Mercury Retrograde ~ Alchemy & Magic

We have a Mercury retrograde from February 17/18 to March 9, in the signs of Pisces and Aquarius. The traditional advice with Mercury retrograde is “Don’t travel, Don’t sign contracts. Don’t marry. Don’t touch electrics!”

However, 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 Retrograde February/March 2020

The majority of this Mercury Retrograde February 2020 takes place in Pisces decan 1 so I will focus on this decan. Just bear in mind that Mercury stations retrograde on the borders of Pisces decan 2 and stations direct on the borders of Aquarius decan 3.

Mercury retrograde feb 2020

Mercury, while it stations, is in a state of flux for a few days anyhow so this change in flavour is quite fitting, its better not to plan anything for this wobbly moment where time becomes warped and his a weird, spaced out feeling anyhow. Better to concentrate on when Mercury is rather more predictable and less in a state of fermentation. So what is Pisces decan 1 all about?

Mercury is traditionally debilitated in Pisces, which is not surprising if you look at it through the lens of our left-brain logical society. How can Mercury work well when it’s submerged in the psychedelic sea of Pisces, especially the whimsical Pisces decan 1?

However, Mercury always has two sides if you look at it alchemically and also the fact it has both an evening and morning star interpretation. Mercury also retrogrades three to four times a year which just means that we are given the opportunity to balance and bridge both sides of our brain. Now, this is a good thing!!

Mercury Retrograde Video ~ Meaning For All the Signs

The problem is that traditional astrology is geared towards successful production in the material world. This is why we see dire warnings of “Losses, slander, imprisonment (Mercury can be a thief!) and peculiarities” in some of the fixed stars that reside here (see below). However despite the right-brain bias in my research, two very apparently “left brain” type people head the nativity list below which is probably due to the influence of Fomalhaut which gives scientific talent.

I see no real evidence of debilitation really, though I can see there is some evidence of some the “peculiarities”, losses and slander indicated by some of the natives. Some good examples of Mercury in Pisces 1 as an energy are: Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, Eckhart Tolle, Manly P Hall, Dane Rudhyar, Elizabeth Taylor, Peaches Geldof, Nancy Spungen, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Thomas More, Bill/Hilary Clinton Davison, Bjorn/Benny Abba Davison.

Mercury Retrograde Pre-Shadow, Retrograde & Post Shadow

Mercury Retrograde March 2020

February 25th 2020 ~ Cazimi Moment!

Halfway through the whole Mercury retrograde February 2020 journey
, we have Sun cazimi Mercury. While Mercury is conjunct the Sun they will make a useful and passionate sextile to Mars sharply focused on fixed star Facies.

Mercury retrograde feb 2020Even though Facies can have some negative and ruthless meanings, the sextile provides a channel for its penetrating stare. This makes it great for any esoteric study and creativity when combined with the poetic, dream-world of Pisces decan 1.

Here opens a window of wonderfulness where we can stand in the eye of the hurricane but then emerge miraculously in one piece. Make use of the special Sun exact conjunct Mercury moment (Called ‘Cazimi’ in traditional astrology). Send a romantic message that really hits the mark or pitch an artistic idea. Try as close to these times as you can.

CAZIMI TIMES at February 25 at 5.45pm PST, 8.45pm EST, at February 26 at 1.45am GMT, 2.45am CET. (Cazimi lasts about 2.5 hours either side of the hour.)

Mercury Retrograde Key Dates: (Rx in Red)

Mercury Retrograde February 2020Feb 11, 22, 23 & Mar 26
~ Mercury on Skat at 8º Pisces
“Peculiar events, occult interests, psychic, many friends.” [1]

Feb 9, 27, Mar 23 ~ Mercury on Deneb Agide at 5º Pisces
“An idea-magician; the poet, the actor or the shaman. Intuitive thinking, seeking an enchanted world.”[2]

Feb 8, 28 & Mar 22 ~ Mercury on Fomalhaut at 4º Pisces

“Many losses and disappointments, unlucky in business, better servant than master, writes or receives secret letters, worry through slander, imprisonment or damaged reputation, domestic difficulties, sickness of a Saturnian nature.” [3]

 “ in conjunction with Mercury, it is said to stimulate mental capabilities and promise success as a writer or scientist.” [4] “To have an idealistic vision, or to deceive. The poet or the liar, to be persuasive with one’s words” [2]

Feb 7, 29 & Mar 21 ~ Mercury on Sadalmelik at 3º Pisces

“Occult interests and research, criticized, favourable for friendship, success in large companies, loss through servants.” [5] “An agile and nimble person whose ideas appeal to others. An intuitive creative thinker, one who can see business opportunities where others cannot.” [2]

Artwork ‘Temperance’ J Swofford at: and JSwoffordArtandPhoto

Mercury Retrograde Through The Signs


Until Mercury retrograde is direct again you will feel rather hermit-like and want to retreat from communicating with the world. It might be because you fear that what you say will be misconstrued or every word that tumbles out of your mouthpiece will cause chaos like a runaway train. Something is triggering you big time to the point you feel like you are suffering from a kind of abusive turrets.. If this is the case then yes, it would be sensible to ban yourself from any internet forums. Mercury is clowning around in your zone of self-undoing, so self-censorship might be wise in the outside world also.


