Astrology Wisdomx

In a dark time, the eye begins to see.

~ Theodore Roethke

Mercury Retrograde

The Trickster Advises Rest And Retreat

Bad Rap

Mercury Retrograde gets a bad rap. “Mercury Retrograde” refers to the three-week periods that occur 3-4 times a year in which the planet Mercury appears to move backwards in the sky. This phenomenon occurs only from our viewpoint on Earth.  These periods often strike fear into people’s hearts, due to their reputation for mechanical breakdowns, technological collapse, or delayed travel plans. And it’s true that these periods correlate with more than a fair share of these issues. However, we experience these problems partly because we live in a culture that fails to value contemplation or retreat, so we constantly overextend ourselves to the breaking point.


Not to worry! In general, retrogrades offer space to take a mental break from the constant grind and re-calibrate your inner compass. Start by taking a deep breath and relaxing. Ponder the idea of taking advantage of time to consciously retreat, rest, and review. Revisit your to-do list, and take special note of what calls your attention. Slow down and scrutinize your expectations with an attitude of observation.

Observe Themes

Each Mercury Retrograde period presents subtly different themes. Mercury itself refers to information transmission, and how we think, learn, speak, and listen. It also represents your mindset, emphasizing that you have a choice in the mindset you adopt. The sign Mercury occupies when it “turns around” infuses particular themes into the retrograde. Furthermore, when you apply the information to your natal chart, you can further elucidate and personalize the topics in your own life.

Mercury Through The Houses:  What topics may arise in your personal life?

First House: Self, Self-Development, Self-Image

Consider factors that affect your basic identity, how you present yourself, and the first impression people seem to get of you, and what direction your life points in.

Second House: Finances, Resources, Self-Worth, Livelihood

Consider how you value yourself and the state of your finances. Tangle with the inherent resources you have and your ability to deepen unconditional self love.

Third House: Communication, Siblings, Short Trips, Writing

Consider your relationships with your siblings or very close friends and your communication style. Also think about how you move about in your daily life, the transportation you use.

Fourth House: Home, Roots, Lineage, Parents

Consider your relationships with your family, your ancestry and your physical home. Revisit your ability to find inner security, your “home inside the heart.”

Fifth House: Creative Expression, Risk-Taking, Children, Giving Of Love

Consider how you relate to children and their playful energy. Use this time to engage in deeply creative projects, the things you would do no matter what and take risks for.

Sixth House: Routine, Work, Self Care, Service

Consider the routines you have that keep you healthy. This includes fitness routines, therapy, nutrition and the like. Check in with unconscious habits and make sure you are taking the time you need to breathe. Revisit “self improvement” areas of life.

Seventh House: Partnerships, Marriage, Rivals

Consider all your partnerships in life, particularly regarding the balance between cooperation and autonomy. Review your sense of equanimity and interdependence.

Eighth House: Other People’s Baggage and Money, Shared Resources, The Occult

Consider the boundaries you need to cope with other people’s resources and intense emotional struggles. Review your rituals that support you in these shadowy areas.

Ninth House: Worldview, Travel, Higher Education, Religion

Consider the your life philosophy and what you might need to broaden it. Review your ability to open your mind and explore any gaps in your education.

Tenth House: Profession, Social Reputation and Contribution

Taking the long view, consider your professional life and any adjustments you want to make. Review prior aspirations and goals.

Eleventh House: Groups, Affiliations, Associates, Community

Consider your ability to contribute to your communication and the role they play in receiving love and support. Review your connections and your humanitarian viewpoint.

Twelfth House: Selfless Service, Transcendence, Suffering

Consider your ability to forgive and hold compassion for the suffering of others. Retreat and review your connection with a sense of wonderment or the divine. Take solitude.

