Mercury Retrograde on Halloween — Don’t let it spook you!

Dear Angelique,

I remember Mercury Retrograde as one of the first thing I learned about Astrology when I started looking beyond my daily Horoscope in the newspaper. I thought at first that Mercury going retrograde meant that my whole life would fall into disarray for a month or so, and that I would be better off in hibernation. All plans, contracts, travel, communications, destined to fail!

I remember one time when I bought my shiny black iPhone 7. I’ve always been a compulsive early adopter, and so I woke up really early to submit my order, which itself was a difficult process to navigate, and then I received my new device on the day it was released. I went around in circles all day because it just would not work. I called Verizon on the phone, and eventually I went to the Apple store. They were also flummoxed. They could not figure out what was wrong. They were just about to take back my black device and give me a new Rose Gold color instead. I was bummed out because the black design was the new thing. Another sales person walked by and said “oh try entering 00000 for the zip code.” Presto. Problem solved.

I went back to check the dates, and sure enough, that was back in 2016. The iPhone 7 was announced on September 7 and released on September 16. Mercury was in retrograde from August 31 to September 23rd that year. And so yes, I believed, I was clearly a victim of Mercury retrograde. I had been singled out and made to suffer by the chaotic side of the messenger. And so I adopted the attitude we see so often in the media about not doing anything new and not taking any trips during Mercury Retrograde. I believed that it was bad news, and nothing more.

But as I have learned a little bit since we started on this journey, and now I have a very different feeling about Mercury Retrograde. I see it now as an opportunity to rest, and review, and to integrate. Mercury Retrograde can give us a great opportunity to solidify the advances we have made since the last retrograde.

So now we are already in the “shadow” of the retrograde, which means Mercury is presently moving in the normal direction through the zodiac across that portion of the sky that it will pass over in November in retrograde motion. To understand this, think of a mail truck that occasionally forgets to drop off a package. The truck will make it’s way down the street dropping off mail, and then turn around and go back to the house where it forgot to leave a package, and then turn back around and get back on it’s normal course. So when the carrier forgets to drop the package, that’s when the truck enters the shadow. The point on the street where he notices that he forgot to leave it will be where it stations Retrograde and starts going backwards. Then, when he returns to the house where the package belongs, it will stop and turn back around again.

So there are two points on the street where the truck changes direction. The place where the package was supposed to be dropped, and the place where the mail carrier notices the error. The truck traverses this section of the street three times. Once forward, then going back, and then forward again. The same thing happens with Mercury Retrograde. From our perspective Mercury appears to turn backwards in it’s path across the sky, and then it turns forwards again, and it crosses that section of sky three times.

So now think of your natal chart and compare it to the retrograde. In this month, Mercury will go retrograde from 27 degrees of Scorpio on October 31, all the way back to 11 degrees of Scorpio on November 20 when it goes direct again. For me personally, this retrograde is a very important one. I have an almost perfect Trine alignment of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune in my chart. This means that if you draw a line from one planet to the next on my birth chart, they make an almost perfect equilateral triangle. This Mercury Retrograde will be in conjunction with my Natal Neptune, and it will be “trine” my Natal Jupiter and Saturn. I think this gives me an opportunity to write about each of these aspects over the course of the retrograde, and so today I will focus on Neptune.

Neptune was as 24 degrees of Scorpio on the day of my birth. As I look on my time passages application, Mercury is exactly conjunct my Natal Neptune today, October 23rd. By October 31, it will be about three degrees past my Natal Neptune, and then it will turn around and cross my Natal Neptune again going backwards around the 7th or 8th of November, and then after Mercury stations direct again on November 20th, it will pass my Natal Neptune once again around the beginning of December. So for me, this retrograde probably has the strongest interplay with Neptune.

I’ve done a little reading about this when Transiting Mercury is Conjunct Natal Neptune, but first a little jargon deciphering. Transiting Mercury means Mercury today as it moves across the sky. Natal Neptune means the point in the sky occupied by Neptune when I was born. So Transiting Mercury Conjunct Natal Neptune means Mercury today is moving across the point in the zodiac that Neptune occupied when I was born. Through some mechanism which I really do not yet understand, the locations of the planets at our birth is somehow imprinted upon us, and so when the planets shine their light on these areas of the sky today, they impact us in uniquely individual ways.

And so, from what I read, Transiting Mercury Conjunct Natal Neptune brings a time of extremely heightened sensitivity coupled with some mental confusion. It’s as though I will be picking up lots of energies and signals that I would normally miss, and so I may have too much information, or doubts or confusion or whatever.

And Angelique, I think this is one reason why it is so helpful to know about our Astrology. Because I know that I will be particularly sensitive and somewhat confused over the next several weeks, this is a good time for me to surrender to this process. And here is the key. All we have to do is take care of our inner way of being. With an attitude of acceptance and gratitude, we can pass through this next section of our lives with patience and humility and enjoy ourselves.

We can still travel, but we should bring a good book. Maybe we should pick flights that have a little extra time between connections. Maybe we should be prepared to stay overnight in a hotel. Maybe if we just release our expectations and accept the natural flow, we can pass through this period with ease and learn lots of lessons.

The last Mercury retrograde was from July 8 to August 1. Ask yourself what has happened in your world since that last retrograde? In my life, I finally said good bye once and for all to several relationships that simply were not serving me or the other people involved. This involved quite a bit of drama and a little bit of heart ache, but the structures of the new way of being really came into being during these last few months. My new life and way of being without these relationships is now firmly established, and while my group of friends is a bit smaller, it’s so much happier and more peaceful now.

So this upcoming Mercury Retrograde is a real opportunity for me to cement these new structures into my life. Sure there will be new things coming up, and we will have a few miscommunications, technology glitches, and travel delays, but we also have a real treasure. We have a chance to let these good things we have built over several months set firmly into the structure of our lives.

For me this is in the area of spirituality and the deep inner self. For others, the exact impact will depend on your birth chart. I recommend the Time Passages App for this. Pull up your transits and look for anything involving Mercury, and you will see what areas of your psyche and your life will be impacted.

So here we go Angelique, off to Brazil with Mercury in Retrograde. Breath deep, carry cash, and keep a good book handy.

Spencer

Peace Love Forgiveness

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