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Astrology: keep calm and celebrate Mercury Retrograde

by Janette Dalgliesh
Reading Time: 8 minutes

By: Janette Dalgliesh – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.

People regularly lose their shit about Mercury Retrograde.

He gets so much bad press, most of it undeserved.

Let’s step away from all that and do a giant reframe.

But first, let’s celebrate the Full Moon!

It’s all about to kick off, culminating in a total reset for 2021. You’re gonna love it.

Here’s the sequence, and some ideas about how best to take advantage.

Full Moon – 29 January

This is shiny Full Moon in glorious, creative Leo, lighting up magical Jupiter. the lord of expansion and infinite possibility.

Remember, Jupiter is still in a dance with Saturn, so our awareness of that inherent creative paradox (magic meets science) is part of this.

But the Moon and Sun are leaning all their weight on Jupiter, so the Full Moon brings forth the magic.

Whatever you’ve been planning for 2021, this is a hugely potent invitation to ditch the logical, sequential, carefully plotted course forward, and go for FUN.

We are trained and habituated for logic and plodding, step-by-step forward movement. That matters sometimes, but it is like trying to visualise the summit of a mountain from inside a cave.

Step out of the cave.

Dream wild and big. Let Jupiter lead. He doesn’t know the meaning of limitation or logic or step-by-step.

Bask in the big vision, just for the joy of it. 

Set intentions bigger than you can imagine. We’re not talking about some perfectionist fantasy that will ‘fix’ your life (I’ll only be happy when I win the lottery / marry Mr Perfect / have the baby). 

Rather, dream about the version of you who has expanded in whatever way you please, because you are already amazing – now you’re growing Awesome You to be even more so.

Fun and delight, not drudgery or grind.

Some ways to activate Jupiter:

  • record your visions with blank paper, like an art journal or visual diary, and coloured pens / crayons
  • activate magic in whatever ways please you
  • draw an oracle card and DO NOT look it up in the book; rather, describe the image, assume it is benevolent, and feel out what you think it means
  • go big – light a big candle, order a big coffee, think ‘supersize’ and do it in honour of Jupiter
  • be exploratory and curious – whatever comes up, drop any judgement and simply relish how good it feels

Mercury Retrograde – 30 January

Technical info: retrograde simple means a body in the sky appears to go backwards from the perspective of Earth, just like a slow train looks like it’s in reverse if you’re overtaking it in a faster train.

Astrologically, it’s just a change of perspective inviting us to take a new look at the stuff that planet is interested in. It’s NOT a reason to panic (thank you internet for all the GAAAHHHHHH … not.)

Mercury is the messenger of the gods, the ruler of all forms of communication. 

That means systems and structures, networks and protocols. 

It means conversations, emails, letters. 

It means the very systems which live in our own heads, the unconscious habits of thought and belief which can hold us back without even realising.

When Mercury moves retrograde, it shakes loose all of those systems and structures we might never have even questioned.

Maybe our computer misbehaves, inspiring us to update the operating system at last. 

Or the car starts misfiring and demands new spark plugs. 

Or a conversation with a loved one goes awry and leads to an exploration of that difficult topic we’ve been avoiding for so long.

But the reason I LOVE Mercury Retrograde is the way it’s blisteringly powerful for helping us shift old, stuck thoughts and beliefs – which is what sets us free to experience a whole new reality.

And this Mercury Retrograde party happens in Aquarius, where we’ve just had the Jupiter-Sun Full Moon magic – the sign associated with innovation, rebellion, and bringing new ideas and concepts to the collective.

We are all stepping into the Age of Aquarius, triggered by Jupiter and Saturn’s big conjunction there just a few weeks ago. 

And we’re soon going to experience a whole gaggle of planets in Aquarius, so the tone of innovation, change, independence, autonomy, revolution and self-determination is being amped up – alongside intellectual curiosity and a desire to support the collective through bringing the treasures of new ideas and concepts.

This is not a friendly environment for toxic old thought habits.

For those of us who have grown up in systems of oppression, we may notice those systems lodged in our own brains more than normal.

We could find ourselves rattled by the realisation that we’ve been immersed in the complex paradigms of the patriarchy, white supremacy, ageism, ableism, class, prejudice against the LGBTQI community – and any number of other systems in which we grew up.

But along with the unsettling and sometimes downright nauseating truth, comes the key to unlock those old cages.

Our job is to hold our nerve and step boldly into the discomfort that comes along with innovation – and have radical compassion for ourselves.

Statue of Mercury with text 'Mercury Retrograde Party Time'
Statue of Mercury, Ballarat Botanical Gardens

Some ways to navigate the Mercury Retrograde energy:

  • get comfortable with things being weird – if you normally put your shoes on right foot first, start with the left; if you normally shower in the morning, do it before bed. Normalise ‘this is odd!’ so your brain begins to feel calm when things are peculiar.
  • practice self-compassion, in the knowledge that your brain doesn’t like change and may well come up with nasty stories about how you’re ‘doing it wrong’
  • notice unhelpful thoughts when they arise, and if you sense ANY kind of judgement – activate curiosity instead. Ask ‘what would I prefer to think here?’ or ‘what is my lesson here?’
  • dive into resources which help you understand a little more about how your own brain works, and how to change it – one of my favourite sources for this is Kara Lowentheil’s podcast Unf*ck Your Brain

Over the next two weeks, Mercury glides backwards through Aquarius, eventually crossing paths with the Sun in the days just before the next event on our sequence of magic-made-real.

