In fact, since the end of last year Mercury has been in shadow and goes station retrograde today, January 14 at 10 degrees Aquarius.
He conjoins with the Sun on the 23rd of January, backtracking into the Goat on the 25th. He then turns station direct on February 3 at 24 degrees of the Goat, before finally leaving shadow on the 23rd.
Moving backward through the first decanate of the Watercarrier, we can expect frustration and delays in communication and travel, particularly in regard to joint ventures, social arrangements and group interests.
As Aquarius is also linked to government legislatures, such as the House of Commons, the US Senate and similar institutions around the world, we can also expect delays and even more obfuscation and shenanigans from these areas, at least until the 25th when Mercury enters Capricorn, when the emphasis will be on business and economic issues.
When Mercury turns direct in Capricorn on February 3, we might begin to see more political, business and economic clarity, and particularly from the 23rd once out of shadow. Considering the political and cultural context we are in, supposedly at the end of a pandemic, we should really begin to see things change and revealed from the middle of February onwards most particularly.
I might be mistaken, but over the past year there seems to have been a growing interest in a retrograde Mercury and what it means. I hear people with little astrological knowledge even referring to it. This may be simply due to us having had more time to investigate such astrological facts.
But of course, Mercury, like the other planets, do not actually move backwards at all, they merely seem to due to our perspective here on the good earth.
Then there is the technical side, like pre and post shadow phases which enclose the actual retrogradation, or backwards motion. Whilst the times are exact, there is not as much agreement as to the effects of retrograde planets as one would think. In fact there are some who don’t give it much credence at all.
However, if retrogradation is significant for any planet and ourselves, I would think that Mercury must top the list, purely because it is the ‘winged messenger’, Hermes in Greek, the mind, communication in all its forms and the media in general.
The whole period in which Mercury goes through pre shadow, retrograde, and post shadow, can therefore represent a phase of time in which communication is not straightforward at all, and at times flagrantly misleading.
Right now, in early February 2021, we are in the middle of the retrograde phase of Hermes/Mercury, so we could be experiencing a higher than average occurrence of communicative problems and challenges, such as misunderstandings of all kinds, computer problems, travel issues, not only personally but as a society.
We should therefore also be cautious about what we read — anywhere — and take nothing for granted. This is a time to trust our intuition more, to meditate, contemplate, basically go inward; we need to get our ‘news’ directly from source rather than through a medium, if at all possible.
Mercury turns direct around February 20 and moves out of post shadow around March 13. Bearing this in mind, we are likely to remain somewhat misled, perhaps confused, until around that first date, when things may become a little clearer, whether in regard to personal issues, or more mundane ones. Full clarity about what has transpired over the previous two months may not be obvious until the latter date, in the middle of March. Let’s see.
Hermes Exalted in the Watercarrier?
One interesting thought, Mercury is in Aquarius throughout this period, which to my mind is very well placed. I think there is a case that Mercury is actually exalted in Aquarius rather than its traditional exaltation in Virgo. The fact that there is much other Aquarian activity at the moment is also highly significant I feel, underlining the importance of Mercury’s presence in Aquarius right now.
Aquarius is an air sign and therefore, like Mercury, communicative — but in a profound, truthful and humanitarian way. This would put Mercury’s fall in Leo, an interesting thought which I won’t go into here.
A Turning Point?
So Mercury turning direct in Aquarius around February 20 and moving beyond through post shadow, could potentially represent a revelatory few days and weeks, with much profound insight. There could be a slow unravelling of a certain situation, and then from middle March, things may begin to ease somewhat towards the first day of spring on March 21.
Maybe the New Year will truly begin around that date.