Mercury Retrograde in Aries, March 30th through April 23rd


Mercury in Aries retrograde dates

  • 30 March 2011 24 Aries 19′ Mercury Stationary Retrograde
  • 23 April 2011 12 Aries 54′ Mercury Stationary Direct
  • 12 May 2011 24 Aries 19′ Mercury Leaves Rx Zone

Mercury Stationary

Don’t make promises you can’t keep on Mercury station days: March 29, 30 and 31 and April 22, 23 and 24

“Stationary” refers to the period of time when a planet appears to stand still.

Stationing periods are very powerful. The consequences of anything started, said, or done at these points will last for a long time. ~ Therese Francis, The Mercury Retrograde Book

Mercury Rx Zone, or Shadow

Don’t set all systems to “go” until Mercury passes through the shadow zone: after May 12th

When Mercury turns direct most people think that everything is back to normal. However, when Mercury turns direct it spends the following few weeks catching up to the degree it occupied before the retrograde. The time Mercury takes returning to where it was before the retrograde is the shadow period. The shadow period includes all the degrees that Mercury needs to go back over before it reaches a “new” degree that it hasn’t passed over yet.

For example, in this Mercury retrograde cycle, Mercury’s shadow period will start on the day that Mercury turns direct (April 23rd) and continue through May 12th when Mercury finally reaches 24 Aries again – the degree at which the retrograde started.

Mercury Retrograde periods are a great time to tie up loose ends.
  • Finish unfinished business
  • Fulfill previous commitments
  • Complete current projects
  • Review your work
  • Catch up with friends
  • Pay overdue bills
  • Return overdue “thank yous”
  • Do all the things you said you would do but didn’t

girl with galaxy spilling out of her head

When Mercury is retrograde, you may feel that the Universe is staring at you. ~ Therese Francis, The Mercury Retrograde Book

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  • Darjeeling

    Thank you with the “stationary” info on Mercury. I will be introducing a new idea for my work contract for next year. I think it will be good to introduce the idea for consideration during the stationary period but to wait till after retrograde and the “catch up ” cycle is complete (May 12th) before seeing or signing anything in black and white.
    This timing issue looks and feels sound. Again thanks for the info. Namaste, Dara (Darjeeling)

    • Michelle

      Hi Dara!

      Waiting for that decision until after the retrograde period is a great idea. Perhaps working on getting very clear about what you want to say would be the best use of the period until then.

      I’m so glad you stopped by!

  • Thank you for such wonderful info, it is much appreciated!

    • Michelle

      Thank you for reading Elise 🙂

  • vision

    hey my birthday is today, so i have mercury retro in my sr chart, but my sr retro mercury make a tight sextile to my sr moon, how can i read that ?

    • Happy Birthday fellow Aries!

      • visions

        hi and thanks all !

        actually mercury turn retrogarde 30 march 2011 i was born 30 march 1979 at 5:00 pm so some software show a solar return retraograde mercury and some not…So i don’t know what to hink about it.
        Otherwise my sr mercury make a trine to my natal neptune in sagittarius !

        • visions

          remember that i have posted my sr chart in the solar return thread of this blog !

          • It’s my birthday today..and no it’s not an April Fool’s Day joke, I really was born on April 1st! lol

            My solar return Mercury rx is conjunct natal Ceres, sextile Jupiter, semi-sextile Chiron/Mercury rx/Saturn in Pisces conjunction with the Solar return Moon conjunct the Pisces stellium. Of course Saturn is opposing natal Sun/Mars conjunction, semi-sextile natal Uranus/Pluto conjunction.

            I’m happy to make it to 45 in pretty good health but honestly I’m feeling kinda down and still having a hard time moving forward…where to next?! Patience, this too shall pass.

            • LB

              Happy Birthday, MsFullroller! Sending you love via the internet. xoxoxo

              P.S. You’re not alone. A lot of us are having a hard time moving forward. I’m taking each day as it comes and reminding myself that it’ll all work out – so long as I stay mindful, discerning and connected to Source (you know what I mean). Yep, “this too shall pass.”

              • LB

                Actually, Happy Birthday to everyone who’s celebrating a birthday. What a year it’s going to be!

              • Thanks Sis and I’m taking your advice!

            • Michelle

              Happy Birthday Ms. Fullroller!

              You know what’s funny? I know more people born on April 1st than on any other day of the year. I can name about 8 people off the top of my head with a birthday today.

              I’m feeling kinda down and still having a hard time moving forward.

              Hope you had a great bday!

              What house is your SR Sun in?

              • Wow! Until I met someone in my DH’s family, I knew of no one else with a birthday on April 1st. Thanks, as I did have a nice day.

