Mercury Retrograde from August 12 to September 6 2017 -Virgo 11° to Leo 28°

Hermes statue @ the National Roman Museum

Hermes statue @ the National Roman Museum

Timeline of Mercury’s Retro Period

Mercury will enter Virgo in late July when it will also reach its maximum elongation (visual distance from the Sun), a period of greater mental clarity when the planet appears as an Evening Star for about an hour after sunset, until mid-August.

The Retro motion will begin on August 12 with Mercury becoming Stationary on the eleventh degree of Virgo. Our Little Brother will eventually retrace his steps into Leo on September 1; only for ten days though, and only along the distance of two degrees, re-entering Virgo for good on September 10.

The possible effects of this Mercury’s Retro Period

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. When in the Fire Sign of Leo Mercury promotes creativity and passion, when in Virgo discrimination and practicality. During a retro period we are made to re-think our thinking, often having to go over-drive with the particular character of the Sign involved.

The transits of Mercury while Retrograde through Virgo (August 12 to end of August)

Mercury’s Retrogradation through Virgo, between August 12 and 30, could particularly affect people with the first twelve degrees of the Mutable Signs highlighted in their Natal Charts: Virgo, Pisces, Gemini and Sagittarius. The quality of discrimination and practicality usually indicated by Mercury in Virgo could end up driving us crazy as we get lost in minute details while missing on the big picture, a waste of time at least or, at worst, a never good enough attitude of mind that can become really paralyzing.

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

At the time of its Retro Station on August 12, 13 (when the planet will seem stationary around the eleventh degree of Virgo, just before starting to move backward), Mercury will be very close but not yet exactly opposed to Neptune in Pisces. I feel that this opposition will compound the tendency of this Mercury Retrograde period to create confusing or even chaotic circumstances, especially in the areas of communication. Neptune in fact is more than any other planets an archetype of the often foggy and dream-like astral universe of our individual and collective psyche; the opposition between Mercury and Neptune signifying the conflict between our left brain reasoning/rational and our right brain creative/intuitive faculties. The opposition usually implies the idea of reconciling these two different attitudes, blending them into a more holistic way of thinking and communicating.

On August 27 Mercury will align with the Sun in Virgo, marking the shift between its Evening and Morning appearances. Mercury will be more easily observable as a Morning Star between September 6 and 20, when back in Virgo in direct motion.

The transits of Mercury while Retrograde through Leo (September 1 to 6)

On September 3, by then back into Leo, Mercury will align to Mars, a very active planet during this Eclipse Season (and the reason for its potential intensity), at the same time forming a positive aspect to Uranus in Aries (trine), both transits helping to flare up our imagination. Great ideas may pop up into our mind at this time. They may be more experimental than immediately viable but could eventually form a fertile ground for future accomplishments. These transits could also make us more assertive and controversial in speech and writing, with a risk of becoming somewhat forceful and autocratic, but also with great potential for inventiveness and originality.

How to make the most of this strange period during the Virgo transit?

Tuning in somehow will help to gain the insights a Mercury Retro period is ideally meant to bring.  The Virgo’s aptitude of paying great attention to details, for instance, can be creative and liberating too if part of a integrated spiritual system. A good example would be the art of Feng Shui through which the precise arrangements of objects and features in our homes and work spaces  can be a source of greater harmony in our lives. Learning skills that in the past seemed too demanding and complicated could also fill this period with meaningful activities: learning a new language for example, grammar and all, crafts of all kind: pottery, crocheting, knitting, typing, wood working, stained glass making, beading, ikebana, calligraphy, macrame’, embroidering etc. By putting some painstaking effort on doing something small, we may realize that the reward of mastering a skill is the skill itself, rather than the finished product.

How to make the most of this strange period during the Leo transit?

