On May 29, 6:34 PM ET, Mercury stations retrograde at 24°43’ of its home sign, Gemini. Mercury will station direct on June 22, after traveling back to 16°07’, and will remain in Gemini until July 11.
Retrogrades represent an optical illusion that depends on our perspective on Earth: as the speed of Mercury decreases, from here it appears like it’s moving backward. Astrologically, retrogrades represent a time to slow down and turn inwards, a moment to review and reassess our plans, our intentions, and our ways of expressing the planetary energy involved.
Mercury goes retrograde three to four times a year, for three weeks. The pre-shadow phase began on May 14, while the post-shadow phase lasts until July 7, when Mercury will reach again 24°43’ of Gemini. While Mercury is in retrograde motion, we are encouraged to question our habitual ways of thinking, our ideas, our form of communicating and perceiving reality. After the post-shadow phase is over, we are likely to have a clearer idea of the meaning and purpose of what we have been going through.
Understanding Mercury in Transit
Mercury is the planet ruling the rational mind, logic, problem-solving, and critical thinking. It reflects our learning style and our way to deal with the details of everyday life. Mercury feels comfortable expressing itself in Gemini, its home of Air. Mercury traveling through the sign of the Twins reflects an increase in our willingness and desire to learn, gather new information, focus on details, and join long talks.
Mercury in transit reflects our changing orientation to logically understanding both our reality and ourselves. During its journey through Gemini, we explore different ways to make sense of ourselves and life and we look for more data in order to gain a more diverse perspective of everything. Mercury in the sign of the Twins inspires us to initiate conversations and debates, to exchange opinions with others, and seek new sources of information as a way to learn more about our inner and outer environment.
Mercury retrograde has a bad reputation, and tends to be a feared astrological transit. Due to its misrepresentation, it has been popularly associated with technology breaking down, communication drama, and blamed for all sorts of issues creating delays and obstacles in our daily lives. While we may experience some challenges with technology, misunderstandings, and unexpected changes of plans, the real purpose of Mercury retrograde is to help us turn inwards and think for ourselves, rather than playing out the same conditioned mental scripts and patterns over and over again.
Mercury square Neptune: a Conflict between Rationality and Intuition
Mercury will be in an ongoing square to Neptune for its entire retrograde period. The first exact square happened on May 21-22, the second one will be between June 3 and June 5, and the last one between July 5 and July 6. Squares are angles of 90° reflecting friction and tension between planets. The Mercury-Neptune square emphasizes the archetypal struggle between the mind and the heart, our rationality and our intuitive feelings.
This series of squares is likely to reflect a sense of confusion, lack of clarity, contrasting news, and a general feeling of not knowing what is true and what is not. Both planets are transiting their domiciles, and this intensifies the effects of this aspect: discrimination and critical thinking are likely to be more challenging than usual.
Mercury square Neptune may cloud our perception of reality: as the left and the right brain collide, we are left wondering what to believe in. While Gemini wants to know it all and aspires to build a reliable and logical framework to classify reality, Pisces reminds us that we don’t know anything for sure, no matter how much information we accumulate. The data we have collected so far is likely to be contradicted by contrasting information, and this may undermine our sense of security. Miscommunication and misunderstandings may occur: during this time, it is important to be patient and compassionate with both ourselves and others.
Mercury conjunct Venus & Solar Eclipse in Gemini
Just a few hours before stationing retrograde, Mercury has formed a conjunction with Venus in Gemini. This aspect supports negotiation and mediation as it promotes a diplomatic mindset, while our speaking and writing styles will tend to be harmonious and charming.
During these days, our social life is likely to be stimulating and intellectually enriching, while our interactions with others tend to be quicker and more diverse than usual. Venusian themes, such as issues around relationships, money, and self-worth, may continue to be at the forefront throughout this Mercury retrograde cycle, maybe recalling something that first emerged last year around this time, while Venus was retrograde in Gemini.
As the planetary ruler of the North Node of the Moon, the role of Mercury is particularly important at this time, and especially so as we are navigating Eclipse season. Mercury retrograde will be conjunct the Sun and the Moon during the upcoming New Moon Solar Eclipse in Gemini, taking place on June 10. This aspect emphasizes the importance of clear communication and critical thinking and invites us to be open-minded yet discerning, as our emotions are likely to heavily affect our thoughts, our words, and our perception of reality.
Mercury Retrograde in Gemini: Thinking Outside the Box
Mercury retrograde represents a time to open up to consider different perspectives and ways of thinking that may allow us to change course and discover something new. It is a great moment to review something we had started learning about long ago, to complete a course we already began, or go back to our old journals, reflect on repetitive patterns, or on how our way of being has changed.
This retrograde cycle in Gemini represents an invitation to question our mindset, our habitual thinking patterns, our learning style, our relationship with our close environment, and our perception of reality. It has the potential to help us to understand the results of our social, cultural, familial, and religious conditioning and detach from the mainstream mentality.
By promoting introspection, Mercury retrograde gets us in touch with new possibilities, ideas, and growth opportunities. This transit has the potential to support our individuation journey by increasing our capacity to think outside the box and challenging our existing ways of perceiving reality. It is up to us to make the most out of it.
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