In 2008, we experienced Mercury retrograding in the Air signs of Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra. In 2009, the retrogrades will occur from Air to Earth signs. Here’s a heads up on the dates.


  • 11 January to 31 January, 8+° Aquarius to 22+° Capricorn
  • 6 May to 30 May, 1+° Gemini to 23+° Taurus
  • 6 September to 29 September, 6+° Libra to 22+° Virgo

The 2010 Earth series begins on 26 December 2009 in Capricorn.

Mercury is usually considered to be in its element in the Air, which is associated with ideas and the intellect, with curiosity and inquisitiveness. In general, Air signs (Aquarius, Gemini, Libra) are not usually considered to have much in common with Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn), who tend to favour stability, tradition, and circumspection. Air signs are fast moving (the sky’s the limit), Earth signs are slow (and steady, sometimes winning the race); Air signs prefer to soar, Earth signs prefer to sink down roots; Air signs can talk your ear off; Earth signs can listen without reacting. And so on. Yet, remember that Mercury is also the ruler of Virgo, the sign of meticulousness, organisation and daily routines.

The movement from the Air back through the Earth signs is likely to signal a need to address issues not just on an intellectual (Air) level but also on a practical (Earth) one. It is true that a torrent of air can whip a frenzy around a mountain or in a desert, but a mountain is worn down only after a very long time, and desert dunes merely shift with the wind currents. Earth may not have the kineticism to act against Air, but it can dig its heels in for longer than Air can care to hang around. As with all the elemental relationships, however, none of this is necessarily negative.

It must be remembered that in nature, where Air and Earth meet, is at the horizon, where we should set our sights.

Image: Sunrise at Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock). Source: Wikimedia Commons.