Mercury Retrograde: Switching Off

Mercury retrograde

A heads up that we are heading closer to the next Mercury Retrograde phase which takes place from January 14 to February 4, 2022.

This means that two of the inner planets, Mercury (communication) and Venus (love/money) will be on go slow.

If you’re feeling stuck or plans are unravelling, the turning points come at the end of January and early February.

Therefore, it’s not a bad idea to take some of January off if you can. Or, at least spend some time resting and in retreat. Mercury always remains retrograde for three weeks at a time. Venus turns direct on January 29th. Mercury turns direct on February 4th.

Here are the Mercury Retrograde dates & data:

  • December 29: Mercury shadow period begins – Mercury at 24 Capricorn.
  • January 14(11:41 GMT): Mercury turns retrograde [10 Aquarius 20]
  • January 23: Sun conjunct Mercury retrograde – half-way point
  • January 26: Mercury re-enters Capricorn
  • February 4(04:14 GMT): Mercury turns direct [24 Capricorn 23]
  • February 24: Mercury shadow period ends – Mercury at 10 Aquarius.

Mercury turns retrograde in Aquarius, one of the air signs. Mercury rules the mind & communication and in Aquarius this is a lively, intellectual combination.

If you have planets or angles at 10 Aquarius, this is where you may experience a theme of reversal or rethinking or reviewing your plans.

When Mercury turns retrograde, this is a good time to get your head down, do research and take the pace slow. Things are not what they seem during Mercury retrograde & new information often comes to light once Mercury turns direct.

What this Mercury retrograde is good for is to remember the re-words: review, revise, reconsider, reflect, rework, rethink, reconnect.

Here are some key ways of harnessing the Mercury Retrograde planetary energy:

  • take a step back & put the big decisions to one side
  • give yourself permission to change your mind
  • look at life from a fresh perspective – upside down, back-to-front; think outside of the box
  • indulge in a media detox – switch off, unplug, step away from the news, switch off social media
  • chase up old connections, reconnect with people from your past
  • double check everything & keep your options open
  • try again where you failed in the past; second chances come highly recommended
  • have plans B, C & D up your sleeve
  • be flexible, be adaptable, go with the flow & see where life leads you

Don’t forget that Mercury Retrograde can trip you up. It can be a time of communication chaos, when appliances go wonky, plans are delayed, it’s hard to get hold of the right people and travel is subject to change.

In the wise words of the writer, Anne Lamott: ‘Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including yourself.

Mercury re-enters earth sign Capricorn during its retrograde phase. Earth signs are linked to nature and the constancy of the seasons. Favour simple pleasures during this period and practise gratitude for the food you eat and the roof over your head.

Mercury’s turn to direct motion may bring more insight or information your way about where you’re heading and why. For now, indulge in some downtime if you can and enjoy allowing your mind to wander wherever it chooses.


People often ask me about the Mercury Shadow in astrology which falls either side of the three-week Mercury Retrograde phase. The shadow period is more controversial.

Some astrologers advise doing nothing new during the shadow period. I’m not a fan and it’s definitely not wise if you’re a procrastinator – you would be taking almost two months out every time, half the year in all.

Yes, notice what happens during the shadow period but don’t put your life on hold. 

Basically, the shadow phase is when Mercury is moving through the retrograde degrees pre-cycle or repeating its journey through the retrograde degrees post-cycle – see dates above.

I’ll let you ponder whether it’s significant for you. And, as always with astrology, it’s worth plotting what’s happening so you know how to maximise your efficiency, to be in flow.

Here’s a quick reminder of the areas of your life where Mercury turns retrograde. Read the star sign after yours to see what it will mean once Mercury retreats back into Capricorn i.e. Aquarius reads Aquarius first, then Pisces (hope that makes sense!)

  • Aquarius – personal goals/aims, identity, image & self-perception
  • Pisces – inner work, spiritual retreat, caring for self & others
  • Aries – friends, groups, politics, social causes
  • Taurus – career & vocation, status & reputation, future goals
  • Gemini – exploration, study, the bigger picture
  • Cancer – joint finances & shared resources, all things hidden & taboo
  • Leo – relationships, personal & professional, contracts
  • Virgo – work & routine, lifestyle & health, service to others
  • Libra – children & creativity, love affairs & luck, fun & play
  • Scorpio – home & family, the past, your legacy, where you come from
  • Sagittarius – communication, siblings, neighbours, your community
  • Capricorn – money & assets, values & self-worth

The post Mercury Retrograde: Switching Off appeared first on Sally Kirkman Astrologer.

Fatal Housefires Focus on Kids

I chose to profile this story, tragic as it is, because it makes an excellent example of how this process unfolds, both celestially and in my own psyche.  As a former resident of Philadelphia, and still within that media market, I regularly watch the morning news on 6 ABC, predominantly for weather forecasts.  When I heard about a housefire near my old stomping grounds on January 5th which took 12 lives, 8 of them children, I got that familiar tingle at the nape of the neck that tells me to investigate, astrologically.


