This Mercury Retrograde, which begins February 16, will affect two of your Solar houses because this planet goes retrograde in the zodiac sign of Pisces and then moves backward into Aquarius for a bit, before moving in direct motion again back into Pisces. Let’s discuss some of the facts before diving into how this Mercury Retrograde may affect you.
Mercury’s orbit takes it around the Sun about every 88 days. From Earth, we first see Mercury as an evening star. When its normal speed starts to slow, it has “turned a corner” and begins to move toward Earth. This is usually about a week before the date of retrograde motion. There are Mercury stations; when it appears to stop and begin to move backward we call this its Retrograde Station, the “official” start of the Retrograde period. After it disappears in the light of the Sun, it eventually emerges as a morning star, and comes to its Direct Station, when it appears to stand still and move forward, and in about a week, it will return to its normal speed.
We experience the effects of the Mercury Retrograde during the entire time, although some, while feeling its effects, say, “But Mercury Retrograde hasn’t started yet,” or “I thought Mercury Retrograde was over.”
The Retrograde part of Mercury’s orbit is known for upsetting infrastructure, transportation and communication. Weather, geomagnetic, and cosmic forces affect us in many ways, and the Solar winds, in turn, affect them. Our society and our physical bodies are, to a large degree, dancing to the rhythms of these electromagnetic forces from space, and Mercury whips up a little something special for us to enjoy when it stands between us and the Sun.
The day Mercury makes an exact conjunction with the Sun is special. Like the wishing wells dedicated to Mercury throughout the ancient world for good business and luck, the day of this conjunction is used by some to make important wishes. This time, for most of the world, it falls on February 26, and for people in the Americas, after sundown on February 25. Observe carefully, and see what happens in your life, but remember that Mercury is a trickster, so don’t make any plans on it acting one way or another.
When we study the Mercury Retrograde periods, we’re not really concerned about the sign where it occurs – we focus on practical advice for members of each zodiac sign. Its relationship to your sign and the effects that are most likely to occur are defined by the house it affects.
Remember that every person on Earth is going through the disruption of Mercury Retrograde, and it’s hard to tell how strongly people are affected, so be patient with everyone. Also, don’t forget that this planetary dance can happen three or four times a year, and is different every time, giving us plenty of chances to practice working with this tiny but mighty planet.
For everyone, during the Mercury Retrograde, the key to success is focus.
Mercury Retrograde for an Aries (Aries dates: March 20 – April 19)
This Mercury Retrograde occurs in Pisces, your 12th Solar house of private matters and limitations. Between March 4 and March 16, it will be in Aquarius, which is your house of friends, allies and profits from business. During the first part of the cycle, Aries, be careful not to overlook anything regarding personal projects or private affairs, because it might be hard to regain anything that’s lost during this time. You may receive unexpected help that will help you achieve your goals in the second part of the cycle. After it backs into the zodiac sign of Aquarius, shift your focus to friends and associates. Business is likely to pick up, overtime might be available, and you’ll benefit from group activities.
Mercury Retrograde for a Taurus (Taurus dates: April 20 – May 20)
This Mercury Retrograde starts out in your 11th Solar house of friends, allies and profits from business. Between March 4 and March 16, it will be in Aquarius, which is your Solar 10th house of career, authority, status and reputation. You might experience uncooperative friends, or a lack of support for work or business activity during the first part of the cycle. When it moves into Aquarius, however, your professionalism or popularity will enable you to reclaim your authority, Taurus, and other people will show you the respect you deserve. If you’ve got all the proper information and documents together, and remain calm emotionally, any presentations or should go rather smoothly.
Mercury Retrograde for a Gemini (Gemini dates: May 21 – June 20)
This Mercury Retrograde starts out in Pisces, your 10th Solar house of career, authority, status and reputation. In early-to-mid March it will be in Aquarius, which is your Solar ninth house of long-distance travel, long-range plans, higher education and legal matters. You might experience the time Mercury is Retrograde in Pisces as a period of challenges in your professional life, Gemini, like unexpectedly canceled meetings. Try not to schedule interviews for this period. After it enters Aquarius, it's not a great time to travel, even after Mercury begins moving in direct motion. If you’re a student, don’t make any major changes in your educational plans until after March 16, when Mercury returns to Pisces.
Mercury Retrograde for a Cancer (Cancer dates: June 21 – July 21)
Cancer, this Mercury Retrograde starts out in your ninth Solar house of long-distance travel, long-range plans, higher education and legal matters. When it enters Aquarius in early March, Mercury is in your Solar eighth house of financial obligations and other people’s money. During the time it’s in Pisces, it’s best to avoid overseas journeys unless you are a very experienced traveler, and even then, there's a possibility of lost luggage or problems with documents. Before planet Mercury enters Aquarius in early March, make sure to double-check that all the bills are taken care of, and don’t finance anything, even after direct motion has begun.
