Mercury retrograde in Libra is about to turn up the volume in a packed retrograde season. Jupiter, Saturn and all of the outer planets are currently in reverse gear and, at the end of October, Mars will join the parade. Libra is the sign of balance, yet with so many planets in retrograde motion, the direction of travel seems only one way. so this is a month where things may seem out of balance – things get a little upset when Mercury goes over old ground.
Libra, with its sign of the scales, also represents justice, fairness and equality. These are always big issues and they may be in the spotlight as Mercury retrograde takes effect. Mercury retrograde often brings to light previously unknown information. In Libra, the legality (or otherwise) of that information is often an issue. It’s the kind of Mercury retrograde that has lawyers looking closely at judgements – and perhaps asking the judges to think again. Court cases, negotiations and appeals carry the Mercury retrograde in Libra signature.
Mercury retrogrades are often a time when we are forced to look back at our direction of travel and decide whether or not we were headed towards the best destination. At a personal level, we associate Mercury retrograde with travel disruption, upsets in our plans and failures in communication. With Libra, however, I feel there is a focus on relationships of all kinds – and there’s nothing more important to relationships than good communication.
This may be be highlighted by the Full Moon in Pisces that reaches its culmination on the same day that Mercury goes into reverse gear. Mercury is not in aspect to the lunation, but they both make aspect to Mars in Gemini. I’ll be posting on that lunation just after this one, but it looks like the time around September 10th will be one to watch.
Mercury Retrograde in Libra: The Retrograde Phase
Mercury turns Retrograde on September 10th at 03:38 (UT) at 08˚55′ Libra. The chart shows that Mercury retrograde has only two major aspects: trine to Mars in Gemini and an opposition to Jupiter, currently retrograde in Aries. As I mentioned above, this Mercury retrograde coincides with the Full Moon in Pisces and, though Mercury retrograde is not in aspect to that lunation, they both aspect Mars in Gemini. This makes Mars a particularly significant player in the events around this time.
With only two major aspects, Mercury does not form part of any significant aspect pattern, but the chart overall is strenuous with the lunation being involved in a t-square with Mars and a couple of inconjuncts that I’ll be discussing in my lunation post. Mercury retrograde’s connection to it is, as I have said, through Mars and, as Mars is an active trigger planet, it’s probably safe to assume that this Mercury retrograde is going to be triggered by events…
Mercury retrograde also drops back into Virgo before turning direct next month. Virgo is concerned with making things work, with competence and with organisation. As a fellow Mercury-ruled sign, that will certainly get our heads around the planning and analysis part of this Mercury retrograde process.
Mercury Retrograde in Libra: The Aspects
Events, both in our personal lives and in the outer world, often prompt us to reflect and review the processes that let to those events. Why are we having to deal with a crisis? Was there something we could have done differently? Why were we not informed of certain things at an earlier date? These are all Mercury retrograde questions – and to work out what is prompting them, we need to look at the aspects in the Mercury retrograde chart.
Mercury Retrograde Trine Mars
Mars is in Gemini, and is in the first shadow period approaching its own retrograde motion which takes place on October 31st. Mars represents speed, assertion and aggression – and in Gemini, that is expressed through the world of communication and information. When it’s aspected by Mercury retrograde in Libra, Mars is triggering some new information – we don’t have to ask for it. And with Mars, you may not like what you hear because it’s explosive, uncompromising and may be provocative.
This is backed up by the nature of the aspect – a trine. Trines are ‘easy’ in the sense that you don’t have to work too hard to get what you want – though what you get may not always be what you expected to receive. In predictive astrology, trines indicate ongoing events, so in this case, a trine from Mercury retrograde has the potential to release new information about ongoing events. If you have some, “why didn’t you tell me about…” moments in the coming weeks, don’t be surprised. We all know how those moments tend to work out!
With this Mercury retrograde being connected to the lunation via Mars, my suspicion is that those kinds of questions will be triggered (Mars) by the events signified by the Full Moon. That’s going to be true in both the public and private sphere – and the emphasis will be on relationships in both of these arenas. There’s a theme here, and it’s one that involves having to negotiate (Libra) your way through some contentious issues and difficult arguments. Those of you whose charts are affected by this retrograde and the Full Moon will feel the impact most.
Of course, as it’s a trine aspect, many of us may encounter this aspect of the Mercury retrograde as passive observers; let someone else wage a war of words. Frankly, most of you may feel there is little you can say or do that will influence things at this time. The best option – as ever with Mercury retrograde – may be to step back, say little, think a lot and plan your next move. Fortunately, Mercury retrograde’s energy encourages this process and Mars in Gemini is mentally incisive – particularly at this time.
Mercury Retrograde Opposite Jupiter Retrograde
Jupiter is currently retrograde in Aries and its transit through this sign is one I wrote about a short while ago – you can read it here. Since it’s ingress into that sign, we have been feeling the heat in a variety of ways. In retrograde motion, Jupiter’s expansive energies can become destructive and issues such as greed, waste and intolerance can become noticeable. Belief systems are held up for examination and questioned – and that’s going to be particularly so when this planet is aspected by Mercury retrograde.
Oppositional aspects are relational in nature; they are also confrontational, as there is often an element of ‘taking sides’. We associate Mercury-Jupiter aspects with big ideas, big intellect and an optimistic outlook, but with both planets retrograde, the scene appears to be set for an in depth discussion that’s likely to concern opposing ideas – and the subjects are likely to have financial implications; Venus is making an inconjunct aspect to Jupiter and that suggests economic shifts or adjustments could be in store.
