Mercury 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.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.
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.
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