For a general explanation of Mercury Retrograde, click here.

In 2018, the Mercury retrogrades are in the fire element, except for slipping backwards into watery Scorpio in December. Fire represents passion, creativity, some aspects of business, and spirituality. Since Mercury is associated with how you think, the retrograde cycle has you looking at where your passions and creativity are being used, or do you need to bring them to a higher level of activity? In 2018, consider where you need to have more fun, to open your heart more. That doesn’t mean you get to quit your job or responsibilities, but it does mean that you need to make more room for the fire element.

Relationship planets Mars and Venus are also retrograde in 2018. They turn retrograde less than any other planet, so you want to pay attention when they take a step backwards. Scroll down for Mars in late June and Venus in October.


Mercury Retrograde: March 22–April 15, 2018

17° Aries back to 4° Aries

Aries is impatient and wants everything done now. It likes to expend physical energy- dance, hike, martial arts, exercise, yoga. Aries is associated with guns, knives, and surgical tools, so an acupuncture needle is like a sword if you need to stop your busy life for a treatment. During this Mercury retrograde, you may want to restart an exercise program that faltered in your New Year’s resolutions. If it was a long, dreary winter, your body will be calling for movement.

Or you may want to prepare for a future project. Take steps to have the courage to try a new path. Do the behind the scenes preparation or research now. On the esoteric level, Mercury likes Aries quite a lot (termed esoteric rulership). The lesson of this combination is to communicate right action. Speak your truth.  Open your mind to a fresh view of your life by stepping outside your normal routine. Be aware that not everything works out as you planned during Mercury retrograde, so some new projects will be adjusted or released.

Venus makes a challenging square to Pluto during this retrograde. Before getting too far ahead of yourself in new romantic relationships, have fun but give them the test of time.  Sometimes relationships that begin with a lot of passion burn out after Mercury turns direct. This is also true of new business relationships. Venus is associated with values, suggesting that your values and some of the people in your life have conflicting values. Talk them out during Mercury retrograde without making any “go-no go” decisions until it is over.


Mars retrograde June 26-August 27, 10° Aquarius back to 28° Capricorn: 

Warrior Mars doesn’t like to retreat. But sometimes you just need to pull back to regroup, regenerate, or create a future battle plan.  Relationship planets Mars and Venus turn retrograde less often than all the other planets. Since both turn retrograde in the latter half of 2018, changing relationships are going to be a theme as the year progresses.

Normally, Mars moves through a sign and a house in your chart about every six weeks. When he turns retrograde, he spends about six months in an area of your chart. If Aquarius and the last two degrees of Capricorn are in your sixth house, you will work on being better organized and efficient. You may be working on health and healing, cleaning your clutter, or working with your pets. In the seventh house, you will revise your committed relationships, be it a spouse or other commitment. (There is a Free Astrology Primer on this website).

Mars moves into Aquarius on May 15/16 and does not leave until November 15.  You can improve your technology skills, upgrade your computer/website, invent a new app or innovate some new concept for the good of the world. Some will want to search out new groups, friends and organizations. Others will want to pull back to see the higher picture of their life. As Mars moves backwards into Capricorn in August, look at how you are asserting your boundaries, or where you are putting too much effort into what is coming back to you. Decide what is your responsibility and what is not, and then assert that come September.

If you have anyone with anger issues, this would be a good time to give them extra space. A retrograde planet focuses on the energy of that planet. The purpose is to heal and realign, but sometimes the process isn’t pretty when you are looking at the negative side (anger, impatience, my way or the highway). You want your actions and ambitions to be clear and direct come autumn.

And please: when you see the old hoax that Mars will be as big as the moon, have a good laugh but do not pass it on.


Mercury Retrograde: July 25-August 18, 2018

24° Leo back to 11° Leo

There are three eclipses that have influence over this Mercury retrograde. This adds a lot of emotions to your summer. Like all signs, there is a high and a low use of the energy, and you get to choose where you want to operate. On the low side, Leo can get caught up in ego drama, believing they are the king or queen and know better than everyone else. On the high side, Leo engages your heart, opens the hearts of others, practices creativity and enlightened leadership, and is a lot of fun to be around.

Mercury retrograde in Leo asks you to review where your heart is connected, and where it is just going through the motions. Is is time to do behind the scenes preparation to lead the way in developing a creative new idea in your world?  It is important to allow for play or creative time now. Like an artist with a blank canvas, it is good to go quietly within to determine what wants to come out.  The eclipses want to bring something up to the surface of your life, so allow space for that to happen. Or on another level, perhaps is is just time to shut your brain off and soak in some Leo sunshine!


Venus retrograde October 5-November 16, 11° Scorpio back to 25° Libra: 

Venus, goddess of grace and beauty, turns retrograde less often than all the other planets that turn retrograde. She is associated with love, marriage, grace, beauty, art, kidneys, sweets, your values, possessions, various aspects of money, stocks & bonds. So basically, love and money. The Scorpio part of this Venus retrograde (Oct. 5–31) takes you to deeper emotional levels. If a relationship cannot go to a deeper level, then you will question whether it is viable in the future. If an endeavor has not been profitable, then you will make adjustments to bring it into profitability or release it. Scorpio also helps you heal deep, emotional wounds and deal with grief issues. It helps you make firm decisions on what you want to put your energy into vs. what must be released (usually after the retrograde is over.)

The Libra part of the retrograde (Oct. 31-Nov. 16) helps you smooth over the rough edges of “not very diplomatic” Scorpio. It helps you add grace and beauty in your life.  On a simple level, you may purchase some new fashion or beautify your home of the upcoming holidays. On a more esoteric level, Venus is associated with the 5th Ray, an energy of healing (Master Hilarion, Archangel Raphael). The main thing to do during this cycle is to review your relationships and relationship needs, and then make a general plan to start adjusting them to your changing needs. The same can be said for your finances and budget.


Mercury Retrograde: November 15-December 6, 2018

14° Sagittarius back to 27° Scorpio

It will be interesting to watch shifting energy in the middle of November. Venus is ending her retrograde cycle just as Mercury is beginning his.  Eccentric Uranus has also just moved backwards into Aries to help you complete actions that have been going on since the Japan earthquake in spring 2011. Mercury is the lower mind and Sagittarius is the higher philosophical mind. Ideally, you figure out how to bring your bigger ideas down to work in the real world.

On a practical level, It may be that you need to adjust Thanksgiving Day holiday plans. As usual, allow extra travel time and practice flexibility during Mercury retrograde, and that goes double for USA Thanksgiving travel. As Mercury briefly  backs into Scorpio (Dec. 1-6 while retrograde and Dec. 6-12 direct), you can do research projects or anything that requires intense focus. You may even want to plan for future travel. Warrior Mars is fresh in Pisces for the Mercury retrograde, so pull back from the world to open your intuition to a higher vision.