Chinese New Year – 11 February

Unlike western New Year, the Chinese New Year is an astrological event.

It’s the second New Moon after the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere (summer solstice in the southern hemisphere).

In 2021, we move into the Year of the Ox, the second sign in the Chinese zodiac. It’s energy is honest, positive, dedicated, practical, grounded and stable.

In addition, at the moment of the New Moon there will be six key planets in Aquarius – including Moon herself. It’s a potent mix!

Hardworking Saturn, visionary Jupiter, goddess of unapologetic desire Venus, trickster god Mercury, radiant Sun and reflective Moon.

And that is the perfect culmination we need, to reach forward with eager curiosity and begin bringing all those wild magical visions into reality.

New Moon is always a good time to begin the four-week lunar cycle with something fresh. You can celebrate THIS New Moon by weaving together the long-term vision and the answer to the question ‘what could I do over the next four weeks to begin bringing myself into alignment with that future version of me?’

For example – if I know my long-term vision is to make a million dollars, I know that my first step is to ensure that every part of my business right now has the potential to be full of joy, and is lined up with being of service (one of my core values). I also know that it needs to be imbued with spaciousness (another core value) because my old thought habits are all tangled up in overwork, obsessive productivity, and resultant procrastination. My long-term plan involves spaciousness, joy, service, and love. My four-week goals might be to examine my existing business structures and clean out anything that doesn’t support the long-term vision.

But that’s just me! Yours might look completely different.

How to activate the Aquarius New Moon, and tap into Ox energy:

  • connect to the earth – stand on grass in your bare feet; visit with a tree and hug it, asking permission from the tree first; dig in the garden; plant something (in a pot counts, too)
  • connect to your body – lie down and simply scan your body; dance as though nobody is watching; walk or run while noticing the massive power of your thigh muscles
  • if you own or work with crystals or stones, visit with them. You can simply hold each one quietly in your hand and ask it if there is anything it wants you to know; thank it and bless it. You can also research a favourite crystal or stone, focusing on the scientific information (geology, chemistry) and letting that open up new understandings
  • come back to basics – remember the teaching “before enlightenment, draw water, chop wood; after enlightenment, draw water, chop wood”. In literal terms you could bake a cake, build Lego, take up a craft project, learn carpentry.
  • activate sensory pleasure – smell, taste, touch, vision, hearing – find things that feel good, and bask in the pleasure. For added oomph, notice your own brain as you do this – notice if you have any anxiety here (perhaps guilt for basking?) and then decide that embracing pleasure is your work in that moment

And now you’re ready to begin consolidating your plans for 2021 and making them real, by deciding what to focus on over the next four weeks of this lunar cycle.

And please note – Mercury is still Retrograde until 20 February, so this is not like a hard threshold where you flip out of magic and into engineering overnight!

Rather, this is like clarity emerging out of the fog bit by bit, while you’re still able to access the transformative potential of the Retrograde period. Be sure to build this into your lunar cycle plans, my friend. NO heavy expectations or pressure.

Apply loads of wondering and zero judgement, as much as you can.

Anticipate that you might unearth even more old thought habits, ripe for releasing and change.

Recognise that your brain is wary of change and it can be an arsehole sometimes, so you’ll need to keep bringing that radical self-kindness.

You can ask ‘what is the very first step for me to take today?’

You can review the big vision, and use it any time you have a decision to make; ask ‘will this take me closer to, or further away from, my vision?’

TL:DR – there’s much going on in the sky, but the sequence is very simple.

  1. Lead with the creative, visionary magic of Jupiter – no restrictions, no rules, anything is possible
  2. Let Mercury Retrograde help you smash though the patriarchy in your own head, breaking out of old habits of thought that are well and truly outmoded
  3. Let the Aquarius New Moon bring its inventive resourcefulness and spirit of rebellion to the HOW, so the magic can be brought to tangible reality
  4. Have fun creating a mini-plan for the next four weeks, guided by the revolutionary Aquarius New Moon
  5. Honour the Ox energy by grounding yourself so you can open the door to the year ahead, one step at a time

You know, in 2023 Pluto moves into Aquarius, so this period is also a perfect set-up for what will emerge then. You can’t get it wrong, so don’t let this become pressure. But you can do some simple things to maximise its potential, and you can have fun doing it.

We’ve all been trained to think we need to know every step of the path.

That’s why Jupiter is such a great starting point, because he doesn’t care about things being ‘realistic’ or ‘possible’.

He just knows how to dream. 

So start there.

If you’d like to know how this Mercury Retrograde and the whole Aquarius party will impact your own unique natal chart – I am offering a special Mercury Retrograde guide to thriving, available for a short time only. This is the best possible way to figure out how to set the sails on your own particular ship of life, so you can experience smooth, swift sailing. Click here to grab your spot.

Exact times (US Eastern Timezone)

  • 29 January, 2:16 pm – Full Moon at 9° Leo (Sun at 9° Aquarius)
  • 30 January, 10:51 am – Mercury Retrograde at 26° Aquarius
  • 11 February, 2:06 am – New Moon at 23° Aquarius (Chinese New Year)
  • 20 February, 7:52 pm – Mercury Direct at 11° Aquarius 

Janette Dalgliesh helps smart, progressive women live their purpose, with plenty of freedom, meaningful work and oodles of money, through her unique mindset and astrology based coaching.  Find Janette at her website when you’re ready to create more joy-fuelled success and claim your true power in the world.

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1 comment

Helen January 28, 2021 - 9:37 am

Great information Janette!


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