I'm often asked what Mercury retrograde is good for. We all know we're NOT supposed to sign contracts, make purchases of electronics, make major moves or decisions, and are supposed to hang out with the energies, seeing that things may not be as they appear, and so on. That said, there is much that a Mercury retrograde period is good for, such as traveling, research, and other important things.
I have found that as long as one is flexible, retrograde travel is actually a good thing. So is research, reflection, review, rehearsals, and returns from the past. It's also a great time for reconnecting with old friends, finding people and things thought lost, It's a great time to explore possibilities, as long as no definitive decisions are made, since they are usually modified or reversed later on.
It's a good time for doing things left undone, or neglected, from previous times. It's good for resuming something from the past, as long as you remember that it may not look like it used to, or requires a different approach than before. It's also good for doing things that fill in gaps in understanding or activity, or for doing things that seem to go in one direction but lead you to entirely new information and understanding.
It's a good time for resuming things begun in previous retrograde periods, or for picking up threads that had to be set aside while other things developed. It usually indicates a time when you need to be able to build in a time lag with whatever you're doing, since retrogrades often show that there are things yet to develop that will ultimately fill in whatever is missing in the present.
In my book, "A New Look At Mercury Retrograde," I included a chapter on Mercury retrograde in the signs. Obviously what sign Mercury retrogrades through makes a huge amount of difference in what is appropriate during that period. Since it is retrograde in Pisces, I'll offer you some possible manifestations of what we may expect, regardless of what Sun sign we are or which house(s) it moves through in our individual chart. That said, here's a bit about Mercury retrograde in Pisces from the book.
In Pisces, Mercury's energies show down to rethink in a movie-watching or witness mode. It is over-attracted to the past and re-examines endings and universals that may be beyond words. It is in an intuitive mode, and not quite sure of what it is seeing, hearing, or knowing. There may be visions from the distant past, as information is constantly coming in from the collective consciousness or Collective Unconscious. This position is highly receptive to subtle signals from the subconscious, whether one's own or that of another. There is often a lack of clarity about these signals and their meaning, resulting in ambivalence or an inability to decide anything with certainty.
There may be feelings like being lost in a fog, pressure drops into sorrow, as the mind is shifting in empathy with its environment. Mercury here is able to become a living conscience witnessing the universal human experience. This position reasons intuitively, sees whole situations, but may have a hard time communicating satisfactorily. There is an atmospheric sensitivity and an environmental impressionability. In Pisces, Mercury retrograde can offer a gift of visionary poetry, and use a subtle sense of humor to communicate universal truths.
Mercury in Pisces is in its own 7th sign. Here compassion is a constant self-renewing opportunity, and deceit a constant self-renewing judgment. Here one sees the equality of all beings and the universality of human experiences through all times. This position offers the opportunity to witness another's selfhood, or balance another's karma through offering alternatives.
It is also in its own 10th sign, offering compassion as its own fulfillment and the culmination of the communication process. There may also be deceitfulness that will inevitably show itself in some public way. This sign position gives an awareness of universals, the ability to know and teach the true nature of personal responsibility, and the ability to mitigate the karmic process when appropriate. Knowledge comes from feeling the vastness around the immediate; knowledge also comes from passing on the truth to those who also serve.
On a final note, I suspect this three week period is a good time to harvest the best of the old year, forgive much, let go of old sorrows, ambivalencies, and karmic patterns you no longer need to live with. Do not allow the mind to wander off into self-pitying points of view. You can bet that intuition will be up, but so will misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and self-deceit.
Which brings us full circle to something I said in the first paragraph: Hang out with the energies and information, pay attention to details while remembering that a lot of it won't make sense for several weeks or months, and don't believe everything you're told. It will be a great time to bust old lies, old misunderstandings, and old seductions. Just let go, embrace a vaster point of view, see the seeds of what's emerging, and be willing to close things out patiently and compassionately, since new stable patterns will emerge by the end of this retrograde period due to past, present, and future trines to Saturn.
© Copyright 1997, 2013 Robert Wilkinson