At a personal level, we may all have to look at our spending habits – but it could be the expenses that cannot be avoided that are most troublesome now. It’s at this point the opposition aspect comes into its own. Dealing with the consequences of excess will have a great deal of currency during this Mercury retrograde, and the debate about how to resolve those issues – both personal and in their wider application – is likely to generate considerable – and heated – debate.
Mercury Retrograde in Libra: The Direct Phase
Mercury turns direct on October 31st at 09:07(UT) at 24˚13′ Virgo. When Mercury moves forwards we tend to assume it’s the time to put our plans into action – and it’s certainly an active chart for the direct phase of this retrograde period. Mercury direct is part of a t-square with Mars and Neptune. T-squares demand action or result in frustration, so its an energy that is better to work with than ignore.
Mercury direct is also squared by the Moon in Capricorn and there are tines to Uranus and Pluto. All of the outer planets remain in retrograde motion. So, there’s a tense energy and a couple of ‘easy’ energy pathways – though ‘easy’ simply describes the way in which energies flow rather than the outcomes of events that happen around that his time. Let’s look at the aspects in more detail:
Moon Square Mercury
When the Moon squares Mercury, the heart and mind are often in a difficult place. Intuition and logic may seem to be at cross purposes. When that happens, the heart is telling you one thing, the head another and the decision you need to make is which one to listen to. It’s a cardinal square so action will be needed and fortunately the Moon is in a sensible sign; the action here may be proceed with caution, evaluate risk carefully and take advice.
Sometimes it can be difficult to tread a line between common sense and knee jerk responses – that may be the challenge at this time.The Moon is in a cardinal t-square configuration with Sun conjunct Venus in Libra and Jupiter retrograde in Aries. Mercury direct is tapping into that energy – and it’s a configuration that speaks of a certain hubris, greed – and paying the price for that.
Sun-Venus conjunctions can be gracious – but they can also be vain. Issues with pomposity, money, excess and a need to rein in or control such issues could be at the forefront of debate. These things often touch us personally – especially when they impact on our lives. In those circumstances, maintaining composure, grace and magnanimity is the best outcome, though looking at the other aspects – that may be the greatest challenge of all.
The Mercury – Mars – Neptune T-square
Composure, grace and magnanimity? With Mercury square Mars, you may have moments when you feel more like letting your inner child howl and scream rather than be the adult in the room. Sometimes, we say the wrong thing. Or the wrong thing is said to us. Or we read or hear something that impacts on us in some way. Words can be emotional – for both good and bad reasons – and when Mercury turns direct, emotional communication – for whatever purpose – is the order of the day.
Mercury direct is square Mars and opposed to Neptune, with Mars and Neptune also in a square aspect – and it’s this square I’m going to look at first. Mars square Neptune is not easy; there’s a lot of emotional energy in there, yet it struggles to find an outlet, or it may be expressed in a clumsy or inappropriate way. Neptune is subtle, Mars is not and it’s often a jarring combination. There’s also a truth issue here. Mars is blunt and direct, Neptune is evasive. Again, that’s a potentially toxic mix.
Mercury direct has the task of unpicking this mix. With the opposition to Neptune retrograde, there’s a clear reminder that negotiating your way through a minefield of conflicting words, conflicted emotions, or varying degrees of truthfulness, requires a clear head and the ability to evaluate the information you have in front of you. Mercury-Neptune may make you feel as if someone is not being straight with you – that may be in the context of a personal relationship or in the context of your social or societal relationships.
The risk is that you end up acting out the Mercury-Mars square and becoming argumentative – after all, this is a temperamental t-square. If you feel as though someone is messing with your mind, blowing off sme verbal steam is an understandable response. No-one likes being taken for a fool – but is the best response to lash out? This t-square offers another possibility and it’s much more productive.
Libra is a cardinal collaborative sign and Mercury direct here offers the possibility of working out issues by talking about them. Honest discussion sometimes requires both bravery and compassion and Mercury’s contacts with Mars and Neptune suggests that those resources are available to you to work with if you choose.
The process may be frustrating at times, but the presence of Mars (and the cardinal signs) means there is a forward motion to this Mercury direct phase that would be well applied to resolving issues of all kinds. Things need to move forward; there may be moments of procrastination, deflection or avoidance, but the direction of travel is clear – obstacles need to be overcome and just, fair and equal outcomes and agreements reached.
Mercury Trine Uranus Retrograde
With Mercury trine Uranus retrograde, you have the mental energy to make some radical changes. The concept of radical new ideas extends from the personal to the social and beyond – particularly as Uranus is associated with Aquarius, the social sign. The trine aspect suggests that you – and maybe all of us – will be dealing with new ideas and situations. It’s the kind of aspect that can be described as ‘mind-blowing’; things happen quickly and you may feel caught up in a maelstrom of events.
Getting your head around things may be a challenge right now – but it may be exciting too, as many things will have changed. Thinking ahead and focusing on the future will be a theme to take on board as Mercury turns direct; the process of leaving the past behind is well underway – and this is also emphasised by the final aspect that Mercury direct makes…
Mercury Trine Pluto Retrograde
With Mercury in a trine aspect to Pluto retrograde, hows this is a time for deep insight. Getting to the heart of the matter is at the core of Mercury-Pluto aspects and you may find your powers of analysis are enhanced – and they may have to be. Letting go of preconceived ideas and allowing yourself to focus squarely on the essentials is a major theme as Mercury turns direct, as well as focusing on the future and not the past. Allowing your mind to accept those changes is the process that will take place now.
© Sara Shipman 2022