Mercury Retrograde from Sagittarius to Scorpio- 17 Nov – Dec 6th 2018

by Andrew Smith


Retrograde – Nov 16 – -Dec 6 – 13° Sagittarius -27° Scorpio

The November – December Mercurial Process

Mercury is technically retrograde from the 17th November until the 6th December. 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 6th November through to the 15th December. 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 6th November, a breathing space in consciousness is created to enable you to reflect (West/ Yin) on the quality of your open spirit (Mercury in Fire) that currently underlie your internal process. 

You will feel increasingly reflective as Mercury heads into his Stillness phase on the 11th November. 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.

As Mercury disappears into the beams of the Sun on the 22nd November, this is when the height of the alchemical process of your mind gathers strength. During this time Mercury can move quite quickly and it appears as if ‘he’ is rushing into the embrace of the Sun, consequently moving from being an ‘evening’ star, or maturing mind, to becoming a youthfully replenished, or ‘morning’ star, mind. Any old thought forms, related to the sign of the zodiac that Mercury is moving through, can be offered up and released during the pre Mercury-Sun conjunction. 

The peak of the entire retrograde process occurs when Mercury conjoins the Sun, which will take place on the 27th November at 5°03’I Sagittarius). 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 March 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

From the moment that Mercury conjoins the Sun during this retrograde cycle, Mercury moves from a Yin, or reflective, process to a Yang, or proactive, process. Whilst Mercury climbs out from the beams of the Sun into the fresh nascent light of the early dawn skies, the seed that is planted is gestating and readying itself to sprout its first shoots. This dynamic, yet invisible process takes place until the 3rd December. It is still a reflective time, but there is a feeling of urgency and anticipation as the idea planted is gathering an identity.

Ironically, as Mercury becomes visible as the Morning Star, rising just ahead of the Sun at dawn, its speed stalls as it prepares to turn direction, moving from its backwards loll into a forward march. It is as if your mind is getting the last minute preparations done before it ‘gets on with it’! During August, Mercury moves Direct on the 6th December and gathers speed after the 11th December, when the tentative first steps, actively experimenting with the new ideals wane and a more confident articulation of the seed that you planted on the 27th November is in full throttle. Mercury’s movement forward, thereby technically ending the Retrograde process, takes place on the 6th December and this proactive climate lasts until the 30th January, when the Sun and Mercury once again align, marking the start of a new Yin cycle. However, Mercury’s direct motion heralds a Yang-Yang time now and concerns the dissemination of the ideas that you have planted on the 27th November.

As Mercury’s approaches its greatest elongation in the Eastern morning sky on the 15th December, 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 6th December to the 30th January is to “get it out there”.


Entire period – 6th November to the 15th December

Reflective and inward until the 27th November

Retrograde – Nov 16 – -Dec 6 – 13° Sagittarius -27° Scorpio

Proactive and outward until the 30st January

Extra care when signing from 11th November to the 22nd November, and then again from 3rd to the 11th December.

Seeding of new idea – 27th November

Mercury Stations Retrograde in Sagittarius (Mutable Fire) squaring 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.)

What is it that you are sharing with those in your life? In other words, do you treat those in your life with kindness, if that is what you believe in? Do you speak with transparency in all your interactions, if honesty is what you hold dear? Do you speak from a place of openness, trust and positivity, if those values are what you live by? Or do you filter, distort or obfuscate what it is you hear in accord with a deeper, less conscious script that still lingers within you, even when you are receiving honesty, transparency and positivity from those in your world?

It is indeed hard to navigate the world at the moment, when there is ample commentary concerning what is true and what is fantasy. Propaganda has always existed though, in the worlds of those whose egos are invested in power, winning at all costs or getting ahead at the expense of others (even if rationalised by those in pursuit of economic freedom). Similarly the issue of non-disclosure, even to the point of withholding from those closest to you, is not uncommon, and could be argued has its place in the lives of those who are engaged in activities unsafe, so as to protect those they love.

But does this truly have a place in your world? Is this the way that you want to live? Are you comfortable not telling your right hand what your left is doing?

“But I don’t live like that Andrew” I hear you say, after all I too would probably react in that way. Great, good for you! But let me ask you, at all levels of your experience of your life, do you live without hiding, withholding or embellishing your truth? Do you live a simple life that is consistent with a belief system that you have consciously developed for yourself, independent of teachers, external inspiration or any level of conditioning? Do you interpret what you receive from your overriding belief or do you live paradoxically, sharing from one place but receiving from another?

It would appear that living openly, transparently and in close alignment with how you ‘see’ the world is rare in a world obsessed with how things should ‘look’ as opposed to how things are. It is something that CAN change. And that change arises from within you. You have the ability to infuse your passion, your vision, your Light into your world, as much as you also have the ability to absorb the passion, vision and Light from others within your world. The quality of that Light, passion and Vision is something that is filtered by the level of your consciousness and the beliefs that you hold about life and your life. And it is that very issue that is up for conscious review over the last Mercurial Retrogradation of 2018, as your/ our Mind spends time actively reviewing the way in which you share and receive Light.

Working through issues of intellectual dissonance and transparency, clearing your mind so that your decisions can be made in alignment with your vision (as opposed to a pragmatic justification or rationalisation) and speaking truthfully and honestly in accord with what you truly belief are likely to be common themes uppermost in our collective consciousness throughout this ‘review’ place. It might, therefore, be useful to ask yourself the questions at the top of this polemic – what is it that you are truly sharing with the world and what are you absorbing from the information you are receiving?

All our spiritual traditions speak of living authentically and that life can be very simple if you do onto others what you would have them do onto you – in short, if you believe in kindness, do you live kindness, seeking it in others, speaking it, feeling it and embodying it? If you believe in honesty, do you live honestly, seeking it in other, speaking it, feeling it and embodying it? If you believe… you get the picture!

It would be interesting to reflect on what cynical thoughts you may have had reading that sentiment, as I could write so many justifications to qualify that very stripped down belief. But sadly if rationalisations exist then there are layers of processing that will need to be worked through to enable you to give and receive from those simple dictums. Please, lest my words are misunderstood, this is not an attempt to perpetuate a dualistic philosophy or indeed to encourage fear or doubt. Life is indeed multifaceted and mulitlayered. Within you exists many different consciousnesses, each replete with differing scripts and patterns, each with its own perception of your reality, all combining to incline you towards certain actions, responses and interactions within that ‘reality’.

However, during the month of November, the focus is on the quality of your mind and how it articulates your inner vision and what, in turn, you receive from your world, and whether that truly reflects the core beliefs that you carry. Conversely, it will be an enriching time to ‘see’ what beliefs those in your world share and receive in turn!

Thanks for your time reading my take on the station of Mutable Fire Mercury in square to Mutable Water Neptune. My sincerest best to you during this time of deep mental reflection and may it serve you well.

All rights reserved – and Andrew Smith.
Written at 23:55 GMT, 19th November 2016.

Location:  Dublin, Rep. Ireland

Email:  dastroc @
Website: www.andrewsmith.ei

Contact Andrew for Client centred astrological consultations, focusing on a humanistic/ transpersonal approach; Locational Astrology