The first ten days in September Retro Mercury transiting the last two degrees of Leo could prove particularly trying for people with the last three to four degrees of Leo, Aquarius, Taurus and Scorpio highlighted in their Natal Charts. Usually creative even flamboyant Mercury in Leo when Retrograde may add a touch of obsession to our creative endeavors, helping us to go deeper in whatever we are doing but also running the risk of becoming dangerously one minded and self-centered for a while. Letting go of the usual control we try to exert on things and, in particular, on our creative efforts could make light of the many possible disruptions of a Leo Retro period. Let’s try to enjoy a little chaos, who knows what marvel of imagination, inspiration and originality it could bring?


Mercury and Venus in Leo, July 2016: a ‘Warm Fuzzy” to everyone

Go-Away-Black-Bird Kathleen

‘Go away Black Bird’ by Kathleen Lolley

Mercury and Venus are now transiting Leo. Venus entered this Fire Sign on July 12 and Mercury will enter Leo a bit later today, July 14. Mercury will transit Leo until the end of July and Venus until August 6. The two will actually become perfectly aligned on July 17, both rising before the Sun, both Morning Stars together, yet too close to the Sun to be visible.

The Sun is also due to enter Leo in a few days time (July 23) and transit there until August 23. Hopefully this Leo crowd could help us to feel more warm, optimistic, creative, spontaneous and generous in the coming days; also less emotional and caught up in domestic worries and emotional turmoil (recent transits through Cancer).

Mercury and Venus have a lot in common, more in fact that we usually imagine: Venus being usually defined as the Goddess of Love and Pleasure, while Mercury is said to rule the Intellect and Reason, two apparently very distinct areas of experience.

These two are the Inner Planets, the only celestial bodies moving within the Earth’s orbit. We could say that they are ‘up close and personal’ to all of us, very much affecting our character and destiny throughout life, depending on their position, their mutual relationship and the way they relate to all the other planets in the Birth Chart.

One way to better perceive the similarities between Mercury and Venus is to visualize them as respectively the God of communication and all forms of exchange (Mercury) and the Goddess presiding over all forms of relationship and attraction. This way we could notice less the conflict between reason (Mercury) and feeling (Venus), realizing more their profound secret connection in our lives.

When Mercury and Venus transit the same Sign we are offered a great opportunity to harmonize reason and feeling, the way we communicate our ideas and the way we share our feelings with others, sensual and/or aesthetic love with intellectual affinities etc.

Leo is a Sign of great vitality and power, these qualities reflecting on these two planet during the remaining of July and early August.

This month love and talking, if not big, spontaneous or dramatic, may not feel worth the effort! We can all shine a bit brighter during this double passage through Leo, tapping into the inexhaustible fire energy of the Sun, source of  joy and creativity (the Sun being the ‘ruler’ of Leo and soon in this Sign too).

Leo is the Sign of childhood, naturally exuberant and self-centered. Mercury and Venus in this Sign can show us how to enjoy every moment of our lives, the way children can, because they are completely absorbed in what they do. This could be an ideal time then to get in touch with the child within, to enjoy fun and games and all activities performed for the joy of it, rather than any utilitarian or practical reason. Like children we could look upon our creations, affections, conversations as an expression of spirit.

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 and Venus in conjunction to the Sun, spot the difference

Due to my protracted illness in August (a very bad case of influenza) I missed the opportunity to talk, amongst other things, of the simultaneous conjunctions of Mercury and Venus to the Sun in Leo.

I’m trying to make up for it in this post because these transits are still very relevant.

Mercury became retrograde in the early degrees of Virgo on August 3, and then moved back toward the Sun in Leo. Little Brother met the Sun on August 17, afterwards re-entering the pre-dawn sky as a Morning Star. Only a day earlier, on August 16, Venus also met the Sun in Leo, but hers was a different meeting, and she is now slowly returning to the evening sky, setting after the Sun.

It may be possible to spot Mercury in early September, just before sunrise, in the East, while we’ll have to wait until mid-October to get a better view of Venus as Lady of the evenings. In fact mercury disappears from view only a couple of weeks at the time, while Venus disappears for several weeks.

