Mercury retrograde is often a period when everyone is running for the hills (ha!). It's one of the first things people often learn about astrologically as something they should be afraid of. Mercury retrograde often turns skeptics into believers because of the wonky developments it can bring.
But, there actually can be some bright spots during Mercury retrograde that contain positive energy you can use to your advantage.
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3 Mercury Retrograde Bright Spots:
The first bright spot during Mercury retrograde is when a new moon occurs during the Mercury retrograde in the sign the retrograde is occurring. Sometimes, it can shine a light on the problems and ignite things a little more, but when you know it's coming and know what it's impacting in your chart (by sign and aspect), you can use it to your advantage. The energy available helps you to take some control during the retrograde and turn things around, if needed.
The second bright spot during Mercury retrograde is what's called the inferior conjunction. This occurs when the Mercury retrograde conjuncts (aligns with) the transit (moving) Sun. This happens during every Mercury retrograde, and the inferior conjunction can show a time during the retrograde that is great for focusing on a new project, idea, plan that can be your focus for the next two months or so, or until the next time Mercury and the Sun conjunct after the retrograde is over (the superior conjunction). It can start with the inferior conjunction and culminate with the superior conjunction. You get bonus points if you focus on the areas of life ruled by the house the inferior conjunction occurs in your chart. This is where the positive energy can flow.
The third bright spot during Mercury retrograde is when the retrograde sextiles or trines any of the transit planets. Sextiles and trines are easy aspects, and therefore more easily positive, and when Mercury retrograde is making a sextile or trine to one of the other planets, this is a time when we can use the retrograde energy positively. To Venus, it can play out in our dealings with others; to Mars, we can take initiative more easily; to Jupiter, we can focus on opportunities; to Saturn, we can be more disciplined; to Uranus, we can embrace the unconventional or make changes; to Neptune, we can trust instincts and be imaginative; and to Pluto, we can find power and take control.
So, Mercury retrograde doesn't have to be dreaded! Sure, it can throw a ginormous monkey wrench in the machine of life sometimes, but even when it's being ornery, there are usually still some bright spots to find.
Suggested Reading: Mercury Retrograde Preparedness
March’s new moon comes on the 6th at 12:04PM ET in watery Pisces. This new moon can help us to get in tune with intuition and let it guide us, connect to our spiritual selves, and be more compassionate. We can have a more gentle touch, and want to focus on making everything better for everyone.
Imagination can be strong, and we can get lost in daydreams and fantasies. If we can get hold of the energy, we can use it for creative and artistic ventures. We may dream up other worlds and realms, and feel connected to them.
We may reach out to those who have difficulty helping themselves, and try to find ways to assist. We can be more empathic and understanding, and want to ease the pain in the world. We may strive to be of help in more personal ways.
Pisces is the last sign of the Zodiac, so we may wrap things up, finish things off, come to the end with something, but we’re less emotional about it and more pumped up about it. We’re ready to move on and make room for the new that we can see on the horizon.
The new moon is conjunct (aligned with) Neptune in Pisces, and Neptune is the natural ruler of Pisces, so this conjunction can amplify the Pisces energy, making us even more intuitive, imaginative, empathic, compassionate, artistic, and spiritual.
This new moon is sextile (positive aspect, 2 signs away) Mars in Taurus and widely sextile Saturn in Capricorn. These are supportive aspects that provide energy and drive (Mars) in a disciplined, productive way (Saturn). In earth signs, these two planets help to provide some grounding energy, which is needed with flowy Pisces.
In the troubling category, this new moon does occur one day after the start of Mercury retrograde in Pisces. The retrograde does not begin conjunct the new moon, BUT it does end conjunct the new moon point since it ends at 16 degrees Pisces. So aspects that this new moon makes to your chart may also be impacted by the end of the Mercury retrograde. Try to use the energy of the new moon to set yourself up to be in a positive position to come out of the retrograde.
