For a general explanation of Mercury Retrograde, click here.
In 2017, the Mercury retrogrades begin in an earth element and move backwards into the fire element (except for December 2017 when Mercury stays retrograde in fiery Sagittarius. This combination combines the creativity and passion of fire with the practical application of earth. Open to new ideas that spark your enthusiasm and then find ways for them to work in the mundane world. Consider ideas to manifest your worldly needs and actually being passionate about them!
Also note below that love & money Venus is retrograde March 4 to April 15 in Aries and backwards slightly into Pisces. Venus and Mars turn retrograde less than any of the other planets, so there is added importance when they are retrograde.
December 19, 2016 – January 8, 2017
16° Capricorn back to 28° Sagittarius
Just in time for the holidays, the planet that can screw up holiday plans turns retrograde. It turns retrograde aligned with burn-your-bridges Pluto. At the same time, travel planet Jupiter is opposing expect-the-unexpected Uranus. This shapes up to be a difficult combination for holiday travel, so be sure to carry extra cash and allow extra time to get where you need to be. That means no 15 minute connections in Chicago and no forcing yourself to drive through a snowy pass because you don’t want to stop to put on the chains.
Most of this retrograde is in Capricorn, which can lead to some serious conversations this holiday. The gifts given this season will have a practical tone to them- more white socks and underwear from Aunt Martha! Remember to allow wiggle room in any decisions made during Mercury retrograde because they usually get adjusted after it turns direct on January 8th. As Mercury pokes back into the end of Sagittarius in early January, you review if your actions in the New Year are aligned with your personal philosophy — or did you give away your beliefs for the mundane illusion of security? If so, that gets realigned.
March 4-April 15: VENUS RETROGRADE
13° Aries back to 28° Pisces
Venus turns retrograde less often than all the other planets, so the goddess of love turning backwards is significant. According to Tables of Planetary Phenomena by Michelsen, Venus is retrograde 7.1% of the time, or about every 18 months (Summer 2015 was the last one). Compare that to Mercury which is retrograde about three times each year, or 19.1% of the time. Or compare it to distant Pluto that is retrograde a whopping five months each year, or 43.4% of the time.
Venus represents your values, that which is important to you. During Venus retrograde, you decide what and who still holds energy for you, and what needs to be released. Venus is associated with love, marriage, money, stocks & bonds, your possessions, beauty, grace and harmony. She begins her retrograde cycle in Aries, the exact opposite of her favorite sign. Venus wants to share in relationship. Aries is restless and wants to explore new opportunities. Ask yourself, how are you balancing your relationship needs with your independence needs?
On April 2, Venus moves backwards into the very end of the sign Pisces. This is a good time to pull back for self care, a rejuvenating rest, or sneak off on a personal vision quest. What would you like to manifest after Venus turns direct on April 15? Where is there a fair exchange of energy in your life, or where are you giving/taking more than your fair share? Pisces is associated with spirituality and watery places, so a quiet weekend near the water would be a nice place to go.
Expect to have spring fever in terms of your relationships and possessions. This is a great spring to have your garage sale. Because Venus is associated with money and because Mercury turns retrograde on April 9th (scroll down), you may want to do your taxes early this year. During retrogrades, items can be accidentally missed. Watch to see if more people than normal file tax extensions. Use this Venus retrograde cycle to realign your values so you are putting energy where your intention wants to go,
April 9- May 3, 2017
5° Taurus back to 24° Aries
The messenger Mercury turns retrograde in Taurus, creating a slight overlap with Venus retrograde (see above). Taurus (and Libra) are Venus’s favorite signs, called Rulership. So Mercury turns retrograde in Venus’s favorite sign while Venus is slowing down to end her retrograde cycle on April 15. This ties the two planets together in a subtle way. So this continues the Venus retrograde cycle above from a mental Mercury level. In other words, look at how you are thinking about your values. Are you on track with the changes in the world or are you trying to live in a world that is of the past or a future that is not ready to happen yet? The key here is to look at the needs, desires, and values you want to manifest in your life, and come up with pioneering ideas that you are actually willing to put effort into manifesting. So talk without action is just wasted words. As with all Mercury retrogrades, allow adaptability in your planning because things tend to go through an adjustment period after Mercury turns direct.
