we have the 4th mercury retrograde of 2016 fast approaching. typically there are 3 mercury retrogrades per year but in 2016 we started the year of with mercury already in the middle of his retrograde and the end of 2016 goes out in the same way. mercury stations retrograde on december 19th and will station direct january 8th- making the end of one year and start of another deep in thick of an Underworld journey. when mercury is retrograde he is in his role as psychopomp- the winged messenger as guide to the Souls in the Underworld.
when mercury is retrograde we each get a chance to journey into our personal Underworlds to rethink, review and revise the past. this is not a time to start new things or move in new directions. it’s a time to face and deal with the past and complete things that have been left incomplete for too long. mercury is only retrograde for approximately 3 weeks but the entire mercury retrograde journey spans 2 months as there is a front end shadow where mercury goes over all the degrees he will be back tracking over again and there is a back end shadow where mercury goes direct over all the degrees he went over twice already. so we get 3 passes over the area of our charts that mercury is retrograding in and he will make the same aspects a total of 3 times as well- giving us ample opportunity to really ‘get’ what the lessons are and learn them so we can complete things and move into a new part of the journey of life when he moves out of his backend shadow.
the front end shadow of this mercury retrograde begins later tonight (around 7-8pm PST)- when mercury is at 28’50 sagittarius, the exact degree and minute he will station direct on january 8th. from now until december 19th we have mercury in his front end shadow making his series of aspects for the first time and giving us insight into what this mercury retrograde is going to be about for us personally. with mercury stationing retrograde in capricorn there is a focus on rethinking, reviewing and revising structures in our lives, expectations, obligations, contracts, commitments and agreements. capricorn is also the sign of patriarchy and big business so there could be some big stuff going on in regards to the world stage (perhaps everyone changing their bank accounts from big banks to small credit unions in support of standing rock!). this is also the sign related to our life path, purpose and calling- which could have us rethinking what we are doing here on planet earth and where are we being called to grow out of preconceived limitations or areas of comfort in life so we can step more fully into our mastery. where capricorn is in your chart is where you will get the most of this mercury retrograde (so be sure to check the weekly horoscopes starting with this week’s as i speak to the journey that is incoming).
when mercury stations he does so within 2 degrees of pluto, the Lord of the Underworld and planet of death, rebirth and transformation. due to mercury stationing retrograde just shy of a conjunction with pluto we don’t actually get the mercury/pluto conjunction until january 29th- yet mercury stations on december 19th very close to him so pluto’s vibe can be felt during the entire 3 week retrograde journey. this is a time to dig deep, excavate, penetrate beyond facades and get to the Truth (with a capital T!). it’s an exceptional time to be doing shadow work, to be in therapy, to be doing shamanic ceremonies or any other kind of Inner Work that helps you get to the root and foundation of stuff so that you can truly create positive change and grow. it’s a good time to question the structures and limitations we have created in our lives- as capricorn is a sign that likes the familiar and the known because of its sense of safety and security. yet sometimes capricorn will hold onto people/places/things that are actually no longer good for them. opportunities to let go as well as opportunities to radically transform existing situations/relationships/aspects of self into new evolutionary expressions are incoming.
one of the defining signatures of this mercury retrograde is mercury in capricorn trine to the evolutionary north node in virgo and sextile to the south node and neptune in pisces. we just came out of the intense month of november where neptune was exactly conjunct the south node (november 3rd and november 17th-19th). big time stuff has been up around where we have been in denial, delusion, spiritual bypassing, playing the victim or the martyr, turning to addictions to numb out, deceiving ourselves or others, or where we have been escaping accountability/responsibility or not wanting to face reality. with mercury harmoniously aspecting both the karmic south node AND the evolutionary north node we have big time opportunities to see the past and make sense of it so that we can let go of the parts of it that have run their course. mercury trine the north node helps us to align or realign with our personal path of destiny and evolution- and with capricorn and virgo involved this path demands integrity, self/other honesty, accountability, self mastery and commitment to doing the work! these are the two signs that are constantly seeking to better themselves. of course there is a balance here as we want to also accept ourselves (and others) while still staying deeply and profoundly committed to evolution and growth.
