by Robert Wilkinson
In this part two of the article we'll explore more about this phenomenon that occurs three weeks at a time three times a year. At the end of this article I have included a table so you can find out which house(s) this March 2006 Mercury retrograde period falls in relative to your Sun or rising sign. Consult this article to find out how this transit will affect you personally as a result of Mercury retrograding through the houses in your chart.
Like all Mercury retrograde periods, these three weeks offer a chance to reorganize in the areas of our life ruled by Mercury. These are the houses of your chart ruled by Gemini or Virgo, any planets in these signs in your chart, and the house occupied by your natal, progressed, or solar return Mercury.
All retrogrades show us that sometimes it is more important to be inwardly oriented than outer-directed. Mercury, the "Guide of Souls," challenges us to cultivate our "fellowship with the Eternal," explore our deeper issues and useful but overlooked details in what's being discussed or asserted, take an unusual view, and allow ourselves to be led by the future implications of what's happening.
In Part 1 of this series of articles, we explored some specific qualities of the present Mercury retrograde period. Remember to get your important paperwork in order by Friday, February 24th, and will be ready during the three week retrograde period to deal with things you've put off, or take care of things from the past. This March 2006 Mercury retrograde is going to give us new understanding about the events of the past four months.
We can again reconsider, reinterpret, and rework Pisces issues and activities, seeing their significance from new angles of understanding. We'll get more insights about motives, closures, subconscious factors, and harvests at the end of old cycles, and by the end of this retrograde period, we will stand on the threshold of four months of seeing what our wealth consists of, how our merit has been "certified," and how to "advertise our inner worth" in ways that provide a protection for our outreaching activities.
Explore the concept of "Tastefulness," and you should see accomplishment to the degree that you find a "consistent representation of the self's assets in the best possible light." We'll begin a period where we will need to find or use intelligence, adaptability, and subtlety to get some shields in place to protect us as we go through future tests and trials associated with our larger life dedication, and the entire four months accents expressing weighty opinions we share in common with others, and exploring integrity through not surrendering our initiatives.
It's a time of examining subtleties, ghosts from the past, thresholds of fulfillment that have led us to a culminative moment in our lives and affairs, and the power of creative visualization as a means to transcend outer forms. Through seeing what's ending and the seeds of future cycles of development, we can come to a thorough dominance of our circumstances. We will understand productivity and creativity from new perspectives, and some will come to a "self-consummation which is successful beyond any possibility of measure." Trust what is at a threshold of fulfillment, and by late March you will see your inner wealth, and what can protect you as you move into new life phases and activities. Much will be shown the next three weeks that will lead us to different visions of motives, self-undoing behavior, and sorrows that are common to the human race regardless of time and space distinctions.
The trine with Jupiter occurring during this Mercury retrograde should help stabilize our imagination, outreaching activities, and give us a solid understanding of what needs to be eliminated from our lives, and how we can regenerate based on an accurate understanding of our needs, habits, and past patterns. As I mentioned in part one, since Mercury and Jupiter rule signs that oppose each other, it's a great time to find harmony and understanding in the Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces areas of our charts.
There are two significant afflictions to Mercury in this period. One involves the multiple squares to Pluto, showing us the need to be very clear, honest, and above board in all our communications and interpretations. If something can be misunderstood, it will be. If you're in a negotiation, make sure everything is EXACTLY as it is advertised. Be independent in anticipating what's coming, but play your cards close to your vest if you're dealing with extreme people with extreme opinions or ways of communicating. Also be very independent if you're involved with dishonest or tricky people who have shown elements of hypocrisy in the recent past, i.e., those who think the rules don't apply to them, or who sulk or feel sorry for themselves for their own self-undoing behavior, or actions that bring sorrow to others. Be discerning, know what is greater and what is lesser, and pay attention to the details, remembering that there's always another way to view things.
The other major affliction is when Mercury squares Mars from March 14-24, forcing us all to relax, slow down, be realistic and practical in assessing things, and avoid arguments, hasty decisions, speeding tickets, and the generic agitation that will be very difficult for those who need to concentrate or be thoughtful and deliberate. Use discrimination and imagination to open to a greater future or way of quickly moving into the future. Just take care of the details, get a plan and stick to it, and pay attention to making sure everything is taken care of in the right way and time. There will be cross currents between the Gemini/Virgo and Aries/Scorpio areas of our charts, challenging us to get a grip on our impulses, our speech, our desires, and our nerves. This configuration usually accompanies a very high degree of nervous energy, and we're challenged to find practical ways of expressing our energy and magnetism without being too abrasive or short tempered.
