Mercury is Retrograde. What Do You Know?

View of the City of Bikini Bottom.

Dear Friend and Reader:

Mercury stationed retrograde on Saturday, and has moved out of the degree where it changed directions. We are underway for the first Trickster-Goes-Backwards in Aquarius during the Aquarian era. All the usual caveats of Mercury retrograde apply: be careful what you sign; delay what you can; and take the time for due diligence.

As of Tuesday and into Wednesday, the Sun is at the midpoint of the sign Aquarius. This is a cross-quarter day called Imbolc, also known as Candlemas. (The other cross-quarters are Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain). The word imbolc means in the belly, or in the milk. This time of year, we are in the belly of the stars. We are now halfway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. This is one of the turning points in the solar year.

The sign involved is Aquarius, and that is about the groups that we form and how we interact with them. We live in an age where group dynamics are more influential than ever, though most of it is going on in the invisible environment: the digital realm, where you’re unlikely to know which way is up because there is no such thing.

SpongeBob SquarePants surfs the web.

Someday I would love to get a conversation going about this quote from Eric McLuhan: “The body is everywhere assaulted by all of our new media, a state which has resulted in deep disorientation of intellect and destabilization of culture throughout the world. In the age of disembodied communication, the meaning and significance and experience of the body is utterly transformed and distorted.”

That is from an article I wrote for my subscribers called Uranus, Eris and the Riddle of the Internet from 2016. That one pairs nicely with another article from the same era, called Know When You Don’t Know. (Both are now open access.) We are suffering from radical disorientation.

We now live in a collective hallucination where perfectly healthy people are sick, where bandannas stop viruses, and where certified organic GMO-free health food nuts line up for an injection that, so far as I grasp the issues, will modify the genetic structure of every person who gets it.

As screenwriter William Goldman said a while ago, “Nobody knows anything.” If there is some way to go lower than nobody and nothing, we are there, because we now live in a collective hallucination where perfectly healthy people are sick, where bandannas stop viruses, and where certified organic GMO-free health food nuts line up for an injection that, so far as I grasp the issues, will modify the genetic structure of every person who gets it. This is designed to occur in every cell, which will become an antigen factory. The injection, a form of gene therapy, is specifically designed to trigger an autoimmune response (which means the body attacking itself).

There are many more issues that have been raised, including reproductive issues, and very few people are asking questions. This is a situation where not knowing when you don’t know can be extremely risky, and where stopping to think can save you and your loved ones decades of agony.

What is the One Thing We All Have in Common?

It’s not too simple of an explanation to say that all of this deep disorientation of intellect and destabilization of culture throughout the world is coming from the one thing we all have in common, which is sitting at the bottom of the digital ocean. We are so soaked by and cooked in and merged with the dimensionless, formless, spaceless, timeless mirage of the digital realm that we have no clue who, what, where, when or why we exist — and that is a setup for an array of problems.

SpongeBob SquarePants needs to call tech support.

By the way, you can know if you want to know. Mercury retrograde is the perfect example from astrology for a realtime experiment.

Mercury retrograde will be serving up a realtime test of the new Aquarian version of the environment we are in. It will be going counter to the collective, the popular meme, and the prevailing programmed-in-zeros-and-ones idiocy of our time.

You have an opportunity to dissent: to express your differing viewpoint. You have an opportunity to see and feel what is going on around you. You have an opportunity to use your mind.

That may be frightening; you might be wrong. You might fall off of your bicycle. You might have to make a decision and actually trust yourself. It’s not your life until you make your own decisions. The concept is barely meaningful, except for that one thing.

Mercury Retrograde, Venus Direct in Aquarius

Speaking of astrology, Venus joined Mercury, the Sun, Pallas, Jupiter, Saturn and Damocles in Aquarius yesterday. Depending on how you look at it, Venus in Aquarius is the sigil of the female avatar, or the person with robotic emotions. The choice is yours.

With Venus in direct motion and Mercury in retrograde motion, the two are rapidly heading in one another’s direction. They will form a conjunction quite close to Jupiter on Feb. 13, which is a suggestion to leave yourself open to positive developments. Such are available, if you are interested.

