Eclipses & Mercury Retrograde – Autumn 2013

Posted on October 17, 2013
Posted by Jim Sher



We are in the middle of several overlapping transits that add enormously to the intensity of the next month and beyond. I have written many articles on Mercury retrograde, which you can find on this website, as this every 4-month phenomenon triggers many issues, some of which can be quite beneficial. So let me begin this article by going into some of the details of this particular cycle.

Mercury Retrograde Cycle

Right now, Mercury is in what is called the “Shadow.” This occurs a few weeks before Mercury actually turns retrograde. The most essential point to recognize is that ordinarily Mercury is quickly moving through the signs. Most of the time it moves at a faster rate than the Sun. But during the Mercury retrograde period, Mercury will go through a 16° territory three times. So the Mercury transit, which usually only takes 10 days or so to pass through this territory, will now take nearly 8 weeks. The territory for this particular cycle is between 2°-18° Scorpio. So, wherever this occurs in a person’s chart, tremendous emphasis and strong focus will be given to one’s thinking and communicating process. This is the key concept to keep in mind.

The ‘shadow’ period is a time where one begins to consider issues that will still be reviewed in the coming weeks, so the intensity of this cycle has already begun. In fact, this period often brings up sudden outbursts from the unconscious that feel uncontrollable. This is what happens when we repress important parts of ourselves. Mercury will go retrograde on October 21st at 3:29am PDT. This is when the review process begins. Yes, this is a time when mechanical objects can break down or need service. There can be delays, miscommunications, and people forgetting appointments, etc. But these things also occur when Mercury is moving at its normal pace. What is needed is time to contemplate and process, but even that can be difficult. When you understand the nature of the Mercury retrograde cycle itself, one discovers why. In life we often rush ahead and when we do, we miss steps. We don’t take care of things and put them off. So, when Mercury goes retrograde, we have to go back and pick up those missed steps. We have to fix the car that should have been serviced weeks or months ago or deal with communication issues with others. The best approach is to stay calm and as nonreactive as possible and deal with whatever comes up for us. Then, we are able to focus on the more important things that are developing in our lives and which need our attention.

Saturn conjunct the Mercury Retrograde Cycle

Let’s develop our theme further. As Saturn is a big part of this retrograde cycle, the period becomes more serious. We are asked to face things, especially any that we have avoided. This is a no-escape period. The more we are willing to do this, the easier the transit will be. If we don’t do it ourselves, others are likely to bring it up for us. Saturn is about taking responsibility and dealing with the consequences if we don’t. It can be severe. But it also rewards those who handle Saturn’s challenges.

When we put this together with Mercury retrograde, we see that this 7-8 week period is going to challenge us to be honest, humble and truthful as any challenges that come our way, will need to be directly confronted. We should own our part in anything that arises no matter how hard it is. Our patience may be tested, but our character will be revealed. Saturn asks us to grow up, be mature and take responsibility for our actions. For that is how we create a truly clean slate and eliminate the pull of the past on our psyche.

The Sign of Scorpio

With Saturn, north node, Mercury retrograde and the Solar eclipse on Nov. 3rd all happening in the sign of Scorpio, it is a vast understatement to say that we need to turn our attentions to the nature of this sign. It is known as the most intense sign of the zodiac. Why? Because Scorpio pushes hard to focus, probe, penetrate, explore and expose the essence or truth of whatever has engaged the Scorpio. It can be fanatical in that everything else becomes unimportant. It seeks to uncover all that might be hidden and to process it until its secrets are revealed. This is what Scorpio does when it is operating at its best.

But, if the Scorpio is afraid and digs in to block any change, the tone of one’s experience can become very difficult. When Scorpio hides, it turns dark and even nasty. It holds on desperately to the past and will defy anyone who tries to break through the fixity of its ego and fear. Instead of processing in order to arrive at great clarity, it mulls things over and over, working itself into an unnecessary frenzy of negativity and an out of control mood of foreboding and morbidity.

