Written by Lauren Howard Coleman
For the Mercury Retrograde period from December 29th thru January 12th, read for your Sun and/or Rising Sign (or house if you know it):
(10th House) With the Mercury retrograde phase that lasts from December 29th thru January 18th, ask yourself what you have outgrown, probably don’t need any more, and are willing to leave behind. What have you had enough of, and are willing to let go? These may be specific commitments or goals that no longer resonate for the person you are now. It could also be a specific image that you were trying to portray, either for yourself or others. The goals, in and of themselves may be just what you are needing. But when you explore why you are pursuing specific goals, it may lead you to re-think some of your underlying motives. Are you setting goals that you think will bring you applause, flattery or rewards? Or because you think this is what you are supposed to be doing? One of the keys for Aries is to make your goals equal to yourself, something that pushes you grow just enough, without being cajoled or persuaded by flattery or rewards. Therefore using this retrograde phase to step back in order to reflect on these can be very useful to help you to reorient yourself, your identity in the world, as well as your goals as we move into the New Year ahead.
(9th House) Mercury retrograde phases are notorious for communications mishaps and travel delays, both of which are even more likely when Mercury is retrograde in the 9th house or solar sign. Ironically this can be when people are more inclined to want to travel back to a place that they’ve been to before. Especially a place that holds a certain nostalgia and history. So if you are so inclined, just remember to bring carry-on luggage, and good things to read, a bit of flexibility and a lot of patience, because you just never know what these retrograde phases of Mercury can bring. This can be a good time: to think about returning to school, study for an exam or accreditation, or revisit certain teachings, subjects or beliefs. You probably would not want to commit to something new during the retrograde phase, but it is a good time to explore different paths. The retro phase of Mercury that lasts from December 29th thru January 18th is a time for Taurus to revise their beliefs and judgments about things, releasing old rigid perspectives, in order to make room for new and even better perspectives to take hold.
(8th House) When Mercury stations retrograde in the 8th House or sign, it can give us permission to withdraw from situations that have become too much or are proving to be more bother (or expense) than they are worth. Therefore the retrograde phase of Mercury from December 29th thru January 18th can bring a welcome release. This can also be a time when you realize that you have outgrown some old habits or tendencies, that may even be holding you back. If that is the case, use the retrograde phase of Mercury to focus on creating better and healthier habits. Mercury is in Capricorn, which is a very organized and practical sign. So releasing old habits and creating new and better habits is a good way to use it. For Gemini it is also about figuring out ways to make your financial and other future needs and goals more sustainable and manageable. So you may see yourself weeding out the expenses that are not as important in order to focus on something that is more of a necessity. Use the retrograde period to figure out all the details, and research all your options. Research, revise and review. Then you will be better informed by the time Mercury is finally direct again.
(7th House) The Mercury retrograde phase which lasts from December 29th thru January 18th, reiterates the theme from the New Moon in Capricorn, putting the emphasis on your closest relationships. Some old ones may revisit, others may seem to wander through your life. And in the process you will find yourself reassessing many of the important relationships in your life. As well as reassessing how and why you do relationships the way you do. What the retrograde phase could be most challenging for would be communications, as it can often feel as if what we are saying is either misunderstood or not heard at all. Words get lost in the shuffle. Therefore look for other ways to connect with the people that matter most to you. Sometimes these retrograde phases offer us opportunities to end certain relationships that are not working out. But they can also just as well offer second chances to rekindle a relationship that had been faltering. When in retro territory it’s all about revisiting, revising and reassessing the who’s and what’s of our lives.
(6th House) Routines and schedules can get all discombobulated with the Mercury retrograde phase. Everything seems to get away from us: the dishes pile up in the sink; the laundry takes on a life of its own; and there never seems to be enough time for anything to get done. Conversely, Mercury retro can also turn this all around. So one positive way to use the retrograde phase which lasts from December 29th thru January 18th is to reorganize your desk or work place or revise your schedule. Catch up on projects or work that was placed on the back burner. You may have to re-do some projects, get the kinks out and check your work for mistakes. But Mercury retro in Capricorn is excellent for editing and seeing errors that may have previously been missed. Another thing that the Mercury retro phase is good for, is revisiting a health issue. It’s not generally suggested to do anything major during this time. But it can be a good time to follow up with an issue that was long overdue for a revamp, or reassessment. Getting second opinions, second chances or fixing something the right way, are often themes during the retrograde phases of Mercury.
(5th House) The Mercury Retrograde phase which lasts from December 29th thru January 18th, is asking Virgo to revisit those people and things that bring a sparkle to your eye, and a bit of joy in your life. This particular phase is about Virgo rekindling their heart strings. The 5th House is the house of children, so finding time to reconnect with your loved ones (human or fur children), can be enlightening as well as fulfilling, leaving you with insights about them that you hadn’t previously realized. Because we find ourselves drawn to the past you may find yourself reminiscing about an old love, whether that be an old flame, something or someone that you once loved so well. Mercury retrogrades can bring second chances to rekindle these old flames. The 5th House is also a house of creative and personal self-expression, and taking time out to absorb, observe and reflect is half the process. We can get a bit self-preoccupied with Mercury turning the focus within. But it’s also true that connecting with yourself can bring you just the inspiration you need to allow your imagination to flow naturally and spontaneously, as it often will when Mercury is retrograde in the 5th House.
