Mercury begins another retrograde process on October 13th/14th which will last until Nov 3rd/4th. This is when it appears to be moving backwards from our earth based vantage point due to the positioning of the Earth and Mercury in each of their orbits around the Sun. This one is occurring primarily in Scorpio and partially in Libra.
In the weeks (and especially days) leading up to it, it can already start to feel like a retrograde and some of its themes can get seeded. This happens because Mercury slows down (again from our vantage point) and travels in the part of sky it will be returning to after the retrograde begins. This is known as the ‘pre-shadow’ period which began on September 23rd/24th.
This retrograde is happening while Mars is also retrograde which began on September 9th/10th and will last until November 13th/14th. The retrogrades of these planets along with Venus are much more significant and noticeable then those of all the other planets which have further orbits. This is because they are less frequent and are classified as ‘personal’ or ‘inner’ planets. When retrograde they are in a sign (or two signs) for a significantly extended amount of time in comparison to the signs before or after.
Both of these retrogrades reflect a period of adjustments pertaining to their own energies and those of the signs they are in. However, they are both connected as they are happening simultaneously and Mercury is in Scorpio which is a sign that is traditionally ruled by Mars. Another interesting thing is that Mercury begins this retrograde during the peak, or halfway point, of Mars Retrograde when it opposes the Sun. To learn more about this Mars retrograde, I recommend reading my article about it here.
If you have read my previous Mercury Retrograde articles, the remainder of this section and the following one are nearly the same and you can skip to the third section if you don’t want to re-read all the general themes associated with these periods. The other parts are more specific to this edition of it.
Mercury retrograde is known for the problematic effects it often has on communication technology, transactions, motor vehicles, anything with moving parts, and commuting in general. Some people even get headaches near the beginning of it. We could experience some challenges, misunderstandings, and errors around our communications, numbers/details, and commerce, as well as changes, cancellations, or delays in our schedules.
Sometimes these issues could occur when we are excessively analytical without tuning into our internal guidance. Depending on how we flow with it and other variables, we may not always experience these surface level inconveniences, or they could just be minor irritants.
Mercury Retrograde can also be a good time to revisit or redo tasks, projects, ideas, or anything else that was initiated in the past. It can give us a different perspective or shift in thinking that can help us to approach these things in ways we wouldn’t have done before. This may also be a period of reconnecting with old friends, family, lovers, or others we haven’t seen in a while. When we reconnect with people during a retrograde, it can help to facilitate a shift in the relationship. In some cases, issues from the past can come up which may need to be hashed out.
The Deeper Purpose of Mercury Retrograde
Ultimately, Mercury Retrograde is a time for us to recalibrate and adjust specific areas of our lives as well as how we apply our minds towards these issues. It is a period in which we may receive important insights and see things in a new light. In most cases, it can be mildly transformational, but in some cases it can facilitate more major transformations depending on how it corresponds to your personal astrological chart.
During and following the retrograde, certain areas of our lives can go through changes or shifts, or we can experience a re-orientation of some sort which influences how we proceed over the coming months or in some cases, it can have a more long-term significance. In the three weeks afterwards, known as the ‘post-shadow’ period, we move forward with some sort of new awareness, adjustment, as well as new ideas and thoughts that have been seeded which will develop and become more defined as time progresses.
Certain things that have come up specifically in the two weeks leading up to the start of the retrograde could determine where this energy could play out. It is also possible that there could have been changes or developments at that time which may go through a sorting-out process or shift in dynamics during the actual retrograde and in the two weeks following. There could be unknown variables, either positive or negative, that were either unseen or hadn’t been conceived yet, which may become apparent over the coming month.
The sign(s) and element(s) in which Mercury retrograde travels in shows the energy we are re-orienting ourselves with. More importantly, if you are familiar with your natal astrology chart, then your house(s) or any planetary placements being affected will show more specifically which areas of life you will be experiencing its energy in. For the astrologically literate, it begins at 11’40 degrees of Scorpio and will retrograde back to 25’54 degrees of Libra before turning forward again.
Occurring Mostly In Scorpio & Partially In Libra, The Final of a Series In Water Signs
Mercury Retrograde always happens in primarily one element for 1-2 years. This is the sixth and final one of a series occurring in water signs which began in early 2019. The water element is about emotion, feelings, sensitivity, compassion, intuition, and fluidity. This period is about re-aligning ourselves with these qualities and expressing them in new or revamped ways.
With this retrograde primarily in Scorpio, we may experience or process re-orientations, adjustments, developments, circumstances, or reflect on themes connected to shadows, fears, sexuality, mysteries, obsessions, esoteric practices, use of power, alchemy, conspiracies, taboo subjects, death, suspicions, secrets, investigating, research, depth, regeneration, or the pursuit of mastery. Psychotherapy, psychology, astrology, tarot, and wicca, are examples of practices that may come up at this time.
This can be a great period to do any sort of ‘shadow work’ to help us on our path to achieving wholeness and greater self-awareness. Scorpio is about going deep which can be a key to facilitate emotional healing at this time. Sometimes we encounter crisis to help to push us towards some sort of transformation and this can be one of the ways this retrograde may be experienced.
Scorpio is also associated with debt, taxes, investments, credit, inheritance, loans, mortgages, and anything to do with shared or other people’s resources. In our relationships or other types of partnerships, themes around shared values or shared worth may also come up.
