by Carmen di Luccio, March 23rd, 2018
Mercury began its latest edition of its retrograde process on March 22nd/23rd, which will last until April 15th. In the weeks and especially days leading up to it, known as the ‘pre-shadow period’, we start to notice its influence as Mercury slows down and comes to a stop before moving the other way.
Author – Carmen di Luccio
If you have read my previous Mercury retrograde articles, the first two sections of this article are nearly the same and you can skip to the third section if you don’t want to re-read all the general themes associated with these periods. The other sections are more specific to this edition of it.
Mercury retrograde is famous for the problematic effects it often has on communication technology, transactions, motor vehicles, anything with moving parts, and commuting in general. Some people even get headaches on or near the beginning of it. We could experience some challenges, misunderstandings, and errors around our communications, numbers/details, and commerce, as well as changes, cancellations, or delays in our schedules. We may also feel more challenged when we are doing excessive analytical work without using our internal guidance.
Although there is a higher probability of experiencing more of these problems during this time, they won’t necessarily apply to every situation. Some people may not notice these energies as much, depending on what types of things they are doing and how the astrology is playing out, unique to the person’s astrological blueprint.
Mercury Retrograde can also be a good time to revisit or redo tasks, projects, ideas, or anything else that was initiated in the past. It can give us a different perspective or shift in thinking that can help us to approach these things in ways we wouldn’t have done so before. This may also be a period of reconnecting with old friends, family, sometimes lovers, or others you haven’t seen in a while.
The Deeper Purpose of Mercury Retrograde
Ultimately, Mercury Retrograde is a time for us to recalibrate our minds and certain areas of our lives. It is a period in which we may receive important insights and see things in a new light. In most cases it can be mildly transformational, but in some cases it can facilitate more major transformations depending on how it corresponds to your personal astrological blueprint.
During and following the retrograde, certain areas of our lives can go through changes or shifts, or we can experience a reorientation of some sort. In the 2 weeks afterwards, known as the ‘post-shadow’ period, we move forward with some sort of new awareness and adjustment.
The things that you have been doing or putting into place in the two to three weeks leading up to this period could determine how and where this energy plays out. It is also possible that there could have been changes put in place at that time which may go through a sorting out process during this time. Perhaps in that period there could have been unknown variables, both positive and negative, that were either unseen or hadn’t been conceived yet, which may become apparent over the coming weeks.
The sign(s) and element(s) in which Mercury retrograde travels shows the energy we are re-orienting ourselves with. Also, to go with that, if you are more familiar with your natal astrology chart, your house(s) or any planetary placements being affected will show more specifically what areas of life you will be experiencing its energy in. For the astrologically literate, it began near 17 degrees of Aries and will retrograde all the way to 4 degrees of the same sign, before turning forward again.
This One Is Occurring In Aries, Part of A Series In Fire Signs
Mercury retrograde always occurs in one element for more than a year. The last Mercury retrograde in December was the first of this series to be completely in Fire signs, with previous ones being partially in this element.
Fire is about passion, creativity, instinct, inspiration, assertiveness, courage, confidence, and spirit. This Fire period is about re-aligning ourselves with these themes and expressing them in new or revamped ways. If you are interested in learning more about Mercury retrograde in different elements and how it relates to you, I recommend this recently published book by Gary P. Caton.
Aries is the most ‘self-oriented’ sign. It is about independence, boldness, and leadership. Ruled by Mars, it is all about action as it is a ‘moving’ energy. Aries is competitive, initiating, and pioneering. Negatively, Aries is associated with anger, aggression, impatience, and inconsideration.
As mentioned, retrogrades are partially about going back and revisiting or readjusting things, which may be connected to both the positive and the negative qualities of Aries. However, ultimately the end result should help us to embody more of the positive energies of this sign.
Mercury Square Saturn In Capricorn
Like the previous Mercury Retrograde period, it will be interacting with Saturn. However, during this run, this interaction will be more significant because Saturn is almost retrograde and Mercury squared it during the pre-shadow period and will return to it during the post-shadow period.
Saturn has been in its home sign of Capricorn since late December and will be there for over two years. Generally speaking, this is a period of putting in the work and discipline towards our long term goals. Being cautious and conservative may also be a theme. It is about taking a serious look at the structures in our lives and shifting what doesn’t serve us. It can also be a period of redefining ambitions and career plans for some people depending on one’s personal chart.
With Mercury Retrograde in Aries interacting with this, it’s a period to consider how our passions, inspirations, independence, drive, and even qualities of leadership need to be applied to our goals and structures. Challenges and blocks may come up during these coming weeks that we will need to pay attention to as they will help to better align us with how we need to apply ourselves to fulfill the Aries/Fire themes in a more structured way.
Saturn will be beginning its retrograde on April 17th/18th, less than 3 days after Mercury’s retrograde ends, and will last until September 6th. Part of what is playing out over the next month will lead in to and contribute to what Saturn’s retrograde means for us. As we get closer to mid-late April, there may be some changes or a shift in perspective around Saturn themes of responsibilities, goals, ambitions, discipline, structures, and perhaps career. Once Saturn’s retrograde period ends in late Summer, another shift will take place with a forward momentum based on what has transpired.
