Mercury Retrograde January 2016 War of Words

Mercury Retrograde 2016Mercury Retrograde begins on 5 January 2016 at 1° Aquarius, and stations direct on 25 January 2016 at 14° Capricorn. Mercury retrograde January 2016 will be one of the most challenging in a long time. Intense battles of ideologies will lead to greater chaos, extremism and aggression.

Mercury Retrograde Meaning

In general, we associate Mercury retrograde with communication and technology breakdowns, nervous anxiety, travel delays and lost items. There is a feel of a difficult Mercury-Saturn aspect about Mercury retrograde, so we can also expect to dwell on things, reminisce about the past, or unexpectedly meet up with people from our past. While the Mercury retrograde period may be good for flicking through old photo albums, it is generally considered more of a nuisance than a benefit.

Mercury retrograde can play havoc with your thoughts, communications, travels and electronics. Take extra care with your words and try not to react too quickly in any arguments or if provoked. Take some time out if you start to feel overwhelmed by the hectic pace, and double-check all of your emails and posts on Facebook before hitting the send button.

Business negotiations will be in a state of flux during Mercury retrograde, so this is not a good time to be signing contracts. Some important details are not yet available, and other parties may not be reliable or honest. If going on a road trip then make sure you get your car serviced before hand.

Mercury Retrograde January 2016

Mercury stations retrograde on 5 January 2016 at 01 ♒ 02. All the aspect and fixed stars in the Mercury retrograde chart below, starting with Mercury, are extremely challenging. They exacerbate the negative influences of Mercury retrograde itself, and turn the theme of delay and annoyance to one of extreme danger and violence.

Update January 6

North Korea tests hydrogen bomb less than 12 hours after Mercury retrograde 2016 begins. This leads to a “Nuclear war of words” according to CNN: North Korea claims to test hydrogen bomb; U.S., others not so sure.

Nuclear War of Words

Nuclear War of Words [CNN]

Many of the ideas and plans to be discussed will have been aired over the past weeks since Mercury entered the retrograde zone on 19 December at 14 ♑ 54. As you will see in the chart below, Pluto is at that degree square Uranus. This means that there will already been much controversy and bickering even before Mercury retrograde 2016.

Mercury square Mars is a nasty aspect that brings insults and arguments, tantrums and aggression. Due to the slowing action of Mercury leading up to this retrograde station, this aspect already occurred on December 29 and has remained within one degree orb ever since. You can see in the chart below that it is the tightest aspect in the whole chart with an orb of only 0°01′. In fact, the exact square occurs only one hour before the Mercury retrograde station.

So this aggressive energy has been around for over a week and it climaxes again just as Mercury retrograde kicks in. Everyone will have been extremely irritable and angry for an extended period. Today, people are very likely to explode into a rage. In this heated mental state, it will be critical to avoid impulsive actions and risky behaviors. With many people already so upset, it would be quite easy to offend, insult and hurt others with your words. This is definitely not the time for important discussion or negotiations.

Any such discussions should be postponed until after Mercury retrograde as they would only end in the worsening of conditions. At the personal level this could lead to violence and injury. At the global level this could mean the breakdown of peace negotiations and even movements towards war. Driving or operating machinery when feeling so angry would increase the risk of accidents. The risk of terror attacks on mass transport and public places is greatly increased.

Mercury Retrograde 2016

Mercury Retrograde January 2016

Fixed star Altair at 01 ♒ 59 is a military star with a Mars-Jupiter feel. It will have an aggressive and audacious influence on Mercury thinking and words. The Flying Eagle is associated with bloodshed, and increases the risk of accidents, terror attacks and escalation in war. With Mercury in particular, this star is generally unfortunate, and a bad omen for personal relationships, other partnerships and for traveling.

Sun conjunct Pluto is the next most important feature in the Mercury retrograde chart and also very potent, at under one degree orb. The potential benefits of this powerful aspect are totally negated because of the anger and resentment created by Mars, as well as the square to Uranus.

The result is intense power struggles and attempts to gain control over others people and situations. Underhand tactics such as manipulation, clandestine operations, coercion and violence will be on show. This aspect increases the chance of dramatic events which will affect masses of people.

Paranoia is possible under this influence but it is just as likely that your enemies are actually plotting against you. Personal relationships may suffer from obsessive-compulsive behaviors, lying and domestic violence. You may come into contact with, or have to address, some dark and sinister areas of life, from crime, sleaze and porn, to stalking and addictions.

