Blinded by Belief: What to Expect When Mercury Goes Retrograde This November
On November 16th, 2018, at 8:22 PM, Mercury, the messenger of the gods, will turn retrograde at 13 degrees, Sagittarius, sign of it's detriment, before moving back into the dark depths of Scorpio where it will station direct on December 6th at 27 degrees. Here's what you can expect.
On November 16th, at 5:50 AM, Venus will turn direct in the goddess’s home sign of Libra, at 25 degrees, helping us find clarity in our relationships, and move forward with what the retrograde taught us.
But don’t expect your lesson to be over just yet! While Venus is going direct, Mercury will be stationing retrograde at 13 degrees Sagittarius, only a few hours later at 8:33 PM.
The good news is, Sagittarius and Libra rule different houses in your chart, affecting different parts of your life. But with Venus and Mercury both being social planets (ruling the chatty air signs, Libra and Gemini, respectively), this can't be a coincidence, and it’s worth mentioning that both of these planets have spent or will spend time in the sign of Scorpio, affecting the same area in your chart.
And even though Venus is going direct, its shadow period doesn't end until December 17th. So, while these lessons may be different, it’s safe to say they’re related.
What does it mean for Mercury to be in retrograde?
A retrograde planet is one that appears to be moving in the opposite direction. Astrologically, this means that the energies represented by the planet are directed backwards or inward.
Retrograde periods are often riddled with delays and disruption, but they don't have to be. These periods are not so much a time for action but a time for reflection. Retrograde periods are also loaded with synchronicity and karma.
So, they can also be periods of magic and manifestation if you just focus on within rather than without. Things from the past will return to us. This could be people from our past, including from our past lives, situations or memories that we thought we had forgotten about, or maybe just lessons that we're getting a second chance at learning after having failed the first time around.
And what kind of energy does Mercury represent?
Mercury is the messenger of the gods in Roman mythology. As I said before, it's a social planet but while Venus is more about intimate relationships, Mercury is more about communication in general, all forms of communication.
This includes letters, e-mails, even divination. Mercury is also associated with commerce, travelers, and in astrology, it represents the mind (especially the logical mind), intelligence and the way we think. Look out though: known for its speed and swiftness, Mercury is also the trickster god, associated with both tricksters and thieves.
Ruled by the mutable signs, Virgo (the virgin) and Gemini (the twins), there is a dualistic nature to the planet, that gave birth to the word "mercurial," (meaning unpredictable or changeable).
It makes sense then that Mercury would travel between two worlds, being the only Olympian god with the ability to travel between the realm of the gods and the realm of the underworld, where his job was to accompany souls on their journey to Hades.
As the planet closest to the Sun and also the planet with the fastest orbit, Mercury goes retrograde about three or four times a year, for periods of about three weeks. Mercury in retrograde periods are generally riddled with delays and mishaps around communication, travel, and technology.
For example, your flight might be inconveniently delayed or your computer may freeze at the most inconvenient time. To use my own life as an example, just about every time Mercury is in retrograde, my phone charger breaks.
Miscommunications and misunderstandings are common during this time, so try to be as clear as you possibly can when speaking to others, and avoid making assumptions. Astrologers generally advise that you avoid signing any major contracts during this period, for it may backfire on you once Mercury goes direct.
These periods are often loaded with unexpected, unplanned, and seemingly inconvenient events that will make you think of Murphy's Law: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong."
It really isn't as bad as it sounds, however. Honestly, it really isn't as bad as people make it out to be and this period also comes with numerous advantages. While Mercury direct represents the logical mind, Mercury retrograde represents the intuitive mind.
Mercury is known as the messenger of the gods, and it's retrograde period is probably the best time for divination. There may be messages in your dreams, including messages from ancestors or guardian angels. These periods are loaded with tons of strange coincidences and synchronicities.
To some extent, this is true of every planet in retrograde, but in my experience, it's more true with Mercury than with any other, which makes sense given it's nature. The "unexpected" and "unplanned," events mentioned in the last paragraph are not always "inconvenient."
More often than not, you'll find that these events are serendipitous and wonderfully fated, presenting you with opportunities of good luck, like being at the right place at the right time. As I said, Mercury is a very dualistic and tricky planet.
You just need to know how to work with it. If you believe in the law of attraction or other forms of manifestation, this is a better time than ever to take advantage of it. Even without the magic and the metaphysical, however, this is a good time to reflect on things; the kind of deep thought, reflection and consideration necessary to yield powerful ideas and insights, insights that you can put into practice once Mercury goes direct.
Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius (and Scorpio!) 2018
For the next few weeks, Mercury will be retrograding through the sign of Sagittarius (stationed at 13'30 degrees) where it will be until December 1st, when it goes back into the watery depths of Scorpio. It will stay in Scorpio for just a few days before stationing direct on December 6th at 27 degrees.
Sagittarius, being Gemini's opposite, is the sign of Mercury's detriment, making this month's Mercury retrograde period doubly tricky. Mercury is all about the details, the facts, and the nuances in communication. Sagittarius is all about the bigger picture. This can lead us to glossing over important details, which can get us in trouble.
While generally perceived as an "honest," sign, Sagittarius is prone to exaggeration, due in part to its ruling planet, Jupiter, planet of expansion. So steer clear of bragging during this time and avoid making any promises you can't keep. You'll only look like a fool when it comes time to prove yourself.
Beware of people who are all talk and little action. I want to emphasize that generally, Sagittarius is honest: honest in the sense that they shoot from the hip, honest in the sense that they speak without thinking, and that is part of the problem.
Personally, I'm of the persuasion that lies, no matter how "white," are always harmful and it's always better to tell the truth. Still, however, it is generally considered that to be a good communicator, you've got to have some tact.
