Mercury goes retrograde and the traditional advice is “Don’t travel, Don’t sign contracts. Don’t marry. Don’t touch electrics!” But the whole Mercury retrograde cycle actually lasts eight weeks and happens three times, sometimes even four times in a year! That’s a long time to hide under the duvet and a real waste of a truly magical time.
Mercury generally zips between two worlds, or rather, the two hemispheres of our brain. So during the retrograde period it is like Mercury has gone down into the Underworld. In the realm closer to spirit we become more right-brain orientated. It is dark, so other senses are heightened. We will feel extra sensitive here, psychic even. Everything will seem hyper-real… you will notice things you had overlooked before. This will prompt you to re-evaluate, renovate, re-invent, re-form, and reinvent. It’s true you might have to redo things, because Mercury will hit the same degree three times, but what this transit won’t let you do is to go into autopilot.
There are danger spots though. When Mercury is stationing retrograde we are at the wobbly stage where we are likely to slip-up, make mistakes, and misread another’s communications. But once we are over the threshold and into the Underworld, we can safely go about out business knowing we are in another realm. The same goes for when it is stationing direct – give our brain a few days to adjust back to solar thinking. Whichever houses Mercury retrogrades in, will be your Underworld zone. Here you will question everything. It will make you jittery about signing contracts, because you will be constantly thinking, “Is this what I really want?”. Before the retrograde, is a good time to finish off those Solar left-brain projects and gather information to bring down into your cave at its retrograde point. Then you can slow things down, let yourself be taken into other dimensions, try on different filters, experiment, shine a light on your demons, then recharge and reboot.
Mercury Retrograde October/November 2013
Mercury will turn retrograde from October 21 – November 11. But there is always a shadow period, the degrees that Mercury will hit three times. This is extremely significant if one has a personal planet or angle positioned there. The Mercury retrograde chart is similar to the October lunar eclipse since it contains the learning triangle of North Node/Saturn plugging into Uranus square Pluto. Mercury will travel over the two eclipse points in Crux the crucifix. This connects the fated past with the future, as I have already stated, and highlights again the Mars opposition to Neptune. “The opposites have got so extreme that its as if the other is an alien. Finding the middle ground now is extremely hard, but it must be done if we are to survive.”
The extended period of Mercury going over this point will give us a long drawn out lesson in how to balance our use of cyber technologies with our connection with the earth. Of course Mercury retrograde does make communications vulnerable to break down anyway. We may well be forced into going without our beloved internet, mobile or computer forcing us to do things the old fashioned way. This is more likely to happen if we have been so reliant on our electric friends that real life friendships have suffered.
Mercury Retrograde Chart
The Mercury retrograde chart is interesting because it has the Moon on Algol in Medusa’s severed head. Algol can sometimes mean we are too “Heady”. Logic may have taken us over so we act like Spock. We might find that the only way we can stop the brain thinking frenzy is to actually get out of our heads through drugs or some other such Neptunian escape. In the Mercury retrograde chart Mars opposite Neptune, which can point to addictive tendencies, amplifies this. Venus is quincunx the forbidden fruit of Lilith, who burns temptingly bright on Sirius.
Venus meanwhile is on Ras Algethi in Hercules, a constellation about finding the sacred in nature. Hercules is placed on one knee in reverence to the spiritual earth. This means he is in direct contact with the soil. Sometimes we are drawn to imbibe some form of sacred herb. The problem is, when is this herb medicinal and when does is cross over to becoming an addiction? How much is too much? Yes, it is all about finding a balance, Mercury actually travels through sidereal Libra during this period. The three quincunxes in the chart are also all about making this adjustment.
Cyber V Sacred Sex
Another issue this chart spells out to me could be that of internet porn. I have already written about this in my Uranus square Pluto post. Since that aspect is being triggered by both Mercury Retrograde and also by the November eclipse we may find many news items relating to how detrimental internet porn has become to relationships. The younger generation growing up today who have a far easier access to hardcore material than ever before, what does that mean for our sexual/spiritual future? Mars (sex) opposite Neptune (Internet) shows this plainly. Of course now there is also the problem of internet porn addiction and how it is desensitizing a whole generation of males.
How does this marry up with the return of the dark goddess? This is not quite the resurgence of the divine feminine I had in mind… Venus quincunx Lilith in the chart can be the sacred prostitute, but the powers that run the internet porn are not going to stress the sacred are they? Just like junk food has no nutrition and drains us of energy as opposed to real food, Internet porn has a similar effect compared to true erotica. Sex is magic, it is sacred and empowering. But there is a very fine line between sexy and sexist. Again it all goes back to balance. This Mercury retrograde brings up all these questions, especially if you have it travelling through your 5th, 7th or 8th house.
The Mercury Retrograde Journey
On October 2 Mercury starts off in the shadow zone at 2º Scorpio. So it will travel back through Scorpio decan 1 and 2. This brings up the sex theme again since Mercury will travel over the November eclipse point. Diana K Rosenberg says that 9º-10º Scorpio are “Nonconformists with a bit of the wild and freaky in their natures, they may be obsessed with sex, and/or be drawn to sadism, fetishes, dominance, and the equation of pleasure and pain.” 
But it’s also the zone of the crucifix, so as I mentioned, this Mercury Retrograde journey is about making sex sacred. It’s about holding your body as a temple and not polluting it with lesser microbes that belong to lesser.. ahem*..vehicles. Everything you put into your body makes your body and mind what it is. That includes what you take in through your eyes and ears. Mercury is about what is being communicated to you.
Mercury trine Neptune on October 3 makes one receptive to undercurrents, the sublime and subliminal. This will happen again for an extended period as Mercury Rx slows down to station direct from November 5 and then all the way until November 17 as Neptune also turns direct. Mercury with Neptune also make a minor grand trine to the goddess of love peaking on November 8. So we have a great many opportunities for tantric sex then during this period. We can take the carnal to an other level entirely. You don’t have to be partnered up to do this either, it can be channelled into powerful art or magic too. October 10 Mercury on Alphecca in the crown gives opportunity for some saucy role-playing. But this is a fortunate, artistic and poetic star despite its debauched reputation. Enjoy bohemian indulgences again on October 30 and November 23.
The theme of balance couldn’t be more clear when Mercury scuttles over the two scales of Libra. Prime days for commerce are when stationing retrograde Mercury is on the lucky northern scale on October 20/24 and then later while leaving the shadow zone on November 27/28 . These are wobbly days though, so maybe stick to selling something where people will have to keep coming back for more. Things like haircuts, massages, etc. Leave huge, one-off sales or purchases for another time. Beware of days when Mercury is on the southern scale of loss on October 13/14 and November 25 unless you deliberately want to loose someone…
Mercury Retrograde Dates October – November 2013
Mercury enters shadow zone on October 1 at 2º 31’ Scorpio.
Mercury Stations Retrograde on October 21, 2013 at 18º 23’ Scorpio. 11.28am BST 6:28am EDT 3.28am PDT.
Mercury Stations Direct on November 10/11th at 02º 31’ Scorpio. 11th 9:11pm GMT 10th 4.11pm pm EST 1.11pm PST.
Mercury leaves shadow zone on November 27 at 18º 23’ Scorpio.