In Greek mythology, Hermes (Mercury) was the messenger of the gods. Born out of an affair (or one night stand) between Zeus, the leader of the gods and nymph Maya, Hermes proved his trickery and wit from his first day - he stole the oxen that his brother Apollo was looking after. By the end of the day, Hermes continued to play more tricks and with ingenuity, managed to stay away from his father's punishment. The story offers clear information on the mercurial traits: duplicity, ingenuity, trickery, resourcefulness, wit, deceit and a skill for negotiation and commerce.
In simple words, astrological Mercury signifies the conscious mind, communication, travel and establishing connections, both mentally and physically. In a natal chart, Mercury in a specific sign and house will show what we think about, what we talk about and how we communicate. The planet describes how we mentally digest and process information and how skilled we are in negotiating and networking. Mercury's placement is very important in relationships, as many of the issues between people stem from communication difficulties.
Every four months, Mercury spends three weeks in the apparent retrograde motion. This time has been associated with technological mayhem, communication problems, computers breakdown and failure for those ventures and projects that start under this period. However, what subtly happens during the Mercury Retrograde weeks is a re-orientation from the outside business to an inner, internal focus. We are on a mental or intellectual diet, a cleansing process of those thought patterns that are no longer productive. That is why during these times, we can utilize the cosmic energies and start an internal audit of what and how we think, how and what we talk about and the way we understand messages around us. This can translate into many forms, from editing the book we are writing, re-viewing the website we have, analyzing what kind of books we read, paying attention to how we talk with our partner and friends; monitoring the communication gaps that happen between us and others. It is a great time to become mindful of what brain food we ingest - how much of our time is wasted on social media, what sorts of programs we watch on TV, how much of our time is spent as an investment in ourselves.
Mercury retrograde in Virgo will bring more objectivity and discernment in our communication, and a natural tendency to classify and label information will be visible. We may be more preoccupied with work and health and our critical faculties may be more enhanced. Any project that you have postponed due to its complexity and detailed character can now be taken care of, by sorting, evaluating, rating and organizing. Until the 26th August, the mental process will be more reflective and oriented inward, so take advantage of this time to discern what thoughts and actions suit you best. Seed new ideas and create a fresh thought-reality on the 26th of August, then continue to manifest outwardly, in a proactive way the new thoughts that will help build up your new projects.
According to Irish astrologer Andrew Smith, 'the peak of the entire retrograde process occurs when Mercury conjoins the Sun, which will take place on the 26th August at 3°F. The celestial fertilisation of the Divine Mind with the Light Source is a time appropriate for the insemination of any thought that you want to fuel your life for the next several months (until the December Retrogradation). This can be done by consciously committing your images and ideas to paper and/or taking the first step in manifesting a project.'
Mercury moves back to 28° Leo, the same degree of the Solar Eclipse that will take place on the 21st of August. There is no such thing as cosmic coincidence, therefore, whatever is created during this solar eclipse, the change that will permeate our consciousness (Sun) and our unconscious habitual and feeling response (Moon) will be emphasized and supported by Mercury. Mind - Body - Spirit aligned; it all starts with our conscious decision for change.
The Mercury Cycle, as noted by Irish astrologer Andrew Smith:
Mercury Retrograde August 13th – September 5th
Mercury turns retro at 11° Virgo and moves back to 28° Leo
Entire period – 30th July to the 12th September
Reflective and inward until the 26th August
Proactive and outward until the 8th October
Extra care when signing – 4th August to the 20th August and the 31st August to the 9th September.
Seeding of new idea – 26th August
Have a great Mercury retrograde, with lots of mental-fat loss and a fitter brain!