The fourth and final Mercury retrograde 2016 cycle starts on 19 December 2016 at 15° Capricorn and ends on 8 January 2017 at 28° Sagittarius.
Mercury retrograde December 2016 to January 2017 is as intense as it gets with a close alignment to Pluto. The power and control struggles expected from this combination are further intensified by the egocentric fixed star Vega.
While this Christmas Mercury retrograde 2016 may be ideal for deep research and uncovering secrets, you will need to be on guard against all manner of devious plots, lies and back stabbing. For those interested in astrology or psychology, this should be a time of deep self-analysis and discovery.
Before I go into more detail about Mercury retrograde December 2016, I will talk about what it means to have Mercury retrograde in your natal chart then the general meaning of Mercury retrograde in transit.
Mercury Retrograde Meaning
Natal Mercury retrograde means there was a problem with how you thought and communicated in a previous life. Perhaps you gave someone bad advise that had critical repercussions, or were prone to making costly mistakes. Maybe you wrote slanderous material about someone in a book or newspaper, or verbally teased and abused people.
Whatever the circumstances of the previous significant incarnation, you come into this life with those bad memories etched in your soul. You probably don’t recognize them as memories but as déjà vu or unexplained guilt. Especially when young, there can be a repeating theme of challenging events related to your past.
The aim of Mercury retrograde in your birth chart is for you to perfect those areas of thought and communication which once let you down. As your communication skills improve with experience, your karmic debt will be reduced and you can get off the roundabout.
Mercury retrograde in your natal chart can show as learning difficulties, especially with reading, writing and comprehension. You may be a shy, quite person whose thoughts have turned inward. Hesitant to speak up for yourself, you may miss out on many opportunities in life. This difficulty in expressing yourself can make you feel awkward in company and lead to low self-esteem. You may experience teasing or verbal abuse, be nagged and criticized, or fall victim to slander and lies. Contracts may also cause problems and like so many things, lead to complications further down the track.
Mercury retrograde only last for about three weeks so Mercury is going to turn direct at some stage in your progressed chart (where one day equals one year). After a couple of years you will notice that your communication style improves and you can express yourself more freely. However, the opposite can also occur and someone with Mercury direct in their natal chart may experience progressed Mercury retrograde later in life. I experienced this from age 13 to 37 and it was very profound. I even stopped reading books.
If you have Mercury retrograde in your natal or progressed chart then you can expect to make more rapid progress during transits of Mercury retrograde.
Transiting Mercury retrograde is a regular cycle occurring three or four times a year for about 24 days. While this is more frequent than any other planet, Mercury is still only retrograde 19% of the time. This is far less than Jupiter outwards, but more than Venus and Mars.
The Mercury retrograde phase is just one part of the Mercury retrograde cycle. The whole cycle includes Mercury going direct, retrograde, and direct again over the same degrees, or the retrograde zone. The two direct phases are called the shadow periods.
Mercury retrograde is associated with communication and technology breakdowns, nervous anxiety, travel delays and lost items. There is a feel of a difficult Mercury-Saturn aspect about Mercury retrograde, so you can also expect to dwell on things, reminisce about the past, or unexpectedly meet up with people from your past. While the Mercury retrograde period may be good for flicking through old photo albums, it is generally considered more of a nuisance than a benefit.
Mercury retrograde can play havoc with your thoughts, communications, travels and electronics. Take extra care with your words and try not to react too quickly in any arguments or when provoked. Take some time out if you start to feel overwhelmed by the hectic pace, and double-check all of your emails and posts on Facebook before hitting the send button.
Business negotiations will be in a state of flux during Mercury retrograde, so this is not a good time to be signing contracts. Some important details are not yet available, and other parties may not be reliable or honest. If going on a road trip then make sure you get your car serviced before hand.
Mercury Retrograde December 2016
December 1, 2016, Mercury enters shadow zone at 28°50′ Sagittarius.
From now until when Mercury stations retrograde is called the first shadow period. During this phase you will get an idea of the thinking, communication or transport issues that may be of concern during the retrograde phase.
December 19, 2016, Mercury stations retrograde at 15°07′ Capricorn.
The alignment of Mercury and Pluto with the egocentric fixed star Vega will bring a very intense three-week period. Communication will be used to force views onto others, to deceive and control. Power struggles will bring bitter arguments, threat and even violence.
