Mercury retrograde in Virgo Leo – Turn your mind inwards towards your Light

Agent Ei – Andrew Smith

THE MERCURY CYCLE , read here for the generic meaning of each Mercury retrograde loop.

Mercury Retrograde a 13th – Sep 2nd
Mercury turns retro at 11° and moves back to 28° Leo

Entire period – 30th July to the 12th September

Reflective and inward until the 26th August

Proactive and outward until the 8th October

Extra care when signing – 4th August to the 20th August and the 31st August to the 9th September.

Seeding of new idea – 26th August

The Emotional Meaning of Mercury Retrograde – “Turn your mind inwards towards your Light”

In psycho-spiritual terms it refers to a time when your spiritual mind is detached from all mental things and waits in silent faith for its own Light to be replenished by the Light. During this sort of communication, your soul seems to become one with the Source and in turn your Mind becoming more and more itself. As your Mind ‘feels’ more internalised and less eager to engage in frenetic busyness, this time has become synonymous with a more reflective mental time. In the same way that it makes sense to take a reflective break every couple of hours so your mind and concentration can remain sharp, after all it is impossible to mentally keep going without an occasional pause, the Mercurial Retrograde Period is a time within our collective thought process wherein our minds are naturally slowed, internalised and therefore more reflective and imaginative. 

Yet a Mercurial Retrograde time is not about spending the entire time daydreaming and meditating either! There are two differing processes at work during this cycle, all hinging around the alignment, or conjunction, of Mercury with the Sun (marking a time when a replenishment of your mind takes place). In the weeks leading up to this fertilization, your mind is increasingly reflective and in release mode, as you prepare to let go any ideals that no longer serve you, or as you start to more actively review the quality of, and relationship to that part of, your consciousness related to the sign that Mercury will retrograde within. As Mercury turns Retrograde, this process intensifies, or at very least becomes a more pressing theme. As Mercury moves in the Vault of Light and is swallowed up by the Light of the Sun, a week or so before this conjunction, your mind is literally washed of all past themes associated with the sign of the union. This is an ideal time for release work and also for starting to envision the ideal that you want to plant as Sol and Mercurius unite.

The time after this union starts a two month phase of mental proactivity as that ideal you have set yourself gradually grows in your life, leading to its blossoming as Mercury and the Sun reunite, but this time in a more proactive and yang manner during what is called a Superior Conjunction. This second alignment is not very commonly written about within astrology, yet it is a time when the implications of the ideal planted during the Sol-Mercury union during the Retrograde, is realised.

For a period of about a week after the Union, Mercury is still moving across the face of the Sun and is therefore largely unconscious. Yet a feeling of dynamism has started to infiltrate your consciousness, as you can ‘sense’ a shift in awareness and perception. However, seeing concrete manifestations of this new ideal is not likely, as you are refining the ideal and preparing to launch it. As Mercury stations and moves Direct, this is the time to go for it and having embodied the new thought, to start to live it, demonstrating it and being it! When Mercury reaches as far above the Sun as he possibly can, around the Maximum elongation stage of the cycle, that is when you can clearly see how well the processing, refining, healing and releasing that you did during the retrograde time has been for you!

Finally, not all retrograde cycles are going to resonate with you and you may not take note of them unless you happen to be born with ‘planets’ within the range of Mercury’s loll. Only then will you feel it more keenly, though it is likely if you are born during Mercury a retrograde stage or Mercury is retrograde by progression, you may also feel this particular type of retrograde more acutely. To understand its impact on your life, you can book a session with an astrologer who will guide you on a personal journey of your personal retrogradations!

Mercury Retrograde period simplified

Figure 4

The August – September Mercurial Process

Mercury is technically retrograde from the 13th August until the 5th September. However, if you are exploring the psycho-spiritual process related to this celestial phenomenon, there is a lead in and lead out time that extends the Mercurial Retrograde process from the 30th July through to the 12th September. This entire process refers to the time prior to the retrograde wherein Mercury is at its furthest distance from the Sun in the evening skies until the time that it ascends as far away from the Sun as he possibly can climb in the early morning skies.

The Yin stage

As the process begins, Mercury’s slide towards his embrace with the Sun is symbolically seen as a time of increasing reflection – one wherein creative and right brained transformation techniques are heightened (meditation, dream/ image-work, dance, writing, music and other divinatory/ intuitive processes). Since philosophy teaches us that your way of thinking is at the root of all your actions, as Mercury makes its Greatest Elongation in the Western sky on the 30th July, a breathing space in consciousness is created to enable you to reflect (West/ Yin) on the Reality (Mercury in Earth) that currently underlie your internal process. 

By the 4th August, you will feel increasingly reflective as Mercury heads into his Stillness phase. This happens to be the time when astrologers suggest NOT to sign anything (due to the fact that there is virtually no ‘apparent’ motion in the process of trading (Mercury)), yet, in terms of spiritual process, this is a phenomenal time to reflect and meditate, as your consciousness is more likely to be quieter and more receptive to your inner voice. The duration of this Stillness varies from retrograde to retrograde, with some cycles having two short stages of Stillness and other cycles the Stillness extends through the entire period.

