Mercury in the signs

At the moment, there are a lot of planets in Aries, including Mercury. Aries is the sign of pioneering ambition and passionate adventure; Mercury in Aries may be expressed as:

  • Communicates assertively, forcefully, directly, confidently
  • Restless urge for action underlies energetic way of speaking and creative use of skills
  • Confrontation and forceful release of energy are necessary in order to learn; capacity to intuitively grasp essentials
  • Reasoning ability is colored by a self-willed release of energy toward new experience; daring new thoughts are therefore often preferred
  • Establishing true give-and-take with others can be hindered by insensitive and inconsiderate self-assertion (Arroyo 62)


Mercury retrograde tends to cycle through the signs of one element (though sometimes straddling signs) in a given year. This suggests that there are some common themes that may run through each retrograde period for the year. This year, Mercury retrogrades through the Fire signs. These are the dates:

30 March to 23 April 2011, 24+ to 12+° Aries
2 to 26 August 2011, 1+° Virgo to 18+° Leo
24 November to 13 December 2011, 20+ to 3+° Sagittarius

Mercury is most at home in the Air sign of Gemini. In the Fire signs, its airy quality can stir up the flames (like fanning a barbecue!) or, if the force of air is too strong, put it out. People with Mercury in Fire signs think and talk energetically and passionately. Ideas can come fast and furious to them, but can run the risk of burning out if not sustained, or in a different scenario, be no more than a lot of ‘hot air’.


I’m late with this post on Mercury in Virgo, but I hope you all saw a shift in your productivity (Virgo) when Mercury stationed direct in 21+ Virgo on 29 September 2009.

Mercury rules Virgo but while Mercury is chatty and curious in Gemini, Mercury in Virgo is much more circumspect. Here is Stephen Arroyo’s delineation:

  • Communicates logically, critically, helpfully, humbly — sometimes negatively and skeptically
  • An urge to express one’s perceptions matter-of-factly, demonstrating one’s analytical skills
  • A need to discriminate among ideas and to put them in logical sequence in order to learn
  • Practical, helpful ideas contribute to the ability to make connections with others
  • Over-attention to details can hinder perception of the larger viewpoint and all its interconnections and broader implications (64)

Mercury stationed direct close to my midheaven in my 10th house, and just a few days before, I encountered an exhausting run-in at work to do with miscommunication and carelessness with editing (both Mercury-ruled activities). However, at the same, time I got two amazing pieces of news regarding projects that have been developing for sometime, which were commensurate with the forward-moving energy of Mercury direct: I received a book contract for an edited collection after three years in the making, and an invitation to speak on local radio over a media event I spent the summer organising.

If many of you have felt ‘blocked’ like I did most of the summer, I hope Mercury stationing direct in a work- and service-oriented sign, together with the recent Full Moon in fiery Aries, have provided some renewed energy. It may be a while before I recover from the PTSD of the summer eclipses, but at least I feel new hope!

Arroyo, Stephen. Chart Interpretation Handbook. Sebastapol, Ca.: CRCS, 1989.

Mercury has just ingressed its home sign of Gemini, except that it is also grinding to a halt in preparation for its retrograde on 6 May in 1+° Gemini.

Mercury is chatty and curious in Gemini, ideas come fast and furious, fuelling many an intellectual adventure. From Stephen Arroyo once again, Mercury in Gemini can be interpreted as such:

  • Communicates fluently, quickly, cleverly, and intelligently — sometimes superficially
  • Urge to express perceptions immediately
  • Needs to learn through establishing and identifying connections among people and ideas
  • Changeably curious mind expresses itself through friendly interactions with others and through endless questions
  • High level of nervous energy is expressed through talking, writing, or other forms of manual/mental dexterity (62–63)

As Mercury slows to a stop, however, these qualities can feel blocked, or at the very least, weighed down. Much patience is required.

Arroyo, Stephen. Chart Interpretation Handbook. Sebastapol, Ca.: CRCS, 1989.

Mercury is currently in its shadow phase in Taurus, slowing towards its station retrograde on 6 May at 1+° Gemini before retrograding back to 22+° Taurus on 30 May.

Taurus gives an earthy stability to Mercury’s communications process, imbuing its usual freneticism with a measure of certainty and deliberation. Where the earth energy of Mercury in Capricorn is expressed by imbuing ideas with authority and organisation, in Taurus Mercurial processes can take on a practical, if not physically sensual, turn. This is Stephen Arroyo’s delineation:


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