Mercury retrograde in Taurus is about to dig deep – especially as it follows the Solar Eclipse in Aries on April 20th. The eclipse brings in a new phase, from which there is no going back – so how does the Mercury Retrograde fit with that? The Solar Eclipse in Aries emphasises new beginnings; it’s an active, assertive and direct sign, but Taurus is known for being slow and steady. Caution and conservatism are the qualities we associate with the sign of the bull – so with Mercury retrograde in Taurus, we may have to think hard about those qualities – and that may apply in a personal sense, as well as having a wider application.
And there is a direct connection with the solar eclipse as Mercury is conjunct the Moon when it goes into reverse gear. A newly energised Moon tends to enliven everything it touches in the aftermath of an eclipse. With only a day between both events, the Moon lends this Mercury Retrograde the kind of significance it may not have otherwise had. We are used to breaking our phones, losing our keys and missing appointments under a Mercury Retrograde, but they are really surface manifestations of something more significant.
A Mercury Retrograde in Taurus hot on the heels of the Aries Solar Eclipse tells us that we need to be thinking very carefully before we act; there may be more than our finances, resources and values at stake. All of the things we associate with the sign of Taurus are up for inspection – and on this occasion, all of the steadiness we associate with that sign could be called into question. Some things may not be as stable and secure as you think they are – and a close examination of the chart detail will tell us why.
Mercury Retrograde in Taurus
In Taurus, Mercury acts to steady the mind – but when Mercury turns retrograde in this sign, it’s easy to become complacent and assume that all is well – even when it’s not. Retrogrades have a habit of focusing the attention on things we have overlooked – either by accident or design – and this Mercury Retrograde will be no exception to that.
The Mercury Retrograde chart shows us that Mercury goes backwards conjunct the Moon and Uranus. The Moon is fresh from the Solar Eclipse which portends the beginning of a new cycle, but the proximity to Uranus is important because Uranus is one of the ‘trigger planets’; stuff happens when Uranus is present – and it often does so swiftly or unexpectedly.
In addition, Mercury retrograde aspects Mars in Cancer via a sextile aspect. Mars is the other trigger planet – and is indicative of new beginnings – so Mars and Uranus show this Mercury Retrograde (together with the solar eclipse) have the potential for a new beginning (Mars) that is a also change of direction (Uranus). Taurus also suggests permanence so the effects may be long-lasting. So what are we going to experience during this Mercury retrograde period?
One of things to be aware of is the propensity for rash decisions (Uranus) that impact on values (Taurus) or have long term financial implications (also Taurus). During a retrograde period it’s usually advisable to think things through before you act (Mars), but the risk at this time – and it’s been a feature of the whole, long Uranus in Taurus transit – is that decisions are made on the basis of value judgements that ‘go against the grain’, or seem imprudent and ill-considered. The presence of Mercury retrograde, Uranus and Mars is a watchword for lack of planning; ‘U-turns’ and big questions that need to be asked – yet may have been overlooked – may feature at this time.
Radical ideas may have a certain appeal to some people, but the presence of Mars in a sextile aspect to Mercury retrograde, shows the potential for vigorous debate (at best) to violent argument at worst. Taurus is a stubborn sign, so opinions (on any subject) are likely to be entrenched – and reactions (Uranus) to proposals or decisions may be unexpected in their effects. Doubling down on arguments may feature at this time. Taurus is a reliable sign – but this may mean ‘reliably inflexible’ – and issues of trust may surface too.
If this Mercury retrograde (and the Solar Eclipse) make significant contacts with your natal chart, you may experience those dynamics in your life – according to the planets and houses in your chart that are affected. In the public realm, however, we often see the dynamics of Mercury retrograde played out in the public realm. If the news reports are filled with items that suggest someone has reversed a previous decision (that seemed set in stone) or new information that seems to change the economic outlook, or we learn of some surprising actions that impact on the environment (a Taurus issue), try not to act too surprised.
Mercury Direct in Taurus
Those dynamics are likely to dominate for the next few weeks, but what happens when Mercury turns direct? Astrological wisdom would suggest that the things that go astray, or challenge or sense of what is right and wrong, tend to right themselves as Mercury moves forwards. That’s usually a good rule of thumb guide, but it carries the implication that things get back onto the track they were rolling along previously.
With this retrograde, there is the implication that things may get back on track – but which track? As Mercury moves forwards, it forms an alliance with The Moon’s Node and Jupiter in the last degree of Aries – the powerful anaretic degree. In Aries, Jupiter is ramping up the heat and taking the lead in pushing ahead with change. Jupiter likes to move things forwards – and is not concerned how. The connection with Jupiter also links Mercury to a t-square aspect pattern involving Pluto and Mars – and a lesser trine with Venus in Cancer and Saturn in Pisces. So, it’s a tense moment in the skies that is going to need some negotiating skill to get through.
So, moving forwards, what can we expect in the timeframe that covers Mercury’s second shadow period – the time it takes for this planet to reach the point at which everything went backwards? I’ve mentioned the tensions that are going to be evident as Mercury moves forwards – but is tension a bad thing? Not necessarily. It produces a lot of energy; Mars, Jupiter and Pluto suggest there is a lot of energy available – but it will need to be well directed.
Mercury moves forwards in Taurus – and that’s a constructive sign. There may be a big sense of urgency about events at this time, and a lot of emotional outbursts too – particularly from people who feel a need to reclaim their voice or their power. At a personal level, if you’ve been feeling overlooked, it’s possibly time to take a stand about an issue that is causing you a degree of hurt – and ensure that things are done differently in future.
Mars in Cancer is sensitive and quick to respond to provocation, and Pluto in the powerful first degree of Aquarius may be in no mood to let things slide. Jupiter in Aries loves a big fight – and Mercury conjunct Jupiter (in early Taurus) is going to be prepared to dig in. To get through this situation is going to take a lot of honesty and realism – and that may be the only way forward at this time.
That’s a dynamic that is likely to play out in across the spectrum in the coming weeks – something has to give because things have reached a critical point and, astrologically, that’s what happens when the powerful, anaretic degrees (first and last degrees of each sign) become involved. So, what about the lesser trine?
Easy aspects often show an ongoing situation: Mercury, Venus and Saturn show that there is an awareness (Mercury) of issues like financial (Venus) restriction (Saturn); women (Venus) in power (Saturn) or money (Venus) and power (Saturn). Things under discussion now are likely to be what astrologers think of as Venus-Saturn issues – and it may be that older or powerful women are implicated in some of these issues or are involved in resolving them.
The ‘money and power’ dynamic is often at the heart of discussions – whether they are personal or public. I suspect that is going to come to the fore even more when Mercury moves forwards. It’s going to be a time when we learn who really holds the purse strings… And how much is in the purse.
© Sara Shipman 2023