We are in the shadow period of the approaching Mercury retrograde in Gemini – and don’t we know it! The headlines are filled with ‘leaked’ documents, allegations of lies and cover-ups abound even more than usual – and maybe that’s not surprising with Mercury about to reverse gear in its own sign. Communications take on an unexpected element when Mercury stalls in the heavens.

Gemini is the sign of the messenger god – and our messages may be mixed over the next few weeks. Misunderstandings, missed appointments, things that ‘go missing’ are the things we usually associate with a Mercury retrograde – and this one will be no exception. In fact, in Gemini, the effects may be even more pronounced as the skies are going to be astrologically active during this mercury retrograde period.

With Jupiter entering Aries the following day, and a lunar eclipse in Scorpio on May 16th, it’s hard to imagine that there won’t be connections between all three events. gemini does connections and, this time, the connections may relate to a few explosive secrets. When Mercury goes retrograde, it’s time to look again at what you thought you knew. The facts may turn out to be something else.

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini: The Retrograde Phase

Mercury turns retrograde on May 10th at 11:47 (UT) at 4˚51″ Gemini. The chart shows Mercury retrograde in Gemini has three aspects; a square from the Moon and sextiles to Venus and Jupiter. However, though it’s not shown on the chart, I think we can argue there is also a disassociate trine to Pluto retrograde in Aquarius, so I’ll be looking at that one too as Pluto cannot be ignored.

Overall, what the aspects seem to indicate is a period of tension – particularly between what we feel and what is being said. Some highly emotional issues may be considered (or reconsidered) during the retrograde period. The sextiles are also complex. Mercury to Venus is rarely a troubling aspect, but this time it may signify something that is much darker underneath the surface. Again, Pluto cannot be ignored.

The sextile to Jupiter connects this Mercury retrograde to the active Mars -Jupiter – Neptune conjunction in Pisces. If something blows up (Mars is a trigger planet) then we could see some interesting revelations. The signs involved – Gemini (information), Capricorn (serious and important) and Pisces (things that are obscured) may give us a hint of what may be in store. Let’s take a look at the aspects in detail.

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini: Off Message 1
chart from astro.com

Moon Square Mercury Retrograde

The Moon in dutiful Virgo highlights concerns of a public nature, particularly concerning public health (women’s health in particular). It’s also concerned with your place in the world relative to other people, so issues of inequality are also represented by the Moon here. A square aspect to Mercury retrograde is a dynamic aspect; a square demands action and lunar Virgo related areas of concern in the public domain may be the subject of vigorous debate during this Mercury retrograde in Gemini – especially if they are concerns that are being re-visited.

It’s worth noting that the Moon connects to Venus in Aries with a quincunx aspect; this emphasises two things in particular. First, it reinforces the focus on women and women’s issues. It also indicates an element of surprise or adjustment. Second, it also brings the material world into the picture. Venus represents money, so the implication may be that issues of financial inequality are a matter of debate at this time too. As Venus is in Aries, debate is likely to be heated.

Mercury Retrograde Sextile Venus

That brings us to the contact with Venus. A sextile is a communicative aspect that signals a need to co-operate – and that may be a real message we hear at this time. The need to co-operate and have a frank and open debate about whatever issues are being acted out in the public domain – but in our private lives too. For example, when the economy tanks, it affects your bank account. Perhaps this month we will be looking again (Mercury) at household (Moon) expenditure (Venus). For many of us that will be giving us something to think about.

Sextiles also ‘open the door’ – so the question my be, to what? When doors open, we have a choice to enter or pass by. However, we will have seen what’s behind the door and won’t be able to ignore it. What’s seen cannot be unseen; we can only pretend that it doesn’t exist. This suggests that whatever is being debated is not necessarily going to be able to be put ‘back in the box’ It may remain unresolved (that quincunx!) or be an open wound. Note that Venus is also conjunct Chiron – the wounded healer.

Mercury Retrograde Sextile Jupiter

As the Mercury retrograde – Moon – Venus complex represents one set of issues, so the Mercury retrograde – Jupiter – Pluto network represents another. Mercury retrograde sextile Jupiter brings the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction into the Mercury retrograde mix. The Jupiter-Neptune conjunction has been big news because it has inflated a lot of the issues we were already seeing due to Neptune’s slow transit through Pisces. Jupiter makes things bigger – and with an approaching conjunction from Mars, things could become explosive too – in more ways than one.

If I can stay with the Mars approach for a moment, Mars-Neptune often signals a certain charm and duplicity. It may be an attractive combination – but for all the wrong reasons. This may be amplified by Jupiter and brought to our attention during the Mercury retrograde. If you’ve been duped, misled or fallen for a hard luck story, now may be the time to ask yourself, ‘What was I thinking?’. You may feel annoyed, but find that anger difficult to express.

Inwardly turned rage is never a good thing. And when Mercury retrograde trines the Jupiter end of that stellium in Pisces, your credulity may be stretched to its limits. This is the aspect that may make it possible for you to question your beliefs because something emerges to challenge them. You may find yourself able to look at things from a different perspective because you’ve been forced to do so. As the Jupiter-Neptune combination is currently sextile Pluto in Capricorn – and that Pluto is trined by Mercury retrograde – being forced to acknowledge something that makes you review your ideas is certainly a possibility.

