Mercury stalling on the cusp of Capricorn begins its Retro Period in Sagittarius, on December 3 2017

Thoth, Egyptian Hermes-Mercury street art

Thoth, Egyptian Hermes-Mercury street art

Timeline of December 2017 Mercury’s Retro Period in Sagittarius

Just as Mercury reached the very last degree of Sagittarius, and the cusp of Capricorn, on December 3, it began its Retro Station. It will be January 11 2018 before Mercury will finally make it into Capricorn. The period of Retrogradation will last until December 23. This seems good news for Christmas holidays, family get-togethers and travel’s plans. Until then however re-check your plane-train-bus tickets and the addresses on your postal parcels or email greetings, the Trickster is on the prowl for unwary victims!

Other possible effects of this Mercury’s Retro Period in Sagittarius

When Mercury moves from a Fire Sign to an Earth Sign we can expect to enter a more suitable frame of mind to put into practice all the ideas we have been brewing in our heads during the Fire transit. Sagittarius is a very speculative and future oriented Fire Sign but not one accomplished in manifesting the same as viable propositions and down to earth realities. Hesitating as it does on the cusp of Capricorn Mercury shows a collective reluctance to stop speculating and dreaming big and start dealing with real stuff. Until December 23 we will be revisiting all the recent projects and aspirations, perhaps to correct inconsistencies and errors of judgement or just to face instructive setbacks and delays.

It will be only after December 23 and, even better, after January 11 2018 (Mercury in Capricorn), that we may start looking more seriously for ways of putting everything to more rigorous reality tests. Capricorn then will not suffer delays and procrastination but will spur us into action.

As I often remind my readers, the apparent backward motion of Mercury is not just an optical illusion but actually marks the time when the planet is at its closest to us, circling the Sun within the Earth’s own orbit. The astrological Mercury is said to rule, among other things, over the collective and individual mind, the way we process and share ideas and thoughts.

The present transits of Mercury in Sagittarius (December 3 2017 to January 11 2018)

The most important transits of Mercury will be a conjunction (direct alignment on the same degree of longitude) to mighty Saturn on December 6, time to seriously re-consider our ideas and projects in a somewhat more cynical light, hopefully without knocking the wind out of them completely. This transit will be repeated once again, with Mercury moving in direct motion, on January 13 2018; with the big difference that Mercury and Saturn will be then in Earthy Capricorn, a much more suitable Sign to get things done.

On December 10 Mercury will trine Uranus in Aries (harmonious transit). The same will be repeated on January 7 2018, in direct motion. This could mean a blast of unusual, brilliant or just crazy new ideas flooding our mind, encouraging us to take uncharted paths, to go on odd tangents, to start peculiar conversations with or be inspired by eccentric or very inventive people. Make the most of this influence to move out of stale or conventional ways of thinking.

The big one though will be the Sun-Mercury alignment in Sagittarius (Inferior Conjunction) on December 13.  This will begin a few weeks period (until about mid February 2018) of Mercury apparition as a Morning Star (rising just before sunrise). This is astrologically considered an outgoing time for our Trickster, during which we may be able to communicate our thoughts and ideas more openly and directly, even with a certain degree of recklessness.


Mercury’s Retrogradation through Sagittarius, between December 3 and 23, could particularly affect people with the last fifteen degrees of the Mutable Signs highlighted in their Natal Charts: Sagittarius, Pisces, Gemini and Virgo. The natural changeability and eclecticism of Mercury in Sagittarius could end up driving us too much off the tangent, at times, wasting precious mental and verbal energy into useless speculations and pie in the sky dreams.

Of course this will not be just in the mind, but circumstances, interruptions, other people interference, unexpected complications and delays may all arise at this time to test our patience.

Happy festive season to everyone, close and far

Kleiner Himmelsbote, the little angel, courtesy of Helga Hornung ~ ~ Apology for mistaking title earlier.

Yesterday, December 15, I had put at the back of my mind the fact that Mercury was turning Direct, after two days of Station, just before one pm, my local time. Maybe the amnesia was a convenient way to avoid to worry about writing a post about it!

In the last two weeks my partner and I have experienced endless problems with the car, all too typical of Mercury’s Retrogradation, especially for Mercurial people. Those issues impaired gravely our mobility, as we live far from everything. At the same time the bookshop I’m running in the village did hardly make enough money to pay for the bus trip here. I was honestly worried about how bad it was going to be during the approaching Christmas school holidays, always the worst time of the year for the bookshop. It is too hot to read, there are too many other expenses, and the kids now at home want to be costly entertained (no more little Jimmy and Tess going fishing or crabbing with their friends).