The first two weeks of the retrograde will have the New Moon quality of the 10 degree Pisces Moon-Sun combo, putting the focus on accepting higher responsibilities once we realize that we have already dedicated ourselves to a larger ideal, put ourselves on the line for what we truly believe in, heard a call for life renewal, and jettisoned excess baggage, habits, and considerations. This New Moon will help us all transcend our usual problems and consummate our higher ideals through attaining forms of mastery that allow us to "fly by the seat of our pants" by attaining a point of superior observation where we can see long range plans clearly and come to our judgments through a holistic point of view.
Mercury is heavily influenced by Jupiter and Neptune this retrograde period, since it occupies the sign that those planets rule. Because Mercury is not afflicting either of these planets during the retrograde period, it should prove to be a more stabilizing retrograde than usual, despite the waxing square to Pluto and waning square to Mars. Focus on the details and order of things, and be practical as you adjust to new conditions, or adjust conditions to make them more ideal and less stressed. Many will find a deeper faith, deeper magnetism, deeper urge to regenerate, or deeper intention to play a useful part in their society. This is a great time to understand your Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Pisces energies, and eliminate unhelpful scattering tendencies as you flow out of old views into new dynamic activity that will quickly follow this three week period.
The entire three week period is one of seeing how you can be receptive to higher ideas and deeper feelings, a greater compassion and understanding of the human condition. The beginning is on the individual-mental spiritual level of Innocence and "Perpetuation," retreating through the emotional, social, cultural level March 7-13 and then into the actional level between March 13-19. Then Mercury retrogrades back into the area of Protection and "Federation" on the individual-mental-spiritual level where it goes stationary direct on March 25.
As with all Mercury retrograde periods, review, reflect, research, gather information, and take a new look at your power to change your point of view and interpretations. This gives a chance to shift how you do what you do, how you coordinate your affairs, and indicates future shifts in the areas where Pisces falls in your birth charts. The last Mercury retrograde period in November-December showed us ways to analyze the strength or weakness to things, and apply our discrimination in sharp and precise ways. We learned how to defend our sense of mission, and see the broader context of our mission by learning how to administer other people's special qualities.
To find more about Mercury retrograde, you should find a copy of my definitive book on the subject, "A New Look At Mercury Retrograde." Written a few years ago, it has timely and useful information. Though it has been out of stock from time to time, I am planning to offer it as an ebook at a very reduced rate from the paperback, so contact me at email@example.com and you'll be sent one as soon as I get the files set up! (I know I've been promising this for some time, but I recently did discover where the files were stashed, so it's not that far off.)
By learning about these recurring Mercury retrograde periods, we can understand how to deal with them productively, as well as the months afterwards, which they also indirectly influence. Since this March 2006 Mercury will go stationary at 27 Pisces you can learn a lot about this coming period by reading all you can about Mercury retrograde in Pisces.
If you want more information from this site about how this important time of Mercury retrograde (which happens three times a year every year!) will affect you personally, if you can get a copy, read the section in the book on Mercury retrograde in the houses. However, in the meantime you can also get some useful ideas of how it will work by consulting the article on this site titled "How Does Mercury Retrograde Work in the Houses," linked at the top of this article. The houses in astrology show us the specific areas of our worldly affairs where we are experiencing a given planetary influence. You can find out Mercury's approximate position in your solar houses (created by your sun sign position) by consulting the chart that follows:
For birthdays between:
February 15 to March 2, read Mercury retrograde in the 1st house.
March 3 to 16, 12th and 1st houses.
March 17 to April 2, 12th house.
April 3 to 16, 11th and 12th houses.
April 17 to May 2, 11th house.
May 3 to 16, 10th and 11th houses.
May 17 to June 2, 10th house.
June 3 to 17, 9th and 10th houses.
June 18 to July 4, 9th house.
July 5 to 17, 8th and 9th houses.
July 18 to August 4, 8th house.
August 5 to 18, 7th and 8th houses.
August 19 to September 4, 7th house.
September 5 to 18, 6th and 7th houses.
September 19 to October 5, 6th house.
October 6 to 18, 5th and 6th houses.
October 19 to November 4, 5th house.
November 5 to 17, 4th and 5th houses.
November 18 to December 4, 4th house.
December 5 to 17, 3rd and 4th houses.
December 18 to January 2, 3rd house.
January 3 to 15, 2nd and 3rd houses.
January 16 to February 1, 2nd house.
February 2 to 14, 1st and 2nd houses.
Of course, this table is approximate. One should always have the chart calculated professionally in order to know where the planets are situated, as this helps clarify your exact cyclic pattern.