Uranus also moves into a new sign on the same day as this new moon! S we may be extra focused on the new chapters that are coming for all of us. We’ve just gotta get through the Mercury retrograde first ;)
This new moon occurs at 15 degrees 47 minutes Pisces. The aspects to the new moon are:
Conjunction: 13 degrees 47 minutes - 17 degrees 47 minutes Pisces
Sextile: 13 degrees 47 minutes - 17 degrees 47 minutes Taurus or Capricorn
Square: 13 degrees 47 minutes - 17 degrees 47 minutes Gemini Sagittarius
Trine: 13 degrees 47 minutes - 17 degrees 47 minutes Cancer or Scorpio
Opposition: 13 degrees 47 minutes - 17 degrees 47 minutes Virgo
March’s full moon comes on the 20th in airy Libra. Libra is the sign of relationships, so we may extra focused on the people in our lives. We can be more emotional in our relationships, and want stronger connections that support us emotionally and have mutual respect. Without positive connections, we can feel out of sorts. If we’re surrounded by chaos and disharmony, we may feel indecisive and out of balance. We need to try to keep the peace so we can remain calm, focused, and centered.
We may be more concerned with the other side of situations, other viewpoints, and this can cause us to put our own opinions to the side, but we need to make sure we’re not ignoring what we think and feel just to make room for everyone else. We have to find room for all, including ourselves.
We may be weighing options with this full moon, and can feel a little like we’re teetering on the brink of something. A good something or a bad something?
This full moon occurs at a special degree, 0 degrees of Libra, which is a critical degree and the Zero Degrees Aries Point in Libra. This can jazz up the energy of this full moon, and we can be extremely focused on how we connect ourselves with others. We need to recognize our individuality and the individuality of others, and work to be cohesive and rather than dominating.
This full moon occurs at 0 degrees 9 minutes Libra. The aspects for this full moon are:
Conjunction: 0 degrees 0 minutes - 2 degrees 9 minutes Libra
Sextile: 0 degrees 0 minutes - 2 degrees 9 minutes Leo or Sagittarius
Square: 0 degrees 0 minutes - 2 degrees 9 minutes Cancer or Capricorn
Trine: 0 degrees 0 minutes - 2 degrees 9 minutes Gemini or Aquarius
Opposition: 0 degrees 0 minutes - 2 degrees 9 minutes Aries
Since this full moon is so early in Libra, you may also feel aspects made out of sign, which would be:
ConjunctIon: 28 degrees 9 minutes - 29 degrees 59 minutes Virgo
Sextile: 28 degrees 9 minutes - 29 degrees 59 minutes Cancer or Scorpio
Square: 28 degrees 9 minutes - 29 degrees 59 minutes Gemini or Sagittarius
Trine: 28 degrees 9 minutes - 29 degrees 59 minutes Taurus or Capricorn
Opposition: 28 degrees 9 minutes - 29 degrees 59 minutes Pisces
The basics: A retrograde occurs when a planet appears to be moving backwards from our vantage point here on Earth. It isn't actually moving backwards, it just appears that way. Mercury turns retrograde most often, about 3-4 times per year, and lasts for several weeks. When a planet retrogrades, what that planet rules tends to be thrown off, along with what the sign it's retrograding in rules.
With Mercury retrograde, we experience a shadow and a storm. The shadow period starts when Mercury first hits the point in the Zodiac it will turn direct at, and ends when it last hits the point in the Zodiac it will turn retrograde at. Most people don't feel the effects of Mercury retrograde until it enters the storm period though. The storm period of Mercury retrograde is when Mercury is moving at its slowest, less than 40 minutes per day. Mercury is a fast-moving planet and hates it when he's moving slowly. There's usually two storm periods, one around the time Mercury turns retrograde, and one around when it turns direct.
This Mercury retrograde begins on March 5th at 2:18PM ET and ends on March 28th at 9:58AM ET. The shadow period is February 19th - April 16th. The first storm period is March 1st - 10th, and second storm period is March 22nd - April 6th.
Here comes the first Mercury madness for 2019! This retrograde occurs entirely in the sign of Pisces - foggy, delusional, wandering Pisces, so here comes the fog, delusion, and aimless wandering, oh boy! We may find ourselves getting stuck in a fog pretty easily, which can make it hard to make decisions, to think clearly, and to focus. We can be more easily misled, delude ourselves or are deceived by others, and can be easily manipulated. We may wander around, flowing from this to that, seemingly directionless. It becomes important with Pisces energy to make sure we’re grounded and to be as realistic as possible, otherwise we can find ourselves with a lot of issues!
