This Mercury Retrograde Is the Rarest of Them All

October 27, 2019

Of all the looping wandering journeys Mercury takes during its various retrogrades, its journey through Scorpio is the most relatively straight-forward and symmetric. Like a hiker traversing a mountain via a switch-back trail, Mercury does a zig-zag from below to above the ecliptic in this part of the zodiac. And unusually, in the very middle of this particular retrograde, Mercury crosses right through the very heart of the sun—an event that astronomers call a “transit of Mercury.” This hasn’t happened in Scorpio since November 8, 2006, and it only happens around 13 times per century. In short, this is the rarest kind of Mercury retrograde, a chance to zoom into the very heart of something and witness it in a way we are hardly ever able to see in the bustle of our day-to-day lives. Since Scorpio is a water sign, this is accompanied by a penetrating emotional clarity that arrives as an inner epiphany.

Astrological aspects for Mercury retrograde in Scorpio 2019

Mercury makes a series of soft harmonizing aspects to planets which signify long-term energies. So, the adjustments called for during this retrograde are relatively subtle tweaks to long-standing patterns that build upon things that are already known to be working. The three sextiles Mercury makes to Saturn on October 14, November 13 (Rx), and November 30 are about enhancing existing structures or boundaries by asking for assistance from established authorities. These enhancements come from insights into helpful shifts in multi-generational patterns symbolized by the three sextiles from Mercury to Pluto on October 19, November 9 (Rx), and December 3. Finally, the three beneficent trines from Mercury to Neptune on October 15, November 13 (Rx), and November 28 all show that idealism and unconditional goodwill surrounds this process.

Everything You Need to Know About 2019’s Mercury Retrogrades

Key dates for Mercury retrograde in Cancer 2019

October 3 Mercury enters Scorpio
October 19 Mercury at maximum elongation (begins to slow down)
October 31 Mercury stations retrograde at 27° Scorpio 38’
November 11 Mercury occults the Sun (exactly between Sun & Earth in all three dimensions)
November 20 Mercury stations direct at 11° Scorpio 35’
November 28 Mercury at maximum elongation (begins to speed up)
December 9 Mercury leaves Scorpio

Which signs are the most affected by the transit?

Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces
If you are willing to step outside the confines of “normal,” there could be a rare chance to make your own small contribution to something that spans generations. You may even be able to bolster your own identity by becoming part of something with real history. At the very least you can solidify positive personal changes which buck generational cycles.

Fire signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius
You may have to surrender your personal wants and needs to do what’s good for the family or collective. Supporting, standing up and fighting for others right now can make a real long-term difference. Be the change you wish to see.

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Horoscopes to Help You Deal


This retrograde highlights the unique resources you bring to marriage and business partnerships. There’s an unusual opportunity to share a unique part of yourself that goes against the larger flow, and yet is just what is needed at this time. Take your time introducing people to this, and let them digest a little between bites.


Dropping your guard—your uber practical nature—and really opening yourself to another is the most important thing for you right now. Listen carefully and use your imagination to really feel into what someone close to you is going through. If you can get to the heart of it, and show them that you get it, the relationship could be ready to go to the next level.


The things you repeat on a day to day basis become who you are. This includes your thoughts, but also the emotions you choose to focus on—and those you choose to repress. Sometimes simply acknowledging that something difficult is there, is enough to let it go its own way. By turning away and refusing to see it, it gains a kind of secret control, because you then have to turn away from it over and over again.


Earlier this year you found out some new things about yourself and now it’s time to take a risk in order to see where they might lead. Rather than focusing on where you want to go, it’s better to just relax and see what course things naturally take of their own accord. Steering is of course at some point necessary, but using as little adjustments as possible at first allows you to see what’s really there before you try to take the show on the road.


Someone at home, or perhaps even from your ancestral past, needs to know that you really get how they feel. If you can slow down, look, listen, and learn more—this will be easier than you imagine. You may find a deep well of strength where you thought to find a swamp. Allowing others to be your inspiration for once is good for everybody.


Your detail-focused nature can sometimes take for granted the depth of understanding that is necessary for people to see why the particular details you are focused on are so important. Taking the time to spell out for them the emotional ramifications of failing to pay attention to this or that detail will help them understand. In this way, rather than fussing over details, you are seen to be the deeply caring community member that you really are.


By getting to the very heart of something or understanding the fundamental concepts, you can discover new resources that are waiting to be exploited. These resources may not be tangible things, but rather intangible things like passion, idealism, and faith. Allow these new resources to flow through you and soon enough you will be mastering new skills and attaining new levels of public visibility.


You are being purified and refined and this involves separating the subtle magical part of something from the gross impurities. This is the first Mercury retrograde in your sign since 2013, and the first “transit of Mercury” in your sign since 2006. Looking back to these years may provide important clues about the processes going on now and the possibilities for important catalysts which set in motion long term transformations.


It would be great if you could take a break from your usual outgoing nature and really make time and space to look within. Even if you cannot take a literal retreat at this time, you can nevertheless become quieter and more still within your normal routines and watch for what happens in the spaces this creates. You have a chance to distill something very complex down to its most basic essence and turn this into a symbol, like a brand logo, which has the power to grow and spread like a seed.


It would be tempting to focus on work right now and in particular productivity. But it’s important to remember that it’s people who produce. By focusing on and refining the various relationships between members in a group, you can clarify the group consciousness and this will naturally lead to more productivity. Pay attention, because in the spring you can translate this process to the relationships between various groups.


If you can boil your message down to its simplest terms—a single sentence, word, or image—then you have a chance to make great strides in your career and public reputation. This serves the same purpose as a magical sigil, that is, it is like a seed. By repeating this purified form of your message over and over in different settings, you are disseminating seeds upon the fields of consciousness. Watch for results in the spring, like the harvesting of winter wheat.


You are entering into the third stage of transformation known as the rubedo, where you finally begin to see concrete results. You re-defined yourself earlier this spring and took some risks with this new identity over the summer. Now it’s time to see where these new creative expressions can take you. Scan the horizon for new lands within which you may find strange and beautiful people and customs. Allowing these into your heart will keep the cycle of change going, and you will find a still newer you to greet in the spring.

Gary P. Caton is a transdisciplinary astrologer who maintains an active sacred relationship with the living Sky as his temple. Initiated an astrologer by a magnificent dream in 1993, Gary is the author of Hermetica Triptycha: The Mercury Elemental Year, and host of the popular Hermetic Astrology Podcast. Find Gary online at

Image by Jana Sabeth Schultz