Our December 2015 – January 2016 Mercury Retrograde Cycle

by | Dec 14, 2015 | Living the Intuitive Life

I like natural time cycles that I feel within my body, however, there is one natural cycle that I pay attention to and the experiences are effectual, rather than visceral. This cycle is Mercury Retrograde. As a cycle with a lot of bad press, you may have heard of it.

Mercury retrograde occurs three times within a calendar year, for about three weeks each time. As the planet of communication, speed, technology and all things mechanical, those areas of our lives can be effected during Mercury retrograde times. I have followed these cycles for decades, and can share that with some cycles, the effect is more powerful than others. The intensity depends on whether or not the degrees of a particular retrograde cycle impact a birth chart or a business chart, directly. That is, when the degrees of a particular Mercury Retrograde period have a geometric relationship, like conjunction, (in the same place,) square, (90 degrees) trine (120 degrees) or opposition (180 degrees) or other significant geometric configuration with any degrees or axis points in a birth or company chart.


Mercury retrograde does have bad press, and like any other challenge, it is all in attitude. Is it a crisis or an opportunity if you are forced to slow down and deal with technical or communication challenges? What is in it for you can be revealing. As always, with any hindrance, we have the chance to learn something new or look at something in a new light. Same with Mercury Retrograde periods; they can be valued, rather than abhorred.

The key to this shift in attitude lies in knowing when the Mercury Retrograde periods are coming and to work with them consciously, anticipating possible delays, technical challenges or mix-ups in communication. It seems vital for a business or an entrepreneur or a family to use this information in order to smooth through hindrances and adjust for delays and challenges with awareness and grace.

While the Mercury Retrograde period lasts for approximately three weeks, there is a longer period of time that can be cautiously observed in relation to one’s life and business affairs. This extended watch period is known as Mercury Retrograde’s pre-shadow and post-shadow phases.

What we are talking about here is a cycle, one along the zodiacal path of the ecliptic. With every Mercury Retrograde phase, there is a pre-shadow phase. This is the sign and degree where Mercury will eventually turn direct, after it’s retrograde travel. The retrograde motion appears to us on earth as the planet traveling backward in it’s cyclic path. Then, there is the point where Mercury turns direct and the final point of the cycle is when Mercury is in the post-shadow days and passes the degree when it turned retrograde.

Simply put, Mercury Retrograde’s path travels a patch of sky along the elliptic that includes several stand-out points of the zodiac as it travels back and forth in it’s retrograde motion cycle.The dates for this next Mercury Retrograde cycle, December 2015 into January 2016 include:

Pre-shadow day: December 19, 2015. This is when Mercury is at the degree it will be when Mercury turns direct, after it’s retrograde period of about three weeks and the planet appears again to be traveling forward in the sky. That degree, for this cycle, is 14 degrees, 55 minutes of Capricorn

Mercury turns retrograde: January 5, 2016, at 1 degree, 3 minutes of Aquarius.

Mercury turns direct: January 26, 2016 at 14 degrees, 55 minutes of Capricorn

Post-shadow day: February 14, 2016 when Mercury again travels through the 1 degree, 3 minutes of Aquarius, the point where it turned retrograde and this point completes the Mercury Retrograde cycle.

After Mercury completes it’s retrograde cycle, one can anticipate smoother sailing in areas of communication, speed, and things mechanical or technological, barring  effects of other, concurrent planetary cycles.

How to work with this cycle

Notice when delays, miscommunications and technical challenges start showing up and contrast those events to the dates above. Allow for more time to do things, especially technical tasks, and allow for time to sort out communication issues with family, friends and colleagues.

Traditionally, Mercury Retrograde periods are times when you might want to put off purchasing a car or a new computer or signing a contract. To offer an example of what might happen if one does go forward with something significant during a Mercury Retrograde period, it has been said that the United States Post Office was founded under a Mercury Retrograde period. The United States Post Office is in the communications business and it is well known within the United States that the post office is challenged to run a functional, profitable entity, despite the very best efforts of all who work there.

With this post, I am not proposing superstition; I am proposing to look at the events and circumstances of your life in light of this cosmic cycle and see what comes up for you.

You have the choice to use any delays or challenges as invitations to take a breath, review all options and maybe even wait awhile. Or, you can view delays and challenges as frustrating roadblocks and allow your stress level to viscerally get upset with cosmic timing.

Breathe and let go; ways will be shown out of slow downs and apparent impasses. One can use cosmic timing consciously. One woman whom I know allowed herself to get upset about a delay in hearing about a job bid she submitted. When I suggested to her that natural timing, through a Mercury Retrograde cycle, might be involved in the delay, she was able to calm down somewhat. Later, she accepted, with grace, a yes when the reply did come in, after the Mercury Retrograde cycle completed.

Another benefit of Mercury Retrograde periods is that people from our past show up for reconnection of some sort and projects that we started ages ago call us to action to pick them up again or complete them.

Mercury Retrograde is a special time, and it occurs three times a year. While it might bring delays, it also brings gifts. Whether your regard this as a bad time or whether you accept the challenge for the shifts in awareness that it can bring is a personal choice.

Comments and sharing about your experiences with this Mercury Retrograde cycle are most welcome.