This Mercury retrograde period starts March 2 (March 3 for Africa and points east) and ends March 25. This retrograde moves from 27 Pisces back to 14 Pisces, with the inferior conjunction between Mercury and the Sun occurring March 11 (March 12 east of Greenland) at 22 Pisces. This degree is one of "A Prophet Carrying Tablets of the new law is walking down the slopes of Mt. Sinai," symbolizing "the need to bring down to the level of everyday existence the clear realizations made manifest in a great 'peak experience.'" It also tells us of holding ourselves to highest standards to codify new values, and promises "success in meeting the challenge of a new order."
We are also told that it symbolizes "the eternal authority... of man's ideals, and of a spiritualization of experience through... insights... and the institutions... created for the common welfare." Dr. Jones' offers that "The inspired prophets of each age have been custodians of an enduring morality, and this has its embodiment in the mountain top aspiration of even the least of individuals," with the keyword MANDATE. He writes that "... the degree is self-sacrifice and a determination to further the ultimate upliftment of all men."
This retrograde beginning at 27 Pisces retraces ground we covered February 16-March 1, and is a degree of "The Harvest Moon Illumes A Clear Autumnal Sky," showing that we have reached a consumatory moment, and it ushers in a period of reaping what we have sown, or failed to cultivate. It will show us the "power of creative visualization by which great dreamers transcend outer reality" and promises "a complete dominance of circumstances" if we know how to use the promise of this period. It's a threshold of harvesting what we have efforted toward up to now, and seems to indicate that by late April we will have the seeds of a new era showing strongly in our lives.
The entire retrograde Mercury is favorable to Jupiter and Neptune, which should give us an understanding of which way to expand our energies into a wider sphere of influence, and offer initial revelations into whatever Neptunian insights we need to learn. This will harmonize wherever we have Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces, thus resolving some of the oppositional energy inherent in these parts of our life. We should be able to see what we need, as well as how our habits either move us into degeneration or regeneration. Our way of expressing the Jupiter in Scorpio in our charts and lives will certainly become clear and stabilized, whichever way we're using it.
On the other hand, Mercury is in major affliction with Pluto in the early part of the period, and Venus and Mars in the mid-to-late part of this retrograde period. In fact, it is square Pluto at its stationary retrograde point, this necessitating that we get and stay clear in all our communications and negotiations, and try to stay positive in our conception how to integrate the potential of things separate from the restricting or limiting conditions surrounding them. It's a time when lies, deceptions, and misrepresentations are in the air, as well as extreme points of view. It is also a great time to bust lies wide open, whether those from the past or new ones being floated. It is definitely a major turning point in the lives of Gemini and Virgo Sun and rising sign people.
All of us are challenged not to get distracted in ways that cause us to lose our balance, and open to new revelations and discoveries by being thoroughly independent in our judgments that allows us to anticipate trends and future developments. It will be a time of refinement and mental tension creating an impulse to reach out beyond the known and familiar, and we should allow our consciousness to grow from instinctual to intellectual, and following any sense of longing or anticipation yielding a mounting self-confidence.
The Mercury square Mars is in effect from March 14 through April 24. It will be most powerful around March 14-24, and again April 9-24. An aspect of high mental agitation, be careful of what you say, when you say it, and how you say it. Slow down, take it easy, and find an adequate motive to justify giving a more profitable direction to your initiatives. Let go of idle speculation and wishful thinking, and get free of commitments to superficial matters that don't concern you. Be practical and realistic in assessing situations, and see how to develop possiblities into concrete opportunities.
The Mercury square Pluto will most affect those with planets around 24-30 Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces, while the Mercury square Mars in March will most affect those with planets around 14-18 of those signs. This would impact birthdays around March 3-8 and 13-20, June 3-8 and 13-20, September 3-8 and 13-20, and December 3-8 and 13-20. If your birthday falls in these spans, slow down, decrease tension, get clear in your thinking and perceiving, and remember that haste or dishonesty will blow up whatever is going on, so go easy and keep it all very above board.
During the 11 days before the inferior conjunction (fusion) of mind and life, take a new look at how you can bring out your inner wisdom by adjusting to a future vision or broader perspective that's opening for you, and get a new point of view regarding what your imagination is willing to consider and how to coordinate your life to reorganize it productively. It's great for intuitive flashes, insights into the larger collective consciousness and unconsciousness, and you should find a new ease and sophistication among those you're with.
Just before Mercury goes retrograde it is square Pluto, so consider what I've said earlier about that aspect and begin to practice it now. Blessings are found in revolutionizing parts of your life to bring forth your individuality, since the New Moon of February 27 is conjunct Uranus, always an enlivening influence! The stationary retrograde period is marked by Mars sextile Saturn and Mercury sextile Venus, offering productivity in the areas of life ruled by these planets. A final important consideration is that Jupiter will go stationary retrograde just after Mercury does, and so we'll begin to see a "return" over the next 5 months of Jupiterian things set into motion last November.
Remembering that nothing turns out as expected during a Mercury retrograde, and that things take strange twists and turns and there are curious returns of people, ideas, and experiences in new forms that resemble old forms, open to useful but overlooked angles of viewing things, learn and teach through a sense of perspective of how past and present relate in unusual ways, and be alert to roundabout or indirect communications that show things going on below the surface. Given the volatile squares between Mercury, Mars, and Pluto, get ready to ride the storm out, and if it's not a return of something you should have taken care of before then, remember that whatever happens, it probably won't turn out the way it seems at the time.
Mercury going stationary direct at 14 Pisces on March 25 shows that through early July 2006 we will have to find forms of "camouflage" that can protect us to the degree we are leading a life consecrated to a higher ideal, and will have to learn how to adapt, using intelligence as a means of self-protection. We will see how not to take unnecessary risks, and use mental subtlety to adapt to life circumstances. Some will have to advertise their "inner worth," while others will have their merit certified and find an esteem. The keywords are "Protective Shielding" and "Tastefulness," and we are told that when functioning at its best, this is "high accomplishment through a consistent representation of the self's assets in the best possible light."
Mercury retrograde periods reveal their own unique rhythm in offering us a new look at things. Every period in some way echoes the messages of prior retrograde periods, and affects those to come. That's why it's important to observe what has been revealed during other periods in the recent months and years past, so that you can see how Mercury, or Hermes, the "Guide of Souls," is leading you to your authentic self. Regardless of appearances, or how difficult or easy, Mercury retrograde periods show us the path to our Soul. Part 2 of this article will explain how this recurring phenomenon affects each of us individually.