graduated from high school. I recognized her. She recognized me, but didn’t want to talk.
I haven’t seen her in person since, but she looked miserable in the mugshots I found online.
But the most significant thing that happened in first grade that I can recall that has had a lasting effect, that shaped my Mercury, was that I learned to read that year, and that I not only learned to read, but learned to write.
I used to fold paper, staple it, and make books. I got to read some to the class. My teacher apparently still has some of my “books” in her attic.
My teacher was a volatile woman who had little patience for young children and, looking back, was dealing with a lot of personal shit at the time (or, at least that’s what I figured after having had her ex-husband as my teacher years later), and this wasn’t actually her vocation.
I’m actually friends with my first grade teacher on Facebook, but I’m not close enough friends with her to ever ask her about her personal life. I still call her “Ms.” I do know that before she moved to town, she lived in Rochester and taught ASL to adults. She taught us some ASL, and I sort of remember how to sing “Silent Night.” My guess was that she moved to town for her husband’s career, and as there was no position for an ASL teacher, became a first grade teacher. It’s really hard to go from teaching language to adults to teaching small children, and I imagine she got better at it with time, but she was still volatile, but despite her anger, I was still fond of her because her volatility reminded me of my own mother’s volatility and unpredictable angry outbursts, and it was familiar. And after finding out that she actually preferred being an ASL teacher to adults, I felt bad for her.
But she did teach me to read and write.
Angry goose, angry goose, th th th.
And I still use touch-points when doing arithmetic. I once had to explain what all those dots and circles were on my math work on a calculus test. My teacher, who was from Russia and had never heard of it, told me to stop doing it.
Lady, I had to re-teach myself math just so I could go to college to pass a calculus class just to overcome my math phobia and the belief that I don’t have a “math brain.”
Everyone has a math brain, actually: language acquisition and use is more complicated than computation. Most of us aren’t taught math in a way that we can use it; in a bubble, with no explanation.
But I digress.
I was torn as a six-year-old, and I think that November could have been the time of my first existential crisis, because I was sure I would be an artist despite the fact that I showed a penchant for writing. If I became a writer, how could I be an artist? I grew up in a working class world where you choose one thing, become one thing, and do that until you retire or die, and deviating or trying new things was a threat to your financial security. Well-roundedness was another word for lazy.
In the fall of 1993, I dropped out of my fashion design classes, having lost all interest in a career I was sure I would have, a trajectory I thought would lift me out of the world I was in and bring beauty into my ugly life, wash it away, never to return. But, awkward, chubby, with glasses, pimples, poorly styled hair, strange clothes, few friends and with a reputation for being a weirdo who no one should befriend, trying to navigate a giant school, it just didn’t fit anymore. I started skipping lunch to avoid bullies and the melee of having a fifteen-minute meal time in a room without enough seats and tables for all the students.
I started going to the library and reading J.D. Salinger.
I skipped an entire two weeks of volleyball in gym class to hide in the bathroom and read The Catcher in the Rye, and then I realized that I could and should write again.
And Mercury went retrograde right at the degree of my own Mercury retrograde, and I suffered through freshman year, but I was going through a personal revolution where I just started to think differently, perhaps more authentically, because I started realizing that I was always going to be on my own in some way, and that trying to fit in was just going to get the same results, and perhaps all the adults in my life were just parroting things they were told and never experienced, and no one really knows who came up with all these ideas about the world, but that if I wanted to survive into adulthood, I had to survive adolescence so I could get the fuck out of here.
This is what I recall.
Mercury has gone retrograde through Scorpio about every seven years since then, but hasn’t passed the 19th degree of Scorpio — the “accursed” degree, or the North Scale – since. But the focus seems to be on communication, at least in written communication, non-verbal communication, on intellectual sympathy for those who are hurting, on exploring self-expression, on intuition.
I hope that this year, I get another big break.
I think one is coming.
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