Making the Process Constructive

The power of Scorpio is strong and accordingly it reveals how important it is for Scorpio to learn how to stay focused on its real purpose. That purpose is to learn to release, to probe into its own psyche and then let all of it go. This sign is often referred to as the Phoenix that arises from the ashes. It does this by going deeply into the past with its traumas and pain and to then release them, to die to its own past in such a way as to no longer feel any pull from it. This can go so deep that one no longer feels it happened to them personally. Its death is now seen as a birth into freedom and a knowing that anything is possible again. Total renewal is all that exists.

This is the purpose and value of the processes that will occur in the next month and beyond. It will be up to us to make the conscious efforts needed to experience the positive outcome possible from this intense time period.

Friday Eclipse

There is a lunar eclipse coming this Friday, October 18th at 25° Aries. I won’t be going into it here because I think it is more important to describe the general themes operating now and in the coming months. I will be writing more on the coming eclipses as well as how things play out during this period so stay tuned for more.

During times like this, input and comments from readers are encouraged as they can help all of the readers. I hope it might be fun to share. It can serve a constructive purpose for others as well.





Astrology Mercury Retrograde Saturn Scorpio
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 “Eclipses & Mercury Retrograde – Autumn 2013”

  1.' Kisha says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I am truly going really deep into some dark places and exploring my inner self as this Saturn transits my 4th house. I love to research and understand complex problems so that I can solve them….but this time, I’m making sure that I don’t try to do it all with my intellect but to incorporate my spirituality–let the Divine Forces assist me. Ask for their help, to reveal things to me. I am being honest with my dark self and talking to it, and seeking transformation. I will be sure to keep this process front and foremost as this rx continues. Looking forward to deep inner change, peace with my past, and myself.

  2.' Angela says:

    Beautiful, Jim. And dead on with so many of the events happening in my own life. Thanks for your mindfulness and insights. 🙂

  3.' Cheryl Domino says:

    I have 5 planets in Scorpio! My birthday is November 12, 1954. I was born in Detroit Michigan at 5:23 pm.

    I am a Taurus rising with a Gemini moon. I have been getting hit with a lot of junk! Dimitia mom, my diabetic sister might have to have open heart surgery. We will know on Thursday for sure.

    As you will see by my chart, most of my planets are in the 6th house. I am living with my boyfriend who is a Veteran of the Vietnam War! Help! I am just looking for a save, beautiful place to live. Please give me some wonderful things to look forward to. (I have had a studio looking at me for a reality tv show on psychics!

  4.' Rayne says:

    This merc retro is gonna be a doozy… I’ve been feeling it intensely even in its shadow. Haven’t felt this effed up by a merc retro in a while… everything that could go wrong is going wrong. Not to mention my natal Saturn is 2 degrees Scorpio… 🙂 Oh well at least I love this sign…

  5.' Judith says:

    I am new to this, but very interested. I have been feeling very odd lately & don’t understand why.
    I am an Aries. Born on April 11, 1967 @ 6:27am
    Can you give me any direction of how to deal with the changes, and what are they changes that may be affecting me at this time.
    I need to stop feeling like I am going
    Thanks you,

  6. Jim Sher says:

    The Solar Eclipse will be at 11° Scorpio on Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 4:50am PDT

  7.' Janet says:

    What degree of Scorpio is the solar eclipse in please?

  8.' Bonnie Orgren says:

    Thank you again for an article of depth and clarity. With a Scorpio Ascendent at 6 degrees and a Gemini Sun in the 8th house at 18 degrees I’m certainly feeling this physically. I appreciate your views on Mercury retrograde. I always enjoy those periods perhaps because Mercury is one of my Sun’s rulers [Venus my soul ruler]. I’ve not ever experienced problems due to the retrograde cycle and believe it is when we are not grounded that they can occur. In fact Mercury’s retro cycle often brings blessings or some ease. It is closer to the Sun. Thanks, Bonnie Orgren

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