Dec 29, 2022 | by Erik Roth |
On December 29, 2022, at 1:31am PST, we get our last Mercury Retrograde of the year. This comes at 24°21’ Capricorn and is marking 2023 as an “earth” themed year for Mercury synodic cycles. In the sky, it means that Mercury is about to pass by Earth in its orbit of the Sun, coming between the Earth and our home star. Shamanically, it is also the ending phase of the Mercury synodic cycle, where it can spend around two months in the same sign (where in most cases it takes only three weeks to move from one sign to another). Mercury will remain retrograde until January 18, 2023.
Mercury retrogrades are “mostly harmless” (taking a term out of Douglas Adams’ book, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) and tend to get blamed for much that goes wrong. While it can create an opportunity for potential communication issues to take place, it’s been a popular dumping ground for NEARLY ALL things not working or communication breaking down. It’s one of the things about astrology that many in the mainstream know about on some level, at least superficially. But there is a lot going on with the planets, Moon, Sun and other points that can have impact in people’s lives on a collective or personal level that may not be associated with a Mercury retrograde.
Retrogrades in general, especially the inner planets (Mercury, Mars, Venus, asteroids) weave back and forth over a certain area of the sky and one or two signs. This means that there is an emphasis on that area of the sky and sign(s). It’s a time for review, checking back to see what was experienced, communicated, expressed or otherwise taken action or thought on. Introspection and reflection can be very helpful in retrogrades, particularly ones that are crossing over a natal point in the astrology chart.
Mercury retrogrades in general highlight more creative and “behind-the-scenes” kind of work, like brainstorming, idea-generating, artistic expressions, flexibility of planning, unhardened expectations, and education. This doesn’t mean ONLY what is listed is what one is invited to do or work with, it just means those qualities or expressions are emphasized. In the majority of cases, it’s all right making plans or booking flights, signing contracts, scheduling meetings and so forth. It would be advisable to also know what personal astrological transits are going on. Mercury doesn’t operate in a void, per se, as it is always in relationship with the Sun, Moon and planets.
With Mercury retrograde in Capricorn, this invites us to take a look back at the systems we have in place in our usual communications with others in work, family and social life. What plans did we set in motion and where are they at in terms of being reached? Do we need to shift the plans or be flexible for unexpected challenges? Are there opportunities to look more closely at what we said to others in writing, postings or verbally and see where that may have created challenges that were outside our average day?
Reflection, consideration and introspection is a great guideline with Mercury retrograde in Capricorn.
Mercury stationing retrograde happens 3-4 times per year (taking up 9-12 out of 52 weeks of the year, on average) so it is absolutely a “normal” part of our life. It’s not necessary to place things on hold but it can reveal, particularly in the sign of Capricorn, where systems and structures within our lives or in humanity may need special attention. We’ve become acutely reliant on electronic technology in this information age, so when Mercury retrograde comes through, vulnerabilities may rise to the surface. It’s a powerful time to see where things can be upgraded and made to be more stable or robust along with checking our own communication lines personally with others and see where we can improve and be open to any breakdown as a misunderstanding or something else rather than blame.
In this season of Mercury retrograde Dec 29 – Jan 18, we can all set aside a little time now and then for reflection and introspection and meditation. We can even make plans for 2023 but knowing that there are other planetary transits taking place personally or in the collective population that may send them sideways or even radically change them into something more promising. Mercury symbolizes communication, perception and thought within the mind. We can honor Mercury by tuning into understanding what wisdom is showing up rather than judging that trickster planet.
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