Retrograde Planets

A Rude Awakening with Mercury Retrograde

cropped image of “Wheels on Fire” by Brian Varcas

Mercury stations retrogrades in the 2nd degree of Aquarius at 12:59 p.m. UT on January 5th 2016, before reversing back into Capricorn on 8th January at 7:37 p.m. UT. Squared by Mars in Scorpio at its station, this passage of Mercury speaks of unexpected and potentially very disruptive surprises which, nonetheless, lead to benefits in the long run. It may be hard to remember that, though, when life suddenly does an unforeseen u-turn or we are blind-sided when we least expect.

The quality of this time enhances Mercury retrograde’s tendency towards unanticipated disruption, but alongside this frustration dwells a healing force that is simply too insistent that we wake up, to be polite about it anymore! If we’ve been ignoring too long issues we should have dealt with ages ago, telling ourselves everything will work out in the end without doing anything to make that happen or just walking along blinkered to the truths which scream at us from all directions, this Mercury is about to rock our boat vigorously until we open our eyes, ears, minds and hearts to what’s really going on.

Mercury Retrograde's Clear-Seeing and No Nonsense Clarity

The good news (and there’s plenty of it despite the nature of this time!), is that Mercury retrograde in Capricorn, enhanced by the ‘flavour’ of Mercury in Aquarius, provides us the clear-seeing and no nonsense clarity that can be very useful in a crisis and productive when we need to come up with problem-solving strategies. Whilst it may well be the case that where we find ourselves now could have been eased had we acted sooner, we have pragmatic wisdom on our side to help us navigate choppy waters into calmer and more fruitful seas.

This period of readjustment, occurring just prior to an eclipse season which begins in the final week of February, provides an opportunity to take responsibility where previously we may have side stepped doing so in favour of an easier or safer ride. Once we’ve done that, there will be all manner of support available as we sort the wheat from the chaff and embrace the consequences of having done so.

Allowing All of Yourself A Voice

In fact the issue of consequences is very significant at this time. We may have to face the fact that doing what we know to be right results in challenges we’d rather not face. But face them we must. Life demands backbone right now, and acknowledgement that the right thing is not always the easiest and doing it does not always bring us praise and acclaim! It may not even bring us peace, but instead a battle we know we must fight whether we want to or not. Most important to remember is that this battle may be an inner one, between the part of ourself that simply wants to be accepted and loved, not challenged or criticised, and the truth of ourself which is rising up unrestrained, demanding to be heard.

The notion of battle may feel negative, unnecessarily aggressive, but I use this word because that’s exactly what it may feel like at the time and I don’t want to underplay the strength of this experience. If you don’t like the sound of a battle, resolve not to have one, but instead allow all of you a voice; listen to yourself intently and with love; create a compassionate space in which you can be all the contradictions and paradox that you are and still know yourself as whole.

Reconciling Inner Paradox and Conflict

Reconciling inner paradox and conflict is key to our collective progress this year, as we encounter evermore directly the impact of our inner world upon our outer one. The more peace within, the greater hope without; the greater dislocation within, the greater disruption without. These are direct correlations that will become ever more apparent as Eris and Uranus approach their first exact conjunction in mid 2016. There is work to be done on our relationship with ourself above all else, and Mercury retrograde is eager to help us do it right now!

Of course, in true Mercury retrograde fashion, we may well find ourselves at the apparent mercy of events over which we have no control. The trickster aspect of the messenger planet does love to catch us unaware with all manner of unpredictabilities. If this is the case we’d best remember that even in the midst of the greatest storm we can choose our attitude towards it and our behaviour in its midst. We are sovereign over ourselves even as the rest of the universe seems to have its own ideas!

It takes guts and backbone to stand firm in the face of life’s storms and affirm one’s right not to be broken by them. But it is a right we can all claim as our own and confer upon each other, creating a strong and supportive web of humanity that fosters well-being, mutual respect and companionship no matter the trials we face.

Yes… it’s going to be an interesting time! One that keeps us on our toes and wide awake. But in that wakefulness can be found the freedom of knowing that no matter what happens we are born of something far greater than our tiny selves, and can expand to accommodate life’s ups and downs as we go.

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About the Author

Sarah Varcas, Intuitive AstrologerSarah Varcas is an Intuitive Astrologer, committed to decoding wisdom messages and applying this wisdom to the experience of our everyday lives with all their challenges, rewards, twists and turns, revealing the bigger picture to assist all of us in navigating the road ahead. She is deeply committed to the notion that 'we are all in this together', and can often be found reading her own words to remind herself what she should be working on today! Her own spiritual path has been very eclectic, spanning Buddhism and contemplative Christianity alongside many other diverse teachings and practices. Sarah also offers an online (via email) Tuition and Coaching in Intuitive Astrology course. You can find out more about Sarah and her work at

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