Mercury Retrograde- Sagittarius

by Agent Ei, Andrew Smith

The Bridge

The November – December Mercurial Process


Mercury is technically retrograde from the 3rd December until the 23rd 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 24th November through to the 1st January. 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 24th November, 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 28th November 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 13th December at 21°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 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 23rd December and this proactive climate lasts until the 17th February. This is a “Yang” time now and is all about the dissemination of the ideas that you have planted on the 21st December.

As Mercury’s approaches its greatest elongation in the Eastern morning sky on the 1st January, 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 23rd December to the 17th February is to “get it out there”.


Entire period – 24th November to the 1st January

Reflective and inward until the 13th December

Proactive and outward until the 17th February

Extra care when signing – 28th November to the 6th December and the 19th December to the 28th December.

Seeding of new idea – 13th December

In general a Stillness period happens just around the time that Mercury turns direction, (commencing when it is moving less than 40′ (minutes of arc) per day).

Mercury Stations Retrograde in Sagittarius (Living Spirit) Conjoined to Saturn

(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.)

It may feel, at times, an inconvenience to pause, take stock and reflect a little more deeply on certain scripts, patterns, themes and happenings in life, when there is so much on, so much information bombarding your mind, so much to look at/ understand/ read/ process/ answer and so little time to do all that needs done. Taking time, you know is good; you know is necessary; you know is intrinsically part nature, but… and there is the but AND resistance, since you have been brainwashed into thinking, imprisoned into believing that to turn inwards means there is a problem and you have issues, straight jacketed into a narrow use of your mental energy by an education system that states you have no right to a ‘real’ opinion until you have at least a PhD. It is no wonder that many, who have turned to astrology for guidance, dread the phrase – Mercury is turning retrograde, since it means, quite simply, that “Mind has turned inwards”.

Inwards is a Yin state, and in a world addicted to being Yang, it is not surprising that this thrice annual loll is considered to be deeply misunderstood in terms of its true meaning and opportunity. Yet myths are hard to bust and even within the astrology community, this valuable inner space has been reduced to soundbites about ‘stuff going wrong’, ‘contracts not to be signed’, woolly thinking and decision making, when in actual fact this time truly represents a time wherein the mental component of our collective consciousness is preparing to let go mental scripts and patterns that are no longer necessary; to review the mental health of a particular dimension of consciousness; and to lay the foundation for a more conscious expression of a particular aspect of consciousness. 

That is all.

However, you are indeed entitled to continue to believe in fear, doom and gloom and that the cosmos was constructed to provide us with deeply frustrating experiences of losing our keys, our digital data, our phones and whatever else we use to write, communicate and sign. For me, I see this time as particularly valuable. Imagine what music would sound like without any pauses or spaces between phrases? Imagine what a novel would read like, without any punctuation marks or spacesbetweenwordstoallowyoutoreadandabsorbwhatisbeingwritten???? And so pauses in nature are necessary, just as loops in time offering you a chance to review, with a maturing vision, patterning from a differing angle.

Mercury retrogrades three times a year, in the same way that all planets from a geo-centric perspective retrograde for a good part of the year, bar Mars and Venus, who have their own relationship with pausing. Since Mercury symbolises our mental function, it’s ‘apparent’ change in direction to track back over space already traversed, reflects a time wherein you can review how a particular style of thinking and specific scripts within your mind are operating. This coming December, 2017, Mercury spends a longer time than usual in the tropical sign of Sagittarius, a sign that reflects the ability you have to share your Light, and at the time of its station it aligns with Saturn, that much maligned archetype that merely acts as a bouncer to keep you dancing with the right folk!

This coming retrograde is all about the manner in which you openly share the beliefs of what you truly believe. Do you seek to impose your beliefs, having supped from the ambrosia of the gOds and have concluded that what you have gleamed is Truth and therefore needs to be evangelised? Does consistency exist within what you share – in other words to you walk what you claim is your Truth? Are your thoughts really your thoughts, or are they merely facsimiles of someone else’s opinions, mildly adapted to your own agenda but ultimately are still tied to the strings of the puppeteer? Do you spend a lot of time criticising and complaining, even though you claim to be a conscious, positive person, empowering others in an appropriate way? Do you truly understand the power of the words that you use and the authority that comes through the tone of your voice/ writing and its underlying intention?

There are of course more questions to ponder during this profound Retrogradation but many of which are specific to you and your unique cosmic DNA code, which no ‘general’ article can account for, but what I can ask you to do is to focus on the quality of your consciousness, your intention and your spirit when you share your Light with your world and the scripts and patterns you have that get impacted by someone else’s Light? Why? Because the zodiacal archetype of Sagittarius concerns the two way interchange of Light between you and your world and it is through this sign of the zodiac that Mercury is retrograding. Taking some time to literally reflect inwards on the way in which you share your Light and the way in which you are impacted by the Light of others is what you are being ‘called’ to do. Is your Light bright and luminous; does it pretend to be Light, but is really a shining through a filter; or has your Light been darkened by fear, greed, envy, anger or any other less luminous emotions and scripts? That is a bigger question to hold a space for over the next three weeks.

Furthermore, Mercury conjoins, or is in union with, Saturn during this transit, thereby adding two additional questions to this poignant sojourn – what primal thought-form lies at beneath all your surface thoughts, guiding and impelling your perception towards a particular way of expression, and is that thought-generator yours or someone else’s? If lOve is what you believe in, does that guide each and every action or thought you have, or does that merely get transmitted when you ‘remember’ to speak/ think lOve? If lOve is your guiding light, do you think kindly about yourself and treat yourself with respect, kindness and honour, or do you chastise and critique yourself on a constant basis? If lOve is your inner compass, do you channel that through everything you do, EVERYTHING, or only those activities that you love? If lOve is your medicine, do you treat everyone, including those who have not treated you with kindness and lOve, with lOve? It is hard to maintain a consistency with whatever inner guiding thought-form you have, but oft-times when there exists a disconnect between your inner voice and your outer behaviour, it is to do with someone else’s thought form dictating your mind, that you have taken on board and made your own. This three week retrograde, therefore, offers a great chance to face down this inner enemy, seeing it for what it is and what it has done for you, and the chance to thank the form for what you have learnt from it, but gently replacing it with a thought-form that is of your own conscious choosing.

In the week leading up to the start of this cycle, omens of letting go of outworn, repetitious ideals and thoughts pervade your consciousness, thought-forms that have colonised your relationships, your work, your sense of well-being and your self-esteem. That also means that some attitudes you have held within relationships are likely to be released, along with them some people from your life. If that happens, know that what departs are those that are no longer necessary for this new cycle. Remember that what you establish in your mind, will guide and structure your perception over the coming year, so please take the time to reflect on what you want as your inner Pole Star.

1 reply
  1. Avatar
    Tania says:

    I can’t thank you enough for these words… I was feeling my light being darkened. You have confirmed so many things and have reminded me. Thank you and much love and light to you.


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