by Tony Howard
Are you ready for another Mercury retrograde cycle? We almost never are, are we? Since Mercury will retrograde in Gemini this time – its own sign – it’s likely we’ll see more of the stereotypical manifestations of this cycle. To get in the flow, you’ll probably need to slow down in general, but especially in regards to Gemini-ruled topics, like communication, speaking, writing, teaching, and learning.
My approach to a smooth Mercury retrograde period is to soften my will. Frustration only arises if I’m too invested in doing something at my usual lightning pace (I have natal Mercury conjunct Uranus). If I allow myself to slip into ultra-patient mode, I usually find that Mercury retrograde is pleasant. It’s one of the only times I give myself permission to slow down, let things go undone until they get done, and allow life to unfold as it will without pushing too much. Hey, I should probably adopt a Mercury retrograde attitude all the time! Luckily, Mercury retrograde happens 3 times a year, so we get 3 chances to get it right. (Did I really just say “luckily”?!)
If you have planets in early-to-mid Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo or Pisces, you’re likely to notice this Mercury Rx cycle more than usual. Also pay close attention to planets in those signs near 4° or 13°, the degrees of Mercury’s stations.
Open up your interpretations of Mercury by incorporating its phase. Mercury can be understood through its relationship with the Sun and its visibility in the night sky. When Mercury is a “morning star” at birth, its function in our chart has a unique quality when compared to its “evening star” phase. We’ll unpack these differences as we review the technical specs of the Sun-Mercury relationship, including its retrograde cycle.
The shadow period for this cycle begins May 4, with Mercury at 4° Gemini. As Mercury begins to slow down this time, it moves into a square with Neptune on May 8. This usually quick transit takes on more importance since Mercury will retrograde back and forth over that square point at 9° Gemini. It retrogrades into the second pass of the square on May 28th. After stationing direct, Mercury squares Neptune one more time on June 22.
Mercury with Neptune can bring shady communications, so let’s steer it towards more spiritual pursuits. You may want to postpone important conversations around those dates. Instead, use the time to connect with something higher than yourself, outside the linear realm of the easy-to-understand. Take an internet holiday (or just look at the pretty pictures instead of reading!). Spend more time in silence, dream a little. Being too linear or trying to make sense of things on those Mercury square Neptune days feels like going against the flow. You’ll have plenty of time to get back to rational thinking after Mercury goes direct.
The only conjunction of Mercury and Mars in Gemini this year happens during Mercury retrograde. Pay attention to the dates May 25-28, when listening is probably a better choice than speaking and taking action, especially if you find yourself peeved. Give Mars a couple of days to march briskly forward out of the conjunction while Mercury dilly-dallies, and wait until your frustration has integrated somewhat before saying what you need to say.
Just before Mercury goes direct, the collective seems to let out a big sigh of relief via Facebook these days, given that so many have become familiar with the cycle. We might see even more of that this time, when Mercury turns direct June 11 as it buddies up to Venus through the sextile aspect, ending the cycle with some good vibes. If any feathers got ruffled during the Mercury-Mars conjunction, or confusion set in with Mercury square Neptune, the sextile with Venus should provide some opportunity for pleasant reconnection. Venus will be in Leo, so celebrate the end of the cycle by spending time with fun friends who make you feel good. Get dressed up and go out to dinner for some lively conversation, or have some of your favorite peeps over for game night.
Mercury is totally in the clear by June 27, when it passes the 13° mark, ending the post-retrograde shadow period.
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Photo credit: "Hermes" by Isikol
Mercury Retrograde Dates May-June 2015
May 4 Mercury at 4º Gemini begins pre-retrograde shadow period
May 8 Mercury square Neptune
May 18 Mercury stations retrograde at 13º Gemini.
May 27 Mercury Retrograde conjunct Mars
May 28 Mercury Retrograde Square Neptune
May 30 Mercury conjunct Sun
June 11 Mercury sextile Venus
June 11 Mercury stations direct at 4º Gemini
June 22 Mercury square Neptune
June 27 Mercury at 13º Gemini ends post-retrograde shadow period
The Moon-Jupiter Conjunction in Julie Andrews’ Birth Chart
Steven is enjoying the beautiful Lake Como area in Italy this week, so I’m your host for this month’s newsletter. For those of you who thought the Uranus-Pluto square was over, just take a look at last month’s headlines. Instead of rehashing all of that, I thought it might be nice to give you an antidote to all that harsh news. So below you’ll find a brief article about the Moon-Jupiter conjunction in Julie Andrews’ chart. Think of it as a spoonful of sugar…
Steven’s New Wikipedia Entry
Steven’s New Wikipedia Entry! We’d like to extend copious amounts of gratitude to Jonathan Hall for all of his hard work creating a new Wikipedia entry for Steven. We’ve had trouble doing this in the past in a way that gets approved and isn’t denied or removed. It’s no easy feat, and Jonathan did a great job. Thanks Jonathan! Stop by Wikipedia and check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Forrest_(astrologer)
Tony Howard graduated Summa Cum Laude in history and film from the University of Colorado. His degree turned out to be the perfect precursor to his career in astrology, where his focus includes historical research and chart analysis. His writing has been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and in two Flare anthologies: Astrology, the Next Generation and The Book of Music Horoscopes.
Tony has been researching declination since 2011 and specializes in “out of bounds” planets. He also loves working with and studying aspects, which forms the core of his work with clients. He is the founder of Astrology University.