Mercury Retrograde 2019 and Your Chart
We are coming out of Mercury Retrograde as I write this in April 2019 and you will have finished the cycle on April 18th. Which area of your life has been stuck or subject to change? Which area of your life has been affected by human error, equipment breaking down, or transport issues? I published this on 2nd January 2019, so you had plenty of notice. I hope you had Plan B, C and D throughout this messy, muddled period which began on February 20th.
You can use Mercury Retrograde to predict news headlines, months before they happen, if you know the cycle secrets. Check here to see how Mercury Retrograde February-April 2019 panned out with $1 billion Midwest floods and a tax question for Meghan and Prince Harry. Remember this?
Backwards and Forwards With Mercury
This is a famous sculpture of Mercury going backwards and forwards in time – at the same time. At the end of this feature, you can find out how to join me on a walking tour of London in Summer 2019 (or pick up the podcast for a self-guided astrology London tour later on) so you can see how Mercury and other horoscope factors are secretly coded into the old capital.
This sculpture is also a good reminder of how this cycle functions. Just think of two journalists, or two computers, or two emails, or two television news broadcasts – moving in the wrong direction. In your own life, as we’ll see in a moment (if your personal birth chart is affected) there may be conflicted plans involving an apartment sale, or a new lover in 2019. Mercury Retrograde is the classic ‘flip-flop’ decision you tend to get from people who do not know their own mind – or cannot make up their minds. Mercury rules thought. When retrograde or going forwards, stopping, going backwards, stopping, going forwards – over old ground – you can see the results!
Mercury Retrograde is notorious for coinciding with referendum results that never stick; votes that are declared null and void; petitions that come to nothing; new cars that have to be sent back for repairs; audio records that need to be re-recorded and so on. I am sure you know the score if you are a Premium Member. Yet – it is important that you get the dates right for 2019, particularly if you are making plans for your finances, house, charity, business or apartment later on – and have Scorpio factors.
Check Your Premium Member Birth Chart Now
Check your chart now. If you have factors at 23-29 Cancer in your Fourth House of property, then I’ll give you insider tips about your house, apartment, vacation accommodation, family or household in a moment. If you have factors at 0-4 Leo I will have information about the children in your world, and sexual relationships which may end in parenthood, or step-parenthood. Both these cycles are due in 2019 and your chart may be triggered.
If you have Scorpio factors at 11 through 27 degrees then the issue for you will be mortgage and marriage, sex and money, property and family or legacy and inheritance. Again, I’ll show you specific dates ahead to watch out for at the end of 2019.
Do You Have Factors at 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 Cancer?
You will be dealing with delays, reversals, retractions, transport or travel obstacles, people changing their minds, possible deception and backwards-forwards progress – with your house, flatmate, roommate, relative, apartment, home town and/or homeland in 2019. The dates are June 20th to 27th, which begins the process – then Mercury Retrograde continues between July 20th and August 11th.
This is peak time for holidays and vacations from New York to London so be aware of the potential for issues and follow the Mercury Retrograde rules. Get it in writing, read the fine print and have Plan B and C.
Be extremely cautious if you are buying or selling property or investing in the same, as if you have factors at 23-29 Cancer then starting in January 2020, you are set to experience Pluto at 23-29 Capricorn right opposite and Saturn at 22-29 Capricorn, also right opposite. Jupiter at 23-29 Capricorn and Ceres at 23-29 Capricorn complete the picture. The year 2020 is challenging. Go over the small print on all paperwork if it comes up from June 20th to 27th, and seek a second or third opinion you can trust.
Do You Have Factors at 0, 1,2, 3, 4 Degrees of Leo?
You will be dealing with delays, reversals, retractions, perhaps broken promises, rescheduling, transport/travel obstacles and backwards-forwards progress in 2019. It will involve pregnancy, births, Christenings, adoption, stepchildren, godchildren, young relatives, sexual relationships which may end in parenthood – and specifically, the children or young adults you must mentor, guide, teach, train, inspire or set an example to. Leo rules the King or Queen and his/her heirs to the throne.
