Mercury retrograde in Aquarius 2021: What to know

Illustration by me via Procreate Pocket.

Here we go! The first Mercury Retrograde of 2021 kicks off Saturday, Jan. 30, in the fixed air sign of Aquarius.

When a planet goes retrograde, it appears to move backwards in the sky, which, from an astrological standpoint, means that it’s out of sorts and it can’t perform its normal functions very well. Mercury is the planet of communication, thinking, reason and rationalization, so when it’s retrograde, all of those things are thrown into flux. That’s why you always hear about miscommunications, thwarted travel plans and just general chaos during this time.

All that hype aside, let’s remember — Mercury Retrograde happens three times a year. Seriously. Blink and it will be the next Mercury Retrograde. So it’s not that bad. The big thing to keep in mind is just double-check everything, think before you speak and be patient if you encounter any delays.

A general theme of any Mercury Retrograde is nostalgia. You might find yourself thinking about shows and movies you used to love, old friends, lovers and anything else from the past. Nostalgia goggles can be fun, but before you do anything, remember — that was then, this is now, and circumstances have changed.

Okay, now, with all of that out of the way, let’s dive into the specifics of this particular Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius!

Mercury in Aquarius is a magnetic, globally-focused placement. It’s smart and it asks a lot of questions. It explores any and all hypothetical situations. It is curious about and sometimes seemingly even in sync with technology, electricity and social media.

This first Mercury Retrograde of the year kicks off a two-year cycle of Mercury Retrogrades in air signs. Last year and the year before, each Mercury Retrograde took place when Mercury was in a water sign, but from now until 2023, they’ll all be in the air signs — Aquarius, Gemini and Libra.

Last year when COVID hit, society’s already symbiotic relationship with technology accelerated even further. Kids were forced to skip out on school with their friends and learn from home. Businesses told their employees to stay home and work remotely and everyone — regardless of their age — was forced to download Zoom. Things like automation and contactless delivery continue to take the place of actual manual work.

We’ve also been grappling with the role of social media companies, especially within the past few months. These sites, which were nonexistent 20 years ago, are now huge, publicly-traded and unregulated companies that have am insurmountable role in influencing how people all over the world think. We’ve seen the impact this has had. Facebook and Twitter aren’t just places to connect with friends anymore — they can also be used to spread misinformation and encourage and organize mass violence. How are we as a society going to deal with this and create new, more just rules?

These are the kinds of things we can grapple with while Mercury is retrograde in Aquarius.

It’s not just Mercury that’s influencing these huge conversations about social media and technology. Saturn, the planet of rules and restrictions, is also currently in Aquarius, where it has been for a little over a month now. Saturn is forcing us to create new

With Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius, which rules things like technology and social media, we’ll now have time to sit back and think about what all of this means. Consider how much time you spend online. Consider the impact of the information you reveal on the internet without thinking (says the blogger LOL but really). And consider the source, the validity of that fascinating theory that you just discovered. Is it true, or do you just want it to be?

The theme of any Mercury retrograde is NOSTALGIA — things past, old ideas, relationships, etc. That’s why people say exes tend to reach out.

With Aquarius in particular, it’s an air sign and it’s all about intelligence and new ideas. This isn’t an original take, I’ve seen it from other astrologers online, but you might find yourself getting very interested in a conspiracy theory or some sort of new line of thinking that you hadn’t considered before.

You might find yourself researching whatever this new interest is a lot – you’ll be looking up YouTube videos, reading news stories and maybe even commenting on Reddit threads. But remember, Mercury is retrograde and not thinking very clearly. So make sure to keep your BS detector sharp.

You could find yourself getting argumentative. That’s common during Mercury Retrograde but in Aquarius it could be about social justice issues. Just remember, it’s hard to get your point across if you’re worked up a lot.

You may rethink your relationship with technology. Remember, all of the mercury retrogrades in 2021 are going to be in air signs – Aquarius, Gemini, Libra. This is after 2020 when all of the mercury retrogrades were in water signs. This is the first Mercury retrograde we’ve had in an air sign since the beginning of COVID, since our relationship with technology accelerated even moreso.

Overall, think before you speak, expect delays, and take a deep breath — this happens three times a year, after all!

Here are the dates of this specific Mercury Retrograde:

  • Mercury enters Retrograde Zone on January 15, 2021, at 11° Aquarius 01′
  • Mercury stations and turns retrograde on January 30, 2021, at 26° Aquarius 29’Rx
  • Mercury stations and turns direct on February 20, 2021, at 11° Aquarius 01′
  • Mercury leaves retrograde zone/shadow on March 13, 2021, at 26° Aquarius 29′

And here’s a general theme of things you might want to pay close attention to, based on your rising sign:

Aquarius: self-image

Capricorn: money and values

Sagittarius: communication, siblings, education, local community

Scorpio: home and family

Libra: creativity and self-expression

Virgo: daily routine, health

Leo: one-on-one relationships, business and personal

Cancer: taxes, sexuality, death, anything taboo

Gemini: law, philosophy, religion

Taurus: career and public life

Aries: social justice, friendships

Pisces: spirituality, how you relax

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