A Creative Mercury Retrograde

Posted on July 14, 2012
Posted by Jim Sher


I’ve been following the Mercury retrograde cycle ever since I started studying astrology back in the 70’s. It happened so frequently (every 4 months or so) and it always seemed to cause trouble that I was curious to learn what was going on. I knew I needed to ‘figure it out’ somehow, but when I read the books and magazines on it, my own personal experience never quite matched up to what was said about it. Some astrologers gave strong warnings about not signing contracts and making serious decisions and they were really absolute about it too. But I soon noticed that oftentimes, this rigid position just wasn’t possible. In fact, the opposite seemed true in that there were times when it was absolutely necessary for me to make a decision. I had to let go of what I was reading and begin to find out more. At some point I discovered that the cycle wasn’t just a 3-week long Mercury retrograde and that was when things started to clear up for me. (You can read many articles on Mercury retrograde on this website some of which goes into depth about this topic).

The notion that Mercury retrograde brings about the need for review has held true from the beginning, but the events and issues that force this to occur range widely from cycle to cycle. What I learned that changed everything was that the first half of this cycle (about 9-10 days) was actually bringing things to a head that had been building for the last 2 months. In other words, most of the time I was incredibly busy finishing or dealing with things that had either been postponed or which seemed to demand completion. When I began teaching students who shared so much with me and the class, this principle became a reliable constant. Mercury retrograde rarely brought about a ‘peace and quiet’ period where one could take time to reflect on life or some ‘big issue’ that I wanted to resolve. Sure, maybe one wanted to, but there were often obstacles in the way of finding that wanted peace and free time. So, what is happening?

What seems to be a better approach is to regard this cycle as a 4-month cycle with about 8 stages. The Mercury retrograde period itself is composed of two different but aligned themes. It is a time of endings and then beginnings. On one hand, one must complete something that has been either avoided or where there has not been the time needed to finish what now must be. Then, in the middle of the cycle, it’s called the Mercury Inferior conjunction with the Sun, which is when the ‘seed’ of a new phase begins. It may or may not be noticed yet. It is similar to the New Moon, also called the ‘dark Moon’ because one may not yet sense the nature of what has been quietly born inside us. Then, as Mercury finishes its retrograde period and goes direct, the new seed starts to grow and all kinds of new things will emerge and take us forward in a slightly different direction than before.

The strength of a particular cycle is dependent on where it occurs on one’s natal chart and what aspects it makes to other planets, but everyone will feel it in some way. For those of you who want to know where all the action is, here it is. This period begins on Saturday, July 14th at 7:16pm PDT at 12°Leo 2′. It will reverse direction and move back to the Sun, which it will conjunct on Saturday, July 28th at 12:58pm PDT at 6°Leo8′. It then turns back to its direct motion on Tuesday, August 7th at 10:40pm at 1°Leo.

The aspects made during this 3-week period are quite good. There are sextiles with Mars in Libra and Venus and Jupiter in Gemini. Sextiles are not major aspects, but they do give us opportunities to develop new plans, solutions to old problems, or even completely new ways of approaching important matters in our life. The latter is made possible by the trine to Uranus of this retrograde cycle. Also, the entire cycle is in the creative and passionate sign of Leo. It’s a great time to express oneself in an open and heartfelt way. Leo inspires and can magnetically influence the environment one is in. Sure, if there are delays, one will have to deal with them, but that need not cause us to feel pessimistic. Inspiration is solid now and most of us ought to adjust if necessary, but unless something very significant occurs that really says we are moving in the wrong direction, this is not a time to give up.

There are other reasons for this. We have just completed a difficult cycle with many planets being direct. It’s been back and forth since last fall. Now, however, Mars, Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter are all moving in direct motion and accelerating in velocity. Once Mercury goes direct, we will fully enter a period of great activity and progress. Many people have told me that they feel it already and are eager to get going. To me, Mercury retrograde need not deter us. We will need to take care of whatever we need to take care of and be open to new kinds of thinking, but progress is still possible.

I want to add that several people have asked me about moving at this time. All of these people are in a situation where they have to move. There’s really no choice. But, they say to me, “I shouldn’t move when Mercury is retrograde!” That’s what the books say. Well, my view is that it’s not that uncommon for this kind of situation to happen. No, if one has real choice and can avoid moving during this period, it’s probably best to wait. But, oftentimes, this is not the case and need not worry us. Life, during Mercury retrograde, moves on just as newspapers still are published and delivered. Because this cycle is about endings and new beginnings, moving to a new home can be a part of that. So, if you must, then do it with all of the care and discernment you can muster and resist the temptation to force anything, and let life take you to where you need to be. Sometimes, we can be patient, but not always, and that’s perfectly OK.




