Mercury Retrograde status report: the pain – and the gain!

Well, this so far is the most tricksterish, troublesome Mercury Retrograde I’ve had for many a long year –a little post asking for feedback on my Astrology: Questions and Answers Facebook Page has validated this impression.

Mercury’s fellow travellers Mars and the Sun also in Gemini – opposing Saturn  square Neptune – do, I feel, explain this amplification. Such a complex, contradictory energy pattern also accounts for the accompanying confusion, lassitude, lethargy and feelings of being oppressed by tasks with which which one can’t quite come to grips… 

Gorgeous Mercury

Gorgeous Mercury

Mercury rules my horoscope, and aspects every planet, so I knew things might be a little tricky…the torture started on Tuesday morning, mere hours after Mercury went retrograde, with my losing my office keys.There followed frantic searching – husband helpfully went through all my handbags and coat/jacket pockets in my absence and could not believe how many pairs of gloves, lipsalves, emergency cash, pencils, notebooks, tissues etc etc inhabited those arcane corners of my life.

The keys turned up, eventually – in the cafe in the park across from my office where I’d been with a friend last week. Then, two days later, I had walked half way to work when I discovered I had left my office keys behind and had to trudge all the way back home ….there’s more, there’s more! 

In the last week, I have had to conduct a skype astrology reading over mobile phone because something happened my end and skype did not work. My client seemed much less phased by this than me, and wants to book another half hour very soon. Thank goodness I only do half hour sessions at present –I think I might have passed out if I’d had to do a whole reading between here and the USA over a mobile!

I have also got crossed wires with friends re timing of meet-ups, and offered people appointments which I later had to retract because of double booking. ( I am normally very well organised). And – how used I was to this feature of Mercury Retrograde in the days before my long 2001-8 sabbatical – my client/student cancellations and re-schedulings began just as Mercury stationed, prior to turning retrograde.

Today’s arrangements with two friends – I have given myself a writing day with no clients or students, worn out with the nervous strain of trying to keep my practice on an even keel – have been so interrupted and disrupted I cannot face describing what has happened. I haven’t even mentioned Web and computer glitchiness of which there was plenty. Advice: do not attempt to link your PayPal account to your bank account at these Retro times…

However, lest you readers out there imagine that Mercury Retrograde is all bad news, let me stress a fundamental principle of working creatively with planetary energies, whatever they may be. To quote Liz Greene in one of her 1990s Centre for Psychological Astrology Seminars:

“You have to give the god what the god wants. If it’s Mars, don’t offer a bunch of flowers!”

Capricious Mercury

Capricious Mercury

I have never forgotten this witty, sage advice. So – what should we offer Mercury in his retrograde phase? First of all, philosophical acceptance that, the more Mercurial one is, the more day to day screw-ups on the communication and travel front one is likely to have. Just allow more time to do everything, and don’t expect too much to flow smoothly if it is anything to do with communication or manual dexterity.

And of course, paying attention to the Retro part gives you a clue that going back over matters to do with communication/writing is a constructive use of this time.

I am now beginning seriously to contemplate getting to grips with my next book. So I used last Friday to dig out some material I had put together off and on over the last three years – and discovered that I have actually drafted an outline of my core idea, as well as having already conducted and recorded one of the case study interviews. I spent a happy couple of hours re-reading, refreshing my memory, and re-inspiring myself for the task ahead.

Also, on Monday I got down to completing one of my least favourite chores in the whole world: preparing my previous year’s accounts to send to my accountant. This involves going through receipts in excruciating detail, etc etc too boring even to list. My husband swears he simply has to utter the phrase “Tax Return” to me and steam immediately starts pouring from my ears…BUT…I did it!

So – how have you Mercurial folk out there been getting on this first week? Do let us all know – assuming you can get the Comments box to work!




800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page


14 responses to “Mercury Retrograde status report: the pain – and the gain!

  1. I have a friend who takes Mercury’s retrograde periods quite seriously, and i took great delight in pointing out to her that all of the complexities of moving into one house while selling another were reaching a conclusion the very day Mercury went retrograde: perhaps helping to explain a cluster of events involving Comcast, phone service, a broken air conditioner, etc. ad nauseum.

    Another friend, who decided to renovate her kitchen, began to process a week ago. Whether the four inches of water in her house from last night’s Houston flood is a part of all this — who knows? But recalcitrant workmen may be.

    As long as the cataract laser doesn’t fail tomorrow, I’ll be good to go!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Mercury, for this morning’s light bulb moment. After a week of not dealing well with an accelerating workload and deadline hell, this exasperated, control-freak Capricorn threw her hands up in the air and delegated one task on her to-do list. Hey, delegating just one little task is a huge step for me. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m phobic about diary arrangements when I see Mercury is retrograde as I’m well plugged in to Mercury!! I check the calendar on the kitchen wall 10 times a day to check my appointments, so how come I never pitched up for lunch with my friend visiting from Kuala Lumpur, despite having phoned her the night before to confirm!!!! If I die during Mercury retrograde I may not turn up for my own funeral!!


    • This last bit really made me laugh, Sheilagh! And the missed lunch date despite endless checking in my view shows the undermining influence of Neptune in addition to the tricksterish whims of Mercury Retro. For all the gifts Neptune transits bring, one of the negatives is its capacity for undermining one’s attempts to make any form of plan or arrangement watertight…


  4. Pingback: Writing from the Twelfth House

  5. Ah yes…no expectations, no disappointments…sigh.


  6. Could it be time to sit at home with your feet up, contemplating nothing more complex than a cup of tea and a biscuit?


  7. Hi I was hoping you could answer a question of mine! So mercury retrogrades are particularly nasty for me and I think I finally know the reason why. I have my Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, Node, and 12th House all in Mercury…what exactly would that entail for an individual? If it’s any coincidence, I struggle with bipolar disorder and i believe it has something to do with this strange conjunction. Please let me know anything you can think of!


    • Hi Josh thank you for dropping by with this feedback for us re Mercury Retrograde. I am assuming you mean that you have all those planets in the sign of Gemini since Mercury is a planet, not a sign.
      I hope you will understand that I am reluctant to enter into any discussion of deeply personal matters in a public context such as this. I think your best approach is to find an astrologer with experience in working with mental health issues in a therapeutic capacity with whom to discuss this question. That might very well be extremely helpful to you.


  8. Thanks for the reply, Anne. Totally understand!. Wasn’t really looking for therapy just your thoughts on what sort of influence comes from having a ton of placements influenced by a single planet (especially one as fickle as Mercury). Will keep looking online to see what kind of info I can find :/


    • Hi Josh, master astrologer Donna Cunningham has written extensively on planetary stelliums ie bunches of planets in one place and you will enjoy her Skywriter blog which is just fantastic…

      Sent from my iPad


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