Scorpio can also be about purging and releasing. This can play out when it comes to our physical belongings or obligations. Emotionally or psychologically, it could have to do with overcoming negative patterns or attachments through deep understanding or discovering and healing the root cause. When it comes to our physical body, it could be about cleansing through dietary changes or modalities such as colon hydrotherapy, which can help with emotional healing as well.
Libra themes will also play a part in this retrograde, yet not as prominent as Scorpio. We can experience re-orientations around relationships, relating, diplomacy, and finding common ground. Libra is associated with balance, fairness, equality, peace, harmony, compromising, looking at different sides, and consideration of others. Themes connected to aesthetics, design, art, and creativity may also play out.
Mercury Retrograde Significant Dates
Below are some of the dates and information for some of the major astrological configurations during this retrograde.
*The dates below are based on the Americas. The further East you are located, you may need to consider it as the next day.
Oct 13th/14th Mercury Retrograde Begins at 1:05am Universal Time During Peak of Mars Retrograde. Jupiter is also sextile Neptune
The common Mercury retrograde themes and complications may come up strongly at this time and in recent days leading up to this. You may get some sort of indication of how it may be playing out for you over the next month based on how you feel or what transpires. It’s possible that certain things that happen at this time, which may seem insignificant, can somehow be connected to how this retrograde process will affect you.
This is the peak of Mars retrograde as it opposes the Sun. The potentials of frustrations, conflicts, and fights will be higher however we may also feel this within ourselves. Generally speaking, the Mars retrograde period is a time to help facilitate a shift in how we apply ourselves as well as how we express assertion, action, anger, aggression, or sexuality. These themes can come up more strongly during this period.
Jupiter is in a sextile with Neptune for much of October, but peaks in the days surrounding Mercury beginning its retrograde. This can help to soften the potential of intensity and conflicts that can happen at this time. It can be expansive, explorative, educational, philosophical, and ambitious in a creative, artistic, spiritual, mystical, idealistic, or compassionate way. With Jupiter being in the Earth sign of Capricorn, many people can experience this around ambitions, career, business, or practical matters. This energy can also be good for visual media efforts. Capricorn can help bring groundedness, practicality, and realism to this idealistic combination of these planets.
Oct 19th/20th Mercury Retrograde Opposite Uranus, Mars Square Jupiter, Venus Trine Jupiter
This is a period in which we may have to be more flexible as the potentials of changes and disruptions can be more strongly at this time. We may have to contend with surprises, inconsistencies, or impulsiveness which may be an inconvenience. The need to break free or separate from something may come up. Rebellious communication can also occur and it can be harder to focus. We should keep in mind that we may not be seeing things clearly or thoroughly so it’s good to be cautious if possible.
We may have to change the way we think about something or take a unique approach. However, for some people this can also be one of the more insightful periods of the retrograde. This energy has been present since before the retrograde began but is stronger and more noticeable at this time.
Mars retrograde is in a square with Jupiter which could reflect conflicts around beliefs, opinions, judgements, or perspectives. This can also contribute to scatteredness or excessiveness. Venus is in a trine with Jupiter (stronger earlier in the day) which can reflect optimism, expansiveness, growth, or fortunate circumstances around relations, love, financial matters, values, pleasures, or anything aesthetic related.
Oct 24th-26th Mercury Retrograde Conjunct the Sun (Inferior Conjunction)
This is the halfway point of Mercury retrograde, known as the ‘inferior conjunction,’ which is when it returns to the Sun. This can be a period of increased insights, and the themes or circumstances pertaining to how this retrograde is affecting you may come up more during this period.
Complications and frustrations can also be stronger at this time depending on your circumstances or how you are applying yourself. This may also be a period of ridding yourself of certain thoughts, ideas, perceptions, old interests, expectations, or other things that are not serving you while the potential for new ones may be seeded.
Oct 31st – Nov 7th Mercury Retrograde Square Saturn as it transitions from Retrograde to Direct
This can be a time of obstacles, delays, limitations, and restrictions as Mercury squares Saturn while it is slowing down and changing motion on November 3rd. This energy can be sobering and communications can have a pessimistic tone. Issues may come up that require realism, discipline, structure, orderliness, practicality, and caution.
Nov 3rd/4th Mercury transitions from Retrograde to Direct
Mercury will slowly begin to move forward from Nov 3rd/4th onward. The areas of our lives that have been affected by this retrograde will start to become more clear and things will fall into place more easily as we progress into the coming days and weeks, but more so after November 7th and especially after November 13th. As Mercury gradually picks up speed, we can move forward in the areas of life that have been affected. However, usually the first few days after it ends can still feel like it is retrograde as complications may occur due to Mercury’s stationary position and in this case, its square with Saturn. It’s usually best to wait until at least 3 days afterwards before finalizing decisions, agreements, etc.
In the following weeks as Mercury is in its post retrograde shadow (until November 19th), Jupiter will be in a conjunction with Pluto that entire time but peaks as Mars ends its retrograde on November 13th/14th. This is an energy that can be further revealing of Plutonian issues of shadows, abuse, hidden matters, and darkness.The first conjunction of Jupiter-Pluto happened in late March and early April, when there was a lot of conspiracy information coming out and also widespread fear which is associated with Pluto. It can also be transformative, empowering, and a time of tremendous growth depending on what we are doing.
As Mars slowly begins to move forward following November 13th/14th, we may feel like we are ready to proceed in different ways based on what has transpired in the first half of the month. We can begin to feel more assertive, bold, courageous, and direct. Things can move along with less obstacles and challenges in comparison to the previous months.