                SR Sun is in the 9th conjunct Jupiter, opposing Saturn and square Pluto. Mercury is also in the 9th along with Mars @ 29 Pisces conjunct Uranus @ 1 Aries.

        • Michelle

          From the chart it looks like you do not have SR Mercury retrograde. Your SR occurred a few hours before the Rx so Mercury is stationing. Could be a year to give considerable thought to what you want to initiate and what you’re going to follow through on.

    • Michelle

      Happy birthday 🙂

      Since my birthday is also coming up (I’m also an Aries) I’ll have solar return Mercury retrograde as well.

      How much Mercury retrograde matters in your SR chart depends on a number of things:
      Is SR Mercury conjunct an angle?
      Does SR Mercury make an aspect to one of your natal planets?
      Is Mercury significant in your natal chart?

      Overall, I’m guessing that this year communication will center on planning a course of action and getting the initial stages prepped. Rather than directly and openly talking about everything we’re doing, we’ll be discussing the beginning stages and how to implement our ideas.

      Most of us with Aries Suns will have 4-5 planet stelliums in Aries in our Solar Returns.

      • Iago

        For sure!

        Mercury’s my natal chart ruler, and I’ve got my SR Mercury conjunct my SR Sun and Jupiter in the 9th House. That, along with Uranus, Black Moon Lilith and Mars conjunct at Aries point also in the 9th House, I’m expecting things to explode this year lol. Maybe some flashes of intuition, revelations and turnabouts of all kinds.

        Given that, this year, I’m completely focused on studying, all these planets in the 9th House can help me with everything. Or so I believe. Probably Mercury retrograde in the beginning of my Solar Return will give me some more introspection to think through chaos.

        • Michelle

          Probably Mercury retrograde in the beginning of my Solar Return will give me some more introspection to think through chaos
          Yes, I think so. Despite all the outer activity, our minds will be turned inward.

        • visions

          helllo iago,

          i have 3 planets in my solar return 9th house too, moon-neptune-venus plus near the MC in pisces as you have seen in my sr chart. I read a lot this time and i feel very artistical too!

    • billow

      Happy happy to you. I’m having a merc rx retro year. And it will be shadowing in the following year as we have a merc rx in virgo again this year. Thanks for the inspiration, I ‘m going to go look at the aspects.

  • billow

    “When Mercury is retrograde, you may feel that the Universe is staring at you.” I find that odd. Does that have to do with feeling separate from the universe as opposed to being part of the universe?

    • Michelle

      Probably both. Maybe you’re being stared at from the inside out.

      • billow

        Funny, I never really notice or feel noticed. I just can’t relate to being stared at. I must have my head up my own butt.

        • Michelle

          I don’t know that I’ve noticed it either but I thought it was an interesting quote and something to contemplate during Mercury retrograde.

          • billow

            I have to take it a little easy, because I realize everyone is experiencing this transit. I think not understanding that can cause some problems in the long run.

    • It makes a whole lotta sense to me but maybe that’s because I have Mercury retrograde natally.

      • Michelle

        I have progressed Mercury retrograde, in Gemini.

  • Thanks for the detailed info!

    • Michelle

      Glad you liked it 🙂

      I hadn’t seen the info about the stationary days put quite so bluntly anywhere before. I realized that I actually *feel* like setting things in stone on stationary days when it’s totally not in my best interests. I prevented myself from doing it on one decision after I wrote this post.

      • billow

        Does setting things in stone work for you? I admire that. It’s the fastest way to failure for me. What’s up with that I wonder?

        • Michelle

          Setting things in stone can work for me but I end up causing myself an enormous amount of anxiety and stress.

          • billow

            One of the confusing anti-the-way-I-fathom-things I heard from a friend is that without stress we would never do anthing. ???? Regaining balance always a challenge.

            • Michelle

              Well, that’s it. When I set something in stone I’m challenging myself to get it done within a certain time limit. This is great when I want to push myself past my normal limits.

              I have several t-squares in my chart so I have almost constant inner stress that demands to be dealt with.

              • LB

                When Mercury “stopped”, it was close to opposing my Sun, and at the midpoint of my 8th house BM Lilith, Sedna/South Node (within 2 degrees of all). I too, came close to setting something in stone – then thought better of it. Instead, I’m using this time to research and review my options. I’m kind of waiting to see what develops and not ruling anything out.

                Unconnected to this (but kind of interesting), is that Mercury is within a few degrees of my brother’s Sun. Although we rarely talk, I called him this morning because of several strange dreams I had that involved him.