But I was busy, with deadlines looming and much on my mind, so I ignored it.  Four days later, an apartment building fire in the Bronx killed 17, with 9 child fatalities.  I dropped what I was working on, and dived in.

In situations like this, clearly cosmically related but separated by days, I first take a look at the general influences prevailing, and especially for stations.  Stations are degrees at which bodies appear to come to a halt and change direction (they do nothing of the kind, of course, in reality; it’s a trick of perception from our earthbound perspective).  They permeate the celestial atmosphere with their energies, still points upon which the rest of the cosmos continues to revolve.  So my first question always is:  what’s been happening?  What’s “stuck” up there and trying to get our attention?

fires philly
This housefire in Philadelphia, PA on January 5th claimed 12 lives, including 8 children; asteroid House combined with Atropos (death) in opposing asteroids Child and Flammeus (flames)

I quickly found three asteroids at station that applied to the situation, during a two-week period focused on the end of December and the beginning of January.  It’s a sign of my nearly two decades’ experience of this material that I didn’t fall off my chair when I saw both Child and Flammeus immobile in the heavens at that time.  Child is self-explanatory in context, and turned direct at 7 Taurus on December 27th, in the company of asteroid Osiris (named for the ancient Egyptian god of the dead) and Uranus (ruling accidents).  Child was still at its station degree when the first fire occurred, in Philadelphia.

Just two days before that incident, Flammeus had turned direct at 12 Taurus, also conjunct Uranus and Child.  Flammeus is closest to “flames”, and has been active in previous stories of fire, such as the one which consumed part of Notre Dame Cathedral in 2019.  Flammeus with Child also suggests the fire’s origin, started by children playing with a lighter near a Christmas tree.

The third point at station was asteroid Anubis, named for the Egyptian deity ruling funerary rites, lending a gloss of death-related energies to the timeframe.  Anubis won’t turn retrograde at 20 Virgo until January 12th, but was at its station degree throughout, in trine to Flammeus and sesquiquadrate Child.

So there we have three dominant elements in the sky, and in the stories unfolding:  fires via Flammeus; children via Child; and death via Anubis.  The next step is to integrate these energies with what else is going on.

fire philly victims
Some of the victims of the Philly housefire; in addition to the opposition from Atropos, Child was conjoined by death indicator Osiris, trined by Lachesis and Requiem, semisquare Rip, sesquiquadrate Anubis, and squared by Saturn

Here’s where a bit of experience comes in handy.  With 22,000 named minor bodies at this point, it’s a seemingly insurmountable task to identify pertinent players.  But over time, one becomes familiar with likely actors, depending on the situation.  The fatal nature of these incidents meant death indicators had to be included in the mix.

Working alphabetically, I found asteroid Atropos, named for the Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death, at 9 Scorpio, opposing Child and Flammeus.  Not surprisingly, asteroid House was there, too, at 7 Scorpio.  Together, they form a formidable illustration of fatalities at home; opposed Flammeus, they virtually spell out “house fire.”  Add Child, and we identify the majority of the victims.

Next was asteroid Lachesis, named for Atropos’ sister, the Fate who determines the span of life and gives Atropos the go-ahead when the time is right.  At 3 Capricorn, Lachesis is trine Child and Flammeus.  We’ve already seen that Osiris is conjoined Child, so moving on to asteroid Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead, we find it at 9 Virgo, fresh from its own retrograde station on New Year’s Day.  This is also trine Child and Flammeus, as well as Lachesis, creating a Grand Trine; in fact, a Kite, when the opposition to Atropos/House is included.

This is starting to get spooky, right?  That makes five of six asteroid death indicators directly bound up with Child and Flammeus, for a period which saw two deadly fires with a high body count of children.

fire bronx
This 19-floor apartment building caught fire on January 9th in the Bronx, NY, killing 17, including nine children; victims were found on every floor

What about the sixth, asteroid Rip, which functions as a death indicator in the form of the acronym “RIP” (“Rest In Peace”), a common tombstone inscription?  That’s at 24 Gemini, semisquare Child.  Which leaves just planetary energies relating to death to be accounted for (as opposed to our so-called “minor bodies”).  Saturn, ancient lord of death, appears at 12 Aquarius, squared Child/Flammeus.  Pluto, modern lord of death, at 26 Capricorn, was just out of orb of square.  I guess there has to be one odd man out.

What we’ve talked about so far are slower-moving points, in relatively stable configuration with each other, for days or weeks at a time.  What about a trigger, something faster-moving, which might also describe the circumstances?