Fixed star Vega at 15 ♑ 31 generally has a fortunate and hopeful influence. The Falling Eagle it is associated with the ego, and the Sun-Pluto conjunction on this star will result in intense power struggles where neither side will back down and risk losing face. I expect Pluto on this star has been a major factor in the rise of extremist violence we have witnessed over recent months.

It is like a star of the inquisition and is Pluto-like in is association with vengeance, torture and executions. Vega, Pluto, and the Sun Pluto conjunction all have a similar sinister influence and together suggest acts of extreme violence, persecution and ruthlessness affecting the masses.

Sun square Uranus at two degrees orb is still very strong as it lights up Uranus square Pluto, itself the strongest in a long time with an orb of 1°24′. Sun square Uranus increases the risk of impulsive actions and accidents. It makes people very jumpy and nervous.

Uranus does have an angry side which is non personal or inhuman. It takes away the emotional connection which makes it much easier for cold-hearted acts of violence to occur. It removes self-restraint and leads to defiance and rebellion.

Uranus square Pluto has brought radical change and upheaval over the last five years. Although there are no more exact squares, Uranus retrograde has resulted in a resurgence of dramatic events in previous months. This Mercury retrograde phase covers its final major impact.

The biggest larger-scale political, religious or social change due to Uranus square Pluto, by far, has risen out of the Arab Spring. ISIS, or the Islamic State, meets all the criteria I mentioned in my predictions. ISIS represents the major generational upheaval of this aspect. Revolution, shocking, unpredictable, ruthless and extreme effecting the entire globe.

Venus conjunct Saturn suggest privation and sadness. It is not a good omen for intimate relationships. Whatever positives can be wedged out of this very difficult aspect are negated by the square to Neptune. A lot of strain will be placed on relationships due to an inability to express love and affection.

It reinforces the coldness and misfortune already observed in the Mercury retrograde aspects previously mentioned. It reduces the likelihood of any peaceful settlements to disputes.

Fixed star Antares at 09 ♐ 58 is another Mars-Jupiter star. The Eagle and the Scorpion are militant. But Antares has a more severe and violent nature than Altair. The Heart of the Scorpion causes malevolence, destructiveness and danger of fatality.

With Saturn it brings dishonesty, religious hypocrisy, many disappointments, loss through quarrels and legal affairs, and trouble through enemies. Like the Venus-Saturn conjunction, it is not helpful for intimate relationships.

Venus square Neptune increases feelings of insecurity and complicates already stressful relationships. There will be susceptibility to infection and contamination by toxins. Women in particular should be mindful of a tendency to over-idealize romantic interests at this time, ignoring the obvious faults which are plain for others to see. You could easily be taken advantage of, becoming someones door mat, or even their sex slave. This is really important given the increased risk of domestic violence shown in previous aspects.

Saturn square Neptune brings some scary experiences with the darker side of life. Disappointment or setbacks will most likely extend or deepen periods of grief or depression. Psychological fears or paranoia may become overwhelming, and we have already seen this when this aspect peaked in late November. A series of terror attacks leading up to the exact square lead to the greatest amount of global fear and security alerts since WWII.

Mercury Direct January 2016

Mercury stations direct on 25 January 2016 at 14°54′ Capricorn. Of all places to come back to, Mercury stops still on Pluto with Vega, the same place we started Mercury retrograde when the Sun and Pluto were on Vega. So the theme of persecution, interrogation, propaganda, torture and execution continues. Intense debates about extreme ideologies on the Internet, a battle of ideas between Islamic State and Western Governments.

We will also see this anarchy manifest on the streets around the world, with right-wing extremists versus left-wing extremists, Nazis versus Commies, Republicans versus Democrats. Right to Life versus Freedom of Choice and so on. Expect Islamophobia to spread as Pluto rules race consciousness and racism.

This should be the case the whole of the Mercury retrograde phase, with the Mercury direct station extending this theme until Mercury leaves the retrograde zone at 01 ♒ 02 on 18 February 2016.

Mercury conjunct Pluto suits the interrogation, probing and questioning of others and the use of extreme methods. It forces ideas and ideologies to yet greater extremes at both ends of the scale. Enhanced mental powers, including psychic powers, will make it easier to control, coerce, deceive and spread propaganda. This aspects represents power struggles at the intellectual level with the use of lies, intimidation, threats and abuse.

Mercury square Uranus increases nervous tension because of the unpredictability of the situation. You may receive shocking news or experience something unexpected that forces you to change plans. The normal tempo of life increases and you may have an unsettling feeling of always having to catch up. There is an increased risk of errors in communication that lead to unexpected consequences. Accidents when travelling or the breakdown of electronic appliances and computers are possible.