Astronomy: The Journey

The superior conjunction with the Sun marks the beginning of Mercury’s symbolic journey. “Superior” refers to Mercury’s position on the far side of the Sun from Earth, and in direct motion. At this moment, the tiny winged messenger planet is completely invisible against the powerful rays of the Sun. It must clear the Sun by about 15º to pop back up in our evening sky. Soon after this point, Mercury appears to slow down, halt, and begin moving back toward the Sun, covering the ground it has already traversed. This second encounter with the Sun, always with Mercury in retrograde direction, is called the inferior conjunction. It marks the midpoint of the retrograde period. About a week and a half after the inferior conjunction, Mercury stations direct, and completes the third and final pass of the same zodiac degrees. At this point, it chases the Sun and when it catches up, the cycle begins again. From the astrology lens, when Mercury crosses through the same zodiacal territory, it provides us with an opportunity to focus on and wrestle with the various issues in our lives from the same vantage point. When viewed in this way, we gain the opportunity to revisit and reframe the narrative of our lives.


2022 Dates Of Mercury Retrograde:

January 14 – February 3 (10º Aquarius – 24º Capricorn)

May 10 – June 3 (5º Gemini – 26º Taurus)

September 9 – October 2 (9º Libra – 24º Virgo)

December 29 – January 17, 2023 (24º Capricorn – 8º Capricorn)


Stage Meaning 2022 Zodiac Points
Superior Conjunction The start of the cycle, Mercury appears to sit exactly behind the heart of the Sun (the cazimi condition), with Mercury floating on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth. Mercury in direct motion only during this conjunction 1: Nov 28, ‘21 (7 Sagittarius)

2: April 2 (13 Aries)

3: July 16 (24 Cancer)

4: Nov 8 (16 Scorpio)



Visible in Evening Once Mercury moves 15º away from the Sun, it becomes visible in the evening sky


Mercury begins traveling through the degrees it will retrace during the retrograde period
Stations Retrograde Mercury appears to slow down and then reverse direction 1: Jan 14 (10 Aquarius)

2: May 10 (5 Gemini)

3: September 9 (9 Libra)

4: December 29 (24 Capricorn)

Inferior Conjunction The midpoint of the cycle, Mercury again appears to sit exactly in the heart of the Sun.   This time however, Mercury floats between us and the Sun. Mercury is always retrograde for this conjunction. 1: Jan 23 (3 Aquarius)

2: May 21(0 Gemini)

3: Sept 23 (0 Libra)

4: Jan 8 (17 Capricorn)


Stations Direct Mercury appears to slow down and turn back to move in forward direction. 1: Feb 3 (24 Capricorn)

2: June 3 (26 Taurus)

3: October 2 (24 Virgo)

4: Jan 17, ‘23 (8 Capricorn)



Mercury wanders back through all of the degrees it has already gone through twice, for a third and final time in the year. This period finishes when it reaches the degree of the zodiac sign that it retrograded on.
Visible in Morning Once Mercury again reaches that 15º departure date, it becomes a morning star, visible in the magical hours before sunrise.
Superior Conjunction Cycle Starts Again

photo by Sarah Date

Integrity: The Sun and The Moon

Aligning Your Inner and Outer Nature

Most of us know our Sun sign, but how many of you know your Moon sign? Familiarizing yourself with both allows a deeper understanding of the fundamental motivation and vitality in your chart. You can then begin to learn how these two personality components relate and function together, which helps you understand what truly drives you, how you create relationships with others, and how you express yourself.

The Sun symbolizes the identity you shine outwardly to others. Some people strongly identify with their Sun sign, whereas others do not and perhaps are left wondering why it doesn’t quite seem to fit. This is because we are all far more than what the Sun alone represents. The Moon represents the inner emotional nature and the reigning need of the chart. It traverses all twelve signs in a month, changing sign roughly every 2½ days. To understand the Moon better, consider how it reflects brilliance of the Sun. It is impossible to look directly at the Sun; however, we can stare at the Moon’s silvery reflection of the Sun’s golden energy all night long. The message? We all must work within our own inner realm of emotions to manifest the life we want. This striving becomes possible by the softer light of the Moon.

So much of Astrology is about relationships. Understanding the relationship between your Sun and Moon reveals much about the alignment between your inner motivations and your external actions. The degree to which you can ally the contemplative dimension of the Moon to the outer manifestations of the Sun illustrates your personal integrity.

