Mercury Retrograde, December 29, 2022 - January 18, 2023
Mercury began its retrograde phase on December 29, 2022 and will go direct again on January 18, 2023. When a planet is retrograde, it causes you to look inward, reflecting on, and trying to perfect the things that the planet indicates in your chart. Mercury is the significator of information, language, communication, education, writing, and business. When it is retrograde, we are all challenged to be reflective with regard to the way in which we communicate with others.
On the day it began its retrograded motion, it was in Uttara Ashadha nakshatra. Uttara ashadha is a nakshatra symbolized by the tusk of an elephant. That tusk belongs to Ganesha, who broke it off and used it as a pen, in order to write the Mahabharata. On a very simple level, this is a great time for editing and perfecting things that are written. On the flip side of this, it is also a time when things that are written are more prone to mistakes, so it makes sense to make more effort now.
On another level, the Mahabharata was an epic story about a great struggle between good and evil, that took place in Ancient India. Uttara Ashadha, in Sanskrit, means later victory. Its shakti is the power to create an unstoppable victory. In the Mahabharata, Arjuna was a great archer who faced the dilemma of having to choose between going to war and killing his evil family, on one side, and upholding dharma or truth, by doing his duty as a warrior on the other. He approached his Guru, Krishna and asked him what to do. Krishna told him to first meditate and establish his mind in pure consciousness, and then get up and do his duty as a warrior, regardless of social pressure.
So this Mercury retrograde period can also be seen as a time that helps to shape attitudes and events that are going on in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world. During most of the transit, Mars will be aspecting retrograde Mercury. Along with the aspect of Rahu, this influence will aggravate Mercury, bringing greater tendencies towards anger, aggression, judgment and criticism. It’s a time when leaders of countries need to keep calm and avoid impulsive speech. In fact, it’s a time when we all need to speak less, and reflect more.
The transit will be particularly prone to judgement and anger. Sometimes you just have to stand up and speak out against injustice, especially if it is a big thing, like someone invading your country. Sometimes fighting is necessary, like in the Mahabharata.
On the other hand, when it comes to simple interactions between people, sometimes it is just better to not say anything. So, if you feel inclined to send and angry email, or to let out all the stored up anger and judgment that you have for a friend or family member during this period, I would suggest that you stow that feeling until later on, when your mind is less aggravated and emotional. Sometimes it is better to keep your mouth shut and have people think your are an angry, judgmental fool, than to open it and remove all doubt!
That said, with a little introspection, reflection, and meditation, you might just get it, and avoid all the misery. There’s no problem! It’s all ok! Everything and everyone is playing their part, and life is unfolding just exactly as it should. What’s there to judge or be angry with? So walk softly, avoid serious discussions and arguments, and just relax into your life. Mercury retrograde is just a dream in some idiot astrologer’s imagination.