Mercury swoops backwards in your hopes and dreams sector, which will force you into facing whether these hopes are realistic or not. It may be time now to revise your goals. Are they too high or not high enough? Have you even had the time to sit down and envision some kind of dream future scenario? If not then this is that very moment, so daydream as much as you can. It’s not time-wasting at all because what you are doing is manifestation! Yes, it is corny, but you have to have a wish to make a wish come true. In some cases, it’s even about being careful what you wish for. For you might think you want to live in a certain high-status neighbourhood, but think about the vibe of the people there also will you always be putting on a front?


During this time you might find that the publicity side of your business becomes important, especially your online presence. It’s quite a good time for a rebrand but wait until Mercury Direct before you unveil the new look. How you communicate yourself to the wider world is under review and you might have to hold back while you re-think your presentation strategy. There could be an incident when there is some kind of miscommunication which makes you realise that you do have to work on making yourself clearer.


Start to learn a foreign language, yes go on! This is utterly the best time for it. Mainly because even your mother tongue will sound like Swahili to you, so you might as well go the whole hog. I would love to advise you to travel too, but every other astrologer on the planet will be screaming “NO!!!” Well dammit, I’m still going to advise travel, but we have to be a bit clever and out-trick the trickster. So, first, check if during this period Mercury Retrograde is making a hard aspect to the ruler of your 3rd house (local journeys) or the ruler of this house. If not, then you are good to go.


Mercury steals Pluto’s invisible helmet and goes deep into the underworld during this time. This might mean that you probe into the deepest recesses of your mind or want to penetrate the psyche of a loved one. Be careful that you respect the boundaries of this other person because the questions could easily become an unhealthy invasion of their privacy. This transit can feel to others around you that they are being interrogated by the Gestapo. Avoid this tendency by investigating the human psyche in general, rather than experimenting with actual human brains. You could feel unusually psychic at this time also since the ability to effortlessly pass through different dimensions is enhanced.


“We need to talk”, the dreaded sentence that comes out during Mercury Retrograde in the house of relationships. This doesn’t mean that you are being fired for being the “other half”, but it does mean that you cannot avoid revealing what is behind your glazed eyes, yes even Scorpios.. It will be very obvious that you do have something on your mind, so best to just be honest and get it all out. It’s all good health. At least Mercury here can be quite objective about things and avoid triggering sensitive childhood wounds. You will be pleasantly surprised that you can discuss intimate matters quite cooly and dispassionately, like a doctor.


Nervous energy is high during this period and you could turn into quite the worrywart. Retrogrades can slow things down, but in this sector what Mercury tends to do is to replay things, like an old vinyl record stuck in a groove. This can mean that anxieties spiral out of control as you become obsessed with the minutiae of life. This is also the health house too so you could also become quite a hypochondriac. But there is a positive way to deal with all this nit-picking, and that is to go 120% per cent into researching whatever is concerning you. Instead of just worrying in ignorance, become an expert! As you study all the facts, your brain cells will be jumping for joy with all those lists you are making.


Mercury is the arch-trickster in your 5th house of fun and it’s most playful. During this time you are most likely to have the urge to play pranks on people, the problem is there is a high chance they will backfire, so just don’t! However, you should take advantage of the silliness that is pervading the air and go see some comedy shows or such like. It will be rip-roaring fun as laughter is infectious. This is a time where you could get the giggles over nothing at all, so probably not the best time to take on board anything serious. You will find it very hard to be tactful because your trickster tongue will have a mind of its own.


You will feel like withdrawing from discussions with those in the outside world at this time. You are not in the mood for heated debates on current affairs. Instead, it seems that your thoughts are looking into the distant past and maybe old memories are coming back to haunt you. Try to think of what could be sparking off this nostalgia. The information you are receiving could be firing up those neural pathways through music you listened to as a teen or maybe someone at work is wearing a fragrance that a past lover used to wear.


This is a great time for in-depth researching. You will be feeling much more inclined to spend time looking into many topics and getting your teeth into some juicy subject matter. Those studying for exams will find they can easily get their head down and ignore pressure from others to come out and play. On the other hand, those writing a thesis will find it hard to actually stop digging for information and finally start putting it all down on paper.


