Mercury's Retrograde in Sagittarius

On the 15th of November, at 01:49 Universal Time, Mercury steps into the degrees of the Zodiac which he will retrace when he goes retrograde, when he moves backwards through our skies, on the 3rd of December 2017.

On the 15th of November, Mercury is still holding on to his recent square with Neptune, he has joined forces with Bacchus and is (wide orb allowing) parallel to Nemesis.

The square from Mercury in Sagittarius to Neptune in Pisces is a reminder that the 2015/16 squares between Saturn and Neptune are still in play...that the worlds of dream and of reality are still eyeing each other up…rubbing against each other…running into each other. Over the next few years, we’ve got squares and then sextiles between Jupiter and Neptune to look forward to…we’ve got sextiles between Saturn and Neptune to look forward to… we’ve got all sorts of other things to look forward to too…

The tension between Sagittarius and Pisces always reminds me of Odin, with one eye seeing far, far out into the world, a Sagittarian explorer, and one eye closed, looking deep, deep within, a Piscean dreamer. It’s a tension which is echoed in the difference between dreams and reality and between being seriously sober and being ecstatically drunk.

Mercury and Bacchus have in common an easy flow from one gender to another…come to think of it, Odin shares this with Mercury and Bacchus too… while Bacchus and Neptune have in common an easy flow from sobriety into ecstasy…often riding upon the rivers of sexual intimacy and / or of wine.

Mercury …Hermes…Thoth…is able to move between all the worlds and is not only readying himself to go off travelling to that place of creativity deep within…but he is also so far out, he’s out of bounds. Like William Tell, he’s not bowing to the crown of any Sun other than to the Son of his own heart and, in Sagittarius, his arrow is going to meet its mark. With Aquarius loving freedom and with Bacchus being the Liberator…with the next in the series of the 'Leo of the Heart and Aquarius of the People' eclipses following not too long after the time when Mercury will have taken his last step out of the degrees of his retrograde … I wonder if what Mercury does during this period can or will… like the story of William Tell…nudge us toward our freedom.

Balance, depth and possibilities of a New and Future Self are themes which ripple out from the skies at the moment of this journey’s start….The Moon and Mars are standing together in Libra, the sign of scales and of balance. Saturn, who is asking us to balance ourselves with the world around us is on the Galactic Centre and Mercury is parallel to Nemesis, the bringer of divine retribution. Three planets, the Sun, Venus and Jupiter, are in Scorpio, going deep into our psyche while Pluto, Scorpio’s ruler, is having a profound effect on our reality. Uranus, looking to the future, is in the sign of the self, of Aries.

When we come to the moment of this journeys end, on the 10th January 2018 when Mercury steps out of the degrees of his retrograde, Mercury will join forces with Proserpina and the Moon and Mars will have moved to join with Jupiter in Scorpio.

Bacchus is to the Romans what Dionysus is to the Greeks while Proserpina is to the Romans the Persephone of the Greeks. There are all sorts of stories likening Dionysus to Jesus, or Jesus to Dionysus,….stories of Dionysis having been born twice…of a mortal mother and of the King of the Gods…There’s also another story of him being the son of Persephone.

Dionysus and Persephone have in common their own stories, each of which take them from the world of the living into the world of the dead and back out again. Dionysus braves the underworld to restore his mortal mother, Semele, to life, bringing her to Mount Olympus where she enjoys immortality with the Gods. Persephone, for all eternity, flows from the world of the living into and out of the world of the dead, with the season’s change following her wherever she goes.

But East of here is West of there and…while Mercury moves between in and between out…whether what we retrieve from our own depths within brings the light for just one day or whether it shines forever along with the stars…if it’s balanced, if it’s true, if it’s of ourselves…it can be pure gold.


Some key dates:

15 November 2017 at 01:49 Universal Time, Mercury enters his pre shadow period

3 December 2017 at 07:34 Universal Time, Mercury stations retrograde

23 December 2017 at 01:51 Universal Time, Mercury stations direct

10 January 2018 at 16:31 Universal Time, Mercury’s post shadow period ends

31 January 2018 at 13:26 Universal Time, Total Lunar Eclipse


If you have not yet read it and are interested in reading more about the Mercury Retrograde period in general, please click here.


If you have yet yet read it and would like to spend some time to get to know Mercury a bit better, Mercury, please click here.


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This article is an interpretation of the symbols and is written for information, if anything here stirs up difficult emotions for you, please do make sure you seek support from friends, family or other professionals as need be.