We may be more easily rundown, constantly tired, and the world may be a bit sluggish as the more dominating among us become more demanding and draining on our energy. We need to make time for rest and quiet time alone so we can recharge, otherwise we just keep getting drained until we’re dry. Healthy boundaries are always important with Pisces.
Pisces is a compassionate sign, full of empathy and understanding, and we may find that we;re either too compassionate and understanding, which leads us to be taken advantage of; or, we’re lacking compassion and understanding, and make seem especially cruel in some way. There may be some sort of situation that is seen as particularly cruel, and we have to decide if we’re going to exercise compassion and help those who can’t help themselves.
Spirituality and intuition fall under the domain of Pisces, and we may be more focused on spiritual needs. It can be a good time to tend to them, but we need to make sure we don’t get too lost in them and lack an open mind and accepting heart. Intuition can be helpful for guidance since focus may be lacking, but we need to work on truly listening to our inner guides and not just believing what we want to believe.
Pisces is the last sign of the Zodiac, so we may be focused on something that needs to come to an end. We may encounter resistance, blocks, issues as we try to finish, close out, or let go, whether internal or external, and we may need to make sure we’re eliminating from the root and no just on the surface so it doesn’t come back again. Something we thought we were done with and wouldn’t have to deal with again could come back, rearing its ugly head, and we have to make sure we really take care of it this time. Zombie period!
Water, feet, music, the arts, and toxins are all ruled by Pisces, so we may see some developments related to water/the oceans/pollution, with a musician or artist or dancer, or drugs. Large animals are also ruled by Pisces, so they may get attention in some way as well.
The Pisces energy os this retrograde is cranked up to an 11 for a lot of reasons. One, it’s going to start at the anaretic degree, which is 29 degrees of any sign, the very last degree and a point of crisis energy. In transit, this can be a difficult time, and it may trigger something very important around the start of the retrograde. Mercury will be anaretic March 2nd - 8th, so watch that space. In Pisces, this is last degree of the last sign, so it’s literally the very last degree of the Zodiac! So this may show something that we thought was going to end doesn’t end, rising back from the dead (it’s a zombie retrograde!).
The day after Mercury retrograde starts, Uranus will move into a new sign, earth sign Taurus. So to start the retrograde, Uranus will also be anaretic but in Aries! So this may be some suuuuper wild energy to kick the retrograde off. Run for the hills?
Then a new moon occurs in Pisces on March 6th, the day after the Mercury retrograde starts in Pisces. In fact, the Moon is in Pisces as the retrograde begins (March 5th 4:11AM ET - March 7th 4:28PM ET). This brings extra energy for Pisces at the start of the retrograde (like there won’t be enough!). But with the new moon, it’ll try to be helpful, not hurtful. We just have to consciously decide to use the energy as best as we can to be productive with imagination, get attuned to intuition, stay grounded in spirituality, and lend a helping hand in healthy ways.
Pisces energy can also be strong when the Mercury retrograde conjuncts (aligns with) the Sun in Pisces on March 15th (at 24 degrees 11 minutes Pisces). This is called the inferior conjunction, and can actually be a good time to start something during the retrograde that you focus on for about the next 2 months. What exactly you focus on may be related to the areas of life ruled by the house in your chart this occurs.
Mercury retrograde will be at a critical degree, 17 degrees Pisces, March 22nd - 24th, which also amplifies the Pisces energy, but it can be in a difficult way where we’re feeling extra challenged to handle the energy. We have to maintain boundaries, stay grounded, and not lose our grip. And avoid the zombies!
The retrograde then ends conjunct the natural ruler of Pisces, Neptune, who is in Pisces too! This is exact on March 24th, and with Neptune energy being dissolving, we may be coming out of the retrograde looking to dissolve something, fade into/away from something, or bring something important to a close. (I’m not British, but I am thinking about the fact that the UK is supposed to exit the EU like 8 hours or so after the retrograde officially ends - feels a little dicey!)
Mercury makes four major aspects during the retrograde (in addition to the conjunctions to the Sun and Neptune: sextile (positive aspect, two signs away) transit Mars in Taurus March 17th (good for taking action with ideas and plans), square (hard aspect, three signs away) transit Jupiter in Sagittarius March 15th (making us prone to excess and talking a little too big), sextile transit Saturn in Capricorn March 20th (giving some discipline and focus), and sextile transit Pluto in Capricorn March 16th (giving a little power and control back).
