Mercury entered its shadow period: March 9, 2018
Mercury stations retrograde: March 22, 2018, at 16°54′ of Aries
Mercury retrograde conjunct the Sun: April 1, 2018, at 11°56′ Aries
Mercury stations direct: April 15, 2018, at 4°46′ Aries
Mercury exits its shadow: May 4, 2018
On March 22, 2018, Mercury will station retrograde at 16°54′ of Aries, staying retrograde until April 15, 2018, when Mercury will station direct at 4°46′ of Aries.
Though the effects are most potent between March 23 and April 15, you might have already begun to notice the effects of the Mercury retrograde as early as March 9, when Mercury first entered its shadow period. And, you could be feeling them as late as May 4, when Mercury finally exits its shadow.
This Mercury retrograde is occurring in the fiery confines of Aries. Aries certainly doesn’t beat around the bush. It wastes no time at all in telling you what it thinks, and whether you find their truths pleasing is of no real interest to the first sign of the zodiac. (And, in case you thought that Sagittarius was the only sign suffering from foot-in-mouth disease, then you have clearly never witnessed an Aries work a room.)
But, somehow, Aries tends to get away with these gaffes. No matter the reason, it’s hard to hate an Aries. There’s simply too much enthusiasm and infectious joie de vivre bubbling up from within them to hold any grudges against them for long.
When at their worst, it’s true that Aries can devolve into childish behavior – especially if an Aries can’t get their way, which they will likely believe is synonymous with being the only way – but it’s equally true that Aries offers inordinate amounts of fresh-faced candor. When you meet an Aries, you can feel it almost immediately: with this person, what you see is what you get. It is a powerful sensation to be present amongst people who can’t help but be themselves in a world otherwise drowning in curated hashtags, filters, and check-ins.
Mercury in Aries echoes some of these sentiments: communications tumble forth at breakneck speed and with zero filters. Mercury in Aries is always ready to fight its corner and almost never backs down. To that end, Mercury in Aries is an instant ally, a potent protester, and a fierce opponent to anyone who would seek to silence their message.
Somewhat less positively, Mercury in Aries may be too quick to release anger, frustrations, and perceived offenses. Although, in classic Aries fashion, many of these hotheaded emotions will be forgotten as soon as they are expressed. Because Mercury in Aries is unafraid of a fight, they may too often find themselves embroiled in one. Those with Mercury in Aries need to learn the lesson of thinking before speaking, as well as sweetening their frank speeches with a spoonful of sugar.
During the Mercury retrograde in Aries, we may be meditating on similar lessons: at what point does sharing stop being caring? Is honesty always the best policy? With too much forthrightness, we may inadvertently offend others, creating tensions and resentments; with too little, we may not speak up when it is most needed. This transit could prove a powerful period for finding the balance between these two positions.
Two key aspects will unfold during this period, acting as proverbial stick and carrot: Mercury retrograde in Aries will make a series of difficult aspects with Saturn while simultaneously making encouraging aspects with asteroid Ceres.
Mercury retrograde in Aries square Saturn in Capricorn: March 11, 2018 (7°59′ Aries – Capricorn); April 5, 2018 (9°00′ Aries – Capricorn); April 25, 2018 (9°05′ Aries – Capricorn)
Gird your loins, star-lovers: this is not your average Mercury retrograde transit.
Before, during, and after the Mercury retrograde in Aries, there will be three squares between Mercury in Aries and Saturn in Capricorn that will put us through our paces. Acting like bookends to the entire transit, this series of aspects will act as the bedrock for lessons learned throughout the Mercury retrograde in Aries.
Saturn is not known for being much fun, and when in square to Mercury, his harshness can manifest as anything from tough love motivational speeches to razor-sharp, serpent-tongued critique. Sometimes, Saturn-Mercury squares also herald denials: we don’t get the job, the check has bounced, our imagined beloved did not “swipe right.” With Mercury square Saturn, we may also feel awash in limiting beliefs or convinced that our bleak outlook is the only possible outcome. Armed with that sentiment, we may very well withdraw into isolation.
Much more positive is the way Mercury-Saturn squares can tighten up our grey-matter processes, pronto. With a keen eye for weak spots, Saturn is masterful in bringing about productive recalibrations in how we interact with the world; alongside Mercury, there could be concrete advances in how we think and communicate. Any difficult feedback we may encounter, painful though it may be, could also highlight our next growth opportunities. The isolation that may have plagued the more negative aspects of Mercury-Saturn can instead become a self-chosen solitude – the perfect environment for a focused mind.
The toughest days within the Mercury retrograde transit will be April 4 and 5 when Mercury will be square both Saturn and Mars. Be prepared for angry, brash reactions and cold, harsh admonishments.
Mercury retrograde in Aries trine Ceres in Leo: March 9, 2018 (5°04′ Aries – Leo); April 9, 2018 (6°16′ Aries – Leo); April 26, 2018 (9°22′ Aries – Leo)
Never fear, Mother is here! Asteroid Ceres will be making a series of beneficial aspects to Mercury in Aries throughout its retrograde transit.
Asteroid Ceres is associated with the mythological Goddess Ceres, known for her powerful connection to motherhood and mysticism. While asteroid Ceres most specifically describes our experience of being and having a mother, Ceres can also relate to any parental figures or projections we encounter through life that may not directly relate to biological parenting.
Ceres teaches us the power of connection and attachment, as well as how unconditional love fertilizes everything that receives its touch. As an ancient Goddess of agriculture, asteroid Ceres also relates to nourishment, whether that involves food on the dinner table, or nurturing acts of self-care.
With Mercury in beautiful aspect to Ceres throughout the Mercury retrograde in Aries, you can expect nurturance par excellence: in stark contrast to the challenging squares between Mercury and Saturn, the trines between Mercury and Ceres will create supportive scenarios where we receive kind-hearted encouragement.
We may feel a newfound sense of pride in our creative accomplishments or revisit the ways in which we can best act in complete integrity – a very Leo concept – with our words, thoughts, and communiqués.
For some, this may result in closer relationships with our mothers and mother-figures; others may instead connect with an internalized sense of love and acceptance, that springs from within.
by Lee Coleman.