September's Mercury Retrograde
Repeating transits, Marshall McLuhan's astrological disposition towards transubstantiation, and Timotheé gets a free astrology reading
Mercury’s retrograde. It started in Libra at 8º on Saturday, September 10 and ends in Virgo three weeks later on October 11 at 24º.
You’re probably already familiar with the frequency of Mercury retrograde. It happens three or four times per year. If you’re looking for the astrological interpretation of Mercury retrograde, I wrote about it with Annabel Gat here.
Mercury carries, merges, translates, mediates, and delivers…
Mercury makes no moral judgement. It’s data. It rules Gemini and Virgo, two sun signs with a witty (and notoriously blunt or dry) sense of humor. This is probably because of Mercury and the sun’s relationship to observation and interpretation.
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Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. I get the sense that the sun (sol) represents (or literally is…. sorry) the soul.
Mercury is the sun’s chariot, delivering messages from sun to earth. Mercury is the vessel of the message. It’s the medium, not the message.
I have to digress…
Marshall McLuhan’s Mercury in Leo, ruled by the sun, was very “the medium is the message”.
Of course “The medium is the message,” was spoken by a philosopher who had sun in Cancer, Venus in Virgo, and Mercury in Leo. Mercury in Leo is a “final dispositor” of the chart— many roads lead there.
If his moon is in Gemini and not Taurus, it would really emphasize this placement even more than it already is. I’m not really that desperate for his birth time, although the moon is in Gemini in the noon chart.
Mercury is the voice or medium. The sun/moon (the light) is what’s communicated. “The medium is the message” is a very soulful, eucharistic way of looking at it, though.
Before pulling up his chart I guessed that the sun and Mercury were conjunct, but Mercury is in the sun’s sign, Leo, so I was close enough to feel a little validation.
Mercury is retrograding from 8° Libra to 24° Virgo.
If you have any planets from 24-8° in mutable-cardinal signs, this quarterly Mercury retrograde activates your chart. It’s also important to pay attention to Mercury retrogrades if you are in a Gemini or Virgo profection year.
If you don’t know about any of that— I offer chart drawings & write-ups as a pdf. You can order them here. You could also find out this information for free on websites like Astro-Seek or Astrodienst, if you have the interest and time.
Let’s use a public figure’s chart as an example.
Mercury stations retrograde in Libra, his 2nd house. It will square his sun at 5º Capricorn (he’s in a Capricorn year) on September 18 and October 15. Mercury will also square his Jupiter at 28º Sagittarius on August 25, September 25, and October 10. It will oppose his moon at 27º Pisces on August 24, September 26, and October 9.
These aspects will repeat themselves, is all I’m trying to illustrate. I know he’s in the news for wearing an outfit, but I really can’t be asked to go any further than incidentally skimming posts when it comes to tabloids.
The days of the Mercury stations are noticeable. Those dates are September 10 for the Mercury retrograde station and October 1 for Mercury’s direct station (the end of Mercury’s retrograde), depending on your location.
Because Mercury is lingering over the same 14° of sky for a prolonged period of time, there are aspects that are more pronounced. This is observable as transits to a birth chart, as illustrated above with Timotheé’s chart, which will manifest as recurring or trifold events. It also is observable as mundane transits out in the world, since there are recurring and trifold transits that happen during the course of this period.
Since these aspects repeat, I will be writing very similar horoscopes for more than half of the zodiac (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces, Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), from August 21, the beginning of Mercury’s pre-retrograde shadow phase, to October 17, the end of Mercury’s post-retrograde shadow phase!
This retrograde period, Mercury will face off with Jupiter and trine Pluto multiple times as it retraces its path.
What these repeat transits mean on a personal level depends on what’s going on in your life. What they mean on a larger scale can be speculated. Astrological transits always look different out in the world than they do on a life.
If you want to really annoy the person who uses Mercury retrograde as a catch-all excuse, you could always tell them that between Mercury’s pre-retrograde shadow, retrograde, and post-retrograde shadow there’s about 1 month of each year total that’s not tainted by the hype of Mercury retrograde.
Here’s a timeline for all exact aspects and ingresses that Mercury will make during its pre- and post-retrograde shadow phases, as well as my in-depth interpretations of what it all means.
Mercury retrograde timeline
Mercury pre-retrograde shadow phase begins, 24º Virgo.
The pre-retrograde shadow is when the Mercury retrograde story begins to form. What is being discussed, what is being written down? What’s being sold? These things are all up for exchange and digestion for the upcoming weeks.