The Moon is in the signs Mercury naturally rules, Gemini and Virgo, March 12th (11:48AM) - 14th (5:49PM) and March 18th (9:42PM), - 20th (9:28PM). This can make us all a little emotionally anxious, on edge, feeling extra off, and needing to give ourselves time to calm down, to get things done, and exercise extra patience.
The retrograde begins at 29 degrees Pisces, so those of you Fishies born after March 17th may feel the start of the retrograde most. The retrograde ends at 16 degrees Pisces, so those of you Fishies born March 4th - 9th may feel the end of this retrograde most.
Note that if you have any anaretic planets in your natal or progressed charts, they get jazzed up by the start of the Mercury retrograde (and Uranus), regardless of the aspect, so pay special attention to that point in your chart!
For the rest of you, check the house(s) Mercury will be retrograding in of your own natal chart, and any aspects Mercury will make during its retrograde to your natal planets, to fully understand how it will impact you personally.
If you have Mercury retrograde in your natal or progressed chart, you may not feel the worst of this. Those individuals generally don't experience the difficulties of the retrograde because it feels more natural to them. Of course, chances are everyone else around them doesn't have the same aspect, so they can still experience difficulties brought on by others.
Uranus is the planet of change, ruling the sudden and unexpected, the unconventional, and the new. Uranus is the future, the one who pushes us outside of our comfort zones, and challenges us to find new perceptions. In love, this means that Uranus can shake things up in existing relationships, and bring some totally new, different people into our lives. Sometimes this is great, and sometimes this is NOT!
Transit Uranus & Love
When you or someone you know experiences a major change in a relationship, this is often the work of a Uranus transit. Transit Uranus conjunct, square, or opposite natal or progressed Venus, the natal or progressed 7th or 5th house cusps, or the natal 5th or 7th house rulers often bring about some relationship upheaval. In some cases, this can get you out of a relationship rut, and the sudden developments and changes can offer an opportunity for you to improve your connection and become closer. But probably in most cases, the upheaval results in the breaking of the relationship as you suddenly want something other than what you have, and don’t find what you have to be fulfilling the need for the new and for greater independence.
When you experience these transits while single, this can bring a complete shift in your approach to relationships, what you want from relationships and a partner, and what you’re willing to give. This can be a time when you push back even more, craving even more space from others as you desire to be completely and totally free to be yourself, unabashed. For those of you who are the loner types, it might end up being the reverse, and the change you experience is actually being with someone. The people you attract into your life will likely be very different from the people you normally attract or are attracted to. A new relationship may also be different from any kind of relationship you’ve had before; if you’re naturally traditional, you may opt for something unconventional, and vice versa.
Uranus in Synastry
When you have a Uranus connection with someone in synastry, that can bring out some erratic energy between the two of you depending on the planet Uranus is connecting with. If it’s the Sun, Moon, Venus, or Mars, this may show difficulty with having stability in the relationship, and one of you may view the other as way too erratic. A certain amount of space is likely required, and you need to not smother each other. This connection can show the relationship starts hot and fast and burns out in a jiffy.
Just like with Neptune, to counter Uranus, you need some Saturn in the mix. Where Uranus is unconventional and wild, Saturn is traditional and stoic. Saturn controls the uncontrollable. Having strong Saturn in the natal chart can help prevent you from being too crazy in relationships in the first place; having positive transit Saturn aspects while experiencing difficult Uranus aspects can help bring some calming energy that allow you to find more control; and having Saturn links in synastry or the composite chart can help smooth out the erratic Uranus energy. Without Saturn? Get ready for a wild ride!
Suggested Reading: The articles from the love astrology series: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto, Chiron, the 12th house, eclipses, retrogrades, and the Lunar Nodes
Mars Retrograde in Aries: September - November 2020
Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio & Libra: October - November 2020
Anaretic Saturn in Capricorn
Jupiter Conjunct Pluto 2020
Saturn Conjunct Pluto 2020
October 2020 New & Full Moons
August 2020 New & Full Moons
Jupiter in Capricorn: December 2019 - December 2020
Saturn in Aquarius: March - July 2020, December 2020 - March 2023
Saturn in Capricorn: December 2017 - March 2020, July - December 2020
Uranus in Taurus: May - November 2018, March 2019 - July 2025, November 2025 - April 2026