The peak of the entire retrograde process occurs when Mercury conjoins the Sun, which will take place on the 26th August at 3°F. The celestial fertilisation of the Divine Mind with the Light Source is a time appropriate for the insemination of any thought that you want to fuel your life for the next several months (until the December Retrogradation). This can be done by consciously committing your images and ideas to paper and/or taking the first step in manifesting a project.

The Yang Stage

Mercury’s movement forward, thereby technically ending the Retrograde process, takes place on the 12th September and this proactive climate lasts until the 8th October. This is a “Yang” time now and is all about the dissemination of the ideas that you have planted on the 26th August.

As Mercury’s approaches its greatest elongation in the Eastern morning sky on the 12th September, you are in a strong time frame to delineate a plan of action, make concrete and conclusive decisions, signs papers, advertise, and act upon your germinated thoughts etc. The task during the post-retrograde period, from the 5th September to the 8th October is to “get it out there”.

Extra Slow

Mercury’s movement during this August/ September’s Retrogradation is especially slow, with Mercury not moving faster than 40 minutes of arc a day for more than 9 days. This means that there is an extra emphasis on stillness, silence and reflection and therefore may not be the most ideal time for proactive decision making process, certainly this side of the 26th August. If you can invoke silence as a mystery of the age to come and engage in some deep meditative quietness and stillness so that you can connect more deeply with your Divine, that would be ideal, but not always possible.


Entire period – 30th July to the 12th September

Reflective and inward until the 26th August

Proactive and outward until the 8th October

Extra care when signing – 4th August to the 20th August and the 31st August to the 9th September.

Seeding of new idea – 26th August

Mercury Stations Retrograde in Virgo (Living Earth) opposed to Neptune

(This offering is a meditative reflection on the Stationing of Mercury, a time where there is a powerful PAUSE, setting up the tone for the entire retrograde phase, even if the planet that it connects to at the Station, is not in aspect to Mercury for the full three weeks of the retrogradation. This logic also holds for Mercury’s station Direct at the end of the Retrograde cycle. However, this article concerns Mercury’s pause.)

Is matter as solid as you have been led to believe? If matter is not solid, then why do we cling to the illusion that there is only one path; one career; one soul who is our twin; that having money means that you are free; that having something/ someone solid is all that matters? Many of you reading this have had so many experiences of that illusion, and yet, why does this myth persist?

There are many reasons for that, all of which are beyond the scope of this note, after all you are here to read about the astrology and not to have a philosophical discussion on the nature of that one element that lies at the bottom of the incarnation pyramid – Earth. There are three other elements that we can tangibly relate to, and a fourth that permeates all – Aether, an element that Western Astrology does not utilise on a daily manner. Those other three elements, Water, Air and Fire comprise the other dimensions we experience – imaginal, cognitive and spirit. During the forthcoming Mercury retrograde, your mind is wedded to a more pragmatic reality, as you are being prompted to look inwards towards how you care for your physical reality. Are you truly in touch with your body’s needs, and here I am not just talking about whether you eat well, nutritiously, organically, with a low ‘bad’ fat/ refined sugar/ alcohol diet, though for some it might indeed be about your diet. Do you truly listen to your body’s reactions to your senses?; to your emotions?; your mind?; and your spirit? Do you truly feel the embodiment of your Mind and really ‘get’ the fact that your Mind controls your reality and if you are not in touch with how your Mind operates, then your reality is going to feel somewhat disconnected.

For example, do you truly believe that lOve is the guiding force in life, yet still complain about someone to friends, even if under the pretence of care or analysing the deeper reasons why they may be acting/ not acting in a particular way? Do you know how to eat well, yet consistently live in a state of anxiety or adrenal exhaustion, justifying it on an expensive economy/ the need to put in the hard work at the start of a new venture etc? Do you know what your body says to you about a lover but choose to ignore what your body says through a plethora of justifications and rationalisations?

Well, now is a perfect time to stop; to pause; ad to turn your mind inwards towards your Inner Sun, detaching yourself from all illusory material distractions and to focus on what your body is truly saying to you.

Why? Because Mercury is pausing within the sign of tropical Virgo!! And it is because of the existence of Virgo that the Earth speaks! The Earth is not an inanimate “thing” without a ‘mind’ or life force. It is a living breathing entity, fully conscious and fully cognisant. Its body are the rocks, its tears are the rain, its breath is the wind and its fire is the magna. Derided by those with shrunken pineal glands, locked inside their head, looking only through the eyes of evidence based research, our indigenous cultures understood Mother and listened to her messages in the forms of animal omens and weather pattern changes. Certainly I could take up much more of your time with further stories of nature’s communication, like the story of Anastasia, residing deep within the Cedar forests of the Russian taiga or the work of Masaru Emoto on the intelligence of water, or Clive Backster’s work on plant feelings, but many of you reading this offering already understand the Living Earth. So as Mercury pauses within this earthy dominion, you are offered the opportunity to listen, really listen, to YOUR earth – your body.

