In the light of the metaphor I used yesterday about shouting at a rock concert and not being heard, this news article today made me laugh. 

Bruce Springsteen’s concert in Hyde Park, London had the sound turned off by over-zealous bureaucrats after going over the three-hour limit. The mischievous nature of the incident is very much in the spirit of Mercury and Uranus rules electricity… :D This description totally describes a Mercury-Uranus retrograde moment…

‘It made for a slightly bizarre, anti-climactic end to what had been a fantastic show,’ said Stephen Robb, a BBC reporter who was at the event.

Incidentally, I had a quick glance at Springsteen’s chart. Retrograde Mercury is transiting over his 3rd house Mars (which will be fuming), and transiting Uranus is opposing his 5th house Libra stellium, which may be feeling even more off balance than usual…


Mercury is now retrograde in Leo (12+° to 1+°) and will continue until 8 August 2012. The last Mercury retrograde was in conjunction with Uranus in Aries. This time, Mercury stationed retrograde in Leo close to the time Uranus stationed retrograde in Aries, which is in a long-term square with Pluto.

With Uranus in the picture there is always the possibility of something sudden, shocking, or unexpected, although with so much craziness in the news these days, one wonders what else could shock us. Because the Uranus-Pluto square is long term (until 2015) and collective, and Mercury retrograde is short-term (three weeks) and personal, any disruption during this period can feel like shouting in a very loud rock concert — your voice adds to the general noise, but who can hear you, and would it matter? You can hear you, if only inside your own head, and that’s still important.

Rather than see any delays or disruptions during this Mercury retrograde as less significant than the larger changes around us, it may be worthwhile paying attention to how the lessons of any personal disruption (Mercury) in this period may allow us to cope with the wider disruption (Uranus) happening around us.


So how are people feeling? This Mercury retrograde has been a bit of a ride with Uranus involved, and doubly frustrating with Mars retrograde in Mercury-ruled Virgo.

When Mercury was retrograding in Aries, I still felt the urge to revisit and revise things; when it moved back into Pisces, however, I just felt like staying in bed.

The Mercurial energy for rationalising, organising and making lists doesn’t do that well filtered through the hazy Piscean mist, as I mentioned before. But more subtle messages may filter through as our propensity for doing slows down. Mercury in Pisces calls softly, subtly, almost like a whisper from time — we just have to listen closely.

Here’s an excerpt from an article from Planet Waves about what to pay attention to as Mercury stations direct in Pisces: 

Mercury stationing in Pisces will have an impressionistic or emotional quality. Notice your environment, in all forms of that word: the people and things around you, what you eat, the energy fields if you’re able to perceive them. ‘Energy fields’ encompasses anything from the emotional vibes to the tone quality of conversation to what you may notice on the subtle planes. With Mercury swimming around in Pisces, your dreams may be particularly revealing. As we often suggest, keep a notebook handy.


Notice, as well, your relationship to the past. Pisces is famous for its relationship to everything that we tend to forget, or want to forget. However, you may be remembering, so — remember. Notice what ‘comes up’.


Here’s excerpt from an article from Aquarius Papers:

In Pisces, Mercury’s energies show down to rethink in a movie-watching or witness mode. It is over-attracted to the past and re-examines endings and universals that may be beyond words. It is in an intuitive mode, and not quite sure of what it is seeing, hearing, or knowing.

There may be visions from the distant past, as information is constantly coming in from the collective consciousness or Collective Unconscious. This position is highly receptive to subtle signals from the subconscious, whether one’s own or that of another. There is often a lack of clarity about these signals and their meaning, resulting in ambivalence or an inability to decide anything with certainty.

There may be feelings like being lost in a fog, pressure drops into sorrow, as the mind is shifting in empathy with its environment. Mercury here is able to become a living conscience witnessing the universal human experience.

This position reasons intuitively, sees whole situations, but may have a hard time communicating satisfactorily. There is an atmospheric sensitivity and an environmental impressionability. In Pisces, Mercury retrograde can offer a gift of visionary poetry, and use a subtle sense of humor to communicate universal truths.

Mercury retrograde never fails to make me laugh, even as I’m grinding my teeth in exasperation.

Two years ago, I organised an event and I put in an expense claim through the company’s internal mail for a guest who had missed a flight (during the front-end shadow of Mercury retrograde in January 2010!).

Earlier today, I got a message from the expenses administrator saying the claim form had just turned up on her desk…!!

Mercury is currently station retrograding in my 4th house (past reflections here). Conjunct Uranus, expect, as I mentioned previously, increased volatility in thought and deed, as well as some radical problem-solving.

The 4th house, apart from being about where one is at home, is also (together with the 10th house) part of the axis of parents. My relationship with my parents have always been fraught with ambivalence, and a bewildering mix of love, pain, struggle and fear.

There was a heated exchange this past weekend (Mercury in fiery Aries) and an epiphany (Uranus) this morning — new information from the past was revealed and a piece of the puzzle fell into place. Something clicked. And I woke up to the fact that their pathology wasn’t mine. I wasn’t responsible for their neurosis and never have been. A sense of relief. And liberation. I give myself permission to be me.

It’s funny how you can ‘know’ this in your head, but knowing it in your heart is what makes it real.

Mercury retrograde is cycling back through Fire and Water signs this year, creating the potential for … steam! Use it to power engines, but don’t get scalded.

12 March to 4 April 2012, 6+° Aries to 23+° Pisces
14 to 8 August 2012, 12+° to 1+° Leo
6 to 26 November 2012, 4+° Sagittarius to 18+° Scorpio

Mercury is currently stationing retrograde in Aries, a Fire sign. It is close enough to Uranus for any volatility to be amplified, but also the potential for ‘out of the box’ thinking and problem-solving. So there may be the opportunity to revisit old problems and come up with creative new solutions, once you’ve sidestepped all the delays and technical glitches!

Image: Irregular Solar Coronae at the steam from hot springs at Yellowstone National Park. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Most of us know that Mercury retrograde can signal frustrating delays, mistakes and u-turns, but if we adjust our expectations, it is possible to be productive during this period. I have a 6th house natal Mercury placement; being ‘productive’ keeps me sane.

Bee on a flower

Mercury retrograde may not be good for starting new projects, but as I’ve mentioned before, it can be a pretty effective time to revise, resume or reinvigorate old ones. In the past week, I have been averaging 300-500 words a day on a writing project I began quite a while ago but could never find the time to finish. The general slowdown of other activity is giving me the space to do so.

Here’s a tip: if you don’t have old projects to clear up, but still want to use the energy of Mercury retrograde, it is possible to plan ahead. What I sometimes do is I look in my calendar to see when the next retrograde period is coming up, and I start a project several weeks ahead of time, well before the storm, and then leave it aside until which time I can then complete or revise it during the retrograde period. If you can catch the energy of a new moon when you make this start, all the better. I don’t always get to time things so well, but when I do, it’s worth the effort.