Mercury sextile Mars will be easier to deal with then the Mercury-Mars square in the Mercury retrograde chart. It should reduce the risk or debates turning into aggressive arguments and does favor more sociable exchanges.

However, in context of the mental power struggles, Mercury sextile Mars increases the desire to get the message across. It adds courage and conviction so that the messages come across stronger. This is actually an ideal aspect for convincing other people and suits motivating people to take action based on an idea. It favors motivational speakers, and given the associated aspects, it’s easy to imagine talk of war.

Mercury Retrograde 2016

Mercury Direct January 2016

Mars trine Neptune is another good sounding aspect that in this situation, can be misused or exacerbate the chaotic nature of Mercury-Pluto square Uranus. This aspect introduces the religious and spiritual side to the battle of ideas, linking it to aggression and war. Now the motivational speakers will have a charismatic charm to more easily motivate people based on religious beliefs.

Although this is not an aggressive energy, it brings strong spiritual courage and a fighting spirit to defend a cause. This will be especially effective for the underdogs in the battle, who feel they are being persecuted and victimized.

Saturn trine Uranus in the longer term, will bring order out of the chaos which resulted from Uranus square Pluto. But a lot of water has to flow under the bridge until this aspect reaches its first climax on Christmas day 2016.

For more detail on how Mercury retrograde January 2016 aspects your charts, see Mercury Transits.

Mercury Retrograde 2016 Dates

7 to 25 January 2016 – 14 Capricorn to 1 Aquarius
28 April to 22 May 2016 – 14 to 29 Virgo
30 August to 22 September 2016 – 28 Sagittarius to 15 Capricorn
19 December 2016 to 8 January 2017 – 24 Aries to 4 Taurus


Free Email Subscription

191 thoughts on “Mercury Retrograde January 2016 War of Words

  1. Hi, Jamie. Congratulations on quitting smoking! Huge accomplishment. Feeling troubled about retro forecast. I am 2nd decan Sag/Sag Rising, long-term boyfriend is 1st decan Leo/Virgo rising, narcissistic sister is also 1st decan Leo/Leo Rising. We are all over 50, so this isn’t adolescent drama I’m describing. The two of them have ganged up on me in a way that has been … a bit scary. I’ve suspected it for more than a year. She has always been a controlling bully — and has always disliked this man, who for many years I thought was the nicest man I had ever known. Has been devoted, kind, patient with my crazy family, supportive of me ,,, even if a bit emotionally detached by nature. Everyone who has ever worked for him/known him thinks he’s the nicest man they have ever known. So it’s not just romantic rose-colored glasses. Though I’ve started to have my doubts in recent years. (We’ve been together a long time.) She shouldn’t have been able to influence him … but I think she has. Has felt like a very deep betrayal. I think the best thing for me is to break up with him because trust has eroded to the point that it’s not the relationship I want it to be … or that it once was. Decision that is probably long overdue. Not sure if breaking up is a good idea under Mercury retro — particularly with how scary the forecast is. (She can be very destructive, deceitful. Two of my friends call her “evil.” … She scares me; he doesn’t.) Is it OK to go ahead and make the break now? Keep the status quo until direct? “Take a break” (very little contact) before direct — but without doing the final break up until after forward motion? … Feel like I was led to this article. :- / Read the site all the time, but had somehow missed this one. Thanks for any light that you can shed on this. And again, enormous excitement for you that the smoking is a thing of the past. :-)

    • Family – what a ride! I’ll leave this for Jamie since you’re asking him. From my perspective: Now that the sun has gone into Aquarius, and especially in light of the ongoing retrograde, break ups can occur all all TOO easily . We are still moving through the cycle for a little while longer. The War of Words is no joke. Lots of blow ups, over-reactions, and feeling like others are against us. It will all pass. We are also in a trine at the moment with three water planets; this makes everything FEEL overly dramatic. Try to keep all in perspective. Stay away from your sister on the LEO full moon on the 23rd, as that will only escalate what’s currently going on with her. Try to focus on the love in your heart for yourself and them. Remember what you love/loved about your boyfriend. Virgo rising comes across as abrupt at times without meaning to. Hope it works out for you. I could go on, but you get what I’m saying. I’m an Aries with a Sag hubby, and yep, we have our moments too. Fire is passion and right now, that’s on steroids. xo