How about the Sun?  This brings focus to what it touches, for good or ill.  Between January 5 and 9, the Sun from 15 to 19 Capricorn was moving into a square with asteroid Fireman, at 20 and 21 Libra, and moving past its trines to Child and Flammeus.  In a nod to the Christmas tree origins of the first fire, the Sun is also conjunct asteroid Noel, at 17 Capricorn for that tragedy.  (Doubling down, the universe also provides asteroid Yule, conjoined Damocles, the doom hanging unseen overhead, at 22 and 25 Aquarius.)

How about Mercury, planetary ruler of children?  That moved from 4 to 8 Aquarius during the period in question, coming to conjoin Saturn and squared Child/Flammeus, exactly squared Child for the Bronx fire.

fire firemen
The fatal Bronx fire was five-alarm, with dozens of firemen reporting to the scene; asteroid Fireman squared the Sun and Pluto, for a focus on death by fire

There’s one more point I look to when fire is in the headline:  asteroid Burney (for obvious reasons).  This falls at 1 Leo, tightly squared Osiris and Child, establishing the means of death and the preponderance of the victims.  And it’s also opposed Pluto – there’s that “death by fire” connection to the last planetary mortality indicator!  Knew it had to be somewhere.

At that point, it just becomes a matter of setting it all down in the record, translating raw data into sentences and paragraphs, performing my primary function of “astro-stenographer.”  I don’t write the celestial script – I just take dictation from the shorthand.

And that’s how it works.

One final note:  the Sun/Fireman square is still perfecting, and the other points remain in orb; let’s hope there isn’t more of the same in store…

The post Fatal Housefires Focus on Kids appeared first on Alex’s Asteroid Astrology.

Astrological forecast for the week of January 10, 2022: Mercury retrograde and a Plutonic Full Moon


This week we actually have two planets changing direction: Mercury will turn retrograde on January 14th, and Uranus turns direct January 18th after being retrograde for the past six months or so. Mercury and Uranus are related symbolically as they both are involved in processes of the intellect: Mercury rules the small mind – the day to day thoughts and information that filter through our intelligence and inform our world, and Uranus is associated with the higher mind which translates information from multilevel dimensions of consciousness (intuition and insight, the “aha” moment).  Uranus of course is a much slower moving planet than Mercury, so its movements take much longer and it has been stationary for the past couple of months in preparation for this change of direction whereas Mercury has been stationary for the past few days.

When planets appear to be stationary their influence is more potent, especially if that planet is forming an angle to a planet in our chart. In any case, this is a week in which the processing of information is critical: communication, learning, thoughts, mechanical equipment – all of these things are under focus right now. Under the influence of Uranus which demands change from old paradigms we may be chafing while in yet another quarantine, but we may also be blessed with inventive ideas for how to change our world to better adapt to the current situation. Under the influence of Mercury stationing as it turns retrograde we may find ourselves stuck in a problem for which we can see no escape, and in that case the Uranian brilliance can help us to suddenly discover the solution.

Venus is still retrograde of course, and clients are telling me of dreams they are having of people from the past, something that often happens as we look back over relationships and the things and people we value.

Meanwhile Mars, planet of action and resilience, makes a challenging square aspect to Neptune and while this aspect culminates on Tuesday its influence will remain for much of the week. Mars is currently in Sagittarius where our desires (Mars) are focused on the aspects of life which will help us to expand and grow.

Neptune is a transformational outer planet – it inspires us to let go of the mundane world of details and facts and discover the magic of imagination and spiritual yearning. It is not the most practical of planetary forces, and when in a challenging aspect to Mars as it is this week it tends to create some confusion in areas where a more practical focus is required.  Fortunately a harmonious sextile from the Sun to Neptune on Monday and Tuesday helps to bring out the best of the Neptunian inspiration and acts as a bit of a roadmap for navigating any confusion.

Finally, energies will be building throughout the weekend for Monday’s Full Moon in Cancer. Cancer is the Moon’s own sign, and the fullness of human emotion and sensitivity will prevail during this time. This will be made more intense by the fact that the Moon is opposed by intense Pluto at the Full Moon, and a conjunction from the Sun to Pluto in Capricorn on Saturday and Sunday will have already primed us for the power of the Plutonic experience which takes us below a superficial experience into the depths of wisdom and awareness.

This is a kind and compassionate Full Moon, but one which requires the courage to face some difficult truths. A difficult quincunx aspect from Mars to the Moon suggests that resolution is not likely at this time and we will need to live with the discomfort for a few days, but fortunately a harmonious trine from Neptune to the Moon will soften that discomfort and help to promote greater compassion and ease.

Lunar events this week (dates and times are for Eastern time zone, please adjust for your locality):

  • Moon enters Taurus 9:46 am Monday January 10th.
  • Moon enters Gemini 10:08 pm Wednesday January 12th
  • Moon enters Cancer 11:10 am Saturday January 15th

The post Astrological forecast for the week of January 10, 2022: Mercury retrograde and a Plutonic Full Moon appeared first on Astrology readings and writings by Lynn Hayes.