Mercury goes retrograde this Yuletide on November the 24th 2011. But here at Darkstar we think its important to cover the whole shadow period. Last year the retrograde period fell over Christmas with chaos as families were stranded at airports. This year Mercury stations direct before Christmas, but we are not out of the shadow period until New Years Day. We have a Solar eclipse the day after Mercury turns retrograde to make things interesting. Yuletide is also a turning point of the year when the days start to grow longer in the northern hemisphere. The winter solstice occurs December 20-21, so we have the return of the light just after Mercury stations direct on December 15, bringing us new hope for the New Year. Mercury spends 9 days of the shadow period in a clinch with Venus and then dances the tango with ambitious centaur Thereus for most of Christmas holidays. How will we get time to chill with the kids? The constellation Scorpio is the stage where most of this drama is enacted. These influences combined make this an intense, but exciting lead up to 2012.
Mercury Retrograde’s Trippy Dip
So before we can put the sparkly lights on the Christmas tree, Mercury has to make his descent to the Underworld, what are our Yuletide lessons then? On November 5 Mercury is conjunct Venus on Acrab, conjunct the Solar Eclipse degree. It neighbours fellow psychotic star Dschubba in constellation Scorpio. Acrab on the Scorpions forehead is even worst: “It causes extreme malevolence, mercilessness, fiendishness, repulsiveness, malice, theft, crime, pestilence, and contagious diseases.” [1.] Venus softens the blow of Mercury first tackle with Acrab somewhat, because it is still favourable for gain, despite it being self-seeking and a bit of a liar.
Here Mercury may give us a sneak preview of the forthcoming church-raiding Solar Eclipse. November 5 is quite a dangerous day all round though, with Mars on Alfard the poisonous watersnake opposing more deception and toxins from Neptune. Alfard is the very same star triggered by the Regulus Mercury retrograde back in August when we had a summer of rioting in the UK. Cities on Fire. Explosive…and erm it’s firework night. Who will end up on the Bonfire?
Mercury and Venus will tease and smooch alongside each other for the next 9 days! This flirty aspect crescendos on November 10, with a dramatic romp on Antares in the heart of the Scorpion. Which “makes its natives rash, ravenous, headstrong and destructive to themselves by their own obstinacy.”  at the same time we have sexy Mars on roaring Regulus. Woahh there! Hot stuff. Volcanic eruptions, rash declarations of love and spur of the moment decisions. Saturn is on Spica too. This kind of energy can move mountains, literally! Let’s hope Venus can soften the self-destructive side of Antares, but according to Robson it just makes it’s selfish and unscrupulous. Beware, your gonads are very likely be thinking for you today. This is followed by 11/11/11, Jamie wrote about this and it does have a wicked chart.
November 14 We get a lovely North Node/Mercury/Venus conjunction, they are still just within orb of Ras Algethi in Hercules. A pretty benign influence and a great chance for peace talks, beautiful thoughts and for all round positive thinking. Today we get a glimpse of Utopia, how it really could be if the world woke up to itself and we binned our self-destructive behaviour patterns and toxic habits. Mercury conjunct Venus can be a wonderful aspect in itself, graceful, charming and auspicious for the fine arts and literature.
November 16 Mercury is on Ras Algethi proper. Since this star is supposed to deal with ethics and social justice, one is hopeful that the Christmas spirit this year will be less about rampant consumerism and more about “Goodwill to all men” especially as Mercury is square Ceres at the same time, gluttony and extravagant buying of presents will seem in poor taste compared to those living in abject poverty.
The mood darkens on November 19 though with Mercury on Sabik in Ophuichus, my favourite “Success in evil deeds” star. Hmmm well let’s see, we could have some serious occult stuff going on with a grand trine being set off by the Moon conjunct Mars trine waning Pluto trine Jupiter, this will wet our appetites for the coming Solar eclipse in 6 days. I feel like something is brewing concerning the Vatican. Mercury here; “Injury from open enemies, little help from friends”.  As an interesting side note Mercury is exact opposite Thereus today, which adds the ruthless touch, and Thereus happens to be on the spot of the next Lunar Eclipse.
Mercury stations retrograde on November 24 at 7.20am UT. It’s chart is similar to the Solar eclipse chart one day later so the Sun is already on Dschubba in Scorpio. “With Sun: Immoral, dissipated, low associates, many sorrows.”  Mercury steps into the dark under this influence and then we get further darkness with the Moon blotting out this malefic Sun. In this case the shielding of the Sun by the Moon serves us well doesn’t it? Mercury is semi-sextile the Moon in Libra’s fortunate Northern Scale. Venusian affairs and the ladies get to shine while the regular heads of states are overshadowed. A chance for peace. Nice
November 29, Mercury goes back over Sabik again, but this time Venus is not there to hold his hand and he really is in the dark. This could be a gloomy time again with a square from Ceres, which will bring up issues of family separation and sorrow while the Sun is still in the difficult Scorpio stars. We will be reflecting on who will be absent from the Christmas dinner table this year. Thereus makes a T square to Ceres opposing Mercury for the second time. This may show the struggle between balancing family life with professional success, tough decisions, feeling guilty and torn.
