Keep in touch…
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook
Tag Archives:

retrograde Mercury

17 February 2014 – This week’s Astrology

Well, this is the last blog I will write in this apartment. Tomorrow I really do go… yes I’ve been moving for the last two weeks, as in gradually shifting stuff day by day, so it’s sort of gone into an unreal state. But there’s something very interesting about a serious de-junk and feeling your life being stripped back to basics and to what is really important. As I sit here in this empty, echoing study, only my desk and computer left, I wonder if this is the essence of retrograde Mercury?

Mercury again is the key player this week, squaring up to Saturn for the second time early Wednesday (exact at 07.12 GMT) – the first time was 25 January and the third and final time will be 11 March. Saturn loves austerity, frugality and minimalism so for me these dates bracket the moving experience. What do they bracket for you? Whatever has been an ongoing challenge reaches its epicenter now – and may include someone not talking to you, not knowing what you want, struggling to learn someone else’s “language”, accepting that there are no immediate answers to a big issue and figuring out how to get back to the drawing board and to make more effective use of your time and skills. In essence, what is needed should now be crystallizing in some way, but with the square to Saturn we always have to be prepared for setbacks or disappointments to characterize the learning curve, or to be consciously aware that trying to rush or push anything at this time will only be self defeating. Slow down, think, wait, one day at a time… it’s still early days. For now there are probably more questions than answers.

Note that retrograde Mercury signals that second thoughts of all kinds are there for a reason and to focus on information gathering. You know what you think, now’s the time to find out what other people’s opinions are. This includes everyone from your other half to someone who’s an expert in their own field. Also be easier on yourself. If a resolution has fallen by the wayside you can always try again, if not tomorrow then at least by the end of the month when Mercury turns. Also note that nothing is written in stone right now, even if you’ve been told that it is.

Mercury makes a minor aspect (a semi-sextile, which means that he is exactly one sign away) to Venus on Friday (exact at 17.09 GMT). Mercury – Venus contacts are textbook for “love talk” of any kind, whether it’s with your other half, being chatted up, or having a heart to heart with someone who’s important to you. In the past I’ve often found this aspect to signal the closeness of girlfriends, and how someone often steps in to help or give support. Note that Venus is still finishing her long trek through Capricorn – one of Saturn’s signs – so loving hands are of the mature, steadying and realistic kind or the best kind of new romance will be of the slowly, slowly kind, gradually getting to know someone and going for the long distance rather than a sprint finish.

Just as you might be thinking that this all sounds rather cool and clinical, never fear. The Sun enters Pisces tomorrow evening (the ingress exact at 18.01 GMT), a water sign associated with huge sensitivity and romanticism. Furthermore the Sun’s first aspect will be a conjunction with Neptune – Pisces planet who in mythology is Poseidon god of the sea, who is on his epic sea voyage through his own sign (the last time being about 175 years ago!).

So we’re making the transition from the air sign of logical but aloof Aquarius into the water sign of Pisces and the realms of Neptune. This is a bit like coming down through the skies in a parachute to land in the middle of a boundless ocean. Start with a willingness to get down to the emotional nitty-gritty, and to look at a situation through someone else’s eyes. Empathy will count for a lot more than usual.

For me the move coincides with the Pisces ingress, and with that sign on my IC (the angle in the horoscope that locates home) it’s perfect for moving to the house with a view of the sea! However Pisces is also about very deep feelings and tears. With the exception of my family home when I was growing up this is the place where I have lived the longest. Closing the door for the last time after 12 years is going to be very emotional.

As above, so below, lots of things are going to be sensitized and emotional in the coming weeks, and especially now as we travel through the last ten days of Mercury’s retrograde journey. Go gently.


8 July 2013 – This week’s Astrology

This week’s blog 8 July

If you want to go straight to the columns here’s the link for the weekly horoscopes:

Regular readers will know that I always urge caution during the times when Mercury is retrograde, roughly three times a year for about three weeks at a time. Mercury turned retrograde on 26 June and won’t turn direct again until 20 July so we still have a way to go. Last week I did a quick checklist for how to survive Mercury mischief which I’ll repeat here:

·         Assume nothing, double check everything

·         When in doubt, do nothing

·         Keep a close watch on all belongings

·         Take extra care with form filling/signing on dotted lines

·         Back up all your computer work

·         Operate by “re” words – review, rethink, rework, revisit etc

I should add that personal belongings linked to communication are top of the list – so far I’ve heard of a lost video camera, a laptop left on a bus and a mobile phone going over the side on a boat to disappear into the ocean.