                • Michelle

                  I’m using this time to research and review my options. I’m kind of waiting to see what develops and not ruling anything out.
                  Exactly. I’m actually going to go through a practice run this weekend on something new I want to do.

                  Dreams…they’re so…demanding sometimes!

                  Have you ever tried the flower remedy Mugwort to enhance your dreaming?

                  • LB

                    Hey Michelle – No, I haven’t tried Mugwort, but will pick some up on my walk to the health food store later this afternoon. Thanks for the recommendation! Do you mix it with water, or take it under the tongue? I’m always curious how people use flower remedies.

                    Yes, my dreams can be VERY demanding, also very intriguing and revealing. Speaking of dreaming, did you know that the Galactic Center is exactly conjunct the North Node today – doesn’t that affect your Neptune? It’s also conjunct some of my progressed planets. My dreams have been pretty wild these last few days, filled with ‘messages’ for me to try and remember/decipher. I’ve wondered if you’ve noticed anything.

                    Thanks again for the recommendation – I appreciate it. 🙂

                    • LB

                      Whoops! Just realized your Neptune is conjunct the Great Attractor, not the Galactic Center. Sometimes I confuse the two. Typical Mercury retrograde!

                    • Michelle

                      I get them confused too…I just had to go double check. Yep, my Neptune is conjunct the GA, not the GC. My Part of Fortune (24Sag) is close to the GC.

                    • LB

                      Very gracious of you to say. 🙂 Thanks also for the other Flower Remedy – maybe I’ll combine the two.

                    • Michelle

                      Chaparral is another good flower remedy for right now with so many disturbing things happening in the world. It cleanses your psyche through dreams.
                      For anyone interested:

                  • billow

                    “dreams are so demanding” . . . I surrender, I surrender, I’m living in one. : D

                    • billow

                      Oh this is good. There is a stream of thought that says that the dreamer can take action or make decisions in the dream. I think that might be about changing the mind? I can work with that. Like I have a choice.

                    • Michelle
                    • billow

                      Thanks for the reference, but I don’t let anyone else get in the way of my dreaming. It’s too confusing. I learned to use wakeful dreaming to release back tension as that is where I carry my emotional pain. It releases stored images.

                      Sleep state dreaming is interesting. I don’t dwell too much on it specifically, unless it’s a very clear message, especially if I have eaten a meal out that might have inspired MSG dreams. What I do is get up early enough to allow some sit time which allows the actual information from the sleep time dreaming to present itself.

                      At present, I have the sensation that I am walking in a dream world so that the whole life experience is a dream. It has taken a very long time to relax into this.

                    • Michelle

                      What I do is get up early enough to allow some sit time which allows the actual information from the sleep time dreaming to present itself.
                      That’s so important. You lose so much by jerking yourself out of sleep.

              • billow

                Thanks for the t square info. New for me. : )

              • billow

                Questions: What’s your take?

                Does the t-square tension release most effectively through the open leg of the t? And when there is a transiting planet in the leg, does that block release or facilitate it?

                And what is the experience of the grand square?

                • Michelle

                  For me it seems like the planet that is the focal point of the t-square is the one with the most issues to resolve. That planet receives all the stress of the other planets in the configuration. When a transiting planet fills in the missing leg….it depends. With one t-square I find that when the missing leg is filled I get extremely upset and irritable. With the other one, the missing leg getting filled provides a much needed counterpoint of balance.

                  • billow

                    I have to stop reading this site for a few days. My astrology homework is piling up. Thanks for the info. : )

          • I hear ya there! Is this partly due to having Aquarius on the 6th?

            On the other hand I relate to Billow’s reply as well because when you get to that tipping point of being sick and tired of whatever it is that’s causing the stress, is when you’ll take action to do something about it.

            • Michelle

              Like I told billow, I think it’s because of my t-squares.

              The tipping point – so true. Sometimes things have to get overwhelming before you feel like taking action.

              • Having one t-square, two if my NN is not considered to make the 2nd one a grand square, I totally feel ya.

                In addition, I was thinking of with Uranus ruling the 6th, the house of the everyday and Uranus hating to be boxed into deadlines. But Aquarius if you consider traditional rulers is co ruled by Saturn, a planet that likes the concrete and deadlines. Hence the internal stress. As you know my T-square involves these planets and Mercury retrograde. So yeah I get it…too well.

                • Michelle

                  I don’t like being boxed in by deadlines (Uranus is also inconjunct my MC) but I realize that I do work better with them. If I don’t set deadlines, I flounder.

                  • billow

                    To set my deadlines, or face the flounder (love the pun, merc rx on my sedna).

                    I’m tellin ya, this is very good info for the froggy, I mean foggy, neptunian transiter.