Just on the world stage at this time you are going to see major muddle and mess involving the young Royal Family and likely, the young Trumps, as the White House is America’s equivalent to Buckingham Palace. These are the dates to be aware of the potential for chaos. Be aware this is school holiday/vacation time and peak time for holiday romance: June 28th to July 19th, then August 12th to 15th.
Do You Have Factors at Scorpio 11 through 27 Degrees?
This looks like sharemarket chaos on a global scale so unless you know what you are doing and have expert advice on hand, be very careful with assuming share prices are fixed, final or firm – from October 12th to December 8th. This may also affect currency exchange rates if you are travelling to another country, and exchange pounds/dollars/euros.
We always have to put Mercury Retrograde in context and he is now in Scorpio, the sign which rules sex and money, marriage and mortgage, property and family, legacy and inheritance. The big picture of your finances. Life insurance also belongs here.
As Uranus (the revolution) is also in Taurus now – which rules currency and the world economy – in astrology, this looks like a period of great uncertainty and instability. These are the dates: October 12th to December 8th.
What Mercury Retrograde Is Not – The Beginner’s Guide
Mercury Retrograde is (often) not the dates you are shown on Google or on some websites. It goes longer. It starts earlier and ends later. It’s a long loop that involves the post office/mail, your car/bus/train/plane/bike/boat – and the internet. It involves printers, fax machines, signed documents, your telephone and all multimedia, from newspapers to magazines.
These deliver delays, cancellations, standstills or reversals – things come to nothing – depending on your personal birth chart. The rest of the story (which may involve your career, your love life, your apartment, your bank account) depends on the other factors alongside Mercury. You can’t just say it’s generally ‘bad news’ or anything of the kind. Sure, it coincides with huge mistakes and failed negotiations. It was there when the Titanic sank – poor communication on board – and it was also there when Britain tried to do a deal with Hitler on so-called peace. Yet: Mercury is what it is. It is just the written and spoken word, or the short journeys in life, coming to a standstill and reversing. Now, sometimes that can actually be a good thing! The answer for you rests with your whole birth horoscope, including the asteroids. The proof that Mercury Retrograde can also predict world news headlines – just in case you need to check again – is here.
Astrology is Roman – From Bus Station to Train Station
Mercury is the Roman messenger of the Gods. Our modern astrology is Roman, exported to Britain about 2000 years ago, then shipped to the rest of the world. Astrology is Latin, so it is at the basis of the English language. We talk about Saturday – that is Saturn’s Day – it comes from astrology.
The term ‘bus station’ or ‘train station’ (which often sees a jam on Mercury Retrograde) owes a lot to the old Roman ‘stationes’ which were relay points, or changeovers, for the message carriers of the old relay postal system, called the Cursus Publicus. This is really what is behind this cycle, as all our knowledge of Mercury comes from Ancient Rome, moving forwards. That makes it essential that we understand how they communicated with each other – how they travelled. All of this is under the rulership of Mercury in astrology. To really understand the cycle, with all its stations, you need to think like an Italian.
Mercury – Standing Still and Making Stations
When Mercury in astrology stands still, it makes what is known as a station, even today. That is when things can come to a standstill. Why? Often because someone was not telling the truth, or because there was a change of mind. Mercury comes to a dead halt in your horoscope and instead of moving forward, as he should – he is frozen. That is when life freezes up too.
Mercury has always been associated with tricks, lies and theft, and there is a good reason for that. In general, on Mercury Retrograde, the chances of having difficulties with thieves or liars increase. It’s not always the case (your personal birth chart will reveal that) but it happens often enough that you need to be aware of the risks on the cycle.
On the old Roman postal system – the Cursus Publicus – there was a great deal of fraud, theft and forgery. Pliny the Elder and Trajan both wrote about it. Beyond actual deception it is very common to see people changing their minds and going back on their word. This is why I always tell you – as a Premium Member – to ‘get it in writing, read the fine print and have Plan B.’
Why Mercury Triggers Vehicle Issues – Cars, Trains, Planes
The Cursus Publicus – the old method of getting news around the Roman Empire – was also known as the Cursus Vehicularis in Ancient Rome. It even had a fast lane and slow lane. This is where the idea of ‘vehicle slowdown’ and ‘vehicle breakdown’ comes from on Mercury Retrograde.