Mercury Retrograde for a Leo (Leo dates: July 22 – August 22)
This Mercury Retrograde first visits your eighth Solar house of financial obligations and other’s money. In early March, when it’s in Aquarius, Mercury will be in your Solar seventh house of partnership, teamwork and important negotiations. While it’s in Pisces, don’t take on any new debt, and do your best to reduce old ones. Make sure no bills have been mislaid or forgotten. While Mercury is in Aquarius, avoid making changes in important relationships. You might not get the cooperation you need from others. Try to delay negotiations or meetings about business deals until after Mercury has returned to Pisces.
Mercury Retrograde for a Virgo (Virgo dates: August 23 – September 22)
Virgo, this Mercury Retrograde starts out in your seventh Solar house of partnership, teamwork and important negotiations. Between March 4 and March 16, it will be in your sixth house of wellness, co-workers and work in general. While Mercury is in Pisces, you may find other people to be uncooperative unless you’re willing to compromise, and the same is true of any negotiations. During the time it spends in Aquarius, try not to take co-workers or people you employ lightly; they may be trying to undermine your authority. Also, this isn't a great time to make sudden or radical changes in your diet or exercise plan, since you might not get what you expect by doing so.
Mercury Retrograde for a Libra (Libra dates: September 23 – October 22)
This Mercury Retrograde starts out in your Solar sixth house of health, co-workers and work in general. In early March, until mid-month, it will be your Solar fifth house of fun, entertainment and romance. While Mercury is in your sixth house, hiring people to work for you should be avoided if possible; it’s likely to be more costly than you think. When it’s in Aquarius, you can expect missed meetings with friends. Social occasions may be delayed or canceled, even after Mercury moves into direct motion. Although you make great plans for fun times, others are having the same “space weather” and may not be able to enjoy them with you.
Mercury Retrograde for a Scorpio (Scorpio dates: October 23 – November 21)
This transit of Retrograde Mercury starts out in your Solar fifth house of fun, entertainment and romantic activities, Scorpio. It enters your Solar fourth house of your home, real property and your family in early March. During the time it’s in your fifth house, even plans made before the Retrograde could fall apart because those you expect to enjoy them with are influenced as well. When Mercury is in your fourth house, you may have to deal with repairs or responsibilities at home that you either forgot or put off. Needless to say, this is not a favorable time for real estate transactions, for changing residence, or for making major changes in the home.
Mercury Retrograde for a Sagittarius (Sagittarius dates: November 22 – December 20)
The Mercury Retrograde changes direction and moves “backward” in your Solar fourth house, which concerns your home, real property and your family. Between March 4 and March 16, it will be in Aquarius, your Solar third house of communication, transportation and your local area. When it’s retrograde in Pisces, issues regarding the place where you live will be revisited. You may be inspired to creatively re-imagine your personal space. This is a good time for planning, but not a good time to finalize real estate transactions or for making changes in your home. When Mercury moves into Aquarius, you may need to change, maintain or upgrade your mobile phone, car, or computer. Backup everything before you do.
Mercury Retrograde for a Capricorn (Capricorn dates: December 21 – January 19)
Since Mercury is retrograding in Pisces, it will primarily affect your Solar third house of communication, transportation and your local area. When in Aquarius, from March 4 to March 16, this planet will be in your Solar second house of income, assets and cash flow. While in Pisces, you can expect some trouble with your electronic networks or social media, but what’s most important is maintaining your mobile phone and computer by doing regular backups or upgrading your equipment. Make sure your vehicles are in tip-top shape. This transit through Aquarius requires concentration on financial matters. Remember that wealth is judged not by how much you make, but by how much you keep.
Mercury Retrograde for an Aquarius (Aquarius dates: January 20 – February 17)
Mercury’s Retrograde begins in Pisces, your second Solar house of income and assets. In early March, through March 16, it will be in Aquarius, your first house. While in Pisces, you need to avoid lending money, impulse buying or unnecessary spending. Make sure to keep a tight grip on your cards and cash. When Mercury moves into Aquarius, you may experience some blow-back from actions you took in previous weeks. Pay close attention to details and do your best to resolve any disagreements with others. It’s also good to review any difficulties you’ve had and figure out ways not to repeat previous mistakes. Make sure you present yourself at your best now.
Mercury Retrograde for a Pisces (Pisces dates: February 18 – March 19)
Since Mercury will Retrograde in your sign, Pisces, it will be in your first Solar house of overall wellbeing and the way others see you. When it’s in Aquarius from March 4 to March 16, it will be in Aquarius, your 12th house, which involves secrets, private matters and unforeseen happenings. While Mercury is in your sign, pay close attention to the details of how you present yourself to others. Be careful not to overlook anything regarding your personal projects or private affairs. While it’s in Aquarius, it might be hard to regain anything that has been lost. You may receive unexpected help that will help you achieve your goals, but keep your ideas, plans and personal affairs to yourself.