Then on the 15, Thursday, something changed. People were in and out of the shop and buying, not just browsing as it often happens. Not only the shop made a good profit, but three people booked for readings. Out of the blue I also received some $ percentage for web stuff I’ve been doing for an artist  friend.

So our fortunes suddenly turned. Looking back at the day, few hours later, I realized that the change happened just as Mercury was finishing his u-turn on the fourth degree of Sagittarius, at 12.42 pm (cusp of my Natal Fifth House).

Mercury will be soon reappearing as a Morning Star, rising before sunrise, and bringing with him a more outgoing mental energy, future oriented and optimistic.

Well then, let’s hope this passage to be an auspicious time for all of us, full of positive and not gloomy visions of the future. Mercury in Sagittarius will end only on January 8, two days after the Epiphany, the day that traditionally closes the festive season.

At present lots of people are experiencing strong feelings of expectation. These, in some, amounts to anxiety; and in others even to dread, due to the large apocalyptic literature and web materials that, thriving since the beginning of the new Millennium, are now reaching a climax with the 2012 bandwagon many are following.

In my readings this year (now that we all need to look more closely at the upcoming big transits) I have been encouraging my clients and friends, as well as myself, to look at what will be extremely positive about the 2012 transits. We could in fact look at these life-changing events as at those street theatrical performances where the spectators are invited to participate and not just sit there in passive entrancement. The upcoming transits are going to demand our conscious human participation in order to bring the desired results; they could otherwise seem to have come just to punish us for our negligence and sins of omission. This is not time for passivity and indifference. I am thinking here of the Retrogradation of Mars in Virgo, the long awaited Uranus square Pluto, as well as Pluto sextile Chiron, Neptune entering Pisces, Jupiter entering Gemini and Saturn moving into Scorpio, all happening in 2012. The Arab Spring, the occupy Wall Street movement, the ecological war many are waging against the powers of inertia are not passive at all. Grassroots participation and personal involvement have reached historical proportions. This is for sure bigger than 1969!

Much of what we believed then and fought for has shown many failings in the intervening years, often clashing dramatically with the reality we had to adapt to. The spirit that imbued that time though still lives in the heart of those who have kept some of the early visions alive in their everyday life, still striving to live by the principles that moved them during that critical time of change.

In future the present will be remembered as a heroic time, when people had their voices heard, where the Age of Aquarius truly kicked in, thanks to the amazing technological developments that are transforming the world into a real Global Village; when radical changes to the structure of our societies are profoundly affecting the way we relate to each other, the way we work, learn and pass on our knowledge.

The transits indicate huge challenges, individually and collectively, that are also great opportunities for healing the rift between our material and spiritual needs, if we learn to handle those high voltage energies (in particular from Uranus and Pluto) in a creative rather than destructive way.

Mercury turning direct on December 15

Mercury Direct at 03° 56' Sagittarius. Thought to remind you

Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius, November 24 to December 15

The retrogradation of Mercury is a mystery and you are the only one who can unravel it!

There is no given formula for the way Mercury Retrograde is going to impact on your life. Each Birth Chart will experience this phase in its own peculiar way.

We can derive some general guidelines from the Sign position of Mercury and his aspects, though; these will apply in a general sense to everyone, and, in particular, to those Sagittarius born between November 25 and December 15; Gemini born Between May 24 and June 11; Virgo born between August 26 and September 13; Pisces born between February 21 and March 11; or anyone with the Moon, Birth Chart’s angles and/or planets between the third and twentieth degree of the same Signs.

When Direct, Mercury in Sagittarius indicates a mentally outgoing and adventurous period, when we can all dare to express grand ideas and cultivate more optimistic views. Travel could be very attractive and interaction with a great number of people more likely. When Mercury slows down, becoming first Stationary and then Retrograde in Sagittarius (November 24 to December 15, including Stationary days), a need will surface instead to retrace one’s steps, becoming more critical of easy optimistic views, re-thinking travel plans, or simply finding that your plans, for travel or any other activities, have to be changed for reasons over which you have no control.

With Mercury in Sagittarius we may all feel more ‘right’ than usual, showing less propensity to listen to other people’s views, deeming them not as sound or far reaching as our own. Disputes on points of moral or belief could go on well into the night during the coming three weeks.

