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Mercury Retrograde ~ April 17/18 to May 11, 2010

Mercury takes a little break, slows down and retrogrades. The last time he took a breather was December 2009 and into early January 2010, when Mars was also retrograde. This time, Mercury joins Saturn and Pluto, as he takes three weeks for reflection while transiting Taurus.

Mercury is retrograde from April 18 at 12:06 a.m. EDT (April 17 at 9:06 p.m. PDT) until May 11 at 6:27 p.m. EDT. The complete retrograde cycle including the shadow period is April 4 to May 28 and occurs entirely in Taurus, retracing his steps starting at 13 degrees and back to 2 degrees.

By nature, Taurus is already a "slower" to act zodiac sign. Taurean energy prefers to be completely sure before making any final assessments or definitive actions and can be unyielding when it comes to any change (tangible or intangible). Taurus is ready, when he/she's ready and refuses to be rushed in any way. Once Taurus is ready, however, his/her energy is unstoppable. Taurean energy is persistent, determined and because everything has been well thought out and planned, each measured step is bound for success.

This retrograde period is a time for reflection and planning to get our affairs in order. For those of us with natal Mercury or Sun in air or fire signs, Mercury's retrograde period may be a painstakingly sloooooow period. It's important, however, to avoid impatience and frustration due to impatience while Mercury is introspective in Taurus; and this goes for everyone, no matter what your natal planetary placements are. To truly make use of this period, we must honor Taurean energy and embrace its traits as something that we can learn from and definitely benefit from. When Taurus takes a step or decides to a step, its goal is longevity, permanence and stability. Now, where in our life might we have a need for that?

Those with natal planets and/or house angles between 2 to 13 degrees of fixed or earth signs may feel the effects of this retrograde period more strongly than others.

As I've previously posted for past Mercury retrograde periods:
Following the standard with any retrograde planet, this Mercury retrograde period is a time for the prefix "re" -- reflect, rethink, re-plan, review, retool, reorganize, redefine, re-examine, rewrite, reread, repair. So reassess, as necessary and as much as you want, but avoid starting new projects, signing any contracts, or entering into any major agreements or commitments. It's easy to overlook details or neglect to include information pertinent to the terms. A change of mind is also common. If you must enter into an agreement during the retrograde period, it is important to re-read all fine print, have another set of eyes go over it, and get all your questions answered before completing the transaction.

This period does not need to be daunting and feared or cause you to suspend living your life in any way. Simply make allowances and/or preemptive actions to minimize the unavoidable retrograde effects. Do not underestimate the frustration, inconvenience, and havoc a Mercury retrograde can produce, however.

Mercury rules mental processes, communication, commerce, trade and affects all of these plus travel and electronics. Allow for delays, especially on the station days
[which, for this current period, are April 17/18 and May 11]. Expect miscommunication so, ensure that all details are understood. Ask detailed questions to prevent misunderstandings. Wait until the retrograde period is over before buying a new computer, mp3 player, cell phone, or any other electronic items. If this is unavoidable, make sure the return/exchange/refund policy coverage is extensive enough that the purchased item can be returned/exchanged should it requires repair or replacement later. Consider buying the extra warranty offered, if the item is a costly one.

For me, as a Virgo-rising, this entire transit occurs in my natal 8th house (letting go) even if Taurus is the ruler of my 9th house (expansion); as a Cancer-Sun, the retrograde falls in my solar 11th house (friendships). During the full retrograde cycle, Mercury will sextile my North Node (life path), then Sun (potential) and square my Venus (relationships). Over the past 12 months, I've made some major life-altering decisions. In the process, I've had to release a lot of what was in order for me to focus on what is and what can be. With this Mercury retrograde happening in my 8th house, Saturn's retrograde in my natal 1st house (self/potential) and Pluto in my natal 4th (the past) while oppose my Sun, I can't help but feel the universe is telling me that there are still things I am holding on to that I must purge before being able to completely move forward. With the 4th house involved, these may be deeply-rooted, so deep I really will need to delve farther and deeper than I've gone before to ferret them out since I may not be conscious of what they are. Or I may be conscious of them but unwilling to let them go. No matter which it is, I am now offered three weeks to reflect, review, repair, release and renew parts of myself.

How might Mercury's direction change influence your life? Look to the Taurus-ruled house and match the sign and 2 to 13 degrees with house cusps on your birth chart. Use the list of zodiac signs below to identify the Taurus zodiac sign on your birth chart then click here for a brief explanation of Mercury transiting those houses.

Click image to see larger

For those without a birth chart, you may use your Sun sign or Rising/Ascendant sign, if you know it. Look for them below then click here for a brief explanation of Mercury's transit in those houses.
  • Aries-Sun or Aries Rising ~ 2nd House
  • Taurus-Sun or Taurus Rising ~ 1st House
  • Gemini-Sun or Gemini-Rising ~ 12th House
  • Cancer-Sun or Cancer-Rising ~ 11th House
  • Leo-Sun or Leo-Rising ~ 10th House
  • Virgo-Sun or Virgo-Rising ~ 9th House
  • Libra-Sun or Libra-Rising ~ 8th House
  • Scorpio-Sun or Scorpio-Rising ~ 7th House
  • Sagittarius-Sun or Sagittarius-Rising ~ 6th House
  • Capricorn-Sun or Capricorn-Rising ~ 5th House
  • Aquarius-Sun or Aquarius-Rising ~ 4th House
  • Pisces-Sun or Pisces-Rising ~ 3rd House
Unsure if you have natal planets or house angles between 2 to 13 degrees? cast your own birth chart for use as reference -- birth date, time, and place required.

Are you celebrating a birthday during this period? Find out how that might influence your year and schedule a Solar Return or 3-Chart Package reading. (Gift certificates also available). Request a quote for a more customized reading. Have a question? Ask me here. Or maybe cruise on over to the AstroCreeps and TarotFreaks Forum* to start a discussion.

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"Mercury" taken by Messenger - image credit and copyright to NASA.

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