Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio/Libra, fall 2020

[Photo from NASA via Unsplash]

I’m not one to fear a retrograde. I’m conscious of them, sure, and I do tend to wait out making any major life decisions until one passes. But I don’t like to buy into the doom and gloom, or the headlines that say “How to Survive Mercury Retrograde.”

But man, with all that being said, this Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio and Libra has been relentless.

When a planet goes retrograde, it appears to move backwards in the sky. Astrologically speaking, that means that whatever aspects of life that planet rules are thrown into flux. Mercury rules things like communication, thinking, technology and travel, Venus rules love, beauty and values, Mars rules action, athleticism and drive, and so on.

During Mercury Retrograde, it’s often a good idea to check your lists twice, save your work as much as possible, think before you speak and anticipate delays in travel plans.

The fact that early voting and most of Election Day in the U.S. is taking place during Mercury Retrograde is the most 2020 thing ever. Of course there’s a Mercury Retrograde going on in the days leading up to the most important presidential election of our lifetimes. Add to that a global pandemic, and an increase in mail-in voting that means we might not know the results right away on Election Night and that’s enough to make me want to scream into my pillow.

There’s a lot going on in the sky right now. First let’s remember that Mars is also retrograde and has been since September. Two inner planets that are retrograde at the same time can create some serious chaos.

Mars is in Aries, and as I write this, Mercury has moved back into Libra. Even though those inner planets are in opposing signs, they’re not going to form a direct opposition. So yes there might be some chaos but not with the extra oomph that comes when two planets directly oppose each other.

Second, let’s talk about Mercury in Scorpio. Mercury, as we covered, is communication, and Scorpio is a fixed water sign, all about intensity, secrets and the shadow side of things. A good example of Scorpio energy at its best is the Full Moon in Scorpio that happened this past May, when it was revealed to me by my own actions that I had to get sober. Scorpio has a way of drawing out honestly and the truth, no matter how dark it is, because it’s ultimately for the best.

Then there’s Mercury in Libra. Unlike Scorpio, which wants secrets to be revealed, Libra would rather keep things running pleasantly and smoothly. Libra wants justice, balance, beauty and order.

Mercury went retrograde in Scorpio Oct. 13 and has since moved back into Libra. It first entered Libra from Sept. 5, stayed there until Sept. 27 and went back into Libra during the retrograde Oct. 27.

With Mercury in Libra again, we’re returning to that attitude of wanting to smooth things over, keep the peace and move on as much as possible — the same attitude we had before the messenger planet moved into Scorpio. I realized that when Mercury was in Libra in September, I may have tried a little too hard to keep the peace. It’s back in Libra now and now I can see where I tried too hard to smooth things over. Instead of keeping the peace, isn’t it better for yourself and for the world at large to be honest and ask directly for what you want?

That’s the big philosophical takeaway I’ve gotten from this Mercury Retrograde. On top of that, there have been some genuinely stupid and annoying disruptions.

I drove from Florida to Connecticut to see my family on Oct. 9, arriving in the evening of Oct. 10 — just a few days before the retrograde began. There was some family drama that week but Mercury Retrograde didn’t truly kick me in the ass until the following Saturday, when I was driving back to Florida and my car broke down on I-95 in South Carolina.

Since then, I’ve also had to deal with some bullshit from a car rental, an illness, miscommunications, a doctor’s note that took forever to come my way, and much more. It’s been hairy. A true five of wands period of time, for all my tarot fans out there.

I think the key to “surviving” Mercury Retrograde, to borrow a term from the clickbait factories on the internet, is to just accept the potential shitshow ahead. You’re going to have to take more than one crack at any sort of communications-centered task, and that’s the way it is.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and embrace the chaos. The only constant in life is change.

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