The fast lane of the Cursus Publicus was called Cursus Velox (from which we get the world velocity, today). The fast version had horses and mules – the slow version had oxen to carry the messages. Researchers agree the typical speed of the Roman Imperial Post was about 50 miles or 80 kilometres per day. If you update that for the 21st century, you’re talking emails and social media. FedEx couriers are in there too, but the worldwide web as a whole is ruled by Mercury.
The word ‘notepaper’ today and associated ideas with Mercury Retrograde, like note-taking, and notes, comes to us from the old Latin word ‘notarii’ meaning clerks, secretaries and shorthand-takers who were involved in the Cursus Publicus. You can read more about this in Ruling the Later Roman Empire, by Professor Christopher Kelly.
Dating Agencies, Travel Agents, Real-Estate Agents
The old Roman term for the messengers of 4th to 7th century Roman government was ‘agentes in rebus’ and that word lives on today as – agents. All kinds of agents can produce all kinds of delays or reversals on the Mercury Retrograde cycle.
If you have standstills involving literary agents, employment agencies, real-estate agents and so on, it’s really no surprise. This may be Tinder, for example, if you call that your dating agency. I used to have my books represented by the literary agents Curtis Brown in London and Sydney. Curtis Brown authors would refuse to sign contracts on Mercury Retrograde. True story! If you see the word ‘agent’ used in any context on Mercury Retrograde, be aware of the potential for wasted time or money.
How Astrology is Wired Into Life Today
Astrology is wired into modern life because of the global dominance of the English language, which comes to us from the Latin used and loved by the Ancient Romans who settled in Britain. The Roman passion for astrology and their firm faith in Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the rest – are the foundation on which Britain was built.
From there, after the Middle Ages revival in astrology, English was shipped to the world (and so were what we now call horoscopes). It’s amazing to think that on every single Mercury Retrograde today, Millennials from Brooklyn to Boston are talking about the issues with their phones or computers. But – they are talking about a phenomenon that is 2000+ years old.
Mercury Retrograde and History
For the Romans, and later on, for the artists of the Renaissance, Mercury was so real, he looked human. Only his winged sandals gave him away as being the courier of Jupiter and the rest. These ancient ideas are woven into the fabric of Britain and have made it as far away as Sydney, where Mercury stands at the entrance of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
In Ancient Rome, the horoscope ruled. In fact, Emperor Augustus was so obsessed with astrology, he famously put the zodiac sign Capricorn – thought to be prominent in his horoscope on the currency. Dr. Helen Jacobus (University College, London) is a friend of mine, a brilliant researcher and speaker, and she has explained this story well on the BBC website.
“The images on Roman coins are key records from the Empire, and Augustus created several that featured the goat-fish, Capricorn, possibly because it was the zodiac sign connected with his conception, or because the moon was in Capricorn when he was born.”
The Word ‘Stat’ and Mercury – From Stations to Stationery
This is where modern life meets history in the middle – with astrology – as when Mercury Retrograde takes place, we have problems with stationery and also with bus stations and train stations. In any office, the Stationery Cupboard is usually where issues begin on this cycle: it is the sticky yellow notes that fall off the desk, which can create a chain of muddle. It is the envelopes that are mailed without stamps, as well. If you find yourself stationary, at the train station, on this cycle – with the wrong-sized stationery in your bag, you may actually experiencing a Mercury Retrograde Station.
The root word ‘stat’ can be found in statistics, too, which Mercury rules. Correspondence in Ancient Rome was delivered by people called statores. They were also called tabellari. So, the ‘stat’ in stations, stationery and stationary has a long history. When it comes to the tabellari, that core word ‘tab’ can be found – literally – on the ‘Tab’ key on some old typewriters. We also link it to the ‘tab’ in tables, of course – and particularly bus or train timetables. You may even have a computer tablet.
Latin is at the heart of the modern English-speaking world and astrology is wired into it. When we talk about the old Italian god Mercury appearing to stand still or move backwards, we’re really thinking like a Roman. The Mercury Retrograde phenomenon is modern. Perhaps it has spread virally on the internet because it specifically concerns the internet. Yet the core meaning of all that we associate with Mercury goes back to the statores and the tabellari.