It is not all gloom and doom however: Sagittarius is the Sign of Philosophy, moving on the high avenues of the intellect. When Retrograded in this Sign Mercury can reach heights difficult to achieve during the Direct period when it is less easy to be introspective.

The major aspects formed by Mercury during this period will become exact around December 4 and 5, when Mercury will reach a right angle to Mars in Virgo, a semi-square (45 degrees angle) to Saturn in late Libra, and, most importantly, a conjunction with the Sun. These aspect will permeate the whole week around these dates.

The square to Mars will increase the heat of any conversation and expression of viewpoints, Virgo adding the knack for criticism and nitpicking. If not careful we may get lost in endless diatribes on semantic points of not real importance.

The semi-square to Saturn (Mars involved in the configuration as well) could foster a tendency to interpret words and ideas we share with a touch of pessimism, perhaps having a positive sobering effect on Sagittarius’ flamboyant self-righteousness, but exacerbating Virgo’s critical attitude.

The conjunction with the Sun (Inferior conjunction) is part of the overall Mercury/Sun’s cycle. Our Little Brother is changing roles, from Evening Star to Morning Star. The Inferior Conjunction represents the start of a new Mercury’s cycle, promising a more outgoing and optimistic mental outlook, especially by the time Mercury will turn Direct in mid-December.

For more on the meaning and mechanics of Mercury’s Retrogradation please visit this early Post.

The significance of the Mercury Retrograde period


It is that time of the year again, Mercury has begun his Retro Station on December 10, an event occurring cyclically every four months or so.

Our little neighbor will move back into Sagittarius on December 19, turn Direct on December 30, and finally re-enter Capricorn on January 13.

Often the period of Mercury’s retrogradation is simply interpreted as a time full of misunderstandings, technical glitches, disruption in communication, odd accidents, mis-communications etc. These effects are often obvious, especially for people who happen to have the Sun, Moon, personal planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) or one of the four Angles (Ascendant, Descendant, Mid-Heaven or Lower Heaven) within the span of the zodiac covered by Mercury (19° Sagittarius to 6° Capricorn, this time), or in those areas in major aspect to it.

As far as the Sun Signs are concerned the individuals more directly affected by Mercury’s retrogradation, this time, will be: Capricorn, born December 22/29 ~ Cancer, born June 22/29 ~ Libra, born September 23/30 ~ Aries, born March 21/28. ~ Sagittarius, born December 10/21~ Gemini, born June 10/21 ~ Virgo, born September 11/22 ~ Pisces, born March 9/20.

There is a lot more however to the retrogradation of Mercury. First of all, Mercury might retrograde within one Zodiacal Sign, or pass, in retro motion, from one Sign to the one that precedes it, like it’s happening in this case. The Sign emphasis is in fact also important.

In a Birth Chart, for instance, Mercury in Capricorn encourages the mind to think methodically, to plan ahead, to restrain from flights of fancy keeping it on the narrow and straight path, so to speak. This Earthy Mercury is ideal for business dealings, for any constructive or practical enterprise, also for leadership because the individual’s way of expressing him/herself demands respect and trust from others. Mercury in Capricorn is in fact efficient, ambitious and thorough, with a mind which sticks to facts and figures, and delivers.

Collectively these same qualities will influence everyone, at some level, depending on where Capricorn is in your Birth Chart.

The Retrogradation however will soon move the Mercurial focus from Capricorn’s Earth plane to the intuitive plane of Sagittarius, a Fire Sign.

When Mercury is found in Sagittarius in someone’s Birth Chart it indicates an individual whose mind is unfettered by conditioning and rules of thinking. Sagittarius Mercury is the free thinker par excellence, ready to speculate about everything and easily going on far fetched tangents in his thinking and words.

For all of us this period should afford an opportunity to think out of the box, freeing ourselves from the shackles of conventional ideas and unadventurous communication.  This is symbolically a going back to our source of inspiration before we proceed again to do business as usual.

Mercury in Sagittarius is getting extra calendar time, due to the planet’s slowness when retrograde, inspiring us to look for meaning,  and generally expanding our understanding of life.

The transits a Mercury Retrograde forms during this special time are also important. Due to the extremely reflective nature of this planet, absorbing readily the colour and energy of other planets he comes in contact with, especially via conjunction.

Contrary to the usual Mercury’s transits that last only for very short periods of time, indicating passing moods and ideas, the retro transits of this planet last a relatively long time, impressing their peculiar mark on our personal and collective psyche. All aspects in fact that become exact just before the retro period of a planet are repeated three times: the first pass in direct motion, the second in retro motion and the third in direct motion again. If you happen to have Sun, Moon, Planets, Angles or Nodes around the degree of such transits or in aspect to them, then the effect of a retro Mercury’s transit could be as significant as the transit of a slow moving body.