when mercury stations retrograde on december 19th he does so in exact aspect to both juno (the 19th) and venus (the 20th)- and venus sextiles juno on the 20th as well. there is a huge theme during this mercury retrograde around getting clear about commitments, relationships and agreements in our lives. there is a need to go back over the past and deal with what is unresolved before we can move forward. it’s interesting to note that venus and juno are in super independent signs (aquarius and sagittarius) while mercury is in a very committed, stable and grounded sign. if we can find balance between our needs for independence and space and our needs for connection and commitment we can find conversations opening up with ourselves or with others in healing and/or restorative ways.
the midpoint of the mercury retrograde cycle is december 28th- with the sun conjunct mercury and both sextile mars, neptune and the south node. this is triggering the mars/neptune/south node conjunction that will be exact from december 27th through december 31st. mars is triggering what was going in november at the end of december. we need to be really aware of where we are choosing to check out, lie, turn to addictions to people/places/things to numb out, escape or spiritually bypass taking responsibility for the shadow messes in our lives. luckily mercury makes harmonious aspects to all 3- helping us to glean insights and get clear about the past that informs how we are acting in the present. when we can start to see the Unconscious dynamics at play we are then empowered to change them. this requires accountability and being willing to own our part in dynamics playing out in our lives. with the capricorn/pisces blend- finding balance between reality and possibliity, severity and mercy is key. so don’t be crazy hard on yourself or others but also don’t sweep things under the carpet. use mars’ energy on the karmic south node to release you from karmic patterns you have been playing out for perhaps lifetimes, rather than use his energy to entrench you in them even more!!!
mercury stations direct on january 8th (2017) at 28’50 sagittarius. this is very close to the galactic center (26-27 sadge)- so pay attention to big cosmic downloads from the Universe and messages from your Higher Self about what you need to get right now so you can grow and evolve forward in life! with mercury retrograde in the last degree of sagittarius there is also a karmic completion energy playing out around this retrograde process. something about our beliefs and attitudes is in the process of change. seeing where we are holier than thou, have hubris, are too addicted to our own Light (as a means to avoid facing our shadow) and where we need to reign in it and set some healthy limits in our lives is key. mercury trines the north node again on january 18th- so pay attention to important insights, communications, information or aha moments you have that can be positively evolutionary!
mercury comes out of his back end shadow on january 27th and then he finally aligns with pluto on the 29th at 17’55 capricorn. that is a powerful day where the focus is on what is being released/let go of OR what is being radically transformed and evolved in your life! again- where capricorn is in your chart is the area of life undergoing profound death and rebirth and/or transformation (so read your weekly horoscopes).
i leave you with ellias lonsdale’s star sparks meditations for 16 capricorn where mercury stations retrograde on december 19th and for 29 sagittarius where he stations direct on january 8th. i am struck by the meditation for 16 capricorn and how ellis says we are “Here to further the shared process of uncovering that which we need to see and come to terms with” and i am also struck by the title ‘dinosaur bones discovered while digging’. with mercury stationing retrograde very close to pluto- this entire mercury retrograde is the perfect time to dig and get in touch with our own dinosaur bones- the ones from childhood, past lives, the ones in existing situations or relationships that are interfering with the integral expression of them. for the meditation on 29 sadge ellias speaks to this degree demanding that we ‘die to the past’, ‘to cut through endless tangles’- and with the title ‘the ritual slaughtering of a lamb’ we see that this degree is about surrendering what our ego is attached to so that our Spirit can grow and evolve further. attachments to ideas, beliefs, spiritual ego, addiction to Love and Light, spiritual bypassing and more can be the focus.
read on for the wisdom that ellias channels from the heavens. and use this upcoming mercury retrograde to DIG DEEP and sacrifice ways of doing and being from the past that hold you back from the evolution you seek.
mercury retrograde blessings sent your way!
p.s. at the end of this article i have a listing of all the dates for the mercury aspects during his 2 month retrograde window.
by ellias lonsdale
Capricorn 16 Dinosaur bones discovered while digging
An immense task. Far too much to do for one lifetime. Tracked with from previous lives and imbued with future lives. This life is just one episode in a long story.