A chart cast for this Mercury retrograde shows the Sun aligned with inventive Uranus in Aries. This can be an explosive or earthquake energy on one level, but it can set you free of the past on another level. When Mercury ends his retrograde cycle on May 3, he will be sitting on top of Uranus. This favors innovative concepts, technology, websites, inventions, and opening your mind to new ways of thinking about old problems. However, people with authority figure issues would best be served by running their thoughts through their brains before speaking because your mouth can get you in trouble. These are both quick, impatient energies, so watch your speed when driving.
Overall, you can review your needs and values and begin to come up with a new plan to manifest your changing needs, desires, and values.
August 12–September 5, 2017
11° Virgo back to 28° Leo
The Mercury retrograde occurs between two eclipses. Expect emotions to be high, and particularly in the northern United States. There will be a total solar eclipse on August 21 at almost the same degree of Leo as the ending place of this Mercury retrograde cycle. Add to that, the emotional moon is aligned with revolutionary Uranus, and aggressive Mars, Sun and spiritual destiny North Node are all close to each other in Leo. It could be a hot August, and I mean in more ways than temperature! But if people do not get caught up in ego, then this cycle can help begin new paths that tie in well with opening hearts.
But the Mercury retrograde cycle itself begins in Virgo where you need to be humble and simplify your life. Virgo wants to be of service, goddess that she is. Mercury works well with Virgo as long as you don’t overthink your life or get caught up in judgment, especially self-judgment. This would be a good Mercury retrograde to repair or clean up things around home or office. It would also be good to go somewhere to purify yourself, be it an actual retreat center with healthy food and healing, or someplace where you can unplug from the world. Mercury typically does activities in short, quick ways, so it is usually better for those long weekends away rather than the world tour. Because the fire element is very strong now (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius), it would be good to avoid zones that are prone to forest fires. Mercury rules the lungs and Virgo wants purity, so breathing burnt air is even more of a “no go” than normal.
The cycle ends in early September in Leo. As you are looking at your life and priorities during Mercury retrograde, look at activities you are doing where your heart just isn’t engaged anymore. Virgo can help you cleanse those passionless activities or people out of your life. At the same time, Virgo can help you bring those things you are passionate about into a form that will work in your favor.
December 2/3-22, 2017
30° Sagittarius back to 13° Sagittarius
This will be an interesting Mercury retrograde in that Mercury stops in the sky aligned with boundary setting Saturn in Sagittarius. Mercury is quick and Saturn is slow and patient. I like to call this combination “engineer brain” because you can take your brilliant ideas and bring them into form. Sagittarius likes big ideas. The archer sign is generous, optimistic and willing to help. Saturn has been in Sagittarius since 2015 and moves into Capricorn on December 19. Perhaps Mercury will help you finish projects and activities from the past two years. This cycle can also help you prepare to bring your higher ideals and philosophy into a working model in the world in 2018.
Dwarf planet Ceres is exactly aligned with the spiritual destiny North Node as Mercury turns retrograde. Ceres was the Mother Earth goddess who harvested the wheat and brought it to market to sell. She was also a nurse-healer energy. During this retrograde cycle, come up with new ideas to bring your business healer goddess out in the world to manifest your great ideas. Sagittarius suggests you make the idea a big one, and operate from a high integrity place since Sagittarius represents taking the high road.
For holiday travelers, it is good to double check plans and allow room for shifting plans. Again, Saturn is ending his run through Sagittarius, so this Mercury retrograde will help you with beginnings and endings. 2018 has some big shifts coming, so this is a good time to consider what needs to change in your life.
Approximate dates and degrees coming in 2018 (check back for details):
Mercury Retrograde March 22- April 15, 17 degrees Aries back to 4 degrees Aries
Mars Retrograde June 26- August 27, 9 degrees Aquarius back to28 degrees Capricorn
Mercury Retrograde July 26- August 19, 24 degrees Leo back to 11 degrees Leo
Mercury Retrograde November 16-December 4, 14 degrees Sagittarius back to 27 degrees Scorpio
Venus Retrograde October 4-November 14, 11 degrees Scorpio back to 25 degrees Libra