‘Tis the retrograde season. Mercury is set to do its backspin on May 10th and it will last until June 3rd 2022. Last week, Pluto reversed. One of the predictions of this transit was that a trine between Mercury (communication) and the Bulldozer Planet (underworld) would result in unearthed messages or “dark communication.”
We are already seeing the impact of this placement. The U.S. Department of Justice just experienced the greatest leak in its history. An anonymous clerk in the DOJ dumped a draft opinion circulating amongst the Court’s conservative justices that outlined their legal reasoning to subvert Roe v. Wade in an unprecedented reversal of Roe’s established precedent.
In America, Roe, of course, enshrined a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body regarding her reproductive health. That right is now on the brink with fears of an approaching real-life American Handmaid’s Tale. Roe’s subversion will effectively criminalise certain reproductive choices.
When it is said that retrogrades “reverse” things, this is what we mean. In general, a retrograde refers to a transit during which a planet appears to be moving backward relative to us. The result of this motion tends to be wonky. When Venus goes retro, for instance, romance gets weird.
But, in good retrograde fashion, this transit is not straightforward. Why? Part of this complexity arises from the fact that the Messenger crosses through two signs during its reversal. It begins in Gemini and then keeps going backward into molasses Taurus on May 23rd, before moving forward again on June 3rd.
One thing to notice about Mercury here is that it transits from the sign it rules–Gemini’s mutable air–into the most opposite modality and element: fixed-earth Taurus. The effects of this Mercury retrograde will be multiple and even contradictory. How so?
When Mercury is at home in Gemini, communication and conveyances are supercharged and superfast. We feel that we are in a groove with the way we express ourselves. We may exhibit great wit--and our minds, likewise, might demonstrate a kind of ingenious creativity. Mercury well-aspected in Gemini is like, say, Ernest Hemingway at his favourite bar in Havana, cutting it up with friends–breezy, brilliant, easy conversations, beaucoup creativity to boot.
But when Mercury goes retrograde in the Twins, the Trickster Planet gets more tricky. Communication can take on a more gossipy, salacious, or rumour-filled quality. More back-biting. More back-stabbing. Words still fly, but they fly with a more insidious intent. This is the shadow form of Mercury reversing in a sign it loves. The first part of the transit, accordingly, could have us feeling like we are part of a gossip magazine–either dishing out undignified tittle-tattle to others or being the subject of it.
Around the 23rd, though, the Messenger enters slowpoke Taurus. If Mercury-in-Gemini will be fast and furious, Mercury-in-Taurus will feel slow, plodding, and long-winded. The Fixed-earth nature of Taurus will almost glue Mercury’s quicksilver tendencies to the ground. The Messenger can’t flit about the ether like when it is in airy Gemini.
How might this second part of the retrograde manifest, then? The Taurus phase of the transit should slow the way we process words of others. Messages might take longer to arrive. Meaning may take a bit of time to accrue. But such a slow down will be welcomed after the madcap rush of Mercury retro in the Twins. We will be better able to separate the signal from the Gemini noise.
We should also find ourselves drawn to reflecting on and discussing Taurus-related themes–security, home, belonging, and belongings. Retrogrades are times to reassess items connected to planet and sign. May 23rd to June 3rd marks a particularly ripe phase to talk about (Mercury) fixed-earth topics (Taurus) with partners in love or business (remember Venus–love and money–rules the Bull). If the first part of the retrograde is going to feel salacious, the second part is going to be more solid. Try to hold off til the Messenger enters the Bull, therefore, to communicate about matters of the heart.