Astrology Blog

Mercury Retrograde in Dreamy Pisces + Innovative Aquarius – Winter 2020

The next Mercury Retrograde will be from Feb 16 to Mar 9th 2020.  


Here’s what you need to know:


Mercury will station retrograde at 7:54pm EST, February 16th, at 12° 53 Pisces. It stations direct on the day of the Virgo Full Moon, on Monday, March 9th, 11:49pm at 28°12 Aquarius.

IMPORTANT! The Complete Mercury Retrograde Cycle (including the influence of the pre and post-shadow periods) extends from:

February 2nd to March 30th, 2020. 

Although many people focus on the time when Mercury is actually going to be ‘retrograde’, it’s VERY helpful to understand how we are influenced by retrograde vibes during this entire period.  


Beginning on February 2nd, the influence of the Winter retrograde cycle will start to ease in. Remembering that retrogrades are a sort of ‘astrological season’, you can expect the energies to build slowly and perhaps subtly at first.  Nevertheless, there are often clues during these early days to indicate where and how this cycle will influence you personally.

The ‘peak’ or most intense retrograde vibes will be present around the Virgo Full Moon on March 9th, right before Mercury stations direct. From there, the retrograde energies will gradually fade, finally passing around the end of the month.

Common Experiences during Mercury Retrograde

  • Frustrations or confusion resulting from miscommunication
  • Key information is missing or ‘veiled’, especially related to plans, key decisions, agreements (contracts) and financial commitments
  • Plans are disrupted, and plans that you make now for the future are more likely to become disrupted down the road
  • Feeling tired or wanting to stay close to home; backing out of social commitments at the last minute
  • Transportation blunders, breakdowns, delays etc.
  • A focus on the past, which may involve working through something currently unresolved
  • A focus inward; introspection and reflection
  • Being in a state of receiving; heightened intuition
  • Spontaneous inspiration leading to ‘magic moments’
  • Unexpected opportunities and synchronicities come to you

Instead of perpetually looking FORWARD, this astrological season cycle calls for a look TO THE PAST, as well as INWARD exploration.

This Winter 2020 Mercury Retrograde occurs in Pisces & Aquarius

Mercury Rules:

  • Communication
  • Learning
  • Planning
  • Decision-Making
  • Travel (especially domestic or short distance)
  • Transportation (vehicles, planes, trains & their schedules, etc)
  • Technology
  • The transmission of ‘messages’ – In Greek mythology, Mercury was the messenger god.

In the Zodiac, Mercury rules Gemini and co-rules Virgo with Chiron.

Pisces Vibes

Pisces is the ocean of consciousness created by the collective echos of all life that ever was, and ever will be, in every incarnation. It exists beyond the physical realm, or the confines of time. This Water sign represents experiencing life through the realm of emotion and intuition, bringing awareness that transcends the ‘seen’ world, or even language. Often the only way to move with strong Piscean vibes is to trust and flow.

Piscean energy can be highly creative and imaginative. It frequently expresses itself as empathy and selflessness – a strong sense of compassion for (literally ‘feeling with’) another person or group of people, to the point of potentially losing one’s individuality. This energy is constantly receiving and absorbing emotional energy – there is no ‘off’ switch; as a result, it can become ungrounded, unfocused or overwhelmed by sensory overload.  Retreating from social interaction and ‘earthly’ drama is another common Piscean expression.

Aquarius Vibes

Aquarius energy is distinctively ‘free-thinking’, individualistic and emotionally detached. This Air element sign looks at the world through a unique lens that is highly logical, though often unconventional. This is the sign of the innovater and the inventor. Aquarius energy is also humanistic and prioritizes the wellbeing and ‘freedom’ of the collective over its own interests.

Aquarius possesses a gift for objectivity and ‘big picture’ thinking. It also questions are structures that are repressive to personal freedom, with the potential to mount a rebellion against them.

Aquarius energy often represents breaking away from traditional ways of thinking, as well as the REDISCOVERY of ancient wisdom.


When we learn to flow with astrological rhythms, we maximize energetic support for our actions and minimize resistance.  You can do this by avoiding actions which are not supported by retrograde energies. 

Some ‘quick tips’ for flowing with retrograde vibes:

  • Go with the flow!
  • Relax and trust that you don’t know what ‘ought’ to be
  • Create extra time and space in your schedule for rest and self-care
  • Look for the ‘silver lining’ when there are unexpected derailments to your plans, magical opportunities lie beneath the surface!

General Activities to avoid during retrograde!