Prepare to get your merchant head-on for the next few weeks, while you have a natural feeling for buying and selling. This will not be the perfect time to sign a contract for a large purchase such as a car or house, but you can do quite well testing ideas out and dealing in actual ‘Retro’ items. You might pick up some bargains in an auction also if you have a particularly strong natal Mercury.


This is an important time for getting your thoughts clear before you express yourself. What you say will be paid very close attention to, so that each nuanced word will be amplified. Mercury Retrograde has the effect of echoing messages, tweets or letters over time so that it is not easy to forget the words that are said. That is why it is of utmost importance that you mean what you say, and say what you mean. Any communications you make will stick around as if they were en-graven on clay tablets and will last just as long.

1. Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, Vivian E. Robson, 1923. p 210
2. Star & Planets Combinations, Bernadette Brady. p. 170
3. Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, Vivian E. Robson, 1923].p 166
4. Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928, p.78.
4. Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, Vivian E. Robson, 1923 p 201.

The General Meaning of Mercury Retrograde

Mercury generally zips between two worlds, or rather, the two hemispheres of our brain. During the Mercury retrograde period, it feels like Mercury has gone down into the underworld. In this 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-form, and re-invent. It’s true you might have to redo things because Mercury will hit the same degree three times, but this transit won’t let you go into autopilot. There are danger spots though.

Mercury Retrograde 2019When Mercury retrograde is stationing (Changing directions) we are at a wobbly stage where we are likely to slip-up, make mistakes, and misread another’s communications.

Once we are over the threshold and into the Underworld, we can safely go about our business, knowing that we are in another realm. The same goes for when Mercury is stationing direct, just make sure you give your brain a few days to adjust back to solar thinking.

The house in your natal chart that the Mercury retrograde falls in will be your Underworld zone. There 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 with you into your retrograde cave. 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.

Artwork ‘Mercury’ by J Swofford at: and JSwoffordArtandPhoto

The Meaning of Retrograde Planets

Retrograde planets are a popular topic in astrology and there is some controversy about the general meaning. For example, Vedic astrologers see retrograde motion as a beneficial influence, while Western astrologers focus on the negatives, such as lost baggage or missing mail when Mercury is retrograde.

I prefer to interpret each retrograde phase based on the aspects and fixed stars from the beginning to the end of the retrograde cycle (the shadow zone).’Retrograde’ literally means opposite or reverse, so a planet in retrograde motion appears to be moving in reverse.

Planets do not, of course, move backward, and the apparent reverse motion is due to the elliptical orbits of the earth and planets. Regardless of the astronomy, the main point is that from where we stand, planets DO appear to move backward from time to time so we should expect this to have some astrological effect on our lives.

Generally, we feel the energy of retrograde planets in a more introspective or reserved manner than usual, and there may be a karmic theme or feeling of deja vu depending on the nature of the planet. The feeling of deja vu may also be because the retrograde planet will go over a certain degree three times over. People who experience this feeling strongest will be those who have a key planet or angle at this spot. For example; Ones IC is hit three times and you are looking to move home.

Hit 1 you may see the house you want to buy. Hit 2 (Retrograde) may be when you have to go through surveys and making sure everything is fine to buy it, this will mean re-evaluating finances, whatever you have to do you are always double checking.

Hit 3 maybe when you finally get the go-ahead to move and the issue is resolved. Retrogrades give us the chance to really get our teeth onto a matter because we are forced to go over old ground again and again. This may get frustrating and tedious, but ultimately it is very useful, for tackling something karmic we may have been avoiding and that we have to address once and for all.

Mercury Retrograde Dates 2020

February 18 to March 9, 2020 ~ from 12º Pisces to 28º Aquarius
June 17 to July 12, 2020 ~ from 14º Cancer to 5º Cancer
October 13 to November 3, 2020 ~ from 11º Scorpio to 25º Libra

Susan Miller has a list of all the Mercury Retrogrades up until 2024

Mars Retrograde ~ Venus Retrograde

876 thoughts on “Mercury Retrograde ~ Alchemy & Magic

  1. Loving these articles Marina! Excellent work. Really liking the sign/house breakdown for auspicious events. So helpful


  2. What is your opinion of starting a new job during the Mercury retrograde? I’ve heard astrologers both warn against it and say it just means you’re not in the final position yet.

  3. Fantastic article however I do wish some ground was also covered about people like me who were born during a Mercury Retrograde and how does this affects us?

  4. This is occurring in my 5th house and exactly conjunct my vertex at 27 degrees and is happening just after the new moon in my 5th house as well! I really think the universe is telling me that there’s no better time than now to try to reconcile again with my ex. Perhaps he’ll be finally open to reconciliation now.

  5. Hello, I would love to hear your thoughts on my natal Moon being at 18 degrees Scorpio in the 6th house. I have known that this was going to be a significant Mercury retrograde for me and after reading you article on the Cazimi moment, it has confirmed my suspicions.

