In the lead-up to the Virgo Full Moon (3:26 pm EST Monday), Mercury will make its first station retrograde of this year on Saturday. This Mercury retrograde will be entirely in Pisces, and all three Mercury retrogrades of 2013 occur in water signs. We could call this ‘getting our feet wet’, except Pisces is kind of the deep end of the pool.
Plus, Mercury begins its apparent backwards journey (the backstroke?) at 4:41 am EST on Feb. 23 with some strong company nearby.
First, a little refresher on basic Mercury retrograde ‘best practices’ just in case its effects are appearing in your life already.
Mercury rules the mind and communication. That alone says: stay aware of when you’re not aware.
For example, the difference between locking yourself out of your house when you’re in a rush versus not doing so is to notice when your mind is on things unrelated to the task at hand. If so, pause, refocus, consciously check for the things you need (keys, cell phone, etc.), and proceed slowly.
In fact, pausing and proceeding slowly are two other basic guidelines. Rushing during a Mercury retrograde often results in work you have to redo, extra time spent getting un-lost while driving, and apologies for speaking rashly.
Those potential pitfalls are especially strong this weekend (beginning today, as we enter the ‘storm’ phase comprising the couple days on either side of the station) due to that ‘strong company’ I mentioned at the beginning. Mercury will be stationing retrograde functionally conjunct Mars in Pisces (exact at 4:09 am Feb. 26).
At the moment, Mercury is further into Pisces than Mars. That means that since Mars is moving forward and Mercury is moving backwards, the conjunction is getting closer.
Mars conjunctions tend to be palpable as they approach — meaning that your awareness of your desire, your need to be physical, your need to move projects and ideas forward and even your temper are likely to feel stronger and more compelling. Mercury conjunct Mars can be wonderful for understanding how things work, mental acuity and powers of debate. However, it can also get a little aggressive and argumentative if the ego gets in the way, or if you’re unclear about what actually needs to be defended by you.
With these planets in a sensitive, feminine sign and with Mercury retrograde, there is a caution here about taking things the wrong way and getting defensive, or being so concerned with your own inner experience that you fail to take another’s inner experience into account before speaking. Make sure you understand the other person’s vision before you decide it’s a threat to your own. Reconsider whether you are actually presenting your own vision clearly to those who do not live in your head (everyone, no matter how psychic they are).
Pisces carries strong associations with sex and romance; Mars is the planet of libido and active desire. Since Mercury is the planet of communication and is not moving in the usual direction, take extra care about charging ahead with hot, steamy, imaginative sex without taking the time to communicate clearly. Make sure your wants and needs in sex are fully understood, and if there is some question, pause and ask, or rephrase.
That may not sound sexy and spontaneous, but sexual misunderstandings can be frustrating and physically or emotionally painful — and can have long-term consequences (pregnancy, STIs).
On the other hand, Mercury’s journey backward presents some amazing and deep opportunities. Retrogrades are fantastic periods for review, and Pisces is a sign known for its rich inner life. Mercury retrograde in Pisces offers the potential to reach really deep artistic, sexual, visionary or ‘spiritual’ places if you can harness the drive of Mars and direct it inward (or backward to review the roots of issues and emotions you’re experiencing now).
Let curiosity be your guide. Use some extra patience and awareness (with yourself and others) and a light touch on the accelerator with it comes to communication, but do consider communicating what you discover.
This is especially true as Monday’s Virgo Full Moon gets closer (Mercury-Mars is exact the day after the Full Moon). Rather than letting the building Full Moon draw us into standoffs with partners (especially creative or sexual collaborators, or friends who differ from your spiritual/religious point of view), see if you can allow your self-reflection to create room for a creative third option to surface from the Pisces pool.