However, there is another fact to consider during this Pause, and that is the fact that Earthy Mercury stations in opposition to Watery Neptune, thereby placing a double emphasis on the illusoriness of matter and the ‘reality’ that what arises within our mind’s eye is what determines the perception of our external reality, a fact that has been made all the more clearer by the current American administration’s proclamation that the media is full of fake news, while at the same time indulging itself in its own doublethink! Moving away from the political and social arena, since there are many astrologers who write about that reality, the thesis, in my opinion, of this cycle revolves around the notion that your rational processing is being challenged to become more soulful and creative and you are being encouraged to raise the level of your awareness to matters that are more ideological, broader and spiritual in orientation. There are serious shifts occurring as you are in a place in your life wherein there is now a strong urge to change the way in which you look at life. You are being challenged to raise your awareness up to a higher, more creative level; you are being challenged to shed control and rational analysis from your thought process; you are being challenged to let go and trust; you are being challenged to show up without an agenda.

This process involves the world around you and it is likely that whilst you are making sense to yourself and are fully conscious of the subtle changes that are taking place internally, the world around you, especially those closest to you may indeed not fully understand or want to see those changes, as it means that they will have to change accordingly.

The rub of this cycle is revolves around your extant openness to the realm of the imaginal and your relationship with a creative process. This could, therefore, be thoroughly confusing and disorienting if you do not have a deep relationship with your creative process, let alone the fact that even if you do, there is a tendency towards being less grounded and clear than usual!!

The central challenge of this Retrogradation is one how you deal with confusion, disorientation and deception and how you communicate what is arising within your extrasensory perception. You are being challenged to become aware of your ability to concentrate on being present and how to deal with confusion and clouded judgement. Therefore you could find yourself amidst a plethora of distracting, humbling and frustrating experiences as your try to balance your everyday life with a state of awareness that is more commonly found nestled with the austere environs of an isolated Buddhist monastery on the elevated planes of Tibet.

So, as the Veil thins between the various realms of perception, the time is apt to seek a creative or spiritual solution to ordinary issues. Whether you believe in chakras and eastern ways of looking at consciousness or not, this transit reflects an opening up of the crown chakra and that means that unless you practice some very serious grounding techniques, you may feel as if you a floating away and that you are losing sight of reality as those around you perceive it to be. This can be an incredible time in the development of your right brain – intuition, awareness, creativity – and you do not have to be of a creative mind to fully engage in this process. This is a time wherein you will be less focused on mundane matters and more concerned with your life vision, the development of your spirituality, the desire to live life at a slower pace, to achieve a far greater life balance between the yin and yang sides of life (creative/ familiar and practical/ ambitious).

This is a highly imaginal time and forging constructive time on a daily manner to channel that focus would be ideal as this transit reflects a desire to raise your consciousness beyond the everyday into the sublime. Finding an outlet for this yearning for a ‘natural high’ such as spiritual practice, Martial Arts, yoga, creative writing, dance etc., or escaping unconsciously through the use of medication, alcohol etc. will feel more apt.

As you don all white clothing and shave your hair in preparation for admittance into an Eastern monastery, it would be useful to make a more conscious time to day dream, visualise or meditate. This will allow your mind to relax and broaden its focus, channelling this state of awareness in a more ‘focused’ manner, thereby permitting your everyday mind to focus on the day to day tasks at hand. Whether you immerse yourself in lucid dreaming, depth breathing, a Mindstore program or the Artist’s Way program of get out of your head or that you merely explore the realms of ‘fantasy’, fictional reading or sci fi, it does not really matter. All you need to do is focus your attention on your imaginal realm and allow your consciousness fill with images that arise, not from your ego, but from that willowy, ethereal source, as you turn your mind inwards towards the silence of the inner being and pause in reflective openness to listen to what is being transmitted to you.


In the weeks leading up to the start of this cycle, omens of letting go pervade your consciousness. What dies are old thought forms, no longer necessary for this new cycle of intellectual growth. Sifting through the books you have accumulated over the past year will give you an eye opening account of what your mind has been focus on, what you have digested and become and how you perceive your world. It would be useful to compare what holds your attention now to what held your attention to observe how different your mind is and how much growth has taken place.

This coming Retrogradation is a chance for you to re-ignite your relationship with nature as you are reminded of your connection to this Living World. You are what you eat and drink and what you ingest can sustain and empower you or drain and deplete you. So why not give gratitude to the food that fills your tummy and even bless it by envisioning blue and yellow light transmitting from your hands to the food. Why not savour what you eat, as opposed to blinding eating on the hoof, whilst on your phone or in front of the TV? It is, however, hard to take the time to be still and to really listen, when everything around you is trying to deflect your attention from quietening the noise and amplifying your inner signal. The trick is to be in the world and not of the world. Not an easy task, mind you! All you need to do is listen to the whisper of your body. It is talking to you. It is telling you what you really need. Let it guide you and inform you and ignore what your ‘mind’ says to you about that chocolate bar and extra glass of cheap wine, even though it sounds delightful!

All rights reserved. Andrew Smith, July 2017

THE MERCURY CYCLE , read here for the generic meaning of each Mercury retrograde loop.

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