Mars In The Mix With Mercury And Saturn
This Moon cycle began with Mars in a square with Chiron aligned with the New Moon In Pisces. As mentioned in my last article, it can be about dealing with Mars related wounds. It is the ruler of Aries, so therefore it amplifies the overlapping themes and energies of both this sign and planet as well as other areas specific to Mars. This can include anything to do with anger, aggression, the way we assert ourselves, or perhaps wounds somehow connected to desires or sex.
Mars will align with Saturn during this retrograde period which will also be triggered by and directly connected to what Mercury is facilitating for us. For some people this can be a period of needing to get realistic about any Mars related wounds mentioned above.
It can be a time where we are shown that we need to take a more cautious, disciplined, or calculated approach to how we assert ourselves. This can trigger conflicts and obstacles and it is possible that it could even bring some endings. This energy could become noticeable starting from March 30th when the Moon triggers it and will play out throughout the first week of April when the exact conjunction and square with Mercury takes place.
Jupiter In Scorpio Sextile Pluto
During the final week of the retrograde, and in the week following, Jupiter which is now retrograde will be in another sextile to Pluto. This also occurred in January and it is possible that what occurs at this time may be connected to what transpired in that period.
Similarly to Mercury retrograde, this can also help to facilitate transformational energy and perhaps an inward shift. It can also help reveal things to us that were hidden, or help to facilitate some sort of deep understanding. In some cases, this aspect may also bring about developments arounds finances. It may have an empowerment theme which can be a nice way to finish off Mercury’s retrograde.
Mercury Retrograde Timeline
*Below, are some of the dates and information for some of the major astrological configurations during this retrograde. However, I also regularly post about other astro energies happening on my social media via Instagram and Facebook, you can follow on those platforms for more forecast content.
Earlier dates are for those in Western part of the world and later dates for those in the East.
Mar 22/23 – Mercury begins retrograde at 12:19am Universal Time
Mar 23-25 – Venus Square Pluto, Sun Square Mars. This period can be intense but may also stimulate passion. Conflicts, tension, competitiveness and anger may be triggered through you or around you through others. Perhaps secrets or hidden matters may be revealed in relationships or financial matter, or obsessive or possessive energy around love, sex, money, or values.
Mar 28/29 – Venus conjunct Uranus. Anything to do with with relationships, love, or money may face surprises, changes, shifts, or perhaps even losses or separations. In some cases this energy may even be connected to making aesthetic changes in some area of your life.
Mar 29/30 – Sun square Saturn. Challenges, obstacles, or the need to get real or disciplined may play out at this time. Issues around responsibilities may come up.
Mar 30-Apr 1 – Full Moon In Libra. I will be writing an article about this which will published closer to the Full Moon. Join my mailing list here to make sure that you get it.
Apr 1/2 – Mercury conjunct Sun. This is the halfway point of the retrograde and can be a time of increased realizations, clarity, or understandings around some of the areas being affected in your life at this time. For some people, this can also be a time in which the Mercury Retrograde complications may be heightened as well.
Apr 1 – 5 – Mars/Saturn conjunction, Mercury triggering it. Details written above in the article. Check ‘Mars In The Mix With Mercury And Saturn’.
Apr 6/7 – Venus trine Saturn. Commitments, responsibilities, or maturity around relationships, money, aesthetics, or values may be highlighted at this time in a positive, productive, stabilizing, or strengthening way.
Apr 8 – 20 – Jupiter sextile Pluto. Details written above in article.
Apr 10/11 – Sun square Pluto, Venus trine Mars. This may be a passionate time in general, perhaps in relationships or otherwise. Potentially some financial developments for some people. We may feel extra assertive in going after what we want, but this energy may also trigger obsessive, possessive, and intense vibes. Combined with the Jupiter-Pluto energy mentioned above, hidden things may be revealed to us.
Apr 15 – Mercury retrograde finishes with Saturn stationary. New Moon is 16 hours later. At this time and over the following weeks, the areas of our lives that have been affected by this retrograde will start to become more clear and things will fall into place more easily. There will be a New Moon shortly afterwards which helps us with fresh starts as a result of what has transpired. As mentioned in the article, Saturn will also be going retrograde less than 3 days afterwards and so this may also be a period of reflecting or a shift around commitments, responsibilities, disciplines, career, long term goals, or certain structures in our lives.
About The Author
Carmen Di Luccio: I am a professional astrologer and available for personal readings. I’ve been passionately studying astrology for almost a decade and I love it! It is a great tool for me to help guide others on their journey towards self-actualization and personal growth. I am also a public speaker and I do workshops in the Toronto area. Other interests of mine include superfoods, crystals, and love to explore different spiritual modalities. My website is CarmenDiLuccio.com