Mercury Retrograde December 2011
December 1 Mercury on Ras Algethi for the 2nd hit. Issues brought up on November 16 get reviewed and revised. How to deal with relatives fairly, Moon trine Saturn makes us face up to our family responsibilities. But there is tension with an Antares Sun square Mars. Ras Algethi in Hercules will make you question your moral code. Heated family conferences as Mars fires up Hercules’ “ardent nature and dangerous passions” [ 5]
December 5 Mercury on Antares! Fire breathing dragons as Mercury is square Mars too. Mars on Zosma is pretty shameless, an ego-maniac and acting totally unreasonably. The fancy aspect pattern we get today is called a Tele-Microscope. The magnifying glass effect of the raging Moon/Mars quincunx can blow everything out of proportion. Once again Venus saves the day, stepping in just before things erupt into mayhem. December 12 Mercury backs over Acrab while it is slowing down to turn direct. There may be a replay of the difficulties of November 5, but this time the stabilisers are off, no Venus! A very wobbly day all round. However, there is a useful trine to Uranus who may give us some intuitive flashes with how to deal with this. Unexpected resolutions.
Mercury station direct
Mercury turns direct December 14 at 1.44am. Mercury on Acrab still, so without Venus we get a bit of a dullard mind and difficulty in expressing ones self. There are restrictions in the media, so not a good day for getting your message across. Wait till your vision has adjusted to the light. December 24 Mercury is on Antares for Christmas Eve, we’ll have echos of the day of the manic fire breathing dragons on December the 5th, so there will be a certain amount of suspicion in the air, but nothing like as flammable as it was earlier in the month.
Mercury’s happy conjunction on December 27 with the North Node helps us focus our goals and it is exact on Ras Algethi now. According to Ptolemy, this star is like Mercury anyway, so it will be bring out the stars strength of character, resolve, will power and a gritty determination to carry on to the bitter end. Interestingly Thereus opposes Mercury from December 26 right up until New Years day. Resolutions and goals set around this time I believe will really have staying power.
Happy New Year. Mercury moves out of the shadow at 5am January 1, just in time for the dawn of 2012. It is tightly square Mars (03’) so maybe this is an omen we shall wage war with words and on the cyber highways in 2012. Mars on Denebola “ Bitter, vindictive, cruel, unpopular, loss of position and public disgrace.”  Ouch, some cutting edge journalism ahead in 2012. I don’t think the square is a bad omen however. I think the media is going to bring some of the big lions down. Squares get things done. It’s incisive, quick thinking, cutting through red tape, and cutting the crap. Look at the dramatic New Years day chart, sharp. Welcome to 2012!
Mercury Retrograde Dates
March 12 to April 4 2012
July 15 to August 8 2012
November 6 to 26 2012
1, 2 , 3, 4, 5 & 6. Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, Vivian E. Robson, 1923 p.169 , p136, p 199, p 172, p47, p.161.
- rob on October 26, 2011 at 10:01 am
this is very helpful – forewarned is etc….a lot to take in, Mercury retro seems to highlight the need to be aware of all matters Mercury, but, for me, the I still wonder on whether its a definite ‘downer’ on its own, regardless – use of awareness and what we load it with a priori, perhaps events conspire to make sure that, if we miss it, we still get it, but, a little more out of our hands – very much enjoying the fixed stars here – thanks!
- AngelFace on October 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm
Let the Good Times Roll…. just when I thought it couldn’t get worse. I think I will sing more Gregorian Chant, & stay out of the bars for “socializing”. Candles, puzzles and true friends over dinner.
- Brian on November 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm
The point is to rise above the stars, unconcious (fears and such) allow us to be ruled by the stars concious awareness allows us to rule the stars and rise above like Gods and Goddesses. Practice mindfulness, be aware of ur emotions and reactions. Do not be mere animals surviving be above the hype and all will be fine. Meditate, meditate, meditate. Be here now! Practice compassion and train in peace. RISE ABOVE THE TIERNY OF CONTROL and be the creator of ur universe. It is quite simple. CONCIOUS AWARNESS = U ARE IN CONTROL OF UR FATE . UNCONCIOUS SLEEP = THE START RULE YOU and good luck with that one. lol OM TAT SAT… LOVE AND LIGHT