First we should recognize that Mercury will turn retrograde in a Venus ruled sign, just as Venus is moving out of a Mars ruled sign (Aries), and into her own sign of Taurus where she is much more comfortable and empowered. Simultaneously we should notice that Mercury is being strongly emphasized through Jupiter's upcoming station in Virgo. Both Mars and Saturn, as well as Neptune, are all moving through Jupiter ruled signs, and Jupiter is slowing down to station and turn direct in both the rulership and exaltation of Mercury (Virgo).
Putting this all together we can see some simple themes coming forward. Mercury is a planet whose broadest archetypal actions include analysis, investigation, consideration, skeptical inquiry, curiosity, deconstruction, and critical thinking. So during a retrograde period, especially during the stations, we may find ourselves seriously questioning, analyzing, or deconstructing something. Or we might find that various systems are being broken down into their parts or that they aren't working correctly or that there is something standing out that needs more careful attention or revision.
From here the question becomes, "WHAT is being analyzed, deconstructed, broken down into its parts, or analyzed?"
Well, remember that this Mercury retrograde leads us back to Mercury's position over Jupiter and Jupiter's position in relationship to Saturn, Mars, and Neptune. Learning to see the community dynamics of the planets is an important part of any analysis.
Jupiter in Virgo represents a kind of puritanical, careful, perhaps naive but also meticulous breaking apart of various systems of doctrine, dogma, and belief or praxis. Whether we're looking at politics or carpentry, religion, philosophy, or accounting, wherever there is a some outdated or unexamined system in place Jupiter in Virgo suggests a second look or a critical evaluation. This is naturally uncomfortable for Jupiter whose nature is more akin to building greater wholes and coordinating successful growth projects rather than taking systems apart or weeding through the parts of vast networks. However, the entire transit of Jupiter in Virgo may also represent a kind of "take it apart" so that it might eventually become better or stronger on the whole.
But it gets even more specific. Jupiter in Virgo is related to the interests and challenges of Neptune, Mars, and Saturn as well. Let's start with Mars and Saturn.
Both planets in a Jupiter ruled mutable fire sign emphasize separation, schisms, feuds, and factions. Both planets represent the contentions, competitions, and crusades we are fighting on behalf of various new/old ideas and beliefs. With both of these planets being dominated by the square from Jupiter in Virgo, we are seeing not only the feuds of our underlying values and prejudices, many of which represent serious generational or historical divides, but we are seeing these feuds play out as they relate specifically to the deconstruction or critical analysis of entire systems of thought or practice (analysis of both our ideals and the practical implementation of ideals).
Underlying Jupiter's disposition in Virgo is also the transcendental dream of Neptune in Pisces. Underlying all of these conflicts and systemic analyses are the images of our dreams, of the reaching for something transcendent, for something non-ordinary, for utopia, for salvation, for whatever we want most deeply but cannot see or name. We are looking for God, you might say, in the individual grains of sand..taking apart our sand castles, one grain at a time, until we've found the sacred source in each of them and can then, finally, rebuild our castle with renewed integrity...restored faith...a future worth living for.
The problem is that the waves keep coming and interrupting the process! Exception after exception slips in and confuses our counting, until we are forced to reckon with the unaccountable truth...we will never get to the bottom of this. In this sense Jupiter in Virgo is doing his deconstruction on behalf of that which cannot be satisfied. At some point we will say, "This will have to do."
Now, let's return all the way back to Mercury retrograde. If Jupiter in Virgo is emphasizing systemic inspections, then this retrograde is going to be an especially important time for these investigations. Because Mercury and Jupiter are stationing simultaneously, and then during Mercury's retrograde Jupiter will turn direct...signalling the implementation or the change over, or the positive results of the analysis...the first fruits of a process that has been taking place since the beginning of winter when Jupiter went retrograde.
Why can we be so certain that this transformation will be beneficial? Because Mercury will be with Venus in Taurus and in a superior trine to Jupiter. All of which point to the positive integration or joining of disparate parts for the sake of growth. Out of the careful analysis, something cohesive, beautiful, and harmonious is likely to emerge. And remember that by August Jupiter will enter a Venus ruled sign for an entire year.
However, given the simultaneous Mars/Saturn retrogrades, it's likely that this entire sequence will also continue to feature factions, feuds, and ongoing conflicts or sharp distinctions or debates between various ideas and practices. It's also possible that the Mercury/Venus signature in relationship to Jupiter reflects compromises that are strategic but also somewhat divisive (driving a hard bargain, forcing someone's hand, reluctantly giving up any ground to a perceived opponent, etc).
We'll look more carefully at this over the next few weeks, but hopefully this gives everyone more to think about!
Prayer: Help us to reconsider, to hold each part up to the light, so that we might see as the one who sees everything.