  2. Hi I came across this article and really appreciate the information. I am wondering about a few things. I moved to the Midwest 3 yrs ago. I have had three knee surgeries (2 complete replacements) and the extreme heat and extreme cold don’t work with my body. (I had been living in the East Bay prior to this for 30 years-much milder temperature.) I have decided I just can’t do this any longer as I am in my 60’s and time is going by so quickly now….I just put my house on the market myself about a week ago…I at the time did not realize it was Mercury Retrograde…Although I have had a few calls on it I have delayed showing it as I am still trying to get it ready to show. (which probably was a good thing). When is a good time to put it on the market….I do have people who want to see it this weekend and I am afraid to get into contract during this time. When would be a good time to actually sell the house and get into contract on a new home? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks…Rose

    • Well by the time I have got around to answering, mercury is direct again. Best to check your monthly horoscope for timing, look for positive Sun (you) and Mercury transits. Mercury rules trade and contracts, Saturn rules rel estate, Jupiter is wealth, and Uranus is big changes like moving.

  3. Hi Jamie :-)

    Does Mercury Retrograde give you insomnia? Are you more likely to be effected if you have Gemini or Virgo in your sun, moon or ascendant? My rising sign is Gemini (I think 6 degrees approx).

    Also; on the monthly aspects page, the February aspects are listed under January. Feb full moon, comes under Jan (I was confused at first) . Maybe this error was caused by Mercury Retrograde?

    All the best,


    • Hi Katie, I have never thought about this but I actually think Mercury retrograde would induce insomnia, especially if it were asepcting your chart strongly. I don’t agree with the use of rulerships so no. Yes, I noticed my Mercury retrograde mistake fairly quickly on the monthly horoscope page. You must have been here just before I fixed it. All the best to you too!

      • Uranus is quite strong in my chart (so there’s the air element there). A spiritual medium told me last year that a lot of thoughts go round in my head, she added: “I don’t know how you get to sleep at night!” Usually I sleep well, but this Mercury retrograde, with these challenging Uranus aspects has been trying!

        Also, something interesting that I’ll add… My Dad has Uranus is his 6th house okay. So he’s an electrician, who works in high voltage substations, he likes to shock people, and he’s annoyingly eccentric! He had an accident in his car at work yesterday (didn’t get hurt), drove into a ditch and the oil started leaking out of the car. It’s been taken away to get fixed now. All sounds very Uranus in nature doesn’t it! My Dad also accidentally shocked an apprentice at work once too and I think the lad experienced bad injuries on his hands! I’ve been reading up a lot of natal planets in the houses of myself and close friends and family. The evidence is so true!

        Essay over.

        • I mean that he likes to shock people with bizarre behaviour and a strange sense of humour!

          • I thought that I could of been more sensitive to this retrograde, because of the challenging Uranus aspects and Uranus being quite strong in my chart. I also have Sun Sextile Uranus.

          • Then you will easily understand that article on precession. I have the conjunction, all good aspects for astrologers.

  4. As we are now feeling the effects of the Leo full moon tomorrow, the 23rd, insomnia can be a biggie. ALSO there is the fact that we are living in high energy times with many accompanying physical symptoms: insomnia, vertigo, dizziness, brain fog, weird aches and pains, indigestion, etc. Our bodies are changing as is our conscious awareness. So lots of stuff going on. Try to stay grounded in whatever way works for you. And see what Jamie has to say when he gets to your questions.

    • Thanks April. I’ve had insomnia all month! I usually sleep quite well, but have had spells of insomnia on and off my whole life!

  5. Airlines cancels over 15 Friday night flights amid computer issues.

    That was Toronto Canada tonight! It’s amazing evidence of mercury retrograde I think. Strangely enough we had a deadly school shooting in sakatchewan also where 5 were killed today. I’m thinking a war of words played a roll. This is very unusual in Canada. Massive storms roll in eastern United States today as well. Wow…I’m staying home!

    A few days ago I tried to post a comment here…it didn’t happen…merc retro!

      • I can’t stop writing now Mercury has turned direct haha :-D

        I’m not crazy, don’t worry! I think I’m just feeling a bit freer now!

        • It’s true! Mercury turned retrograde in my progressed chart when I was 13. Totally stopped reading, writing and drawing. I was very shy too. Mercury progressed direct about a year or so before I got my first computer and now look!

