Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius (January 30 – February 20)
Mercury stations Retrograde in Aquarius (26° 29′) on Saturday, January 30, 2021. February 20 will bring the end of Mercury Retrograde (11° 01′), although the total shadow period is January 14 through March 12.
This Mercury Retrograde period happens about three times a year. Visually in the sky, Mercury appears to move in reverse. He slows down and draws to his closest point to the Earth. As Mercury enters this part of his cycle, it’s as if our minds and daily mundane affairs — which are ruled by Mercury — are operating on a different wavelength.
It is a time when technology, communication, travel, commerce, and other signifiers of Mercury are more open to an element of chaos and quirkiness. Ultimately Mercury Retrograde is an opportunity to slow down, go within, and review our thoughts and the data that we’ve collected on our life paths. It is less of a time for taking direct action and more of a time for reflection, ruminating, and planning.
The Trickster archetype is especially fitting for Mercury Retrograde. We can experience random mixups and technical errors during this time. Not all Retrogrades are created equal, however. A lot will depend on the specifics of what Mercury is up to during the Retrograde phase, and how it all interacts with your own natal chart.
Mercury Retrograde in Transit
During the Retrograde in Aquarius period, Mercury will form five major aspects, starting with his union with the Sun, a condition known as Mercury Cazimi. The last Mercury Cazimi was during the Winter Solstice. Their conjunction was exact on December 19, 2021 at 28° 42′ Sagittarius. Mercury will be purified again in the heart of the Sun on February 8th, 2021 (5:48am at 20° 01′ Aquarius).
- Mercury Cazimi in Aquarius on Monday, February 8 (5:48am at 20° 01′ Aquarius). The eye of the storm, where Mercury gains strength. This is a good time to do your important Mercury business and be on the lookout for significant insights.
- Mercury trine the North Node in Gemini on Tuesday, February 9 (10:11pm at 18° 00’). Subconscious processing of information can lead to unique insights about your life path at this time; good time for journaling & divination to reflect about the past & the way forward.
- Mercury square Mars in Taurus on Wednesday, February 10 (4:08am at 17° 43’). Watch for conflict & miscommunication, foot-in-mouth syndrome, acting/talking without thinking, disagreements, irritability.
- Retrograde Mercury conjunct Venus on Friday, February 12 (11:42pm at 14° 42’). A chance to review & take a new approach to relationships and the ways that you relate to the world; take inspiration from mad scientist of love Venus in Aquarius & experiment.
- Mercury conjunct Jupiter on Sunday, February 14 (1:34pm at 13° 20’). A chance to review where you stand and start fresh in the realm of your personal philosophy, beliefs, & spirituality.
List of Mercury Retrograde Dates in 2021
In 2021, Mercury begins a new cycle of Retrogrades in Air signs. The Air element rules the mental sphere: Intelligence, Memory, Communication, Innovation, Technology, Education, Friendship, Groups, Ideas & Beliefs. Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius will challenge us to review & in some cases reshape our beliefs.
Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius (January – February)
Dates: Saturday, January 30, 7:52am PT – Saturday, February 20, 4:52pm
Degrees: 11° 01′ – 26° 29′ Aquarius
Most Affected Placements: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio & Aquarius
Mercury Retrograde in Gemini (May – June)
Dates: Saturday, May 29, 3:34pm – Tuesday, June 22, 3pm
Degrees: 16° 07′ – 24° 43′ Gemini
Most Affected Placements: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius & Pisces
Mercury Retrograde in Libra (September – October)
Dates: Sunday, September 26, 10:10pm – Monday, October 18, 8:17am
Degrees: 10° 07′ – 25° 28′ Libra
Most Affected Placements: Aries, Cancer, Libra & Capricorn
Planets in the Signs
The Sun, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, & Saturn in Aquarius
Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius isn’t the only player asking us to dig deep into this part of our charts, imagining what is possible. This month we have a Stellium — a pileup of planets — in the freedom-loving sign of Aquarius. The need to break free and be uniquely ourselves, to live by our code of honor, is strong during this time.
The first face of Aquarius is the Five of Swords, Lord of Defeat, where Venus is currently with Saturn. This Decan has both positive and negative sides to it, being co-ruled by bountiful Venus & restrictive Saturn. The RWS image is in the aftermath of a battle. The victor watches smugly as the losers walk away from him.
Although the figure in the card is “the master in possession of the field” (Waite, Pictorial Key), he is isolated from his peers. Exiled. Smug though he is, holding fast to his own beliefs, this casts him from the crowd. As the Air element seeks to bring people and ideas together, this represents a sort of crisis in the overall story of the suit of Swords. But it’s one which Aquarius is uniquely capable of handling, as a Saturn-ruled Aquarian isn’t afraid to stand apart. He understands fundamentally the strength that diversity brings to a community and has conviction in his own beliefs.
The third face of Aquarius currently hosts Mercury Retrograde, and is represented by the 7 of Swords, Lord of Futility. Ruled by the Moon & Venus. As we come back into communion with the crowd after our exclusion, we take what we can and leave the rest. Some ideas will fall by the wayside, but we have to admit that others are worth keeping, too. There will be a new moon here on February 11.
