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artist: Linda James
Aug 29: Mercury enters Libra
Sep 26: Mercury stations retrograde
Oct 18: Mercury stations direct
Retrograde planets are not spinning backwards; it is an optical illusion as seen from Earth due to the fact that all planets travel at their own respective speeds around the sun. Click here to learn more about the retrograde illusion.
Mercury turns retrograde three times a year, more frequently than any other planet. From EarthSky:
On Mercury, for example, the Sun sometimes moves in retrograde! As the planet speeds through its closest approach with the sun, its orbital speed overtakes its rotational speed. An astronaut on the surface would see the sun partially rise, then dip back below the horizon, then rise again before resuming its east-to-west trek across the sky. Once a year, Mercury gets two sunrises on the same day!
Libra Season is arguably one of the most difficult times of the year due to its emphasis on relationships, so it’s certainly not convenient to have a concurrent Mercury Retrograde cycle. Mercury rules communication, travel, and technology. These realms are most affected by Mercury Retrograde but we should expect a high level of dysfunction on the social level in particular. Expect delays, cancellations, and sudden changes; technological failures, especially cell phones, laptops, or automobiles; miscommunication; lost/stolen items; general malfunction and wtf moments. I do not recommend starting a new job, buying a car, moving to a new place, or signing any contracts/documents. This is not a good time for travel, negotiation, or investments.
This Mercury Retrograde takes place entirely in the constellation of Libra. Mercury was briefly retrograde in Libra in fall 2020. This week in late 2020, from Oct 27-Nov 3, actually brought a lot of resolution and harmony to what was otherwise a cosmic shitshow. Nov 3 was election day here in the US and Mercury Retrograde ended just in time to deliver us a glimmer of hope and change. I know we can count on Libra once again.
With Mercury Retrograde in Libra we turn outwardly, toward our community. It is time to open our hearts to new relationships of all kinds. Mercury Retrograde in Libra conducts a thorough review of our interpersonal life. Who makes you feel loved and appreciated? Which relationships are healthy? This transit is a master class in justice and diplomacy. What does it mean to relate, to express, to co-exist? To step boldly and speak honestly?
Libra falls in the middle of the zodiac wheel. She represents compromise – meeting halfway – pacification of polarities. But the scales are not level; they vacillate wildly until the very end. This is the reason for Libra’s infamous indecision. She swings in the wind, hearing both sides of the story, sympathizing with all parties. She gazes down every path, far into the future, unsure of where to go, which direction to choose.
Something you should know: Libra was a mystical crystal-gazer. Libra comes from Themis, Greek goddess of divine law and the first oracle of the ancient temple of Delphi. What happened when someone disregarded her psychic wisdom? Nemesis, goddess of retribution, paid a visit. In English the word nemesis means enemy but apparently those we consider problematic are sent to us because we have ignored the sage counsel of Libra/Themis.
The most important thing to remember during Libra season is that we cannot stay silent in toxic situations. Libra insists on truth. Choose assertive rather than avoidant behavior; choose reconciliation over suppression; choose self-validation over external validation. Above all, honor your needs. Libra is also known for her excellent taste and style. This is the perfect time to clean, beautify, or rearrange your living space.
Shaky relationships are about to be tested in a powerful way. This is a time of deep inquiry when it comes to answering questions about how and why we enter into the relationships that we do. We have an opportunity to gain some wisdom if we don’t get too distracted by the social theater. At its core, Mercury Retrograde is all about change and there is simply no escaping it. Remember that the changes hurtling our way are designed to help and center us. Think of Mercury Retrograde as a reset.
Visualize a strong yet aromatic wind blowing through the open door of your life. If you resist changes (especially in your interpersonal life) – or your intuitive impulse to make changes – this transit will be difficult for you. Don’t wait to be fabulous. It’s time to network, speak, connect. Don’t try to direct the winds of Libra. Follow them instead.
Dates worth mentioning before the retrograde: Sep 4 (harmonious), Sep 20 (harmonious), Sep 22 (challenging)
During the retrograde: Oct 1 (challenging), Oct 3 (harmonious), Oct 9 (gold star day – Mercury conjunct Sun & Mars in Libra)
After the retrograde: Oct 31 (harmonious), Nov 2 (challenging)
Mercury enters Scorpio on Nov 5.