Mercury isn’t in retrograde — yet — but the speediest planet is moving into Aquarius, the sign of the Water Bearer, on January 16. In astrology, Mercury rules communication and expression, while Aquarius is known for an eccentric, intellectual nature. And it turns out that these two are a perfect fit.
“Mercury is exalted in Aquarius, which means the planet functions especially well in this sign,” Stephanie Powell, Head of Content at Astrology.com and Horoscope.com, explains. “Aquarius’s logical and inventive nature is a natural fit for the planet of communication.”
During this transit, we’ll all be a little more open-minded. “When Mercury, ruler of our thought processes, communication, and opinions, travels through cool and detached Aquarius, there is a noticeable shift in our collective mental space,” Powell says. “Aquarius is known for its innovation and freedom-seeking ways, and with Mercury’s entrance into this sign, we’re more eager to introduce and accept out-of-the-box ideas. The status quo becomes boring.”
She adds, “We may find that we’re a little more opinionated and stubborn with our views, so it’s important to practice active listening during this transit. Sometimes the greatest learning can come from shifting your mindset."
Astrologer Lisa Stardust says that we may feel a little detached during this transit — though that can work to our advantage. “Whenever Mercury enters Aquarius, it’s a time when we can sit back and view facts from afar and make decisive choices based on an indifferent perspective,” she says. “This isn’t bad. It just means we are separating emotions from facts, which will allow us to have a discerning approach to finding truths.”
This transit is the perfect time to focus on a hobby or a goal. “The good thing about this placement is that it will give us a boost to put our passion project into reality and add courageousness into manifesting our dreams,” Stardust says.
After leaving Aquarius on February 3, Mercury will enter Pisces. But then — you’ve got it — Mercury goes retrograde on February 16 in Pisces. During its retrograde period (when the planet appears to move backwards in its orbit, as seen from our perspective on Earth), Mercury will re-enter Aquarius on March 4. Then, the planet will end its retrograde transit and begin moving direct in Aquarius on March 9, before finally re-entering Pisces on March 16. As Mercury retrogrades through these two signs, “We may vacillate from hot and cold emotions as well as uncertainty about what to bring in our lives,” Stardust says. Be prepared!