Let’s discuss Mercury’s station and turn direct that’s happening in the next few days.
All retrogrades follow the same pattern. A planet moving through a particular degree space of the zodiac eventually slows down and stops in its direct or forward movement. Then it moves backward through the same degree space until it stops again. Finally it moves forward through the same space and eventually beyond that space.
For example, a planet moves through the first twenty degrees of Libra, then it stops at the 20th degree. Then it moves backward to zero degrees and stops, and then it moves back through those 20 degrees of Libra until its moved beyond the 20th degree. The 20 degrees of Libra will thus have been covered three times..once by forward movement, then by retrograde movement, then again by forward movement.
Traditional astrologers often talked about the initial station like a person becoming sick or ill. The retrograde then symbolized the illness, delay, or setback that ensued. The next station would then signify the person regaining their strength, or say the fever breaking. The last direct movement was thus about regaining strength again.
Sickness is perhaps too loaded a metaphor, but the symbolism shouldn’t be completely ignored. Under the initial stationing of Mercury (or any planet) it’s often the case that some condition becomes troublesome or that delays and setbacks appear. These delays and setbacks are often part of a teaching or a lesson we each have to learn, or they are part of circumstances beyond our control that force us to reconsider or rework a strategy. Then, as Mercury slows down to station again we’ll often see the rapid transformation of circumstances such that delays, setbacks, standoffs, or breakdowns are no longer an issue. The station to turn direct will often restore things or bring about positive transformations that help us both understand and work through things that were recently hindering us (recently is a keyword for the shortest and most frequent retrograde cycles of Mercury).
With this particular Mercury retrograde cycle being in the sign of Libra, the idea of rights being wronged or wrongs being righted plays a significant role in the transformations we might see from one station point to the next. If things started falling apart or if roadblocks, setbacks, or challenges started appearing in your life 2-3 weeks ago as Mercury stationed (and you have to spot the Mercury ruled areas of your chart, plus Mercury’s home sign/house placement, and then combine it with Mercury themes in general to see what’s happening) then you might expect the scales level out again shortly, perhaps this time in your favor.
It’s tempting when looking at retrogrades to spin them entirely positively. But the truth is that often enough stations to retrograde are challenging, whereas stations to direct tend to bring about positive changes of difficult circumstances. The direct movement of a planet, in my experience, does seem subjectively easier or more supportive in its significations than a retrograde. This has taken me a very long time to come to in my own practice, and I reserve the right to change my mind about it later! Nonetheless, easier/difficult are relative terms that rightly belong to a more subjective lens, and the entire retrograde cycle should still be looked at holistically or more objectively in order to gain deeper insight into the nature of change, impermanence, the fluctuations of the Tao, etc.
Looking at our lives right now, where do we see small agreements, arrangements, contracts, or negotiations working out in our favor, or leveling the scales, or turning unfair or difficult circumstances into more positive or just outcomes for everyone? If we find ourselves on the other end, then can we start to see a greater reason why someone else is getting their way right now, rather than us? Can we admit to our own biases, faults, or flaws in a situation? If so there might be some very positive benefits for us right now or in the long run..admitting we’re wrong or yielding to a higher principle often sets us up to gain from the same principle later.
Prayer: gratitude for the scales of justice, truth, and reason, moving up and down, back and forth, teaching us in each moment about the flexible but timeless nature of truth