(4th House) They say that if you try to go home again, it’s probably not going to be quite the same as it was when you left. Yet that is precisely what Libra is being asked to do with the retrograde phase of Mercury that lasts from December 29th thru January 18th. That can be about literally going back home to visit family and friends. But it can also be about reflecting on times past, and seeing early experiences in your life through a different lens. You could even learn something about yourself or others that can change your whole perspective. As a result you could see yourself revising and editing what you previously believed to be true. So whether you are having to re-write history, or revise an old narrative, going back may not be quite the same as you though it was. These are times of reflection, making sense of and assimilating all of the experiences of the past in order to make sense of our present. In a more practical vein, these retrograde phases could also find us focused on our living spaces, and what you might want to do to make these more accommodating. This might just be a matter of organizing and streamlining. It’s not necessarily a good time to start projects, but it is a good time to explore how you might want to better use or reorganize your space going forward.
(3rd House) The retrograde phase of Mercury that lasts from December 29th thru January 18th is a good time to perfect your strategies, revise your plans, and adjust your goals. One of the issues with these retrograde phases of Mercury can be some missed signals and communications. Therefore make sure you are getting the whole story before making any assumptions. It’s so easy to misconstrue things in this weather! It can also be very easy to lose our way, or take a wrong turn. Delays, detours and waylaid travel plans are one of the scourges of a retrograde Mercury. On the other hand it might be worth it to risk fate and venture forth in order to reconnect with old pals, siblings and relatives. There can be a yen to return to one’s old haunts, to look up that old bloke that you lost touch with, or to gather with friends and relatives. Mercury retrograde periods are times in which we go back over old territory. Which can also mean reviewing a subject, studying for an exam, re-reading an old book, or catching up on old news. But it can also be about releasing and letting go of the tendrils of the past in order to make room for the possibilities that are yet to be.
(2nd House) Things can be misplaced and/or lost during these periodic retrograde phases of Mercury. But it can also happen that something that had been misplaced in the past can now be found. These can be the strange contradictory vagaries of these retrograde periods where the past and the present collide. For Sagittarius, Mercury retrograde in Capricorn can have to do with ‘balancing the books’. For this reason it can be a time to re-think financial strategies and commitments, trying to figure out how to make them more sustainable. That may mean having to figure out what you need to cut back on (or cut out) in order to have enough for those things that are a greater priority. But that includes being able to hone in on what your true priorities actually are. And during the retrograde phase of Mercury which lasts from December 29th thru January 18th, you can gain some important insights about what these actually are. This includes examining what you are spending your valuable time, money and resources on, and why. What makes this one thing, or this experience valuable to you? Some things may not be able to be justified, but it could also be that you realize that there are some things that simply cannot be quantified, and are well worth the investment you are making.
(1st House) These periodic retrograde periods of Mercury can be horribly disruptive and unpredictable, even upending our lives and our plans. This is why it is recommended to allow for the occasional detour or delay while traveling or even in your daily activities. But what the retrograde phase of Mercury, which lasts from December 29th thru January 18th can be good for are situations where you are able to review and go back over old territory. And that can include things like returning to a place that you haven’t been to in a while; reconnecting with people that you hadn’t seen in ages; or fixing something that had become broken. We revise our plans, and sort out our lives during these critical retrograde periods. For Capricorn, some things may feel totally incomprehensible, confusing or frustrating. Words don’t seem to come easily, and you can’t always explain yourself. We tend to be more introspective, and perhaps that is what is needed. For this is when we are meant to process all that we have been learning and experiencing over the past months and years. The internal pieces are coming together and showing you something significant, so that you can then make sense of yourself and your role in the outer world going forward.
(12th House) One of the characteristics of the retrograde phase of Mercury that lasts from December 29th thru January 18th is that it can give you permission to say No More. Therefore this can very much be a time of Release or to Let Go. The New Moon in Capricorn on December 23rd, was much the same, and this retrograde phase is an opportunity to further explore certain experiences and expectations that you have now outgrown. We carry things with us that can weigh us down. That can include things like resentment, anger and/or fears. Know that these ‘things’ can take up valuable real estate within your own mind and heart, that will be sorely needed when we all finally emerge from the retrograde phases of Mercury and Mars. These internal distractions also get in the way of doing the important Mercury retrograde work of connecting with yourself. The past is what it is, and there is little to be done about it. Let it go. The future is still unknown, but you will meet it in its own time. For now use the retrograde phase to sift through the internal and external space junk in your life in order to achieve some sort of internal quietude, where you can then find yourself once again.
(11th House) It is not unusual during the retrograde phase of Mercury in the 11th House (or sign) to reassess your association with certain groups and people. Some commitments and memberships could be feeling a little tiresome these days. As can be the vaster bedlam of social media. Especially if it’s no longer doing what you had originally hoped or expected it would for you. Mercury in its retrograde phase can give you permission to withdraw from these if they no longer suit, are too distracting, or taking away from what you would much rather be doing. Mercury retrograde periods can be rife with misinformation on social networks any way, and even within your own circle. On the other hand, you are also likely to find yourself waxing nostalgic for old connections that had drifted away, and that one old friend that you hadn’t seen in a gazillion years. During the retrograde phase of Mercury that lasts from December 29th thru January 18th, you could find yourself sifting through these various connections, reconfirming those associations that you know are an essential part of your own path, while also recognizing where other paths diverge. And as a result, significant insights are being made about your own place in the world.
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