Textbook retrograde Mercury says “problems with communication and transport” so please travel carefully too. On Friday my niece was involved in a serious car accident and has sustained whiplash injuries to the neck (the part of the body ruled by Mercury) so this subject is especially close to my heart right now. My own car has just been overhauled by my clever mechanical friend Phil – thank you Phil! – who has told me that all four tyres are seriously sun damaged. So that’s the next job – and btw look out for unexpected expenses too!

On a more cheerful note retrograde Mercury is brilliant for getting “back” in touch with old friends and I’ve just reconnected with someone I’d unintentionally lost touch with about 12 years ago. That has to be the best feature of Facebook!

Mercury is also prominent this week by being conjunct the Sun tomorrow evening and in a minor aspect to Venus midday Thursday. These are benefic contacts. Look out for news or insights into your personal affairs, but bear in mind that no matter how strongly you may feel about something – or someone – you may change your mind in a couple of weeks time. Or someone else will.

What else? This morning Saturn turned direct in the early degrees of Scorpio, having entered that sign last October but retrograde since early February. Being a slow moving planet he now has to “rev up” again but at least he is now moving in the right direction. This is a turning point for dealing with Saturnian issues – loss, obstacles, delays, work. Look out for connections to family/property concerns too as we have the New Moon in Cancer this morning too.

If you would like to join in the discussion and make comments about this week’s astrology you can do so on my Facebook group page, The World of Astrology:


1 July 2013 – This week’s Astrology

If you want to go straight to the columns here’s the link for the weekly horoscopes:

Here’s the link for the monthly horoscopes, July stars now up along with an overview for the month ahead:

What’s happening this week? No matter which way you look at it the first half of the week is something of an obstacle course. Venus (love, money, pleasures) squares up to Saturn today. This signals roadblocks, how these things are being denied to us or where there is “not enough” and how that affects us. The Sun then opposes Pluto in the early hours of tomorrow morning and then squares Uranus in the early hours of Thursday morning, re-invoking the message behind the ongoing Uranus – Pluto square that is the backdrop

The second half of the week is much more encouraging as Venus’s next aspect is a trine (harmonious) to Uranus, and Saturn turns direct (having been retrograde since the middle of February). Whatever has been heavy going will start to move in the right direction. Both these events are exact in the early hours of next Monday morning so the turning points are most likely to show over the weekend.

Threaded through all of this, however, is that troublesome retrograde Mercury. As a rough rule of thumb Mercury is retrograde for three weeks at a time, three times a year, but this one is slightly longer and won’t turn direct again until the evening of Saturday 20 July. Textbook astrology defines these periods as “problems with communication and transport”. As I sat with a friend last night here in Greece she told me she had a Skype appointment later that evening with a friend in the UK. She then received a text from the friend to say that she’d “lost her car” and it took her two hours to find it, that she was now on the way home but stuck in a long tail back on the motorway, that she was running out of petrol and the phone was running out of battery…

The top story however goes to the person who woke up one morning last week to be told that their house no longer belonged to them (Mercury currently retrograde in Cancer, sign of home and property) and who is now locked into a legal battle to prove that it does…

Quick checklist for handling retrograde Mercury:

·         Assume nothing, double check everything

·         When in doubt, do nothing

·         Keep a close watch on all belongings

·         Take extra care with form filling/signing on dotted lines

·         Back up all your computer work

·         Operate by “re” words – review, rethink, rework, revisit etc

If you would like to join in the discussion and make comments about this week’s astrology you can do so on my Facebook group page, The World of Astrology:



24 June 2013 – This week’s Astrology

It’s a landmark week, with all the key activity crammed into the middle of it.

CLICK BELOW for the link to the weekly column:

Jupiter travels through each of the 12 signs of the zodiac for approximately 12 months, rather neat as he is planet of fairness and justice, so he changes sign once a year. In the early hours of Wednesday he moves from Gemini to Cancer. This is an important ingress in the eyes of traditional astrology as it means that Jupiter moves out of his sign of detriment (weaker placing) and into his sign of exaltation (strongest placing). In brief Jupiter’s principle is expansion – anything that makes your world a bigger and better place – but his nature is protective as well as entrepreneurial. Hence he is exalted in the water (emotions) sign of Cancer, which rules home and family, and is introspective and nurturing by nature. This new cycle does, however, get off to a slow or uncertain start.

Mercury entered Cancer on 31 May but turns retrograde on Wednesday (at 14.09 BST), and will be backtracking through this sign for three weeks. For those of us who like straight talking and everything to be above board and obvious this is like erecting a great big sign that says Communication Minefield starts here. Mercury being expressed through the sign of the Crab is indirect and sideways (crabwalking) at the best of times, but doing it in reverse feels completely unfathomable. Proceed with caution in any dealings with those you do not know well or whose agenda is a closed book.

