Mercury in Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde in Libra-  September 7th – 28th 2009

Elizabeth Barton Astrology By Elizabeth Barton

“What is Mercury retrograde?”, you may ask.

Every four months, Mercury stops and turns retrograde for approximately 22 days.  The retrograde cycles occur in zodiacal order, by element.  (There are four elements in astrology – Air, Fire, Water and Earth.)

 This year the first three Mercury retrogrades cycles are in Air signs (intellectual ability, including communication and social interaction.)  The fourth and last one is on December 26th at 21 degrees of Capricorn. 

The planet Mercury does not go backwards in the sky, it just looks like it does. A simplified astronomical explanation would be; when a planet moves around the Sun and “catches up” with, and passes the Earth, that planet looks like it is moving backwards.  Have you ever been in a car and felt like you were going backwards as another car passed yours?  Basically it is the same effect.

When Mercury is retrograde it is the closest to the planet, thereby activating Mercurial themes.

Mercury is the planet that represents the ability to think, what occupies the mind, language, writing, Magick, the Hermetic Arts, and all forms of communication.

But it is also a trickster planet and during the retrograde period, even if you thought you understood what was said, ask again!

Mercury retrograde is a great time to finish projects that have been sitting in the garage….or cleaning the garage, to finish that short story or to dream a new idea into this reality.

It is a good time to review, re-do, recalibrate, rethink, revise, rewrite…..any word that has “re”, is applicable ….. and does well here. 

“Re”laying messages; Speaking for those who can’t speak or voice their opinion…including our furry brethren!

“Re”minding our politicians who they work for!

 Classically, “what not to do” or to “avoid if possible” during Mercury retrograde:

  1. signing  contracts
  2. Initializing or finalize projects
  3. surgery
  4. repairs
  5. travel


But life does not stop when Mercury is retrograde.  Some people have to sign documents.  If you must…..triple check the documents. Ask lots of questions.

Some people need to travel, so travel with carry on luggage only and expect delays.

Get second opinions about surgery and be diligent with check ups.   Be your own advocate!

Double check the quality of repair job before paying.

 It is now a tradition not to buy electronic goods during this time.  It does seem that equipment purchased whilst Mercury is retrograde does have a higher need for repair and resetting.

You can look back at the earlier retrograde cycles of this year and see what was affected in your life.

“What will be the main theme for Mercury retrograde in Libra?” you ask? 

Libra occupies the 7th house of the natural chart in Western astrology. The, “natural chart”, means that Aries, (Spring Equinox), is always on the first house cusp.

The 7th house represents relationships, marriage, and partnerships of all kinds, including business.

Yup, you got it; reevaluating and reflecting on personal relationships, being in integrity when judging others, and as well as the weighing and balancing of responsibilities to others.  All of this will be up for “Re”-view.

Mercury goes stationary on the 3rd of September at 6 degrees of Libra, staying on this degree until the 9th of September; technically goes stationary retrograde on the 7th.  

Mercury continues its backward motion, going into Virgo on the 17th of September.

It stops its descent and goes stationary at 22 degrees of Virgo on September 26, where it stays until October 1st.  But again it technically goes stationary direct on the 29th of September. 

There is a period prior and after the retrograde cycle called the “shadow period.”, usually it is two weeks.  This is when you start to feel the first tests of the cycle.

Taking this into consideration, the entire month of September is under the influence of Mercury retrograde! 

Ask any person with major planets or personal points (PP’s), like the ascendant or Mid Heaven, at these degrees; 0 to 9 Libra and 19 to 30 Virgo will be the ones predominantly effected by this retrograde cycle.

A special ‘heads up’ to those of you with planets and PP’s at 6 Libra and 22 Virgo! 

The three degrees on either side of the given spectrum is called an “Orb”.  Basically that is like the planets aura, it still has an effect even though it is not conjoining the 6th degree of Libra or the 22nd degree of Virgo.

“Is Mercury Retrograde bad?”

This is a question I am always asked.  The answer is “No”! Mercury retrograde brings awareness, painful at times, but awareness.  If you figure out what is affected in your life and you do the work, it usually comes out alright. 

One caveat….even if you do the work but you are living or working with someone who doesn’t, you may get caught in the energetics of their “stuff”.

Things for you to find out:

Do you have planets from 19 – 30 Virgo or 0 – 9 Libra? 

  1. Where does Libra live in your chart? What house?
  2. Since Libra is ruled by Venus, look to see what is happening to your natal Venus and what transiting Venus is doing in your chart.
  3. What is the ruler of your 7th house? What is aspecting it?.

I hope this has helped you understand Mercury retrograde a little more!

If you have any questions or would like an astrological consultation, please contact me at or call me 650 572-8850

Professional Astrologer

Ethics Certified by ISAR International Society for Astrological Research

VP of the San Francisco Astrological Society

Owner of the Transformational Therapy Center

2555 Flores Street, Suite #300

San Mateo, CA 94403


One Response to “Mercury in Retrograde”

  1. Jacoby Lowney Says:

    I am looking for anyone within the church who may be able to provide me with any information relating to my Great Grandmother, Rev. Belva Burgess and her husband Raymond Burgess. They were early ministers in your church I believe. My great Grandmother authored some books and passed away in Los angeles in 1974. I am not sure what sort of beliefs she held, or what her teachings involved, however, I have been told that they were Christian based and included meta physical, psychic, new age. etc. etc. I apologize if I got any of that wrong or if any of it doesn’t properly describe any of the aspects of your teachings. I really want to know more about her and Raymond. My email is My phone number is 406-465-5667, Thank you, Jacoby Lowney

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