January 5th - January 12th, 2022
At only eighty-eight days to orbit the Sun, Mercury is the fastest planet in our solar system. However, because he travels retrograde three to four times a year, it still takes him twelve months to go through each of the zodiacs.
This is the first of four Mercury retrogrades in 2022. Although technically he is retrograde for three weeks, he begins to slow his momentum two weeks prior. At the end of the retrograde, Mercury takes an additional two weeks before he is once again moving at his natural speed. So, we actually feel the influence of a Mercury retrograde until he is fully direct, moving at his usual velocity.
When Mercury goes retrograde, he travels back 15˚, thereby cruising over the same section three times. Mercury entered his shadow on December 29th at 24˚ Capricorn and will continue until he hits 10˚ Aquarius (first time) on January 14th. Here, he'll station (stop), and for the next three weeks, until February 3rd, Mercury travels back to 24˚ Capricorn (second time). He'll stop once again, and travel over the same degrees as he progresses forward (third time).
The influence of a retrograde Mercury tends to be more powerful than the other planets. As an inner planet, he is located closest to the Sun, and along with Venus and Mars, his association with us on Earth is more of a personal nature than that of the outer planets. Inner planets tend to portray personal characteristics and everyday activities. Of all the retrogrades, Mercury seems to be the one we always hear about. Yes, it occurs often enough, but there is more to it than that.
Think of the Greek god Mercury (or Hermes if you prefer Roman mythology). Highly intelligent, he describes how you think and learn. He is the great communicator, the personal messenger of the gods. Associated with transportation, he is fast as the wind, often being depicted as wearing a winged-helmet and sandals. You must watch yourself around Mercury as he is fiercely clever and quite the trickster as any ‘god of thieves’ should be. And true to the Mercury descriptor, this is when an innocent email you send out explodes into an unforeseen battle, or when you can't login to your Zoom meeting, or when your car suddenly bites the dust on the expressway. Blame it on Mercury Retrograde.
In addition, he takes great joy in uncovering what you have previously swept under the rug, putting it right in front of your nose, so to speak. “Why?” you ask. So, you can ‘revisit’ it, or ‘re-evaluate’, ‘reorganize’, or ‘restructure’ – you get the drift.
Retrogrades are not necessarily a bad thing – it is simply a shift in energy. The power that comes with astrology is when you become aware of it. Then you can work with the corresponding energy and sit in the driver’s seat. Either way, when Mercury goes retrograde, be sure to back up your computer hard drives!