October 1st – November 27th  2013

The final Mercury Retrograde Cycle of 2013 covers the zone from 2° - 19° Scorpio, entering on October 1st, 2013 and leaving on November 27th, 2013 . Here are the dates for the full arc of the cycle, from the day on which Mercury passes the degree where it will later turn Direct, through until the next Superior (or Exterior) conjunction.

    1. October 1st – Mercury at 2°29' Scorpio, the degree of later SD (November 10th)
    2. October 21st – Mercury turns Retrograde at 18°24' Scorpio
    3. November 1st – Mercury Rx conjunct the Sun at 9°34' Scorpio
    4. November 10th – Mercury turns Direct at 2°29' Scorpio
    5. November 20th – Mercury passes the degree of recent conjunction (Nov.1st)
    6. November 27th – Mercury passes the degree of the recent SRx, October 21st
    7. December 29th – Mercury D conjunct the Sun at 7°41' Capricorn.

It might surprise you to see the extended period of time mentioned above, as usually we only pay attention when Mercury is actually Retrograde, for only about 21 days, covering about 16° - 18° of the Zodiac. However, being aware of the whole arc of Mercury's movement gives us some very useful information, hints on 'pacing', a good basis for decision-making, an opportunity to review things, plus a way of understanding and wisely managing the ebb and flow of situations in our lives.

This particular arc of Mercury is a very interesting one, as it takes in the conjunction of Saturn and the North Node. Indeed, over a few days around the beginning of November, there is a multiple conjunction in the sign of Scorpio with Sun, Moon, Node, Saturn and Mercury! This period also sees a Solar Eclipse (November 3) and the 4th exact square ( 7 total) of Uranus and Pluto, this one being important because it's the middle of the sequence. So the overall cycle has a tone of heightened intensity.

Scorpio, ruled by Mars and Pluto, is a sign with uncompromising dedication to truth, especially as regards what has been previously hidden from sight. The underside is revealed – of our ourselves, others, and situations – and we are given the courage to encompass the 'dark view'. This leads to a release of bound energy (Scorpio is a 'fixed' sign) and transformation can occur. We may see 'through the glass darkly' at this time, and it is important to recognise, Scorpio style, that this is not the whole of reality. The eagle is often associated with Scorpio, and is also the bird of Zeus/Jupiter, ruler of the next sign, Sagittarius. The eagle represents the precise, penetrating and 'forensic' view of the Scorpion, as fresh intuition arises refreshed from seeing and feeling the 'dark truth' which enables us to move on.

Mercury's conjunction with Saturn and the North Node suggests 'messages' about our destiny and the capacity to see through the collective delusions which assail us, especially from the media. We focus, forensic style, on the details of what we need to deal with and eliminate the rest, Scorpio style. We are executive rather than speculative, sober rather than over-excited, spare with words rather than talkative, disciplined rather than self-indulgent, narrow rather than broad in our focus. We recognise the power of our choices, not only about external situations, but, crucially, about how we approach our own experience. We get a sense of how it is to be profoundly engaged while remaining detached, feeling deeply without drowning.


Let's 'take it from the top'

and explore

the seven stages

of Mercury's cycle


1. October 1st 2013 – Mercury at 2°29' Scorpio, the degree where it will later SD, on November 10th.

We enter the 'field' of  Mercury's Retrograde cycle.


If you work regularly with these cycles, you will be able to feel when Mercury enters the 'sensitive zone' of the zodiac where its forthcoming retrogradation will occur. Indeed, it makes sense

to prepare for this journey.


Hermes, the Greek equivalent of the Roman god Mercury after whom the planet is named, was the only one of the Olympian gods who had free right of passage through all realms – from the depths of the Underworld, domain of Pluto/Hades, right up to the snowy heights of Mount Olympus, presided over by Zeus.

The picture left shows a mix of light and dark, the hallmark of Mercury's nature.

(And see below for more on the cat!)

By noticing the Zodiacal sign placement of Mercury, and any aspects it makes to transiting planets, plus locating its trajectory in our own natal charts, we can get some idea of what kind of territory Mercury will be asking us to travel, and prepare accordingly. For he is the 'Guide of Souls' and if we follow his prompts, we can be sure of an 'interesting journey' which may result in profound insights, new connections, quirky, annoying or amusing events and surprises, welcome or unwelcome, or indeed both!

Remember - Mercury prefers questions to answers, so ask yourself the important questions at this time. And get a sense of what is being asked of you ...

