by Robert Wilkinson
I was in a conversation the other day with someone who noted their progressed Mercury had been retrograde and was now going direct. They wondered what it meant. While this topic could fill an entire book, today we’ll begin an examination of the phenomenon.
Interestingly, due to the frequency of Mercury retrograde, it’s more common than you might think to have your progressed Mercury go retrograde or direct during your life if you live to any advanced age at all. If you’re born a month or less before a Mercury retrograde, then your progressed Mercury will go retrograde before your 30th birthday, stay retrograde for about 20-22 years, and then go direct when you’re in middle age. You’ll experience an Inferior Conjunction at some point about half way through your progressed Mercury retrograde experience.
If you’re born during Mercury retrograde, then at some point before the age of 20 your progressed Mercury will go direct, and accelerate in speed for pretty much the rest of your life. If you are born just after a Mercury retrograde period, then you probably won’t have your progressed Mercury go retrograde, but your progressed Mercury will be very fast in motion for most of your life, and just about everyone born during or just after a Mercury retrograde period will experience a Superior Conjunction at some point.
Then there’s the issue of when progressed Mercury catches up to where it went stationary retrograde, meaning it’s been through its “shadow zone” and is set to move beyond the original SRX degree. In an earlier related conversation with another, they told me ‘’My progressed Mercury is exactly at the position it turned retrograde in 1977. It went direct in 1998 and it's taken all this time to reach the original stationary point. Happening in my 12th house - maybe I'll come out of my shell.”
I noted that since their progressed Mercury went SRX in 1977 and went direct in 1998, it had been retrograde during those years, and re-traced the degrees it originally transited before 1977. So by the time Mercury direct again transits its SRX degree, it’s already traversed that ground three times, and the Mercurial function is ready to move into “unknown zones.” And since Mercury speeds up from its point of maximum retrogradation, a prog Mercury will send and receive info quicker for the rest of your life. Really, once the Inferior Conjunction is done, then from that point on the progressed Mercury picks up speed, goes SD, and then races forward through its shadow zone a third time.
So in this person’s life, they got an initial exam of those house affairs via the lens of the sign, then got a new look from alternative angles of approach, and then got to examine those things yet a third time in direct motion with the benefit of having had the experience twice before. The third time gives us a chance to move forward on the basis of the multiple angles of understanding into the unknown zones after Mercury leaves its shadow zone. In terms of progressions, that means the entire span of slowing to retrograde, then retrograde, then direct through the shadow zone runs over 40 years.
Remember that we’re dealing with progressed Mercury, so it deals more with an internal state of mind than external circumstances, which are indicated by transits. A progressed Mercury retrograde is good for getting a different understanding of an experience by taking note of different things we may not have considered the first time we had those experiences. It is somewhat the same with Venus and Mars retrograde, but of course those periods involve Venusian and Martian energies and “departments of labor,” not Mercury.
Also, most people go through life without their progressed Venus or Mars going retrograde, since these happen far less frequently than Mercury retrograde. While we can’t do an exhaustive examination of how these two progressed functions might play out, I’ll give you a few thoughts.
If your progressed Mars goes retrograde during your life, obviously those areas ruled by Mars and the house where Mars goes retrograde will slow down, and may even seem to “reverse course.” This could indicate you'll take a different approach to the house affairs ruled by Mars, or find a new way to act in key parts of your life. It’s great for learning how to be a mediator or intermediary in some way. Just be aware of roundabout anger or agitation getting introduced into situations where it may not be appropriate.
Progressed Mars retrograde can be great for spotting indirect causes of anger, or anger that expresses itself in passive-aggressive ways. We can explore why we act or react to certain things, and undo the responses we need to. It can be great for finding an entirely new way "to do our being." We learn about these things during the transiting Mars retrograde periods, and these periods can actually bring forth good things for those with progressed Mars retrograde.
When the progressed Venus goes retrograde, we retrace the Venusian steps we've taken before then, but again, with a different perspective. I've found my clients with prog Venus RX spend time reconsidering the inner connections to what they like and why they like it, and get to the subconscious reasons behind those things.
Some texts associate Venus retrograde with disappointments. Rather than experiencing "disappointments," I’ve found many get to the root of old disappointments, suspicions, internalized hurts from adolescence and early adulthood, and rout them out, or see how they were programmed to believe in those "values and vanities." I’ve also seen that rather than withdraw, one claims the Venusian things one never did before. We also learn about these things during Venus retrograde periods, which like the other progressed retrogrades, can also be a very favorable time for those with progressed Venus retrograde, since transiting Venus retrograde periods will feel very familiar.
As Venus does have some associations with inner creativity, as per its association with the Empress, when it goes retrograde it can mark a time when you repolarize from outer to inner creativity. It is possible to find creative skills you never felt confident to claim before, or express things taking shape as a deeply felt personal experience that can be put out in ways that trigger others' subconscious "appreciation." And it can also mark a time of reunions with people you knew from past lives, both this one and others.
That’s why we should never fear an inner planet retrograde, since it could bring insights we never had before that can help us to a more holistic view of our process. Given the tag team retrogrades coming throughout 2018, please consider what I’ve said here in the light of the periods coming this year. And I’ll write more about Mars and Venus retrograde beginning early June.
© Copyright 2018 Robert Wilkinson