On January 30, 10:51 AM ET, Mercury stations retrograde in the sign of Aquarius. From our perspective on Earth, the planet of communication, logic, and critical thinking will be in apparent backward motion until February 20. The post-shadow phase, during which Mercury will travel for the third time between 11°01’ and 26°29’ of Aquarius, lasts until March 13, and, on the same day, a New Moon in Pisces takes place, marking a fresh start.
Mercury retrograde is the transit that most often gets blamed when things go wrong, even though there is no need to be dramatic about it. Nevertheless, we may experience technological glitches, delays, a sense of brain fog, and some confusion surrounding all domains related to Mercury. During the upcoming weeks, pay attention to how you verbalize your feelings and thoughts to avoid misunderstandings, double-check any documents you need to sign and make sure that you have replied to emails and messages so you don’t miss important information. You will be fine!
Understanding Mercury’s cycle
Mercury retrograde is the most common retrograde we experience: it happens three to four times a year and lasts for approximately three weeks. Retrogrades are an optical illusion: Mercury is not changing the actual direction it is traveling towards, it only appears to be moving backward from our perspective.
Mercury retrogrades tend to happen in a pattern due to which they take place in signs of the same element for a period of time. While last year all retrogrades happened in Water signs, except for a brief transit from Scorpio to Libra, this year they will happen in Air signs. The last time a Mercury retrograde cycle occurred in Air signs was in 2016. This is emphasizing the transition to the Age of Air that is already taking place, as marked by the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius of December 21, 2020.
The Age of Air is an era dominated by technology, data, and information: things happen quickly, and there is a lot of focus on the mind and the intellect. For this reason, as there is already a lot of activation of the Air element at this time, it is essential that we consciously connect to our emotions and feelings, and regularly practice grounding activities, so that we don’t get too lost in the intellectual realms.
Mercury in Aquarius: Originality and Innovation
Aquarius’ is about liberation, deconditioning, and individuation, while Mercury represents our linear thinking patterns, our communication habits, our learning style, and our left brain. When Mercury is retrograde, we may notice challenges with logic and left-brain thinking.
Nonetheless, our intuition and all right-brain functions are enhanced. The fact that this retrograde is happening in Aquarius has the potential to be highly beneficial for our originality and innovation: Aquarius is a highly creative sign, naturally thinking outside the box.
Moreover, as Aquarius relates to group consciousness, Mercury in Aquarius highlights the connection between the individual mind and the collective mind. During this Mercury retrograde cycle, many of us are likely to experience sudden ideas, downloads, and flashes of genius apparently coming out of the blue.
The Sun, Saturn, and Jupiter are also in the sign of Aquarius. Venus will enter Aquarius too just two days after Mercury stations, and will exactly conjoin the planet of communication on February 13. Jupiter will align with Mercury twice, on February 14 and March 4, increasing our attention on the mental realms and inviting us to question our beliefs and assumptions.
Mercury retrograde in Aquarius: Between Past and Future
The condition of the two planetary rulers of Aquarius gives us more information about the way this Mercury retrograde cycle is going to manifest. Uranus, the modern ruler of Aquarius, is currently in Taurus, and in a tense square with Saturn in Aquarius, the traditional ruler of the sign. Saturn will exactly square Uranus on February 17, for the first time out of a cycle of three.
This configuration is very interesting to explore: while on the one hand, their alignment reflects a substantial amount of inner and outer tension, on the other, it offers us the motivation we need to overcome challenges and obstacles. While Saturn is oriented towards conserving the past and doing things the way they have always been done, Uranus is completely projected towards the future and desires freedom, novelty, and experimentation. Yet, Saturn is in Aquarius, a future-oriented sign, and Uranus is in Taurus, a sign that tends to prefer stability and comfort.
During this Mercury retrograde, each and every one of us is likely to experience a similar inner conflict between two different parts of the psyche, one that wants to know what to expect and stay comfortable, versus another one who wants to liberate from the old and try something new.
Mercury retrograde in Aquarius: Questioning Our Perception of Reality
Mercury retrograde in Aquarius will invite us to reexamine everything that has been taking place during January, offering us an opportunity to reassess our plans and reflect upon our perception of reality.
Pay attention to any repetitive thinking patterns, assumptions, beliefs, and communication habits. Ask yourself where did they originate from: ponder upon whether your perceived fears and doubts are actually yours, or they represent a product of the conditioning, the education, and the programming you received.
This Mercury retrograde cycle is a fantastic opportunity to dive deep into self-inquiry, to question the way we habitually perceive reality, and to move forward in our deconditioning process. Mercury retrograde in Aquarius will invite us to break free from all those ideas, ideologies, and thoughts that aren’t serving us and encourage us to open our minds to new possibilities.
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