Mercury is the weaver between the opposites, like the snakes which wind around the healing staff or caduceus. His job is to assist travellers on the path of awareness, and to keep the energy moving so that situations develop to fruition, ideas are generated, and important communications are facilitated, both inwardly and outwardly. Also, we may be tripped up with glitches – computers crash, we lose our cell-phone or it's stolen, Emails don't arrive, we are clumsy verbally and cause offence, we jump to wrong conclusions and have to back down and admit we were wrong, we miss meetings, plans go awry, travel arrangements scramble.

You will find plenty of 'warnings' about this kind of thing, leading to the Mercury Rx Cycle generally getting 'bad press'!


However, let's take a different view here …

Each Mercury Rx cycle is a unique opportunity to shift level, to undergo an inner journey which will enrich our understanding, to free up energy and create momentum in our lives – in the particular area of our own horoscope where it is active. So it will focus on and 'implant' a set of qualities, as described by the sign(s) of the Zodiac in which it's located.

Rule of thumb …

If you are experiencing a Mercury Rx Cycle through a flurry of glitches and things mis-firing in general – just STOP your momentum, as in the phrase 'Don't just do something, sit there'! Very often, these Mercurial 'signals' are prompts to slow down (as Mercury does when turning), change gear, turn around (as he does) and be reflective rather than active for a while.

The 'Re-' words ….

Many words that have the prefix 're' describe the processes of Mercury's Rx Cycle, and also give us clues as to how we can best engage with these energies. Here is a list of such words and perhaps you can have some (Mercurial!) fun finding more. Email them to me so I can add them here, if you feel inspired to .... (see below for the great international collection to date!)

Re-flect — Re-examine — Re-view — Re-consider — Re-turn — Re-cognize — Re-do — Re-think — Re-spect — Re-value — Re-vamp — Re-capitulate — Re-model — Re-start — Re-finish — Re-cycle — Re-member  — Re-jig — Re-fashion — Re-imagine — Re-cover — Re-habilitate — Re-join — Re-ignite — Re-kindle — Re-form — Re-quire — Re-make — Re-flect — Re-examine — Re-view — Re-make —

Re-consider — Re-turn — Re-cognize — Re-do — Re-think — Re-spect — Re-value — Re-vamp — Re-capitulate — Re-model — Re-start — Re-finish — Re-cycle — Re-member  — Re-jig — Re-fashion — Re-furbish — Re-cover — Re-join — Re-ignite —  Re-kindle — Re-form — Re-quire —Re-veal — — — — — etc!!


Thanks for sending them in!


More Mercury fun ... do you see any duplicates?

And can you place the flags of the countries represented, without looking them up?


Re-solve  Re-design — Re-pel — Re-claim Re-position Re-ceded Re-retreat Re-trace Re-name Re-joice Re-name Re-time

Re-heal Re-harmonise Re-peat Re-sound

Re-act Re-collect Re-gurgitate   Re-boot  Re-search — Re-format

Re-store Re-install Re-main

Re-move Re-locate Re-establish Re-negotiate Re-lease

Re-connaissance Re-gard Re-capitalize

Re-wire  Re-birth — Re-incarnate —


Re-enter  Re-present  Re-post Re-cap Re-enforce Re-open

Re-evaluate Re-build Re-apply  Re-store Re-read Re-new

Re-generate  Re-define Re-align

Re-transmit — Re-connect — Re-ask — Re-hear — Re-play — Re-study

Re-explain  Re-explore  Re-bound  Re-concile Re-ceive

Re-understand  Re-discern  Re-analyze Re-observe  


Rehearse — Re-write — Re-view — Re-volution — Re-novate — Re-wind

Re-pent Re-purpose Re-arrange Re-assess Re-double Re-play


Re-mark Re-animate Re-generate Re-develop Re-paint

Re-structure Re-organize Re-launch Re-pulse Re-populate

Re-vision Re-pair/pare Re-coil Re-lax Re-new Re-past

Journey to the Underworld …

As Mercury is the 'traveller between the worlds' and can move everywhere 'sans frontières', getting a sense of where he is going in terms of your own chart is useful.

Look up the house where Scorpio is located.

For example, if Mercury is crossing your MC, you may be re-thinking various things about your professional life. Decisions mature, opportunities arise, situations clarify, you bring nagging concerns fully into view and deal with them. Things may turn 'upside-down'.

If Mercury is crossing your IC, you might action a long-standing wish to re-decorate your home, or to put some energy into family relationships you've neglected.