Venus moves into the Sun’s sign of Leo on Thursday. This is bold and bright in comparison to the rest of the current astrological picture that is hidden and tentative. This placing signals that love and life’s pleasures prosper with confidence, loyalty and adoration.

Thanks to Janine Cording who sent me a couple of quotes last week that I’d like to share with you. It may seem odd for an astrologer to like a quote that doesn’t focus on what lies ahead but, while Mercury is retrograde, I believe that it pays to live more in the moment:

“Why didn’t I learn to treat everything like it was the last time, my greatest regret is that I believed in the future.” (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer)

This second quote called When There’s Still Time is also perfect for Mercury being retrograde – for re-thinking and reframing – in Cancer, sign of kin and those you care about.

Stop fighting with your family members, spouse, or friends. Start appreciating. Enjoy each other. Stop looking at the other’s faults. Start to appreciate each other’s qualities. Life is short. Even if you live one hundred years, how long will you live with all your faculties intact? The period we have to appreciate each other is quite limited.


– Gehlek Rimpoche, “An Interview with Gehlek Rimpoche”



25 February 2013 – This week’s Astrology

sorry, retrograde Mercury strikes.. forgot to post this up yesterday:

The Full Moon is exact this evening (20.27 GMT). Traditionally this is a time of illumination, of things coming full circle and information coming to light, but bear in mind that we currently have a retrograde Mercury. This signals a risk that things are not, in fact, what they seem or that there is more information to come. As always, the three week period of Mercury being retrograde is a time for caution and often a “wait and see” policy works best. In the meantime the usual advice applies – back up your work, watch your valuables and be careful what you say/commit to. You’ll find a link to three articles on the subject of retrograde Mercury on Sally Kirkman’s site:

This Full Moon is in Virgo – sign of health, duty and work. Virgo tends to get not so much bad press as boring press, often being associated with a “goody-goody” image, a critical nature, perfectionism and a strong work ethic. However, this is also the sign of skills and crafts, and this is where the positive Virgo talents for precision and attention to detail come into their own. This mindfulness is highly appropriate, even invaluable, for the combination of a Virgo Full Moon/retrograde Mercury.

So, what next? Mercury in Pisces backtracks to meet up with Mars in the same sign tomorrow morning, repeating an aspect that first occurred on 8 February. Mercury (communication) and Mars (war) – words can wound so look out for disputes, especially as Full Moon time is also notorious for “lunacy” and domestics. Or whatever started for you around 8 February is likely to pop up again, and you have a second chance to address it. You may be amused to note that Virgo correlates to the 6th house which is where we also find animals and I am currently at war with a huge stray tomcat who is wreaking havoc in my house, day and night, trying to get in and spraying everywhere when he does. A locked cat-flap is a mystery to my own animals but it’s the only answer for now! And, oh yes, the plumbing problems continue and the bathroom floor is due to be dug up this afternoon… joy.

Two other features this week – Venus follows the Sun, Mercury and Mars into Pisces in the early hours of tomorrow morning. This is good news in that Venus is said to be “exalted” in this sign – in other words, the Venusian qualities of love, peace and pleasure find easy expression in this gentle water sign. Note especially the Venus/Neptune (co-ruler of Pisces) conjunction on Thursday afternoon.

Finally the week ends with the Sun making positive aspects to Pluto and Saturn on Friday. Although the week does feel like something of an emotional rollercoaster these aspects do have a feel of bringing things back into perspective and into some kind of order. Even if you don’t get perfect results you will get some answers, insights, guidelines and the chance to regain some control over the important issues currently unfolding in your life. I might even have a new bathroom floor and no leaky pipes by then!

CLICK BELOW for the link to this week’s column:

Page 1 of 212

Sign up now

Every Monday morning you'll receive your FREE newsletter with thought-provoking insights into the cycles of the planets and their impact on everyday life.
* = required field

New book

'BE YOUR OWN ASTROLOGER' is Joanna's latest book.
'Learning your own astrology is always more complicated than people imagine but Joanna has presented the clearest possible pathway to astrological self-knowledge'.
Cygnus Community Review

“The narrative is top-notch; it’s easy to follow, well organized, and will quickly give the absolute beginner a quantum boost to the next level of astrological knowledge.”
“The further the beginner gets into this book, the more engaging yet complex the material becomes. The later chapters mark entry points into further studies, but with Be Your Own Astrologer, you get the overall landscape of what astrology is all about.”
Dell Horoscope
September 2015 issue

Keep in touch…

  • RSS feed
  • Facebook