I’ve been thinking a lot about how certain transits affect us differently depending on what else we have going on in our charts. For example Mercury retrograde can cause absolute havoc in the life of someone who’s Mercury is badly aspected, or receiving a major transit from one of the outer planets, while another person will barely feel it at all.
I’m one of those people who experience very little in the way of discombobulated communications or technological mishaps during Mercury retrograde. On the other hand, the recent Venus retrograde cycle hit me pretty hard, probably because a major transit from Pluto is currently triggering my natal Venus in the 8th House. With Mercury retrograde in Libra, the sign Venus rules, I’m expecting a kind of intellectual synthesis as I reflect upon and process the emotional confusion that has come up during Venus retrograde.
Like everything in astrology, we have to look at the chart, and the person, as an interconnected whole. Just because Mercury retrogrades doesn’t mean you’re going to experience it in the same way everyone else does. For this reason, blogging on astrology can be challenging – it’s difficult to convey the general energetic feel of a transit while also communicating the vast array of uniquely personal outcomes it can represent in each individual’s here and now.
So back to Mercury retrograde in Libra…
Despite being so widely feared, Mercury retrograde is not a particularly heavy transit. In fact Mercury is retrograde about 18% of the time! Yes, clarity around communication, thinking and decision-making is reduced, but at the same time our capacity to see and understand our mental habit patterns, such as negative self-talk, is increased. It’s a time of turning inwards instead of outwards, for reflection, rather than action.
Mercury retrograde in Libra begins on 17 September, stationing retrograde at 15 degrees Libra, although its ‘shadow period‘ actually began back on 28 August. During this time we’ll have an opportunity to rethink old relationship patterns, perhaps brought to light during the Venus retrograde cycle, and communicate with partners and collaborators to create better ways of relating.
Mercury retrograde in Libra continues until 9 October and during this time it makes a number of aspects to other planets. On 17 September, the day it turns retrograde, Mercury will be sextile Venus and square Pluto. The sextile to Venus will help us articulate some of the difficult feelings and observations that have come up during the Venus retrograde cycle, however it’s a short lived and not particularly powerful transit – really no match for Pluto’s much heavier and long-lasting influence.
Pluto is currently almost stationary as it ends its own period of retrograde motion, turning direct on 25 September. This makes it particularly powerful as its energy is focused steadily on one degree of the chart for an extended period – in this case seven full days. Those with planets or points between 10 and 16 degrees of the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn) will certainly feel it!
The main thing to watch out for with Pluto square Mercury retrograde in Libra is a tendency toward mental fixation. This may manifest as an obsession with fixing your relationship or with getting things off your chest, such that you are unable to wait for thing to develop naturally or for the right time to speak your mind. Remain aware and whenever you feel compelled to speak ask yourself whether you are acting out of love or fear. Then take a few moments to calm yourself before moving forward.
Venus, planet of relationships, is still in the ‘shadow phase’ of her retrograde cycle until 9 October and with Mercury retrograde in Venus’ own sign of Libra intimacy and relating are certainly the big theme of the coming three weeks. Be very careful that you communicate what needs to be said gently and lovingly as any attempt to manipulate a situation with ultimatums or threats will certainly backfire.
If you’re finding it all a bit much it may help to know that on 30 September retrograde Mercury in Libra conjuncts the Sun. This will bring clarity to any situation where you’ve been struggling to understand or come to a decision. It will also shine light on any area in your relationships where your thinking has been clouded or inaccurate. It will bring the truth to light.
Meanwhile, in another part of the cosmos…
On the same day Mercury retrograde in Libra begins its backward motion, our dear friend Saturn quietly makes his way into Sagittarius, leaving Scorpio for good – or at least for the next 28 years or so! To understand the impact of this important transit, and how it will impact you, check out my previous articles on the subject Saturn in Sagittarius: time to grow up and Saturn in Sagittarius: taming wild horses.
How will Mercury retrograde in Libra affect you?
Mercury retrograde in Libra will affect you most strongly if you have planets or points between 0 and 16 degrees of the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn) as well as anyone who is currently experiencing an outer planet transit to their natal Mercury. In my case Mercury will station conjunct my natal Pluto, in square aspect to my natal Sun, Moon and Venus! I guess I’ll be feeling this Mercury retrograde in Libra a little more than most!
The area of life most likely to be affected by Mercury retrograde in Libra can be seen by checking which house (or houses) lie within 0 to 16 degrees Libra. For me it will be the 4th House, suggesting that issues around home and family will come up for reflection and analysis. This may be challenging as my natal Pluto and the North Node will both be triggered.
Despite its reputation Mercury retrograde in Libra has a purpose, as do all the planetary transits. That purpose will be clearer to you if you remain present and aware instead of allowing yourself to be caught up in the story. We humans are melodramatic creatures and Pluto square Mercury retrograde in Libra is certainly not going to make us any less so! But in three weeks time Mercury will station direct conjunct the North Node and at that point the higher purpose and meaning of the transit will become much clearer.
How do you expect to experience Mercury retrograde in Libra
Mercury retrograde in Libra is likely to affect the way we think about and communicate in our relationships and with a square aspect to Pluto it’s likely we may uncover things we don’t like or would prefer not to acknowledge. How do you expect this transit to affect you? What strategies do you intend to utilise to ensure your communications and thinking remain clear and loving during this period?
If you don’t have one yet, you can get a free birth chart at astro.com. To understand how to read your birth chart, and follow the transits in your own life, download my free ebook The Language of Astrology.