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Mercury retrograde in Libra: why you might not even feel it

Mercury retrograde in Libra Image author unknown.

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 To understand how to read your birth chart, and follow the transits in your own life, download my free ebook The Language of Astrology.

15 Comments on Mercury retrograde in Libra: why you might not even feel it

  1. Faith, you just summed up my whole life in that one post… I particularly resonated with the make sure you are speaking from love not fear about urges to get things off my chest. Looks like more interesting times are ahead for me :)

  2. Hi Faith, I have Mercury 1.03 degrees from Aries. A few weeks ago you pointed out to me the polarity of houses IV and X in Pisces and Virgo respectively (Sun conjunct Moon in Pisces in opposition to Jupiter conjunct Midheaven). Jupiter is also my chart ruler and Mercury square Jupiter in my chart.

    I read that squares invite action to resolve the tension; however what you are saying here is a temptation to action when surrender could be the best and most viable path.

    In the past pursuing my vocation has seemed to threaten my sense of security, and an added obstacle to finding that balance between the two has been not being able to control how my communication style affects others. So I am going to try and use this time as an opportunity for thinking positively about a potential breakthrough in how these different aspects of my life work together for the best possible result between me and those I can affect constructively through pursuing my vocation.

  3. For me, Mercury will affect the last part of my 7th house (Libra) plus a good share of the 8th. My moon is at 12,55 degrees Libra, so I expect to speak what’s in my heart, and thinking deeply/revisiting issues regarding intimacy and communinicating issues around this. But it might also be about equality in relationships too. If you don’t have equality, you can’t have intimacy between two people in the 8th ;-) So if Mercury retrograde finds that there is an imbalance here, I expect myself to able to speak up about it!

    Also, my moon is square my natal mars, so this square is probably also activated. My feelings might try to say or do something that is bound to hurt me in a self-defeating way – like manipulating or power plays which I’ve become better at spotting when it happens. Transiting Pluto squares my natal moon from his transit in the 12th house at the moment, so emotional clarity will probably have to be excused for emotional uhm… storms. At least I will be fully aware of them, since the Pluto/moon the past 1,5 years have brought a lot of insight.

    Now … I will need to buy myself a closet to hide in and some astrological rain coats for all the pouring ;-)

  4. Where does this mercury retro fall for me. 10-16-1963 12:45 pm

  5. This is really interesting, but I am at loss to work out what it means in terms of how it effects your sign. I am born 12/4/67 at 2pm in NZ… Does the fact I am an Aries sun with a Cancer ascendent mean I will feel this more than most – and in my relationship house?

    • Hi Lisa… Without actually seeing your chart I can say that with Cancer on your Ascendant you probably have Libra on the cusp of the 4th House (of Home and Family) so Mercury will move back through this House and into the 3rd (house of Communication). You need to check where 0 to 15 degrees Libra falls on the outer edge of your chart and that will tell you which houses Mercury will be passing through. If you haven’t got a chart you can generate one here:

  6. I’ve got a better understanding now. Libra for me is 11th House. Mercury in Aries

    This is really stretching my understanding of myself in relation to others and what the role of communication is operating, as a bridge in achieving connection between myself and others or as a bridge between our differing understanding of ourselves in relation to each other. I think this time is restoring my relationship to communication as a bridge and not as something destructive, because everything depends on the expectations I bring of myself and others in the process of communication, and investing my self-identity in the perceived success of connecting with others is not necessarily conducive to others feeling not pressured by me, that they can speak without judgement from me. I realise my own feeling of not being able to speak without judgement creates a pressure on others as well where they end reflecting to me my own exact issue. So this time I’m using as an opportunity of claiming the power I have to break this cycle, if I simply would own the power I have of recognising what my issue is with feeling unable to speak without judgement, and so remove its power of projecting itself onto my relationships by simply recognising the detriment it has on me, my mental health and my close relationships. My issue only has as much power as it has if I do not recognise it and legitimate my need of feeling able to speak without judgement.

    • Hi Liv… Isn’t it empowering when we take responsibility for our interactions with others? It opens up so much potential for growth that are simply unavailable to us when we are trying to force others to change. x

  7. A. I wish I read this before the eclipse (reacted out of fear to a comment that was made out of fear and have felt a rather large disconnect with that person for the last week) B. Had a very productive discussion with the soon to be ex-husband regarding moving forward on our legal separation on the 30th. My 7th libra house is getting hit and I am fully experiencing the effects…all very applicable and insightful. Thank you!

  8. Janelle Elleman // October 18, 2016 at 4:23 pm // Reply

    Thanks for the great post keep up the amazing work.

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