Navigating Mercury retrograde December, 2016

blue_skyIt’s the final Mercury retrograde of the year.  How appropriate to end 2016 and begin 2017 with the astronomical opportunity to reflect, renew, and re-strategize. What’s unusual about this Mercury retrograde December, 2016 and January, 2017 is that Mercury and Jupiter are participating in a house exchange or a parivartana yoga.

Mercury retrograde happens three times a year, and it creates a great deal of panic each time.  While many people dread the period when Mercury is retrograde, Vedic astrology, or Jyotish, offers a somewhat varying perspective than Western astrology.  In Vedic astrology, retrogression is seen as a sign of strength.

When a planet is retrograde, it is closer to the earth than usual. People feel its presence more powerfully than normal, for better or worse.  Retrogression connotes the notion of repetition, renewal, and revisiting of situations.

Mercury is the celestial messenger

Being dual-minded, Mercury endeavors to pursue at least two varying paths simultaneously. Mercury’s innate ability to multi-task is hampered by its slow motion. There can be bouts of frustration which impact the nervous system (or majja dhatu in Ayurveda) due to the slow moving impediment.  As the indicator for commerce, Mercury is powerfully able to use its versatility and intellect to create opportunities for itself.  There is emphasis on the thinking mind in communication, but the thoughts may be repetitive.  Communication may also be misinterpreted.

Mercury retrograde December, 2016 begins with Mercury in Sagittarius on December 19.  It will occupy the constellation or nakshatra of Purva Ashadha until December 24.  This star is associated with non-ending improvement, and helping loved ones attain their own goals. There’s a great deal of forbearance, patience, and composure to fulfill their mission.

Then from December 24 to January 8, Mercury is in the star of Mula.  Mula is connoted with being uprooted and reversals of fortune.  You may see life as either a tragedy or comedy.  However, attempt to view it via a greater philosophical perspective.

Sagittarius is the 9th house of the natural zodiac and relates to foreign travel, spirituality, higher education, and dharma. Reflect on these subjects as they come to the forefront during Mercury retrograde December, 2016 and January, 2017. Then contemplate what has gone well and what could be improved.

With Mercury and Jupiter engaging in a parivartana yoga during this month and next, opportunities arise. Both planets signify education and oratory skills.  Plan for your studies and how they can further your personal self-development.

Here are some tips for navigating Mercury retrograde December, 2016 and January, 2017:

  1. Do not sign any legal contracts or enter into new agreements or partnerships, as there is the likelihood that the contracts may have to be revised or that they will not go through.
  2. Consult health care practitioners on methods to support your nervous system and stay calm.
  3.  Avoid being too frank or blunt in your communications.
  4.  Worship Lakshmi from December 24 to January 20, when Mercury is in Mula.
  5. Use the time when Mercury is retrograde for writing / authorship.  This includes preparing lectures.
  6.  Watch your expenses carefully and don’t indulge in mindless holiday spending. Be careful not to incur new debt.
  7.  Review your finances for 2016 and create a budget for 2017
  8. Take this opportunity to review your personal or professional skills and determine how you may improve them.
  9. Use herbal supplements to support mentally taxing activities.
  10. Pick up your favorite religious or spiritual texts and write out key teachings that relate to dharma.
  11. If you think life is giving you lemons, make lemonade out of it.
  12. Plan health promoting daily routines for 2017 which include spiritual pursuits.
What are the best methods for navigating Mercury retrograde December, 2016 and January, 2017?

In retrogression, it’s most problematic when a planet goes from being direct to retrograde or vice versa.  For a planet to change direction, it initially slows down considerably and then gradually gains momentum.

Mercury turns direct on January 8, 2017 and is back to its quick daily movement on January 19.  More about Mercury retrograde will be posted on my Facebook page.

The specific influence of Mercury retrograde during December, 2016 for you depends on the placement of planets in your personal chart.  What does Sagittarius indicate for you?  Planetary cycles also have to be factored in to determine how you can utilize this time to your advantage, and what cautions may be warranted. A personalized Vedic astrology reading will take all these details into consideration.

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Also published on Medium.