Mercury Retrograde Sextile Pluto

Mercury retrograde trine Pluto is, in some ways, the major force that underpins this Mercury retrograde in Gemini. This is a disassociate trine as Mercury’s and Pluto’s signs – Gemini and Capricorn – are not related. The relationship between those two signs is like a quincunx – they have nothing in common and when they are put together there is likely to be a situation where neither of them can appreciate where the other is coming from. Agreeing to differ is often the best outcome.

However, Mercury retrograde and Pluto are in trine aspect and this shows that this awkward situation is pre-existing and needs to be resolved – one way or another. Pluto brings things to a head and, in connection with Mercury retrograde, it’s going to force you to look again at something that’s been unresolved – and deal with it. Or at least start working out how to do so.

If something needs forceful change or you’re going to be left with no alternative but to change course – Pluto is the planet for the job. With Mercury retrograde sextile Pluto, you may be presented with that opportunity – your task is to think carefully about your next steps. Pluto is a sign that something has run its course. Something worn out needs renewal – and that’s true both in our personal lives and the world around us. Be prepared for a tectonic shift during this Mercury retrograde time.

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini: The Direct Phase

Mercury goes direct on June 3rd at 08:00 (UT) at 26˚05″ Taurus – and it’s right now we can see why Mercury’s reputation as the great communicator is well deserved. The aspects put Mercury in contact with all of the big astrological players – and the chart indicates there is scope for intellect and intuition to be working together.

In what could be an emotionally tense and explosive time, someone is going to have to keep a clear head – and there is plenty in the direct phase chart to suggest that could be a challenge. An abundance of trines and sextiles are not always as helpful as you may think they are. Let’s take a closer look at the aspects.

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini: Off Message 2
chart from astro.com

Moon Sextile Mercury

The Moon sextile Mercury direct is potentially an emotional aspect this time around as the Moon is in its own sign of Cancer. When Mercury turns direct, it’s in the earthy sign of Taurus and this may help to ground some of the emotionalism we can expect with a Cancer Moon. While that’s to be welcomed, here’s also the risk that emotional issues may become entrenched; Taurus sticks to its opinions so let us hope the door opens to some more fruitful and productive exchanges.

Again, this is a connection that puts an emphasis on things that may have happened in the past, women’s issues and issues that affect the public mood. Expect dialogue that touches on subjects that do exactly that – and in your private life there may be the opportunity to talk about matters that impact on your home and family life. They may be issues that were ‘brewing’ during the first part of this Mercury retrograde in Gemini, like security and finances. Try and keep all discussions grounded and real – even if the temptation is otherwise.

Mercury Square Saturn

This aspect hints at the challenge I referred to earlier – the need to keep a clear head and focus on the facts. The square aspect to Saturn – the planet representing objective reality – demands that of us. Square aspects demand an active response, so we need to ask those awkward questions, we need to establish what happened – and why – and we need to overcome any of the barriers that are placed in the way of that. Getting real about issues will be a challenge at this time.

Saturn can also frustrate, so as Mercury turns direct we can expect to feel as if we are banging our heads against a wall when we try and do things like get someone to be straight with us or deal with public officials. You may not feel like saying much. You may think, “What’s the point?”. Communication of all kinds may feel like a waste of time – but that, ironically, is the point. When Mercury squares Saturn the aim is to make you overcome those frustrations by recognising them for what they are. You are being challenged not to give in.

At a personal level, news and information you hear may leave you feeling dispirited – and even personal contacts may feel more difficult than usual. You may feel frustrated by issues going on in the wider world too – and that may not be surprising as the other aspects you are about to read about will confirm. It will be tempting to disengage emotionally from things you read and hear about right now – the Moon is also quincunx Saturn. Perhaps, for some of you, that may prove the best course of action. Keep emotions out of your communications if they get in the way.

Mercury Sextile Neptune

As ever, it seems as though the door is open to Neptune to affect our communications and mental processes. When Mercury goes direct, it may be better to state that the door may be open to realising how Neptune in Pisces has been affecting our perceptions – and ask whether that has been a good thing or not. Inspiration is one thing – wilful blindness is something else.

There is no doubt that Neptune affects how we see things. With the Moon also making a trine aspect to Neptune, there is some real scope for emotional manipulation as Mercury moves forward. We may may see and hear things that do not represent reality; Saturn and Neptune are semi-sextile in this chart, so we may have to choose sides about the things that we see, hear or believe in.

The best outcome with this aspect is that it enables us to obtain some sense or insight into what is really being said – either in our personal lives, or in connection with our thoughts and opinions on the world out there. Reading between the lines is a useful skill and it’s one you may be able to call on at this time. You may also need to avoid taking things at face value at this time. When someone tries too hard to convince you of something – you would be right to question their motive.

Mercury Trine Pluto

And this is where Mercury’s trine aspect to Pluto may prove useful. The signs are that we already have a useful dose of scepticism available to us as Mercury moves forward. Asking the right questions will be important around now – and the signs are that someone may have this base covered as those questions are already on the table. This is the aspect that speaks of powerful interrogation; the trine suggests that it’s not a new issue and it may be that information that has been suppressed is finally brought into the open.

Expect questions to be asked of powerful figures – particularly those who may have been trying to keep certain matters hidden from public view. There may be revelations and allegations about wrongdoing on a scale that transforms public opinion; the Moon is opposite Pluto as Mercury turns direct and that is an aspect that Mercury tunes into and brings into view. In astrology – as in life – all things are connected. As Mercury moves forward – and particularly as Mercury returns to its own sign of Gemini – we may discover how close those connections are.


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© Sara Shipman 2022

Picture Credit: Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay 

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