Mercury Rx Jan 21 to Feb 11 ~ Reinvention
Mercury Rx from 17º Aquarius back to 1º Aquarius. We start the retrograde period in Aquarius decan 2 which will last from Jan 21 until Jan 31. I call this decan Stately Ducks & Professional Cranes. It gives a cool-as-a-cucumber demeanour and an elevated head, the influence can make us literally quite “stuck up!”. However, although still aspirational, the sensitive feelings of this decan will keep the humanitarian side to Aquarius alive and well, enabling sympathy at this time.
Austin Coppock sees this decan as a bridge builder. This is probably because it is actually ruled by Mercury. The god of messages and commerce does really well here. Austin says of Mercury in this decan that “..travels yield profitable thoughts, valuable to the rebel and the citizen alike” and that a talisman made in this decan “conveys greater independence of thought to the bearer, and makes them capable of communicating effectively with a wide range of persons.”  During this section of the retrograde we should be able to problem solve with objectivity and be able to translate our findings without adding too much personal bias to them.
As Mercury retrogrades back into Aquarius decan 1 we meet what I call the Mad Professors & Visionary Upgraders. This zone is more Promethean in its nature, bold, aspirational, focused and very eccentric. So we might start the retrograde period quite calmly and diplomatically, but as we move back and start turning over things in our heads, we might find we are becoming rather more agitated by what we discover. Austin Coppock maintains “The figures seen here bear the mark of the eccentric, exile, the rebel and the pioneer”. 
This Saturn/Venus ruled decan is less concerned with the opinions of others and it is far more arcane in its thinking. Here Mercury prefers to play the devils advocate, it still keeps a distance, but holds a very long poking stick! Don’t be surprised to see heated internet debates from Jan 30 to Feb 10 while Mercury is in this volatile decan. Of course Mercury will hit this decan twice over, but it is during the retrograde phase I believe the juice will come out, so to speak.
Mercury Rx ~ Aspects
The aspects that Mercury will make on its journey are nothing to worry about. It all seems very businesslike to me. Benign sextiles to Uranus emphasis the inventive ideas and independent thinking potential of this period and the sextiles to Saturn are great for buying and selling. So this is a good period for entrepreneurs to re-launch an old product or re-brand. Reinvention is the buzzword for this Aquarian flavoured Mercury retrograde.
There is a strong emphasis on international commence when Mercury is in Aquarius decan 2. This placement ensures not too much gets lost in translation when dealing with foreigners also. The most difficult period of this Mercury retrograde is when Mercury crosses Sham and Altair at the very end, before Mercury stations direct. Altair is usually lucky and bold, but Mercury doesn’t seem to work so well here. Maybe it can be too tactless or verbose. Mercury will be Cazimi (Exact conjunct the Sun) on Alpha Tucana. Toucans use their long sharp beaks to duel with each other much like a fencer.
If this Mercury retrograde touches your chart it could be a good time to enjoy a good verbal fencing match. So for example, if Sun conjunct Mercury falls in your 7th , the debate/row will be with your partner, if in your 4th, with your father, in the 3rd with a neighbour or sibling.. Political rants can be entertaining, but make sure all these heated discussions takes place during the Cazimi time (Check last page for exact time) Otherwise you could go too far with the vitriol.
Mercury Rx ~ Fixed Stars
Sham in Sagitta | 1º 04’ Aquarius ~ Jan 5, Rx Feb 10, Feb 12.
“It is said to give a keen mind with ability for abstract thought and teaching or writing, irritability, jealousy and danger of hostility and bodily harm.”
Altair in Aquilla | 1º 47’ Aquarius ~ Jan 6, Rx Feb 8, Feb 14.
“Many difficulties, misfortunes, and strange experiences. Disappointment on long journeys, bad for partnership, loss of a relative under strange circumstances.”
Gieda Prima in Capricorn | 3º 46’ Aquarius ~ Jan 7, Rx Feb 5, Feb 18.
“Romantic, psychic, vacillating, many love affairs some of which cause notoriety, may elope with married person.”
Oculus in Capricorn | 4º 43’ Aquarius ~ Jan 8, Rx Feb 4, Feb 20.
“It gives a clever and piercing intellect when in conjunction with Mercury”
Alpha Microscopium in Microscopium | 5º 38’ Aquarius ~ Jan 9, Rx Feb 1, Feb 22.
Alpha Tucana in Tucana | 9º 40’ Aquarius ~ Jan 11, Rx Jan 30, Feb 25.
Albali in Aquarius | 11º 43’ Aquarius ~ Jan 12, Rx Jan 29, Feb 27.
Armus in Capricornus | 12º 44’ Aquarius ~ Jan 14, Rx Jan 28, Feb 28
The “nagging” star! With Mercury, deluxe nagging….
Dorsum in Capricornus | 13º 51’ Aquarius ~ Jan 15, Rx Jan 27, Mar 1.
Alnair in Grus | 15º 54’ Aquarius ~ Jan 17, Rx Jan 24, Mar 2.
Grus the crane gives “A retiring, active, proud, watchful, kind, idealistic and devoted nature, with a liking for astronomy.”
Sualocin in Delphinus | 17º 23’ Aquarius ~ Jan 19, Rx Jan 21, Mar 4.
“It gives a simple appearance, cheerfulness, dissembling and duplicity.”
Mercury Rx Chart ~ January 21 at 17º Aquarius
Mercury stations retrograde between two benign stars, that of the gentile Crane and the cheerful dolphin. Mercury however looks to be rather naïve though with that aggressive Uranus square Pluto Nodal T-square in the chart. The best way to get through this retrograde is to have as much information as possible. Ignorance is no excuse, the internet is our friend and all the information you could want is at your fingertips. Mercury is opposite Jupiter Rx so this can also be about digging out old books that were too heavy going the first time. If studying for an exam this is great time for organizing your notes and revising. It is also well stared for personal research. This retrograde is fantastic for doing some in depth investigation. The Sun is brave on Altair and favours looking at the bigger picture from a birds eye view. Altair is in Jupiter’s soaring Eagle. Travel will certainly broaden the mind and perspective.
Mercury Direct Chart ~ February 11 at 1º Aquarius
The volcano erupts! This is another one of those retrogrades when all hell breaks loose when the planet goes direct again. This is because the T-square at the start of the retrograde is still there and what’s more Pluto is joined by his irate mother in law Ceres. This is a very aspirational point in the zodiac with Vega the elitist and artistic star close by. To me this screams “my daughter is too good for the likes of you Pluto, in your leathers and with that greasy death-trap in tow!” But on a mundane level this can be mother-earth kicking up a fuss if Plutonic industry has over-mined her. Pluto can figuratively rape the earth and fracking is a very good example of this. Off the top of my head I remember the last time Ceres came face-to-face with Pluto was in 2010. In Europe we had the volcanic eruption in Iceland, which caused huge flight disruption when Ceres was wide conjunct Pluto (but in a tight T-square with Saturn and the Sun. Ceres conjunct Pluto was exact Oct 20 2010 if you want to research further). Mercury is on Altair, which brings “Many difficulties, misfortunes, and strange experiences”. So I would advise laying low until Mercury is steady-as-she-goes and has picked up some speed. You don’t have to wait until Mercury is out of shadow, but at least when Mercury has some stability from the supporting sextile to Saturn on February 19.
Mercury Rx Period Dates
January 5 Mercury enters shadow zone at 1º Aquarius
January 8 Mercury conjunct Venus
January 14 Mercury sextile Uranus
January 15 Mercury trine North Node
January 21 Mercury station retrograde at 17º Aquarius
Times: 3.54pm GMT, 10.54am EST, 7.54am PST
January 22 – 26 Mercury wide opposition Jupiter
January 27 Mercury enters combustion with Sun
January 28 Mercury Rx sextile Uranus, Mercury trine North Node.
January 30 Mercury Cazimi Sun
Times: 1.52pm GMT, 8.52am EST, 5.52am PST
February 3 Mercury out of combustion with Sun.
February 5 Mercury sextile Saturn
February 11 Mercury station direct at 1º Aquarius
Times: 2.56pm GMT, 9.56am EST, 6.56am PST
February 19 Mercury sextile Saturn
March 1 Mercury opposite Jupiter
March 3 Mercury out of the shadow zone at 17º Aquarius