If the Sun and Moon are fused together in the same sign, there is a natural synchronicity between your emotional life and the way you conduct yourself publicly. Your challenge is to direct all that power appropriately. In contrast, if three signs apart, your Sun and your Moon exist in a stressful square configuration, an intensely disparate relationship, and you will have to work very hard to align the two energies since they are so different. This combination is well-suited to lots of personal growth. One sign apart suggests an affable connection, where one energy emerges out of the other. A two sign separation indicates an opportunity that must be acted upon for productive expression. Four signs apart show a harmonious flow of understanding. A five sign contrast expresses as awkward yet clarifying. Six signs apart, an opposition, is conducive to an clear awareness of polarity.

For me personally, I experienced a powerful revelation once I learned that my Leo Sun squares my Scorpio Moon in a conflicted 90-degree angle. It was indescribably helpful to me, because I finally had a meaningful context for understanding and remedying this daily struggle. Honoring both the inner Scorpionic desire for introspection and solitude AND the Leo insistence on public recognition and interdependence is a demanding study in self-awareness.

Curious? Want to deepen your self-understanding and awareness? Schedule an appointment with me at Hidden Path!

You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.

~ Alan Watts

Elemental Understanding

I love the simplicity of the four elements and resonate with the rich imagery they suggest. The four elements form the backbone of the twelve zodiacal signs. We can see these forces play out in nature and in our personalities. Understanding how they interact can give us a deeper understanding of our relationships. How we express them relies upon our self-awareness, our path, and our intention for wielding personal power. Balancing them is a moving process, a bit like walking back and force along a seesaw.

The four elements are:
The creative, assertive force of FIRE
The steady, building energy of EARTH
The intellectual, inventive vibe of AIR
The deep, emotional content of WATER

A volcano erupts across the sky after seething dormant for millennia
A potter molds clay, creating a fine porcelain vessel
An abundance of earth snuffs the flame into darkness
An abundance of fire scorches the earth beyond desert.
(Aries, Leo, Sagittarius inspires Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo)
(Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo stabilizes Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)

Balanced, the hearth fire burns, community gathers around for spirited discourse
Or sheets of fire in a wildfire, taking thousands of acres, a cleansing process in the long view, destruction of the current paradigm
A fire being drained of air becomes smoke, blinding the eyes of all.
(Libra, Aquarius, Gemini aerates Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)
(Aries, Leo, Sagittarius ignites Libra, Aquarius, Gemini)

The geyser cascades shots of elemental brilliance from the earth’s crust
A natural sauna making sweat, passionate embrace
Water drowns the flame, dominates or
Fire scalds the bottom of the kettle as water disappears into steam.
(Aries, Leo, Sagittarius brings Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces to a simmer)
(Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces cools Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)

Wind whips across the spires of red Utah, pulling grains of sand into sculpture
The unbridled freedom of dust particles across the planet, or the deep earth canyon trapping air in a spiral dance
An ancient interplay between matter and energy, stillness and movement
The dust devil dances in the desert.
(Libra, Aquarius, Gemini dances with Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo)
(Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo grounds Libra, Aquarius, Gemini)

Spray blows off the top, the inexorable power of water, the wind sprite dances
Sheets of rain blown upside down, a brief flouting of the natural order of things
Mental concentration meets the well of compassion
Or, unbalanced, mindless heart*, sensitivity without focus
Or heartless mind*, cutthroat cerebral control.
(Libra, Aquarius, Gemini lifts Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)
(Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces surfs with Libra, Aquarius, Gemini)

Water penetrates the opaqueness of the Earth, loosening it
Continuing until the dam breaks, crashing towards the ocean to be swallowed
A marsh, riparian habitat, elegantly designed for filtration, the natural proclivity of the Earth to cleanse and renew
A mudslide in the Californian redwoods, saturation reached.
(Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces nourishes Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo)
(Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo anchors Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)

*Concept taken from The Five Keys to Mindful Communication by Susan Gillis Chapman

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