  6. Thanks for your fascinating reply Marina – that’s interesting to know Darkstar went live during a Mercury retrograde! That is true that it fits in with ‘going into the underworld’ or a different dimension.

    I appreciate your thoughts and your ‘outside the box’ thinking. I do think a lot of things written about Mercury retro are fads, perhaps written by people who are just regurgitating what others have deemed and not thinking for themselves. They seem to suggest every Mercury retrograde period is exactly the same as each other when of course it’s not as there is always many different aspects in the heavens! I really appreciate your website and youtube channel for providing a fresh/different way of looking at things.

    That’s a good idea about the Cazimi moment -especially as it suggests ‘benefits through writings’. Also it’s on 11/11 so that seems like an extra good sign too!

    Thanks again for your time and thoughts.

  7. Hi, Marina, you’re so very welcome!

    Yes, I agreed it’s November 11th. I wrote that Daylight Savings Time ends on November 3rd. <3

    I did only a guess at the time, using my noted settings mentioned above.

    Your adjusted 10:23 AM EST on November 11th is right to the minute! Spot on! Thank you for all you do!

  8. Hello! I think the times may need to be adjusted for the Cazimi, as we’re no longer on PDT/PDT as noted in the above article? Daylight Savings Time ends November 3, 2019, and we begin PST/EST – Standard Time.

    For me, as I am trained in Medieval Astrology only – a course by Robert Zoller, I use the settings: Geocentric, Tropical, Alchabitius Semi-Arc, the Cazimi is within 5′ at 9:30 AM EST on Nov. 3. I’m very interested to know your results! I love these conversations! I’m forever learning.

    For those new to the concept of Cazimi: Normally, planets are impeded by their conjunction to the Sun unless they are Cazimi. According to Bob’s observations in his course, and from his chapter on “Fame,” Mercury Cazimi in a natal chart is cunning, frequently mendacious, and intelligent; the native is often connected to education or business.

    However, Mercury will be retrograde in Scorpio, so perhaps a focus on inner transformation vs. taking outer action is best; often people change their minds during a Mercury retrograde and there can also be misinformation, missed information, miscommunication, etc. Perhaps an ah-ha moment will come through and you can be a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Ah-ha moments are also common at the time a retrograde planet stations direct.

    Interesting “food for thought” as we near November 3rd and the time of the Cazimi.

    1. Hi Faith,
      Thanks for the prompt re: daylight savings. I have adjusted the times, but still have the date for cazimi as November the 11th not the 3rd.

  9. Years ago no one seemed to make a big deal of the weeks before and after the actual retrograde period – seems like it’s something that has gained traction as a fad only within the past several years (and most astrologers, you excluded, seem to look upon it all so negatively and pessimistically).
    I’ve been thinking about doing my very first website (I’m an oldie) for about two years now and I’ve written most of the content and gathered images ready to go. Last week I plucked up the courage to buy my domain name before the Merc retro pre-shadow started. I’m new to it all so I still have to actually create the website and buy my hosting (I didn’t realise there were so many elements having a website) to actually ‘put it out there’.
    As I’ve had it ‘perculating’ for a couple of years and bought my website name before the Merc retro pre-shadow period does this mean it’s an ongoing project and I can happily continue or must I wait for when the post-shadow period ends to put it online for all to see?

    1. Hi Dee,

      I think the election chart for a website is quite important, but saying that I just checked and Darkstar’s “going live” and “buying the domain name” had mercury retrograde! On reflection it fits really well with my anti-mainstream thinking and dark subject matter themes I guess.
      The whole chart really matters and if I had the choice maybe I wouldn’t have chosen Mercury to be retro. But it happened spur of the moment as my then partner bought for me after an argument as I wanted to change the name of our joint website. So it happened by accident. Once I had it I wanted to go with it straight away and didn’t think twice about waiting. It want planned at all.

      I’m not a great fan of electional charts generally, believing if you leave it to fate you will learn something valuable about the experience anyway. The Darkstar chart has Mercury retrograde rising strong in Virgo. I don’t think Mercury retrograde has affected the success of Darkstar, but probably because Mercury is very strong by dignity and in the 1st house. So you do have to do everything to boost Mercury maybe. This Mercury retrograde is in Scorpio so not so strong. Maybe wait to go live at Cazimi moment when Mercury sits in the throne of the sun? It’s fortunate on Zubenelschemali!

  10. I was planning to leave on along road trip through central Australia this weekend- fir 4 weeks and something is making me feel like I shouldn’t go. Is this it?
    Part of it is that I’m turning 50 on July 27 and was thinking central Australia would be a great place to be, but now there is also all of this angstsy disrespect and vitriol going on at Uluru – the heart of Australia with more people than ever climbing it against the wishes of Traditional custodians for whom it is a sacred deity – maybe I should just stay home ?!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *