Mercury is due to turn retrograde in the intensely emotional, probing sign of Scorpio on Monday 21st of October having been in the retrograde zone since October 1st. This is the third and final retrograde period of this year for Mercury, completing a run of retrogrades in the water signs. Water rules the emotions, intuition and is feminine in nature, and this year the planets have definitely been encouraging a shift towards the feminine. In a world dominated by logic and reason it is more than time to to allow the right side of our brains to play a bigger role, creating more of a balance between intuition and logic; creativity and hard reason. Both the masculine and feminine have an equal part to play in this world but the masculine has had precedence for far too long now and it is time that changed. The last of this year's retrograde periods is in soulful Scorpio who is deeply perceptive and intuitive and demands emotional honesty no matter how uncomfortable or painful it may be. Scorpio likes to dig deep below the surface of things and find what lurks below, so we can expect to make to interesting discoveries and have some quite profound insights into our psyches during this retrograde period.
As with all Mercury retrogrades we must be very careful with our communication and be aware that mistakes and misunderstandings can easily occur while Mercury is going backwards! Anything that involves communication, such as computers or telephones, could be a source of confusion or frustration at this time. There is also the possibility of travel delays and disruptions, or our modes of transport randomly breaking down on us! The key to retrograde periods is to maintain a sense of humour and accept that whatever delays or confusion we may experience are probably happening for some good reason that will become apparent with time. While we may like to imagine that things just “happen to us” we play more of a part in creating circumstances than we might think! This is a time when Mercury, the ruler of our rational, logical mind, has decided to take a bit of a break so it is an ideal time to let our intuitive, creative right side of the brain have free rein. This is not the time to start new projects, form new relationships or make any major decisions; a better use of the time is to look back over what we have already started and tie up any loose ends. People from the past have a tendency to pop up during retrograde periods providing us with an opportunity to revisit something that may somehow be unresolved between us. Indeed, Mercury retrogrades are an ideal time to reflect, revisit, review, restock, resolve, re-evaluate, redo, reorient, revamp, re-edit, re-assess and, most importantly, relax!
Mercury in Scorpio brings to mind a detective or a psychologist. Mercury rules the mind, communication and thought processes while Scorpio is a deeply emotional sign who likes to dive deep below the surface of things and poke around in places we would really rather not go! It is quite possible that we will be forced to face some things that we would normally prefer to avoid, confronting our shadows and accepting the not so pretty parts of ourselves. It is very important that we avoid beating ourselves up about whatever we may find because nobody is perfect and we must learn to love ourselves despite any failings we may have. That also goes for others too; we must practice compassion and forgiveness because we are all just human and merely doing the best we can. Scorpio likes to get the magnifying glass out and turn over all of the stones to see what lurks underneath, so we could find ourselves digging around, unearthing some dark secrets and solving some hitherto unsolved mysteries while Mercury is in this deep and penetrating sign. There is also the potential for some profound insights and very deep conversations in the next few weeks as Scorpio does have a deep disdain for the superficial and likes to get to the root of the matter!
Scorpio is known for emotional honesty so we can expect to give or receive some uncomfortable truths over the next few weeks. The Scorpion's tail has quite a sting and combined with the retrograde's tendency to create miscommunication it is possible that certain truths may inadvertently be revealed through a slip of the tongue. Come to think of it, I would say that Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio would be the epitome of the Freudian slip so it will be interesting to see what may accidentally come to light during this time. It could be very revealing! Scorpio is also the energy of transformation and metamorphosis and like a snake shedding its skin we have the chance to shed outworn thought patterns or ways of thinking that are unhealthy or no longer serving us. Whatever comes up now, such as old grudges, limiting perceptions, paranoia, obsessions or fixations, should be seen as gifts; enabling us to see our shadows and to purge, heal and transform them so that we can move forward as the embodiment of the purest, highest form of Scorpio – the soul. The phoenix rises out of the ashes after the flames have destroyed (or purified) whatever is unhealthy or rotten. Such is the energy of Scorpio; it transforms and transmutes so that our shadows become our strengths. After the darkest night comes the brightest morning.
When Mercury turns retrograde he tends to form aspects to certain planets more than once, which means that we experience the same energy two or three times. On the 8th of October he joined Saturn and the North Node which would have led to some very deep conversations and helped us speak our truth and share our vulnerabilities more so than at other times. Saturn is a very serious, heavy, karmic planet and makes us think of where we have been and where we are going and how we reap what we have sowed. In Scorpio this could take our thoughts and interactions to some rather dark places which could even make us a bit anxious or depressed. Mercury will join up with Saturn again on the 30th of October when he is in his backward motion, which may bring up similar thoughts or conversations again and then will pass over one last time on the 26th of November. By the final pass we should have more understanding of whatever we have been dealing with and hopefully find some resolution! Mercury will also be passing over the same degree of Scorpio as the Solar Eclipse which will be occurring on November 3rd. Eclipses signify major new beginnings and the start of a new chapter, so when Mercury passes over that Eclipse point it could give us some insight and understanding of what is beginning in our lives. The first time Mercury hit this sensitive point was also on October 8th, the second time will be on October 31st and the last time will be on November 21st. We should all keep an eye on these days as they have been and will be significant. I know that October 8th was for me and I am interested to see what happens on the second pass. I hope to understand more since I have had time to process what happened on the first pass.
This could be an incredibly healing time because while emotional honesty can sometimes be quite painful and uncomfortable it does force us to confront ourselves so that real growth can occur. If we leave things floating around under the surface they start to fester so it is much better to bring them out into the light of day because then they lose their power over us. This retrograde period has the potential to be quite revealing as it brings unconscious blocks up into the light and forces us to look at where we are holding ourselves back through our outlook or thought patterns. It is important to watch what we say and also to keep an ear out for what other people might say at this time because we may gain tremendous insight from slips of the tongue or emotions rising up from the deep. This could be a very interesting time indeed and is certainly has the power to put us more in touch with our unconscious urges, vulnerabilities and shadow sides than we would usually dare to allow. It is most important that we practice compassion for ourselves and others because while we may become more aware of our and others failings we must remember that we are all human. Whatever comes up now we must examine without judgement, seeking to understand and then release it so that we can move forward with greater understanding and less weight. That is Scorpio's greatest gift; the ability to let go.
1 October 2013 - Mercury enters retrograde zone
21 October 2013 – Mercury stations retrograde
10 November 2013 – Mercury stations direct
27 November 2013 – Mercury leaves the retrograde zone.
Photo: "Phoenix Rising from the Ashes" Stephan Brauchli