The Sun and Jupiter are now in the 2nd decan of Aquarius. This section of Aquarius is represented by the 6 of Swords, Lord of Science, ruled by Mercury. This is the in between place where Mercury Retrograde will return to, finding an oasis in the outer limits. There is an alchemical reconciliation between extremes and opposites that can happen here. It happens in the realm of personally held beliefs and ideas about the world. Affected most importantly is our understanding of the physical and spiritual worlds and our place within them.
What ideas and beliefs about the world are on the table for you?
Mars & Uranus in Taurus: Embers of Impending Change
The unruly Mars-Uranus conjunction of January 20 still echoes through February. These two rabble-rousers remain in the sign of the Bull until Mars hits the hills for Gemini on March 3. While they’re here, they’ll each be forming harsh 90° squares to all of our protagonists in Aquarius.
We start the month with a punch as Mars squares the Sun right off the bat. This can signify wounded egos and ruffled feathers. Mars squares Mercury Retrograde on February 10. During this transit, we can be a bit careless with our words or take on a quarrelsome attitude.
Mars will square Venus, too, potentially stirring up trouble in relationships. Try to channel all of that passion into a constructive or cathartic activity. This will help you avoid the damage of digging in your heels and being at odds with a loved one. Aside from romantic relationships and business partnerships, Venus can also signify finances and possessions. Mars is often an aggressor. It may be easy to spend more than our means or lose by some other manner at this time.
Venus squares Uranus on February 6, offering shake-ups in the realm of romance, partnerships, business, finances, beauty & art. Uranus & Mars always have the potential to be fiery and disruptive. However, change and surprises are not always for the worst. Venus in Aquarius squaring Uranus could easily invite ingenuitive solutions and creative spontaneity.
Saturn squares Uranus on February 17. As these are both slower-moving outer planets, this is part of a much larger (~45 year) cycle. The Saturn-Uranus square will repeat on June 14 & December 23 due to planetary Retrogrades. As these are waning squares, they signify the tense beginning of the final chapter. The story started with the last Saturn-Uranus conjunction in 1988 in the sign of Sagittarius. Saturn and Uranus will meet again in Gemini in 2032.
The Sun & Moon: From Aquarius to Pisces Season
At the top of the month, we finish off our first Moon of the year. This lunar cycle began in Capricorn on January 12. The Last Quarter Moon in Scorpio is on Thursday, February 4. The New Moon in Aquarius falls on February 11. For fixed signs — Taurus, Leo, Scorpio & Aquarius — this is a significant time period. Look to Aquarius in your chart to understand the significance of certain feelings and developments in your life now. Also expect more to develop in these areas over the next few weeks.
Venus will meet up with Saturn on February 5, shortly after the Last Quarter Moon in Scorpio. There can be a somber note here. As we close out the previous cycle, allow yourself to let go of that baggage. But of course, we learn from and grow from the experience.
The New Moon in Aquarius emphasizes the importance of the House of Aquarius at this time. It also kicks off the Chinese New Year, welcoming in the year of the Ox. Venus conjoins Jupiter on the day of the New Moon, which is a very fortunate sign.
The Sun enters Pisces on February 18 this year. The next day is the First Quarter Moon in Gemini, followed closely by Mercury stationing Direct.
Venus is in Aquarius from the first of the month until the 25th when she follows the Sun into Pisces.
At the very tail end of the month we get a Full Moon in Virgo (February 27). At this time, Mercury will be Direct and in its shadow, in that special middle decan of Aquarius with Jupiter. This is a blessing for finding insight and gaining understanding during the Full Moon.
Significant Transits of the Month
Week One (February 1 – 6)
Monday, 2/1: Sun in Aquarius square Mars in Taurus (2:34am PT), Venus enters Aquarius (6:05am)
Thursday, 2/4: Last Quarter Moon in Scorpio (9:37am)
Friday, 2/5: Venus in Aquarius conjunct Saturn (11:07pm)
Saturday, 2/6: Sun trine the North Node in Gemini (10:40am), Venus in Aquarius square Uranus in Taurus (7:33pm)
Week Two (February 7 – 13)
Monday, 2/8: Mercury (Retrograde) Cazimi in Aquarius (5:48am)
Tuesday, 2/9: Mercury (Retrograde) trine the North Node (10:11pm)
Wednesday, 2/10: Mercury (Retrograde) square Mars (4:08am)
Thursday, 2/11: Venus conjunct Jupiter (7am), New Moon in Aquarius (11:06am)
Friday, 2/12: Mercury (Retrograde) conjunct Venus (11:42pm)
Saturday, 2/13: Mars sextile Neptune in Pisces (6:13pm)
Week Three (February 14 – 20)
Sunday, 2/14: Mercury (Retrograde) conjunct Jupiter (1:34pm), Venus trine the North Node (9:10pm)
Wednesday, 2/17: Saturn square Uranus (11:08am)
Thursday, 2/18: The Sun enters Pisces (2:44am)
Friday, 2/19: First Quarter Moon in Gemini (10:47am), Venus square Mars (3:04pm)
Saturday, 2/20: Mercury Stations Direct (4:52pm)
Week Four (February 21 – 28)
Wednesday, 2/24: Mars trine Pluto in Capricorn (5:51pm)
Thursday, 2/25: Venus enters Pisces (5:11am), Sun sextile Uranus (1:13pm)
Friday, 2/26: Jupiter trine the North Node (2:58pm)
Saturday, 2/27: Full Moon in Virgo (12:17am)