The difference lays in the fact that Mercury, at Inferior Conjunction, was orbiting between the Earth and the Sun, while Venus, at Superior Conjunction, was passing on the other side of the Sun from Earth’s viewpoint. They appear to do the same thing, from our biased standpoint, but they are in fact doing very different things. Venus was really in opposition to the Sun, from an heliocentric (sun-centered) viewpoint, while Mercury was in fact in ‘regular’ conjunction to the Sun (on the same point of the Ecliptic from Earth)

During those particular phases of their orbits Venus and Mercury remained invisible, ‘combust’ in the Sun’s glow (combustion being the term used by traditional western astrologers to define a planet close enough to the Sun to be absorbed in its light).

A Morning Star planet, visible in the East before sunrise, is said to exert a positive, highly spirited energy, suitable for outward action. Because Mercury’s function is to allow rational thinking, logical connections and communication, these activities will receive a boost from this phase, allowing for more direct and effective communication, greater ease with the spoken and written words, and enhanced logical understanding. Business transactions could benefit from this position.

The Morning phase of either Venus or Mercury, is comparable to a New Moon, fostering initiative and the start of new ventures. As Mercury is concerned, god of merchants, intellectuals, talkers, readers, writers, teachers, students and thieves, we could all try something new during this period.

What Mercury gains in efficiency and logic could perhaps lose in intuitive perception and imagination, qualities better expressed by Mercury Evening Star (next period: end of October to late November 2011).

Venus, on the other hand, is now the Evening Star until June 2012. Her next Inferior Conjunction to the Sun will be in fact on June 6, 2012, while retrograding in Gemini. That conjunction will be a real event, the dark disk of Venus passing visibly upon the disk of the Sun, a sort of Solar Eclipse (phenomenon observable from most localities in Australia). These are rare conjunctions, that come in pair separated by a gap of eight years, the first of the pair having occurred in 2004. Another such pair will occur again only in about 121 years.

Coming back to the present Venus Evening Star, this phase is said to enhance Venus’ more intuitive and self-reflective qualities, helping us to gain greater awareness of the less conscious factors in our relationship. This is a cautious type of Venusian energy, not one likely to risk too much in love, or be blinded by appearances and wishful thinking. New as well as old relationships will be put to the test of this highly discriminating and profound Venus.

The Evening phase of a planet is comparable to a Full Moon, with the subsequent Waning period, a time for realization and illumination, also for sharing our experiences with others and begin a cycle of self-analysis and introspection.

We could emerge from this period with a whole new set of values as far as love and relationships are concerned, more mature, less naive, less plagued by too idealistic expectations of others.

Taking personal responsibility for one’s joy or lack of joy in life can be a gift of the Evening Venus, allowing for more honesty and understanding in relationships, but perhaps for less glamour and superficial romance too.


Mercury enters his own Sign of Gemini today, June 10 2010, at 3.41 pm, Eastern Australian Time.

The closest planet to the Sun is now becoming less and less visible in the dawn twilight, speeding toward a conjunction with the Sun (Superior Conjunction) on June 28. By then Mercury will be in Cancer, entering this Sign on June 25.

When planets transit one of the Signs that are traditionally assigned to them, like in this case Mercury in Gemini, they can  express their function in a more direct and natural way. The Sign will not resist the energy of the planet but rather encourage it, preparing a receptive medium through which it can work smoothly and perform at its best.

Mercury in Gemini is great for many things, not just intellectual stuff or communication. It accelerates the pace of all actions,the pace of thought that drives the action, in the first place, so that we can get more done, hopefully more than when Mercury was transiting slow-paced Taurus, the latter transit having lasted for much longer than usual because of Mercury’s retrogradation (Mercury has been in Taurus since April 2).

As it enters Gemini Mercury is also forming a harmonious angle with both Jupiter and Uranus (sextile) conjunct in Aries since June 8, making today and tomorrow great days to feel inspired and optimistic, finding new ways to do things and new avenues of discovery.

Gemini is one of the double Signs of the Zodiac, meaning that is works equally well on two different planes of experience, the intellectual and the intuitive (the mortal and immortal twins) allowing for greater flexibility and tolerance of differences in our dealings with the world.

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