The need to know absolutely everything. A fabulous hunger for meaning, for getting down to it. An omnivorous appetite for clues and cues, for signs and portents, for openings and improbable avenues of inquiry. The mysteries taken up by one who is always in them.
An astoundingly thematic and thick path to stick with. Nothing is irrelevant. All is synchronized and saturated with so much to deal with that the inner doubter must work overtime to keep all this within bounds. The skeptical outlook becomes the only defense against being taken over by too many directions with too much power in them for anybody to integrate.
That distancing voice taken on as completely as possible. The dry observer, the impartial witness. This does serve to level an edge to the providings. The one who searches and finds, needing to prove to that detached witness that we are getting somewhere, it is worth it after all.
Gifts of consciousness. Nothing else in here. No emotions, no true embodiment. But a startling mode of awareness. So lucid and probing, so skillful and able to pursue the cues from so many sides at once.
Everything in life is sacrificial to the work, to the quest, to the interior dimensions. Starkly one-sided and perhaps intolerable in a certain way. The specialist who is still at it after so many lifetimes.
Ultimately, a sacrifice unto purpose and broader results. Here to further the shared process of uncovering that which we need to see and come to terms with. Given over to such a design implicitly. Not very sympathetic to obstacles and to self. Just getting into it and knowing we can find the missing link.
Sagittarius 29 The ritual slaughtering of a lamb
Feeling everything this world has to dish out from a raw place of needing to give in and give over at every point. No basis for holding to anything. It is the time for relinquishing, for making our peace with all that is around us and becoming once again innocent and pure.
We have wandered into a very deep space that is so lost and forlorn that the only possible step found from here is to die to the past, and to give up all claim to our own special existence. And in this process comes an excruciating and ultra-powerful soul drama.
For we find that we are awash in collective contents, and that everything we experience is flowing in every direction around us, with almost no boundary between our own personal soul plight and what we are chorded into in a broader sense. This means that we face the same energetic edge everywhere. And this is very hard to take.
It is more than tempting to try to neutralize and tune out the under-places and to surface into something less exposed and traumatic. Yet if we fall for this, we perpetuate the syndrome and dial it in one further notch. For we are at the juncture karmically where whatever we hold onto becomes the very thing we must give up in order to move further in any rightful direction.
The drama we play out is clutching at straws, demanding that something buffer us against our fate. How could we not try to elude this baffling and strange situation? We do try anything and everything to give us ballast, to make it seem for a moment like we can level off in some place to rest and abide.
If we ever do embrace unconditionally what we are given to bear, the drama ceases. The thickness dissolves. It turns out to be natural and just a matter of cutting through the endless tangles.
TABLE OF DATES
12/1- front end shadow (mercury at 28’50 sadge)
12/2- mercury into cap
12/8- mercury trine NN virgo 7’27
12/10 mercury sextile neptune
TRIGGERS NEPTUNE SOUTH NODE
12/13- mercury semisex juno sadge
TRIGGERS NEPTUNE SQUARE JUNO
12/17 mercury parallel sun
stations RETROGRADE 12/19 15’07 capricorn
(conjunct pluto 16’31- not exact till after mercury retro over)
12/19- mercury semisex juno
12/20- mercury semisex venus
(12/20 venus sexile juno- TRIGGERS)
12/23 mercury parallel saturn
12/25 mercury parallel pluto
TRIGGERS SATURN PLUTO DECLINATION
12/26- mercury sextile neptune
TRIGGERS NEPTUNE NODES
12/28- mercury conjunct sun 7’28 MIDPOINT
mercury sextile mars in pisces
TRIGGERS MARS SOUTH NODE CONJUNCTION 12/27
TRIGGERS MARS NEPTUNE CONJUNCTION 12/31
(saturn square chiron)
12/29- mercury trine NN 6’21 virgo
1/3 mercury sextile venus in pisces
(just into pisces 1/2)
mercury back into sadge- 1/4
stations DIRECT 1/8 28’50 sadge
1/12 mercury back into cap
1/13 sun parallel mercury
1/14 mercury parallel pluto
1.18- mercury trine NN 5’15 virgo
1/19 mercury parallel saturn
1/23 mercury sextile neptune
1/27- out of back end shadow- crosses 15’07 cap
1/29- mercury conjunct pluto- 17’55