I know it’s been a year of things getting worse and worse. We might, however, consider how much of this was done with our direct or tacit permission.

It’s time for something else: saying yes to life, and to one another.

With love,

Eric signature
Aquarius Astrology Studio
Aquarius Astrology Studio

Dear Friend and Reader:

Astrology Studio for Aquarius 2021 is ready. My annual reading — All of Us Here — left much unsaid, especially for Aquarius, where all of the most interesting astrology of 2021 and beyond is centered.

Eric Francis

Your central quest is nothing less than the deepest message of your sign, which is about being the distinctly different human that you are: in the face of much pressure to give that up.

Yet as someone getting your astrology from me, not on my watch.

Aquarius is a human sign, and it is your destiny to emerge from the current crisis unscathed, in possession of your soul’s mission and purpose.

The combination of Jupiter and Saturn in your sign is a rare opportunity. It has not happened since you were much younger — way back in 1405.

Astrology Studio readings are 75 minutes, with original music, and access to last year’s recording for review. Your reading is available at the preorder price or $33 until it publishes, which will most likely be Thursday or Friday, when the price goes up to $44.

This reading will help you make sense of astrology that is widely commented upon, but that few truly understand. You may preorder here.

Thank you for your business and your trust.

With love,

Eric signature

Listen to a sample of the Aquarius reading on the player below.

Get instant access to the full reading here.

PS — This reading is included with the Backstage Pass. When it is ready, it will appear on your BSP Readings feed in your personal account on the new website. If you have not established a personal account on the new site, please contact us immediately so you get your materials. Write to

For those interested in the Backstage Pass, which includes all Astrology Studio and the Spring and Midyear readings, you may learn more here, or call (845) 481-5616. I answer when possible and if not, someone will get right back to you.

All of Us Here annual readings now available for instant access

“My study of astrology has in many ways been a study of history. One thing I’ve observed is that when things seem the most bleak, many of the most unusual possibilities are available.” — Eric Francis


Get instant access to your 2021 Annual Reading by Eric Francis today. Visit this link for more information.

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Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscope for February was published on Thursday, Jan. 28. We published your extended monthly horoscope for January on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope after the Sun has entered a new sign.

Planet Waves

Weekly Horoscope #261 for February 2, 2021

By Eric Francis Coppolino


Aries (March 20-April 19) — There is an old expression, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This seems to have become forgotten in a world where everything is treated as disposable, and where everyone is allegedly an expert. One’s professional network has largely been reduced to Facebook friends, which is a little like turning wine into puddle water. In many senses, your contacts are all you have, and I suggest you treat them as a garden that you tend and nurture. Take some time this week and track back through unanswered correspondence, and unfinished business, whether social or professional. Use the most personal methods of contact that are available: call rather than email, meet in person rather than call, and use all such approaches that lean in the direction of human. The people you know are a phenomenal asset, and you may be an asset to them. That is exactly what you want in a world where ‘every man for himself’ is being touted as an asset, under the cloak of ‘do your bit’. None of that counts unless it actually does. Therefore, make it so.


Taurus (April 19-May 20) — This week, your ruling planet Venus crosses the midheaven angle of your solar chart. This is about taking responsibility in every sense of the word: for yourself, for whatever crosses your desk, for what you perceive needs your attention and your assistance. You may take on a little more than you think you can handle, though if you remember that you’re not alone, you will find it far easier to accomplish more. You are not solely responsible for what is in your domain, though you are responsible for a degree of coordination and for making sure that everyone around you lives up to their commitments. You carry some unusual authority and influence at this time, and I suggest you use your power to get the job done — that is, the various jobs you are part of making happen. The things to be conscious of are the nuances of communication, so handle that carefully. Make sure you understand the intentions and the plans of everyone around you. Be aware of their status and their timing. You are learning something vital about that elusive thing known as executive function.


Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You have a calling that is far greater than the one you currently follow. You know this, and it’s seemed elusive. Yet lately it’s been coming through stronger than usual, particularly as you have worked your way out of past entanglements, commitments and encumbrances that have seemed to throw a blinder over your imagination. You now have the opposite situation: you know much more is possible, and may not know what to focus on. The next few weeks of Mercury retrograde in Aquarius will help you get a clue. I don’t think this is about some stunning revelation. Rather, through a process of eliminating old goals that you don’t want and that don’t serve you, and assembling your ideas about what you want, you will make a series of discoveries that you can use as the basis of your decisions. Remember that we live in times where intuition is drowned in digital technology, and where logic has been entirely shattered as a thought tool. You need both. And when you are using logic, it helps to think forward, backward and sideways, and also to state out loud the theory you are testing.


Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You currently have a growing collection of planets, and the Sun, gathering in your 8th house — the sign Aquarius. The 8th is first described in English in 1647 by William Lilly, who said it covers, “Death, dowry, the substance of the bride, etc.” At its roots, the 8th is about legacies, whether through marriage, inheritance or other contractual arrangement. In modern psychological astrology, it’s usually thought of as “death and transformation.” It would seem that much is changing in your life, though principally, you are what is changing, and by extension, your relationships, your agreements, and the mini-society you think of as your life. You may not like all of these changes, though in most ways, the deck is stacked in your favor. Saturn, the classical ruling planet of Aquarius, is the leading actor in this arrangement, and the slowest mover. Most people consider Saturn to be the planet of circumstances outside of their control. I think of Saturn as being about getting a grip, and internalizing your own authority structure. Yet you also have the help of Jupiter and later in the week (for a brief time), Venus. You have resources. You have help. It’s up to you to know your agenda, and stick to it. Given the 8th house nature of retrograde Mercury, I would strongly suggest, “Don’t sign, don’t buy.”


Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Today you live in an entirely different environment from where you were even two or three months ago. This is not merely a rearrangement of the furniture and hanging some different pictures on the wall. It may be that everyone and everything is different, or in the process of being cleared out and replaced by new circumstances. Have you caught up with these changes, or are you living in the past? The years 2017 through 2020 had a distinctive feeling and range of experience, most of it overwhelming. After being subjected to transits like you went through, many people just stay there, in a kind of holographic loop. Yet your astrology is pushing you to confront and embrace the actual conditions and reality of the place and time in which you exist. Mercury retrograde through Aquarius will help you take stock of the who, what and where of the moment. You also have some matters of communication to clear up with several important people in your life — which are best taken slowly and thoughtfully. Listen for a long time before you speak.


Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Emphasize the human element of your work rather than the technical. It’s true that all this sleek efficient equipment and rigging is seductive. Yet none of this is worth its service plan without the people who use it creatively. That’s the place to hang out, during these precious weeks of Mercury retrograde and Venus moving in your work and productivity angle. That is Aquarius, which is part of what makes you so capable of getting difficult jobs done. You understand that the human dimension matters, and you know how to set up efficient systems of organization. In this sense, you’re doing well, and are poised to have some true breakthroughs in what you develop over the next few years. Yet people need people. They need companionship. You need companionship and you need it around your work — in spaces other than Zoom meetings. Can you arrange that? Can you get people into physical, social space? Take the lead. This is fast becoming not only the missing element in the world but the one that everyone forgets. In this and other ways, you will be taking leadership.


Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Your ruling planet Venus has moved into your fellow air sign Aquarius, joining an impressive collection of planets and the Sun. Technically known as the 5th house, this is the zone of pleasure, play, art and sex. And right now, nearly the entire solar system is squeezed into one busy little place (with an impressive New Moon coming up Feb. 11). This is a time of profound renewal in your life. During ‘normal’ times this would translate into something like creating a personal art or music studio where all your friends are welcome, and where new people can arrive. You might consider that now. You are also reaching a point of maturity as an artist of some kind, and now is the time to cultivate and develop that on a daily basis. Whatever you consider your work to be, devote some large portion of your time and energy into creation and self-creation. Take a disciplined approach to what you want and need to do in your creative life. This will serve you well in all facets of your existence, including social and professional. Yet at the center resides your ability to have fun in your work, and to bring beauty into the world. This is your way of taking care of yourself and of others.


Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Do you feel safe? Do you feel protected? Do you feel like there are people around you who care for you? If yes, wonderful — make the very most of this opportunity to build your family of choice (which is your true tribe). If no, this is an opportunity to find your security, to learn the art of confidence, and to assemble a support network around you. Sometimes this just happens, though for most people it is a conscious series of choices that bring it into being. There is but a fine line between self-acceptance and acceptance by others. You will have a difficult time receiving or even noticing anything in life that you’ve decided you don’t deserve, or that is impossible. You might consider what you have in that category, and bring the spirit of healing and self-therapy to those topics. One of the profound themes of your life is being accepted by your tribe, and this always comes back to your experiences in early childhood. It’s not always easy to have the self-respect that grounds you in your acceptance by others, though it is surely possible if you want it and are willing to do the personal work necessary.


Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — All the messages of your chart are saying keep your interests local. But I wonder if anyone understands what that really means. There’s also a strong signal coming through suggesting that you get in touch with close friends, and anyone you consider closer than a cousin with whom you’re friendly, and catch up on the latest word of mouth. This is a time to mix up and rearrange all of your communication patterns, and also to clear incomplete business or lingering topics. You will invariably discover new topics that further your mutual interests with anyone close to you. As for local: there seem to be two kinds in the digital age. One is what happens offline, close to home (within about three miles, or wherever you know people on a first-name basis). Second is your affinity group. That is people with whom you are solidly in allegiance on what you consider your most important priorities. Stick close to these people and make sure you keep up with developments day by day. Things are changing fast, and faster.


Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Financial concerns and interests are front and center for the next few weeks. First, devote your energy to finding any flaws in the system: miscalculations, lost mail, missed filings, late payments, accounts not checked, regulations not followed. Tidy it all up. Clean out your office and get your paperwork together. Keep track of cash, cash flow, debt and available credit. You will feel better for knowing where you stand. With that done, you can start to think long-term. Though you may feel under pressure, your financial outlook for this year is truly positive, if you have the discipline to maintain the structure that will support you. This is where many people fall off the program. They think it’s too much work, too boring or too difficult to maintain order. Yet this is the very foundation of financial success. The other is that you’re supposed to work with a team. If you keep getting tangled, do not hesitate to work with a bookkeeper, no matter how small your operation.


Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Mercury retrograde in your sign is the season of figuring out what you do not know. This is the difference between being a fool and a genius. The truly knowledgeable person is aware of the boundaries of their knowledge, and is not afraid to keep an inventory of the unknown. This becomes the frontier of learning. Knowledge comes in two parts: one is the puzzle pieces, and the second is assembling the puzzle. The assembly part is about putting what you know into context. The nuggets of information are worth very little when they are separate. But they are worth a lot once they are assembled and you understand the relationships between them. You should never need to force them together; they will fit when they fit. Then the full picture will start to develop. This will apply to creative matters as much as it does to ones related to agreements with others, whether in an intimate context or a business one. This is a patient process. There must be no jumping to conclusions if you want to get it right, and that would be good for everyone.


Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — This is a profound moment of self-discovery for you, and as that process percolates and simmers, you will be growing close to people in ways you could not have imagined. For you, the social existence moves from the inside out. The better you understand yourself, the easier it is for you to find points of contact with others. Lack of confidence runs in parallel with lack of self-understanding and lack of self-awareness. Remember that when you’re feeling insecure. Ask yourself what you really want from any situation. That is an easy way to “know yourself.” Being concerned about whether it’s possible is another matter. Your desire is the core of your psyche, as a being lodged on the physical plane. Then, notice any guilt, doubt or resistance that you may feel. That will tell you something about your negative expectations and how you view your environment. Remember, for the first long series of steps, this is all going on within the confines of your own psyche. Then you will need to conduct real-time tests, where you push yourself to be expressive, and where you seem to push others to accept you.

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