Mercury Retrograde

Contrary to popular opinion, Mercury Retrograde can be a time of great progress. 

Though this isn't always evident in the material world. That's because the real revelations of Mercury Retrograde are often deep and interior.

Mercury rules our thinking. Mercury Retrograde rules meditation and contemplation. Wisdom is its gift. And yet, so much of pop astrology centers on the chaos Mercury Retrograde unleashes on our technology and travel plans. Yet, if we're mindful, we'll admit that this outer chaos is actually a manifestation of our inner state, rather than the actions of a planet 48 million miles from Earth.

Astrology acts as a mirror of the human experience. We still control the reflection.

Don't get me wrong. Mercury Retrogrades aren't necessarily easy.  I should know. I was born the day Mercury stationed Retrograde in Aquarius. (Also the day of Richard Nixon's first inauguration.)

For me, every day is an opportunity to rethink, re-organize and practice patience. Yes, I'm often misunderstood. I'm also a vigorous thinker with creative ideas and a knack for handling mishaps - all thanks to Mercury Retrograde natally.

I like to think of Mercury Retrogrades as astrology's version of your first yoga retreat. In the beginning, you're a little uncomfortable and self-conscious, worried you won't have the stamina to finish. In the middle, you're starting to surrender control, free your mind, go with the flow, because what else can you do? By the end, you're admittedly a little worn out by the intensity of it all, but clearer and more directed than before.

A side note to Gemini-and Virgo-dominant folks: Mercury is your ruling planet. Mercury Retrogrades for you are periods ripe for change. On one hand, you embody the gifts of Mercury. On the other, you're most susceptible to its mischief. Move through the Retrogrades with confidence that you can handle whatever arises. Be flexible. Listen to what Mercury is trying to tell you.

Is your computer crashing because you've overloaded yourself? Are your travel plans falling through because you actually need to stay home? What important information came out of that argument with your spouse?

These are questions we can all ask ourselves during Mercury Retrograde. This period, channeled with the right intention, can guide us to communicate more clearly with ourselves and others and help us act more thoughtfully.  

Every Mercury Retrograde has its own character and the one starting Sunday has two distinct phases, one in Taurus, and the other in Aries.

The first eleven Taurus days (April 9-19) are a pragmatic and earthy time of reassessing our personal worth and resources. We're forced to contemplate what really gives us a sense of security. Our moral compass may be more sensitive than usual during this retrograde, especially on April 12 and 19.

As Taurus rules real estate, this is a good period for researching rehab projects or even contemplating big moves. Our material well being will be front of the mind now. We're also guided to more sensual pleasures. Dinner parties, walks through the woods, even luxurious spa days are especially favored on Easter.

The next thirteen Aries days,  (April 20-May 3), we're more self-conscious and circumspect. Aries is the original fire-starter, but as Mercury moves retrograde here, we're doing a lot of naval-contemplation instead. 

There could be confusion about how to assert oneself, especially on April 22. By April 25, we'll have more clarity and by April 28, we'll likely hear unexpected news. By the time Mercury stations Direct on May 3 at 24 degrees Aries, we'll be basking in an ethereal glow of good feeling and happy surprises.

Gina Piccalo