Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn (December 26, 2009 – January 15, 2010)

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Mercury is the planetary energy of communication, movement, and commerce. For three weeks about three to four times a year, Mercury appears to move backward in the sky from Earth’s vantage point. This post explores what Mercury retrograde is, how to make the most of it, and its potential implications for the economy and financial markets.

Mercury is retrograde December 26 to January 15, 2010. Retrograde is symbolized by Rx. Rather than making major decisions, starting new endeavors, and making major purchases, the remedy for the next three weeks is to engage in reflection and research. It’s a time to rethink, review and revisit situations we’ve overlooked, rectify past errors, and reattempt to resolve issues that previously failed to reach fruition. Put the RE prefix in front of everything you do: reapply, reform, renegotiate, repair, revise, redo, reconnect, reinvent, retry, etc.

Scrutinize all data especially receipts and financial statements which could be more prone to errors. Avoid signing important documents during this time unless carefully reviewed multiple times (even if it was vetted by an attorney). Allow extra time for travel as well as for shipments to reach their destination. Unsettled weather conditions can cause accidents, delays, cancellations, and power outages. With Mercury retrograde in Capricorn and a majority of planets in Capricorn and Aquarius, frigid temperatures and severe weather conditions will accentuate travel problems.

Capricorn is ruled by Saturn. Mercury rules schedules and Saturn and Capricorn rule time and how we keep track of it. Reconfirm all appointments and arrangements and keep your schedule as flexible as possible to accommodate unexpected changes and developments. This is a good time to reorganize your home and office and reflect if you are truly spending your time wisely.

With Mars in Leo retrograde (December 20, 2009 to March 10, 2010) as well, it is a time to review our thoughts (Mercury) and actions (Mars) rather than moving forward. Thoughts and actions are subject to readjustment. All types of communication and mechanical devices are more prone to malfunction or breakdown during this time. Keep devices fully charged, frequently backup files, and have printouts of important documents. It’s best to postpone purchasing new electronic devices, appliances, or automobiles unless you are replacing it with the identical product.

Motor vehicles are ruled by Mercury and Mars. Replace your vehicle’s brakes if they are dangerously low! Potential problems during this time could be related to the vehicle’s ability to stop/start, engine (the annoying “check engine light”), steering, turn signals, headlights, entertainment* and navigation systems, and sunroof/convertible top.

Capricorn rules career, public reputation, and tradition. The Sun in Capricorn (December 21 to January 19) ushers in the new calendar year. Many people make New Year’s resolutions that fail by February. (See “Blame It on the Brain”; Mars rules the brain.) Mercury retrograde is a good time to retry what has failed in the past. Capricorn energy is about moderation. There are no quick fixes; only time and genuine effort will reap lasting results.

The most common New Year’s resolutions relate to improving physical appearance, and this is especially true with Saturn in Libra. Don’t resolve to lose weight or it will surely find you again! Instead mentally focus on releasing the weight. Remove all food and drink from your diet that contains sugars and other chemicals. Replace them with water and unsweetened all natural juices, and primarily eat fruits and vegetables. Get frequent exercise and incorporate more movement into your daily routine. On the subject of health, Capricorn rules the knees, bones/joints, teeth, and skin.

When Mercury is retrograde there’s a greater tendency to be in contact with people from the past. It’s a good time to reconnect with a former boss or mentor and former clients/customers. If you’re looking for work, reapply to former employers or companies who rejected you in the past. Retake tests. January 4 and 5 (before 12:24 PM EST) are the best days for this. This is also a good time to restart all types of negotiations that previously failed.

Days Mercury retrograde’s influence could be the most pronounced: December 26, 28-31, Jan 1, 4-6, 12-15.

Economic/Financial/Geopolitical: With Mercury turning retrograde the day after Christmas, retailers could be faced with more returns than usual. Many of these returns will come from consumers who bought merchandise for themselves and are returning it because they were able to obtain the item at a lower price elsewhere. Venus entered Capricorn Christmas day until January 18. Together with the Sun and Pluto in Capricorn, consumers will only be interested in purchasing quality merchandise at low prices. Retailers who put out overpriced junk geared for consumers with gift cards will be disappointed as consumers will be very particular about what they spend money on regardless if it was a gift. The era of Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2024) is about quality over quantity and living within your means.

As CNBC understands, Mercury retrograde tends to create choppy and volatile trading patterns that reverse trends. Mercury combined with Mars retrograde can slow trading down. A more cautious and pessimistic outlook pervades with Mercury and Venus in Capricorn and Capricorn’s ruler Saturn squaring Pluto.

Conflicting economic data and technical signals send mixed messages. Data feeds could be problematic, displaying inaccurate information (ditto for the news media). Currencies and bonds are particularly affected. New deals announced during retrograde are more likely to fall through. Any discernable trading pattern begun during the retrograde period could begin to shift by February 4 when Mercury moves forward into new territory.

Capricorn rules governments and corporate and world leaders. Leaders could reverse or renege on previous positions and statements. Others could resign. Mercury retrograde in the USA** indicates that previously undisclosed information about corporate, government, and sovereign debt could affect profits. News about hospitals and other treatment facilities, drugs, and insurance companies gets revealed. This information will have a negative effect on the stock market as Mercury rules the sectors of the chart representing speculation and debt.

Mercury Retrogrades in 2010:
Except for the end of the year, Mercury will retrograde in earth signs in 2010, emphasizing financial and practical considerations.

April 18 to May 11: Mercury retrograde in Taurus (money, banking, material assets, self-worth and personal values).

August 20 to September 12: Mercury retrograde in Virgo (health, workforce and military, daily routine). This is a pronounced retrograde period as Mercury rules Virgo.

December 15 to 30: Mercury turns retrograde in Capricorn at the same spot where it turned direct January 15, returning to themes present during this Mercury retrograde. Thoughts shift from cautious to optimistic as Mercury moves back into Sagittarius December 18. Mercury will retrograde in fire signs*** during 2011 and 2012. It's time to rethink our mental outlook from one of fear and pessimism to one of enthusiasm for creating a brighter vision now and for the future.

*Personal experiences of the Mercury/Mars retrograde: The day Mars went retrograde I drove to the store listening to music on the car radio. When I went to turn the radio on driving home, the radio power buttons on the dash and steering wheel would not work, and the stereo won’t accept CDs or cassettes (car is 8 yrs old). Radios are ruled by Mercury, but listening to music is entertainment (Leo). Now as Mercury turns retrograde, the backup battery in my 11 yr old solar powered (Leo) watch (Capricorn) will have to be replaced for the first time.

**Chart set for Mercury retrograde December 26, 2009 at 9:38 AM EST Washington, DC.

***The fire signs are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.

The Weekly Forecast features a more detailed look at current and upcoming planetary influences. Check back early next week for my post on the New Year’s Eve Blue Moon Lunar Eclipse.

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