Astrology Mercury Cycle Mercury Retrograde
Jim Sher

Jim brings over 35 years of experience as a therapist and transformational counselor to his practice of astrology, metaphysics, meditation and philosophy. He operates as a teacher and counselor and specializes in the use of discourse as a part of his teaching approach.

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8 responses to “A Creative Mercury Retrograde”

  1. LTDennison@yahoo.com' Linda says:

    Two computers quit during Merc Rx. Tried to buy new ones. They were broken right out of the box. Won’t make that mistake again.
    Best friend just listed her house…reluctantly…for sale. Hoping that there will be no offers during the Rx.
    As for contracts…my experience is that if the reason for the contract initiated BEFORE the Rx, it’s okay to sign, but even quadruple-checking everything, expect there to be “something” that is wrong or forgotten or slid thru the cracks.
    As a writer, it’s my scheduled time to rewrite and edit…and do the necessary writing in my head that has to happen before I actually produce pages on paper.
    Also, much depends on the sign and house and how it hits the natal chart, current solar return and transits to same!
    This year, I’ll be in Vegas Aug6-11…and you know I’ll be watching Mercury and the planetary hours vis-a-vis what’s happening and whether luck changes or not.

  2. tessast.touch@yahoo.com' Tessa says:

    How funny to talk about moving! Since I am 7 months pregnant and have been moving out of my place in California and out of the country during this time, my husband and I are taking our time to feel out the country we are in and looking for the right situation to have this baby. 🙂 But, as we are going along we are getting amazing information from lots of new sources, and already feel like we are exactly where we need to be!
    Love and light!

  3. Jim Sher says:

    This story is an example of the kind of tales I’ve heard about for many years. Sure, some of the Mercury retrogrades are tougher than others, but to automatically regard them negatively is just off the mark.

  4. sullivancb102@yahoo.com' Catherine Sullivan says:

    The last Mercury Retrograde period I HAD to buy a car, no way around it, it stopped dead in an intersection. I moved forward through an incredible series of divinely inspired solutions and came out of it with a new (used) car and a loan from the credit union and excellent service from the car dealer. Everyone lined up to help! When the car stopped eight different people came to my aid. Three verified it was indeed a problem; one got it out of gear so we could move it to safety, four additional men showed up to push while I steered to safe parking! One of the pushers then drove me home. Two different people I called while being driven home, were ready to come get me for my busy day. I needed to take part in a very successful workshop on communication at my church, and I had to bring the crockpot full of chili with me! After my day was complete I was driven to a location where I could borrow a car for as long as it took to figure out the issues. My credit union manager filled out my loan app while I related the story to him when I finished, he said “Your loan is approved! Take this card and tell this man to give you the best possible deal on the car you want, or I won’t deal with him again.” I followed my instructions and they had the perfect car for me, it met all my wish listings. Then in two hours I drove away with my “new” car. Oh, I also asked a friend who is a car guy to accompany me and he was available and willing. E v e r y thing occurred as smooth as glass! So that’s my MercRet story! Perfect.

  5. ccrosby3221@hotmail.com' Orionscollar says:

    By progression my natal mercury is now retrograde, does that make a difference during a Mercury retrograde.
    How about people born with a MR?

  6. starlight7@Lcom.net' Bonnie says:

    Refreshing. I’ve been waiting to hear a balanced approach to Mercury retrograde. As an astrologer I always say that all the fear propagated about Mercury retrograde is medieval astrology. As a Gemini I have always felt more connected during the retro cycle. Perhaps it is because I enjoy reflection. After all the energy is intensified and the messages come in stronger. Mercury is inside each of us and in our current era we now can set intentions and focus and guide our own personal solar systems; karma and collective responsibilities aside.

  7. emailusm@gmail.com' U M says:

    I really like your view of Mercury Retrograde. Very brilliant/Uranian.

  8. t-1mpth@msn.com' Melanie says:

    I agree completely. I have learned to use Mercury retrograde as a time to plant my seeds, find completion, and practice my patience as the lines on communication and action have often required me to either be clear the first time or be patient and try again.

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