'Watery Underworld - The Door'

Photo: M. Reinhart, 2012

Wherever Mercury travels, be aware that depths may open up. Prepare yourself and your life so that you can benefit and bring healing to yourself and others through this knowledge.

2. October 21st – Mercury turns Retrograde at 18°24' Scorpio


During the period where Mercury is actually Rx, we can experiment with keeping 80% or more of our attention focused inwardly, on our own field of experience. We may discover, to our surprise, that most of what we do in our lives can be achieved by engaging the remaining 20%. Habitually, we live with those percentages reversed, with 80% or more of our attention going 'out', so we become seduced, lost, stretched out, exhausted, embroiled … in the outer world. Especially during the 'interesting times' we are living through, the media exerts a direct and compelling influence over our state of mind, if we allow it to.

Switch it off …

Get curious - have a 'technology fast'. Just switch it off. Experiment with silent days, computer-free days, iPhone free days, put your Email account on auto-reply. Go further if you feel like a (Scorpio!) challenge … don't speak, read or write for an hour, a day, a week. Whatever makes sense for your life-style.



Even if you live a really busy life, fully engaged with family, friends and work, with a little forward planning and ingenuity you will find small 'windows', places and times to 'switch off the world' and commune with your soul.



Even better … practice doing this in the midst of 'it all'.

Be 'online' inwardly and notice how your world and your life seems from this 'Underworld'  perspective.

Listen, and hear …

'Hermetic Silence' - Bocchuis 1574

Try being 'in the world but not of it'

rather than being

'of the world, but not in it'!

Befriending …

Look for the dark, stuck places in the soul and hang out there. Get a sense of the qualities, somatic location, tone and frequency of these hidden areas. No need to 'do anything', just acknowledge your own perceptions and reactions. These 'tucked away corners' will just love to be receiving your kindly attention and may yield unexpected blessings and surprises, basking in some warmth after being shut away in the icy wastelands of 'frozen Scorpio'.

Here, the purpose is not about 'getting rid of' anything, although this may be our habitual attitude when sensing these dark and unfamiliar places. We approach these parts of the soul as we would a frightened kitten – quietly, soothingly, with open and friendly intent, and perhaps a saucer of milk. We listen for the silent language of this 'unknown other' and makes ourselves available in good heart.


3. November 1st – Mercury Rx conjunct the Sun at 9°34' Scorpio



The conjunction with Mercury and the Sun is a precious time of 'seeding'.  Notice with precision and care what 'crosses your path' around this date. Who comes into your life like the 'Messenger' of Mercury, who is, after all, the 'Messenger of the Gods'? What situations present? Most important, pay attention to dreams, reveries and intuitions. And journal this bit, as it might bring fleeting impressions which are difficult to 'catch by the tail'. However, you'll delight in seeing how the ingredients of this time are reflected at the forthcoming Superior Conjunction, on December 29th 2013.

For example, someone struggling with the application forms for a course, around the Inferior Conjunction, was notified that her application had been successful at around the Superior Conjunction. Or, at the Inferior Conjunction we give up on something that clearly isn't working, and something else, new and unconsidered, presents itself at the Superior Conjunction. You get the picture!


4. November 10th – Mercury turns Direct at 2°29' Scorpio


What gift will we take with us from the previous 21 days of Mercury being Retrograde? The Universe is always ready to bestow its gifts, only asking that we are willing to receive them. With Mercury in Scorpio, the image of 'buried treasure' comes to mind. The 'treasure' may have been located at the Inferior Conjunction (November 1st) and we've been carrying it up from the Underworld since then.


5. November 20th – Mercury passes the Inferior Conjunction degree (Nov 1)


We see the direction of things, accept the Guidance, start planning, get curious about the outcomes. We are still 'in the journey'. Reflect on the notion, found in many mystical traditions that 'the Traveller, the Road, and the Destination' are One. What does this mean to you? And where, actually, are we going, really, truly? If anywhere?


6. November 27th – Mercury passes the degree of recent SRx (Oct 21)


We marvel at the interior 'seeding' which has taken place, and the magical process of how life events and experiences are unfolding. What or who is it that makes all this occur ?


7. December 29th – Mercury D conjunct the Sun at 7°41' Capricorn.


We notice fruition, and gives thanks for what 'works' in our lives, as well as accepting 'what doesn't work'!  This conjunction is in Saturn's sign, and near to transiting Pluto, so take care not to distort your view of things to include only the 'half empty glass'! And understand that it's largely a matter of our definition, anyway … we can always train ourselves to re-focus the lens, without lapsing into denial of the 'other'.