There is a time and a place to say things, and also a way to say it. Mercury knows this, Mercury is a good salesman. You won't sell your product (or your ideas) by offending others. Not that Sagittarius tries to offend. Generally, I find Sagittarians to be very friendly and jovial people.
It just doesn't take feelings into consideration. Expect many social faux pas during this time; awkward moments, an off-color joke at the wrong time, offending someone without meaning to, perhaps someone important, like your significant other or your boss.
Sometimes a thoughtless, seemingly innocent comment leads to drastic consequences that you weren't expecting. So, it's best we stay true to the Mercury Retrograde principle of REFLECTION, and think about what we say before we say it.
More than anything, however, Sagittarius is a sign of belief. Sagittarius & it's ruling planet Jupiter, represent the bigger truths. Sagittarius, symbolized by the archer, is a seeker and explorer, always seeking to expand its horizon.
This is where Sagittarius's association with philosophy and religion comes from. This includes ethical and political beliefs and ideologies as well as spiritual and metaphysical ones.
Here's the problem with Mercury in Sagittarius: Sagittarius is so preoccupied with "The Truth," those bigger age-old questions, that they sometimes neglect to see the actual reality of the situation that's staring them right in the face. I believe that our beliefs will be tested at this time.
We may find ourselves so blinded by our beliefs, so blinded by our opinions and our ideologies, that it leads to drastic consequences in both our personal and professional lives. We may find ourselves so blinded by our belief systems that we neglect to see what's right in front of us. We may find ourselves so blinded by "our Truths," that we neglect to see the truth for what it actually is.
To make matters more chaotic, Mercury will be making an almost exact square to Neptune in its home sign of Pisces the same day it stations retrograde. Neptune is the planet of illusion and modern ruler of Pisces, the sign of Mercury's fall, leading to confused and distorted, maybe even delusional thinking.
The likelihood of deception is very high, during this time, so be cautious. Be careful of who you trust and what you believe because there is great danger of being manipulated and/or deceived. Make sure that you stay honest as well, because even little white lies you tell during this time will wind up digging you into a hole that is deeper than what it's worth.
Any lie you tell will just come back to haunt you when Mercury goes direct. Self-deception is also likely: make sure you don't lie to yourself. Make sure you don't convince yourself that something is true just because you want to believe it.
Make sure you don't convince yourself that something is true because it supports your ideology. Make sure you do all your research, and know your sources before making any crucial decisions. Make sure to fact-check everything before going down some rabbit hole. There will likely be a lot of talk about "fake news," during this time, and lots of confusion in the media.
Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, the Moon will also be conjunct Neptune the day Mercury goes retrograde, heightening the effects of Mercury's square to Neptune. The Moon is said to represent our emotions and also our instincts. The Moon conjunction to Neptune will lead to heightened sensitivity: we'll all be like empaths, absorbing the energy and emotions of those around us, for better or for worse.
This can be a good thing. It can strengthen our intuition and help us have more compassion for one another, but it can also lead to confusion. We're so bombarded with all these emotions, all these opinions, all these beliefs that we don't know what's really coming from us and what's just emotional contagion. The danger of emotional manipulation and/or brainwashing is high during this period and we have to stay on guard.
The Moon's square to Mercury has it's own challenges, in of itself. Mercury represents the mind, and the Moon represents our instincts and emotions, meaning that this aspect will undoubtedly give way to internal conflict. What do we trust? Our heads or our hearts? Which should we use to make decisions?
The mind might say one thing, but your intuition says another. Emotionally, you may desire something but logically, you think it's no good for you. It's like, so you've already learned that you can't trust anyone and to make matters worse, now you find you can't even trust yourself. What do you do?
I think Mercury's move into Scorpio will clear things up quite a bit. Sagittarius may be about "bigger" truths but Scorpio is about deeper truths. Mercury's move into Scorpio will strip you to the core until all that's left is what you truly believe, what you truly value, at the soul level, past all that fog of mass-media and ideological brainwashing.
This should help you find clarity. This should show you what and/or who to trust. I also believe Mercury's move into Scorpio will help us see through all those deceptions, the exaggerations, and false promises mentioned earlier in the article.
I also believe this is when any lies we told (including lies to ourselves) will come back to bite us in the face. The liars, the charlatans and the frauds will be exposed for what they are.
While I do believe that this transit will have a lot to do with our belief systems and ideologies, I think, with Venus going direct the very same day, that deception in interpersonal, romantic and sexual relationships is also possible.
Sometimes, we are so blinded by a person's beauty, that we see what we want to see and believe what we want to believe, despite the truth, even the abuse, that's right in front of us. In my Venus in Retrograde article, "A Taste of Temptation, a Test of Trust," I talk a lot about power imbalances in relationships, especially intimate ones.
I think it's very possible that this transit could be a continuation of those we learned (or haven't learned) during Venus's retrograde. Of course, it would depend on how it affects your own, personal natal chart, and stay tuned for an article about how Mercury's retrograde will affect each sign. I think the general message here is to not turn a blind eye to the truth that's right in front of us, and always remain vigilant.
Beware of cult leaders, beware of gurus, beware of salesmen, beware of advertisements, beware of the media, beware of politicians and any shiny new philosophies, beware of drugs and alcohol (something I neglected to mention but another thing Neptune's square to Mercury could represent), but also be aware of the people you see every day, the people in your life who use and abuse you, who lie, cheat, who suck out your energy and don't appreciate you. You deserve better than that. We all do.
About the Creator
My name’s Kait. I would define myself mainly as a truth seeker. I write about a lot of things, primarily astrology, religion & spirituality, relationships and social issues.
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