Mercury’s Muted Messages
When Mercury changes direction – moving backwards through the zodiac sign by degrees – we are also watching something the Romans would have understood, trying to use their version of the internet and the airport – the Cursus Publicus – on such cycles. The change-stations on the long relay of messengers on the roads that led to Rome were called mutationes. They stood about 1.5 kilometres apart.
I am sure you can see the root of the words ‘mutable’ there. Even in astrology today, a mutable zodiac sign describes a person who is changeable.
Turning to a trusty old copy of The Oxford Illustrated Dictionary I can find ‘mute’ still in use 2000 years later. To be mute, of course, is to silent. When we are hacked, or have laptop problems, we are muted. Mercury Retrograde often mutes the message. This is why we associate the cycle, sometimes, with sore throats, just as it is linked to faulty microphones.
In general, Mercury Retrograde is about all the important affairs of government, across the world – and the sharemarkets – in flux for a number of weeks. It has nothing to do with a teenage astrology fan on Twitter ‘feeling the energies’ at all. It is about genuine chain-reactions of chaos. Global. Like a $1 billion Midwest American flood. Or a chaotic British exit from Europe.
Emperor Augustus was the most famous astrology fan of his time. He founded a state transport organisation which conveyed officials, goods and money. That’s the wraparound outcome of Mercury Retrograde. Sometimes it’s extreme weather, sometimes it’s an extreme situation, but the cycle creates a domino effect.
Tip: Watch this with property prices if Mercury Retrograde will go over your Cancer factors, and with finance in general, if Mercury Retrograde will go over your Scorpio factors in 2019. This is where the national or global may become personal.
Curses and Cursive Handwriting
In Rome, runners with messages were known as ‘cursores.’ You can find out more about these young messengers in Traffic and Congestion in the Roman Empire, by Cornelis van Tilburg. From these old, real-life versions of Mercury the messenger of the gods, today we also have ‘cursive’ handwriting, which we learn at school – handwriting without lifting the pen. A curt message is a short message. When a bicycle courier in his late teens delivers a package today and you create a digital signature, you are receiving and leaving a curt message, to what the Romans would have called a ‘cursore.’ I am sure you can see the connection with the word ‘curse’ as well. And we do all curse Mercury Retrograde, most of the time. Curses were a normal part of Roman-British language and life, about 2000 years ago. In fact, you can still find some of the curses/messages in Bath at the Temple of Minerva.
Drug Smuggling and Mercury Retrograde
Mercury can be associated with drug smugglers too – and when we talk about drug ‘mules’ being arrested, we are unconsciously echoing the Romans, who used mules on their Cursus Publicus.
As I write this on April 5th 2019, a date-stamped prediction I made on this website on 2nd January has come true, as the Mercury Retrograde in Pisces cycle has come to pass. The forecast of “A huge Asia-related drug-smuggling bust” unfolded on March 28th, some three months later. The Vietnamese arrest of a Chinese man carrying 300 kilograms of heroin made news.
What Happens in Mercury Retrograde’s Relay?
If Mercury is a horoscope symbol of a messenger – a courier, postal worker, switchboard operator, secretary – or even of a piece of worldwide web technology – what happens on Mercury Retrograde Station?
This really explains how the whole process works. The Cursus Publicus of Rome was a relay-messenger system, spaced out along the famous Roman roads which covered the whole empire.
It relied on horses, mules or oxen – and human beings – in a chain which could get stuck further up the line. Why? Lame horse. Sick messenger. Messenger bribery and corruption – perhaps, the theft of a document set to be collected.
The Cursus Publicus (pictured left) appropriately enough, pictured on a postage stamp here, shows the wheels that spin (or get stuck) 2000 years ago. Today those wheels can be the frustrating ‘spinning pizzas’ when there is a problem with your computer.