Mercury conjunct Pluto adds depth and intensity to your thinking and communications. This is a good time to get to the bottom of troubling issues. You can uncover secrets through study and research, or through probing and questioning others. You can more easily gain a thorough understanding of mysteries and occult subjects like astrology.
Psychological self-analysis is favored during Mercury retrograde 2016. This would be an excellent time to visit a counselor or to gain greater understanding of the relationships dynamics of a partnership you are involved in. On the other hand, you can also use your mental powers to deceive others. You have great power of persuasion and can influence other people. You can share spiritual truths just as easily as spreading propaganda.
You will tend to be more interested in serious subject matter, and may become involved in the darker side of life through criminality or addiction. Power struggles are possible at the intellectual level, and this could involve thought projection and other non verbal ways of psyching people out.
Nervous conditions are possible due to the intensity of your mind and the serious nature of the topics you may unearth. It is also possible that other people will find you too overbearing or interfering, as if you are staring into their soul. Your power to influence can make others feel threatened. Relaxing will be important if you do find the intensity too much.
It is possible to make profound discoveries during this Mercury retrograde. You may discover something very revealing about yourself, from deep within your soul. This may include spiritual links with ancestors and could lead to a spiritual transformation or sensation of transcending the physical limitations of your body.
Fixed star Vega at 15°32′ Capricorn aligns with both Mercury retrograde 2016 and Pluto. While this brightest star in the northern hemisphere brings kindness, hope and idealism, it can also make you too serious, moody, pretentious, lustful and decadent. Vega is a star of the ego. It creates fulfillment though the ego and can be considered as masculine pride brought forward from a former life into this incarnation.
Mercury with Vega brings suspicion, reserve, bitterness and thwarted ambitions. There may be double-dealing, secret enemies in influential positions, trouble with the mother, and loss in business.
Pluto with Vega should intensity power and control struggles leading to threats and ultimatums. More lies and propaganda than truth, dictators, mercenaries, takeovers, media blackouts, assassinations and shows of force.
January 8, 2017, Mercury stations direct at 28°50′ Sagittarius.
This second shadow period lasts until Mercury leaves the retrograde zone on January 27. Areas of life that were a major focus during the Mercury retrograde phase can now be worked on. The only aspect to Mercury is a weak conjunction to serious Saturn. The intensity of the Mercury retrograde period continues with a very tight alignment to an intense fixed star in the Sting of the Scorpion.
Fixed star Acumen at 28°58′ Sagittarius is associated with poor eyesight and brings worry and nervousness. This star gives a tendency towards a morbid outlook, seeing the worst rather than the best in everything. It is also associated with religious extremism and intolerance. Mercury here close to Saturn will emphasize this negative thinking. However, the word Acumen does mean a sharp mind. Although the eyesight may be adversely affected, you can perceive things that eyesight cannot.
Mercury conjunct Saturn brings critical thinking which needs to be applied to serious or challenging mental work. Without a productive outlook for your intellect, your mind may dwell on negatives and you would find it difficult to get out of such a rut. Such negative thinking can lead to depression and difficulties communication. Harsh or critical words can then lead to relationships problems such as coldness, isolation or rejection.
The key to dealing with the heaviness of this transit is positive thinking and applying your brain to important tasks or even routine duties. Keeping yourself busy will counteract the tendency toward melancholy and meanness.
This is a good time for things requiring sustained concentration, patience and sound judgement. Business dealings and paperwork are favored. A common sense approach, attention to detail and long-term outlook make this an ideal time for setting long-term plans. Serious discussions about the hardships in life can lead to useful outcomes. For example, speaking out about the underprivileged or abused in society.
You may act as a mentor or be sought out for advice, especially by younger people. There is the potential for getting into arguments, especially with authority figures. This can be avoided by earning and showing respect for tradition and ancestors.
January 27, 2017, Mercury leaves the shadow zone at 15°07′ Capricorn to complete the final cycle of Mercury retrograde 2016.
Mercury Retrograde 2016 2017 Dates
30 August to 22 September 2016 – 14 to 29 Virgo
19 December 2016 to 8 January 2017 – 28 Sagittarius to 15 Capricorn
6 April 2017 to 3 May 2017 – 24 Aries to 4 Taurus
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