  • Making financial commitments or plans which are inflexible – making big purchases or locking yourself into plans that you cannot easily back out of without a financial penalty are all very risky during retrograde.  Remember, key information is missing or hidden during retrograde and its shadow periods.  This is also a time when unexpected events are more likely to arise, which can shift the assumptions underlying these commitments.
  • Initiating New Long-Term Projects ­– Starting new projects such as beginning a new job or launching a new product or service through your business during Mercury retrograde typically lend themselves only to short-term prospects.  So, if you want to launch a new long-term endeavor, plan to do it before or after the retrograde and shadow periods.
  • Signing contracts – When you sign a contract, you do so with the assumption that all of the relevant facts and details are known – however during Mercury retrograde, remember that the chances are much higher that we do not have yet all of the relevant information!

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Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind over the coming retrograde period that can help you maintain balance in your life, minimize the resistance and ‘flow’ with this energy.

Remember the natural rhythm of the universe brings cycles of ‘ebb and flow’, like inhale and exhale, masculine and feminine, plant and harvest.  Enjoy!

  1. Embrace the need for balance. Retrogrades represent a necessary universal balance in life. Think of the need for retrograde cycles in the same way that you think of your body’s need for sleep: in order to have the energy that we need during each day, we need to rest and allow other systems in our bodies to take over – cell regeneration, healing, digestion, and detoxification. These are natural cycles, and when choose to roll with them instead of against them, we exert less effort and can find it easier to maintain balance in our own lives.
  2. Be Easy-Going. Mercury retrograde reminds us that sometimes the best place to be is just where we are. This is a time to let go of ‘forcing’ any particular outcome; when we try to push or force something to happen is exactly when we seem to feel the ‘slingshot’ effect that whips us back.
  3. Take care of ‘unfinished business’. Mercury retrograde signals that it’s time to take care of ‘loose ends’ and to finish projects which have been underway for some time. Retrograde cycles are very supportive of finishing up any work in progress in order to make space for new beginnings to come once we are clear of the retrograde influence.
  4. Take an objective look at the recent past.  Use this time to review what’s taken place over the past several months and reflect on what ideas or opinions have evolved as this can be a time for gaining a fresh perspective. This is also a great time to pick up on an idea that you had in the past, but never followed through with.  You can also let go of feeling held back by the past, to realize what you can learn from recent experiences, and then let go in order to renew.
  5. Relish in the present moment –This is a time to be grateful for all of your blessings and to simply let yourself take pleasure.  Press the snooze button on ambition for the next few weeks and on feeling like you need something more to be happy.
  6. Take care of yourself. Leave some extra space in your calendar for personal time, or to just give yourself a day to ‘put things in order’ in your life. Slow down and give yourself extra time for activities that you normally rush through; have a relaxing epsom salt bath, finish that book you started weeks ago, spend an afternoon cooking your favorite comfort meal.  Let yourself lose track of time.
  7. Let go of inflated expectations. This is a time to be kind to yourself and let go of rigid thinking or expectations. Delightful miracles will come onto your path when you release attachment to the outcome.
  8. Avoid major spending. Mercury retrograde is more of a time for living in the present moment and tying off lose ends from the past, so it isn’t necessarily the best time for making major purchases and investments for the future. Mercury retrograde is also not a good time to make major decisions, financial commitments or to sign contracts because it is typically a time when relevant facts are temporarily ‘hidden’.


The word ‘retrograde’ literally means ‘to step backwards’ and this term is used in astrology to describe the times when, from our perspective here on earth, a planetary body is observed to be moving counter to its normal direction of orbit.

During a retrograde cycle, the energies which are expressed by that planetary body have a more ‘introspective’ focus. The usual ‘forward’ momentum shifts, encouraging us to ‘look backwards’.

A retrograde cycle has 3 phases:

(1) Pre-shadow phase – the influence of the retrograde energy starts to be felt and grows stronger with each day. The planetary body which is about to go retrograde will be passing back over the path which it is currently transiting when the planet is in the retrograde phase. During the pre-shadow phase, the orbit slows down until it eventually reaches the point where it will switch directions.  

(2) Retrograde phase – the orbit is counter to the normal direction and the planetary body appears to be ‘moving backwards’

(3) Post-shadow phase – the influence of the retrograde is still felt but starts to slowly diminish with each day. The planetary body is moving forward again, retracing its steps for the third time over the same path. It’s moving slowly at first (it is said to be ‘sleepy’ during this time) but with each day it picks up speed until it fully resumes its normal pace.  

Photo Credit: NASA. Mars Retrograde, 2003

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