Re: the Mercury Retrograde

Posted by Len Wallick


The Mercury retrograde initiating in Virgo tomorrow won’t be an isolated incident, thanks to the total solar eclipse taking place on Aug. 21. Today, Len Wallick outlines other factors that will give you a leg up on what would otherwise be some complicated astrology. At least one key will begin with ‘re-‘.

Much as with eclipses, simple awareness helps to make Mercury retrogrades into a better experience. It’s also helpful if each case of Mercury’s reversal on the zodiac can be individually distinguished. Sometimes, it’s even possible identify a particular Mercury retrograde with as little as one word. Often, the appropriate word (in English, at least) will begin with the two-letter prefix ‘re-‘.


Of course, a lot about how you experience anything depends on you. Personal astrology is a factor. So is your point of view. If, in your perspective, you can make even a small difference, it would then behoove you to find out how.

To start with, knowing the timeframe is a vital part of effective participation in a Mercury retrograde. Mercury’s forward motion on the zodiac has been slowing down for several weeks. If you have noticed anything unusual about the immediate past, it’s possible you already have some useful information.

The actual retrograde begins tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 12) only seconds after 9 pm EDT, or 01:00:26 UTC on Sunday. Mercury will begin its retreat from Virgo’s 12th degree, and return to Leo on Aug. 31.

When a planet changes signs, whether in direct motion or in backpedal mode, its role in the context of everything else also tends to change. Hence, in addition to having a timeframe, you now also know something else that could come in handy beginning next month.

On Sept. 5, the best known of all retrogrades will come to an end when Mercury begins moving forward again in Leo’s 29th degree. (This is the same degree of the same sign where the Sun and Moon will come together to foment a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21).

Mercury will then return to Virgo by Sept. 9 (or Sept. 10, depending on your time zone). By Sept. 19 it will move past the degree where its retrograde is now about to initiate, to leave it all behind.

Now that you have some temporal awareness for Mercury’s key movements in your near future, you also have a question to answer: do you want to do anything with it?

What you can do begins on what you give yourself credit for being able to do. In order to work effectively with astrology, you must first grant that you have the free will with which to make choices. Only after assuming that you have the capacity to choose can you proceed.

Once you do indeed accept (and recognize the boundaries of) your free will, it would probably be best to keep things simple to start off with. That’s because astrology is complicated by more than just Mercury right now.

First, Mercury retrogrades in general are an appropriate time to slow down and think before taking action.

Before you spend a lot of money on one item, think on it. Prior to sending off that tweet, e-mail or other form of missive, anticipate. Should you find yourself being delayed, take the opportunity to contemplate. Or, to use some of those ‘re-‘ prefix words, focus and direct your mind (one of the things versatile Mercury corresponds to) by reviewing, revising and maybe even consciously refraining from action until an appropriate moment.

For this particular retrograde, start with three premises. First, the period of retrograde will overlap with the timeframe between eclipses from tomorrow (Aug. 12) to Aug 21. If there are to be any complications that require extra thought before you choose between reaction and restraint (to cite just one example), that’s when you can probably expect them.

The second thing that will help you to get a leg up beginning tomorrow has to do with how Mercury will be moving back and forth between signs; and hence roles.

On the whole, oscillating between mutable, earthy Virgo (ruled by Mercury) and fixed, fiery Leo (ruled by the Sun) indicates a role for instinct in your life. Among the most important of human instincts is cooperation as a means to achieve a mutually advantageous result for everybody concerned. Were you to make such a thing your primary objective for the remainder of this season, you would be in reasonable harmony with the sky.

Finally, if you were to pick just one of those ‘re-‘ words most likely to apply during the Mercury retrograde beginning tomorrow, ‘recovery’ would be a good candidate.

Recovery can be defined in many ways. It could pertain to your health. It might mean covering the same ground more than once in order to be thorough. But if instinct is factored in, the most likely form of recovery you might want to seek in the coming weeks has to do with regaining something previously lost or misplaced.

In order to be somehow more whole when entering the next season (beginning on Sept. 22 this year) than you were coming into this one, it could very well be that some sort of recovery will need to happen first. Provided you can manage to do something like that while also being thoughtful and (ideally) cooperative, the astrology of the rest of this season will almost certainly be put to its best use.

Offered In Service



In the Shadow of the Moon, the exciting 2017 Midyear Reading by Eric Francis, has just been published. The video readings for all 12 signs cover the Great American Eclipse of Aug. 21 and well beyond. We’ll be increasing the price again very soon, so don’t hesitate to order your copy here. You can also now choose your individual signs here.
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Len Wallick

About Len Wallick

Besides endeavoring to be of service to all of you here at Planet Waves, Len strives to live in Seattle while working as a professional astrologer. To contact him for an astrology reading you can send an e-mail to: His telephone number is 206-356-5467. In addition to his profession, Len contributes to the Seattle community without monetary compensation by serving as a Reiki practitioner and teacher through classes and outreach offered by the Seattle Reiki Mastery Series modality.

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