These Transits will tend to have more of an effect on people who happen to have Sun, Moon, Planets or Angles around the degrees listed.

Mercury conjunct Mars, first in Sagittarius, then in Capricorn, while retrograde, finally in Aquarius again, in direct motion. It is exact on November 21 (on 17° of Sagittarius) , December 14 (on 04° of Capricorn), and February21 (on 28° of Aquarius).

This transit will coincide also with the conjunction Mercury-Pluto and Mars-Pluto, energizing the mind, and also intensifying the desire to know things, lifting the curtain of face value impressions. It is an important transit, helping to penetrate through walls of silence and to express things usually left unspoken. It is however also a dangerous connection, bringing up from the depth mental contents, memories, obsessions, traumas that have been repressed for a long time. Those could get out of hand and cause some major havoc in the lives of those who have a direct connection with the degree occupied each time by the transit.

Mercury square Jupiter and Uranus, while transiting Sagittarius. These transits are exact on November 26/28 (on 23° and 26° of Sagittarius), December 21/22 (on 25° and 26° of Sagittarius), and January 11/12 (on the same degrees as the December pass).

This transit may test our capacity to broaden our world view and to think out of the box. It could prove very creative and exciting for some, but perhaps also somewhat hypo and wasteful for others, increasing mental curiosity but also nervous restlessness.


Even after considering all these factors we would still fall short of penetrating the meaning of Mercury’s retro period if we weren’t considering it in the context of Mercury’s entire cycle in relation to the Earth and Sun. The Phases of Mercury are in fact as fundamental to this all important planetary energy as its Sign position, that represents the quality of its energy, or  Mercury’s House placement and the House ruled by Mercury via traditional Sign rulership, indicating the areas of experience where its planetary energy will more likely find expression.

In the light of the entire cycle the Retrogradation of Mercury is a most significant moment, when the planet passes from waning to waxing, from Evening to Morning Star. It is not just the Moon who waxes to the Full phase and wanes toward the New Moon. All planets do, when we observe their relationships with the Sun and the Earth. The phases bring to the ‘reading’ of Mercury an extra dimension, showing it as an ongoing process, rather than a fixed placement to be interpreted in a rigid way.

If interested please check my next post on planetary phases (Mercury’s in particular), to be published soon.

Focus on Sagittarius, Mercury and Mars


While Mercury powers ahead into Sagittarius from November 9 to December 1, Venus has been slowly retracing her steps into Libra since November 8. Our close neighbours have thus both left Scorpio around the same time. They have entered, one in direct motion, the other in retrogradation, the Signs preceding and following Scorpio, Yang assertive Signs, less emotional and also less fixed than Scorpio, therefore less inclined to get stuck into sticky emotional issues or power struggles.

Mercury will spend longer than usual in Sagittarius, due to retrogradation. It will become Stationary Retrograde on 5/6 degrees Capricorn, on December 10, re-enter Sagittarius in retro motion on December 19 and leave this Sign only on January 13, 2011. Mercury’s retro period will end on December 30, on the 19th degree of Sagittarius.

Mars has also entered Sagittarius on October 28 and will leave this Sign on December 8.

A lot of focus is on Sagittarius at the moment, a boost of energy and a more eventful time for Sagittarius, of course, but also the other Fire Signs, Aries and Leo, and the Mutable Signs, Gemini, Virgo and Pisces; and anyone in whose Charts these same Signs are alighted by the presence of the Moon, the Ascendant or the visible planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn).

Collectively the fact that the Moon is now waxing, that Venus and Saturn are now Morning Stars, Mercury-Mars are transiting a Fire Sign, and Jupiter-Venus are close to the end of their retro period (both becoming Stationary Direct on November 19) are all symbols of a more active and confident period for many people, when initiative will pay off and goal oriented activities can be more successful. We can all feel more expansive and generous, more free of the shackles of convention. Braving the storms of life is natural to Sagittarius, after exploring the depth of Scorpio, if the exploration has unearthed the wealth of self-knowledge. That self-knowledge can now entitle us to move into a wider world, to participate in life with renewed optimism and hope.

It could be a great time to travel or to seek less personal outlooks and philosophies; or just to try our luck at anything that seems promising, with a vision of better things to come.