          • Another thing I realised is that in my natal chat, Mercury is in Libra and now the retrograde is over, I’m just making decisions really quickly and easily! I’m just getting the jobs done which require decisions and it can take time as I’m a designer. And Libra is ruled by Venus (beauty, arts, the aesthetics etc). I would of kept commenting more on others comments, but stopped as I didn’t want to come across crazy! I’ve got Jupiter conjunct gemini in my first house, so I’m naturally a chatterbox, especially to new people! My spelling mistakes are getting better now that the retrograde is over too!

          • Please don’t take too much notice of traditional rules in astrology. They really do distract from understanding astrology at a deeper level. I don’t even use Signs or Houses. Would love to see you commenting more again. See Precession Astrology if you want to know the reasons I stick to the basics. Planets, Aspects, Fixed Stars.

  6. Jamie, please, a little less negativity and fear mongering, its not good for you or us, and frankly its an abuse of Astrology, using and viewing the subject through ‘a glass darkly’ as you do so regularly, is no more accurate than being a Pollyanna.

    A bit more neutrality would allow for more accuracy and less internet generalisations.
    Its pretty clear that fear is one of our greatest issues currently. A once great nation America has been reduced by it, and thanks to the media and web, its spreading.

    In circumstances like these people turn to Astrologers. Its behoven on us to be rational, rather than melodramatic and keep a cool head.

    • Dear Aqua,

      Even though I understand and support your view, I also find this portal refreshingly “blunt” about the negativeness of potential energies. If you don’t like reading about them, well, I’m sorry to say, that it is up to you to decide if you want to visit the page.
      I feel the need to say this because these “negative views” helped explaining me why something very upsettling and hurtful happened to me recently, and thus I was glad that at least some of it made sense, when I read about the potential for all that “misfortune”. It explained a lot about some things that otherwise didn’t make sense to me at all.

      What I sometimes find rather boring, is the pages where astrologers always tries to find the optimistic view of things even in the most harsh light and aspects. That’s the other end of the spectrum I would say, and personally I’m really tired of it. I really find this portal refreshingly blunt, but if you do not, that is OK, because we are all different people. I just mean to say that (hopefully) people are able to judge for themselves and if they do not like what they read, they won’t come back. That’s how it usually happen :-)

      • Abuse of Astrology lol.

        Someone fell off the Susan Miller train. Personally, I hate Astrology without some “trembling” before the the heavens. Saturn is scary, Mars is scary, Uranus is Scary, Pluto is Scary. Fear is a real thing. Jamies not a monger, that would be mainstream news, which is just pointlessly “scary”.

        I think people could start there.

      • Hi Abangsfelt,

        I feel that when astrologers highlight the negatives, it makes me feel more positive, because I can start to accept the BS that’s been going on if you know what I mean! I think to myself; that’s why it’s been so depressing, challenging, difficult etc… Then will be thinking: “glad that it will finally come to an end at some point.” It gives us acceptance and hope!

        But also, we learn from the negatives in life! If it were all rosy, what would we learn? We’d be walking around with rose tinted glasses. Like Saturn in Neptune – I’ve learn from this current transit, that I’ve been too trusting of others.

        Anyway, I’m glad that you find comfort in the harsh realities, like many of us. The aspects come, then go and we learn and grow from them. Without Saturn, we’d be kids forever! Uranus brings innovators, venus brings love etc…

        Kind Regards,


    • I tell it how it is. Plenty of fluff astrologer out there to read to make you feel warm and fuzzy. This really was the worst Mercury retrograde I can remember. So many people have broken up, lost their jobs etc if you read the monthly horoscopes, especially those with the Mercury square.

      • Agreed!!! Thank you for your candor, Jamie. I certainly appreciate it. I would rather be prepared for the worst (even if I was spared) than get a fluffy version that leaves me I’ll-prepared. Namaste!

      • Also, with the Saturn Square Neptune theme (few reality checks) – things aren’t always what they seem. Sometimes our imagination likes to make and believe that things are all pretty and rosy. But that’s not always reality. Saturn gives us a sharp, cold (wake up) slap in the face! Smell the fresh coffee Neptune!

        I’m so glad that Mercury Retrograde is over! Just waiting for the shadow period to be over!

  7. April, From the girl with the boyfriend-sister problem. Thanks for your kind and encouraging words.

  8. Thank you for your informative article on the current Merc Retro cycle. When it is “safer” to enter into a contract with a new work partner? Is it best to wait until after February 18th, or are we clear to begin sooner than that? Thank you for your time.

  9. Jamie. I have 2 contracts to sign (it Thurs Jan 28) — can I sign them tomorrow — or should I wait until Monday?

Leave a Reply