What we have here, on this stamp, is a Mercury Station. A stop. Now, imagine if this is part of a chain of communication or transport today. Picture a ‘station’ or long pause, up the line. The relay is disrupted. One message is moving forwards, but there is no guarantee it can go further. Why? News is already coming back down the chain, that there is a problem ahead. We associate Mercury with rumours and gossip. This phenomenon is well-known on Wall Street on Mercury Retrograde. Just remember, if you are watching the markets – the 1929 crash proved to us that the chaos begins and ends with a shadow. Mercury moves over the same zodiac sign and degree, where he will shortly get stuck or go backwards. There is also a post-shadow, after the event, when he likewise retraces his steps. Given that Mercury rules merchants and merchandise, it’s not hard to see how things can escalate.
How Mercury Retrograde Works Down the Line
As we’ve seen – the Romans who gave us our modern astrology today – used a relay system, refreshing horses and riders at various stops on their roads. Update this idea for the internet and the ‘broken signal’ or weak link in the chain may actually be a planning disruption in the future, affecting the present.
It’s a really smart move to allow for people who are generally indecisive, changeable or perhaps unreliable – on this cycle. Chances are, you’ll find your fixed, firm and final plans involving the internet, multimedia, paperwork and so on, are in flux.
About 2000 years ago (to make you feel better) we also find issues about a courier’s reliability. Sempronius never receives a letter from his brother Maximus, for example, because it is lost or stolen.
A messenger or agent for Emperor Augustus trying to get news from Rome to Naples on horseback may have set out well enough, only to have chaos coming in the other direction as a horse may have died, further up the line, or a young messenger may have walked off the job. This is exactly what Mercury does over the whole Mercury Retrograde cycle.
The Mercury Retrograde Cycle in Pisces – February to April 2019
I hope this is starting to explain the past for you, in terms of your personal birth chart, as well as the future. (Chances are, any time you had chaos in your life involving Officeworks, Kinkos or similar – Mercury was at large).
Using the Mercury Retrograde cycle of 16-29 Pisces between February 2oth and April 17th as an example we can see how things fall apart from the very start.
Mercury began to move across 16-29 degrees of that zodiac sign, only to ‘station’ or get stuck at the same degree (29 Pisces) from March 3rd through 8th. Mercury then moved backwards. His next station, or standstill, was at 16 Pisces. That took place March 25th to April 2nd, right at the peak of the Brexit shambles in the House of Commons in London. The leak in the roof was a clue. Pisces is ruled by Neptune, and Neptune rules water.
Mercury moved like this, February-April 2019: just one look (below) and you can see why the whole cycle, from start to finish, needs to be used when you predict the future. We call the first and last stage of the cycle Mercury Retrograde Shadow or Mercury Retroshadow.
Tip: Do not complicate matters by trying to fix things on the Mercury Retrograde cycle – particularly by adding more meetings, letters, emails, text messages, contracts, debates, press releases, negotiations, travel plans, new computer, phone or vehicle purchases – you are swimming against the tide of this notorious cycle. Far better to keep life simple and the stakes low.
Mercury Retrograde in Pisces 2019
You can see how negotiations, debates, discussion, plans start normally enough as Mercury goes across Pisces 16, 17, 18 and so on, reaching 28 degrees of that sign. Yet, rather like the Roman messenger on horseback who is already receiving gossip/rumours of a lame horse, or missing colleague, further up the road – things are off to a shaky start.
Tip: If you have Pisces factors at 16-29 in your own personal birth chart, you may recall February-April 2019 as a time when matters which were private, deeply personal, spiritual, religious – about your very soul – went backwards and forwards. Why? Pisces rules the Twelfth House of your chart where you deal with God, the angels and your personal demons too. Correct?
Pisces 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
Pisces 29, 29, 29, 29, 29, 29
Pisces 28, 27, 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 18, 17
Pisces 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16
Pisces 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
For more on the Mercury Retrograde phenomenon see Mercury Retroshade Explained.
Do you want to see Mercury in London for yourself? Join us for a very special 2019 event
Join me for a podcast featuring acclaimed bestselling author Tobsha Learner – to discover Mercury, and other astrological landmarks, through London’s history. Take the walk too, in a special August 2019 London event. You can enrol for The Sun Sign School on this website from April 23rd to find out more – the guided tour this summer is exclusive to Sun Sign School students. The podcast will be available for download, if you wish to take a self-guided astrology walk around London, later.