This One’s Optimistic ~ Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius-December 3rd-22nd, 2017

On December 3rd, 2017 Mercury will station retrograde in the sign of Sagittarius ushering in a three week period dedicated to reconnecting to your inner world, where the seedlings of new ideas remain protected.

This Mercury retrograde period starts off like exit music for Saturn’s 2 ½ year transit through Sagittarius. Stationing retrograde in close conjunction with Saturn, the stars ask you to pause, taking a ponderous moment for reflection upon what has transpired since September 2015. Before Mercury turns direct again, Saturn will be in Capricorn, and a whole chapter of life will have concluded.

Flies are buzzing round my head

Vultures circling the dead

Picking up every last crumb

Thankfully, this Mercury retrograde period will offer you the time that you need to face Saturn’s transition with strength and poise. Let many of your thoughts become a retrospective on the developments over the last two years. Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius demanded that you bring some form to your philosophical musings, embodying your principles in both word and deed.

In the Information Age, the speed and efficiency of communication and commerce continues to exponentially increase, making Mercury the supreme deity of technocracy. For those who have adopted a mechanistic mindset, Mercury retrogrades portend the potential for malfunction, which of course creates a lot of anxiety.


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The consensus seems to be that Mercury retrogrades are a time when reliable rhythms skip a beat, communication breaks down and technology becomes unpredictable. For technocrats, any unexpected ripple in the stream of data is a fearful and an unholy aberration. And for those who have become neurologically welded to their screens, this three week period may present some inconveniences and disruptions.

It is important to remember that Mercury is not just the god of technology, but the god of human intelligence in all its dynamism. Therefore, Mercury should not be expected to function exclusively as a mechanistic algorithm. His retrograde periods are not malfunctions, but represent rippling moments of growth, where a supple flexibility of mind is re-awakened. From this perspective you can learn to appreciate Mercury Retrogrades as a nimble exercise, keeping your eyes bright and your mental reflexes sharp.

The best you can is good enough

As a mythological psychopomp, Mercury is the messenger between the overworld and the underworld, the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. Mercury retrogrades seem to have a disorienting effect because some of your conscious focus becomes submerged in the prima materia of the subconscious. As the light in the mundane world dims, the imagination lights up, luring you to wander deep within through elongated trances and daydreams.

Lit up by apostolic flames, Mercury in Sagittarius becomes the voice of the holy spirit, using speech to convey profound experiences instead of facts. The fires of this imagination craves wide-open spaces, with big sky and grand horizons. In these expansive landscapes, great religions and philosophies are born.

This one’s optimistic

Thus, with Mercury turning retrograde in Sagittarius, expect to be called to carefully consider your philosophical perspectives and religious feelings. With subconscious awareness spilling over into your waking thoughts, life may seem a little uncanny tinged by a disquieting mixture of awe and terror.

The big fish eat the little ones

Not my problem, give me some

Mercury is in detriment in Sagittarius, meaning that he is in a sign that is opposite his place of rulership. When Mercury is in Gemini, ambidextrous mental acuity is at its peak, taking ecstatic pleasure in microprocessing. However, in the opposite sign of Sagittarius, Mercury is led by macrocosmic visions, abandoning facts and figures in search of the sublime!

Since an education in philosophy is no longer in demand and most churchgoing is out of fashion too, the most resonant Sagittarian chords tend to come through popular culture, offered through the dazzling iconography of music and movies.

There is no genre of music that evokes the spirit of Sagittarius better than rock n’ roll, which inflamed several generations with a fervent message of freedom!

But during this Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius, downcast by Saturn’s serious tone, the exuberance of classic rock n’ roll can not evoke the feeling in the air. In a time such as this, the tone and temperature of Mercury in Sagittarius will melt down into a darker mood, occupying a much less romantic philosophical spectrum.

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This is a time for introspection, for a deep and honest reflection upon your place and time. In the world you occupy, the values of the Enlightenment era have come to an apex. Knowledge is power and in the name of that power, everything is now interconnected, interpenetrating and overexposed. The ceaseless stream of information is mesmerizing and magnificent, but a low-level fear and anxiety remains ever-present.

Nervous messed up marionettes

Floating around on a prison ship

As everyone knows, an overly automated and mechanized world becomes cancerous to human happiness. And as privacy decreases, authoritarian power increases. This is the dark atmosphere in which the vibrant genre of rock n’ roll died.

At the turn of the millennium some bands, like Radiohead, created music that was in a liminal genre, somewhere between electronic, rock, and jazz. Their 2000 release, Kid A, was particularly adept at capturing the irresolute feeling of the new Millennium.

I’d really like to help you man

I’d really like to help you man . . .

Kid A is especially evocative of the inward turn of mind and philosophical disturbance that this Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius will involve. The album is a dark vision of a dehumanized world, where people are strangled by technology and suffocated by authoritarian power. 

The most recognizable track on the album is a song called Optimistic. The lyrics, a Dadaist cut-up of cliches and banal observations, seem to reveal a glimpse into a bureaucrat’s mental breakdown. In his circling chatter, he describes a crushing ennui towards other people’s suffering and a deep anxiety about nature’s cruelty.

The big fish eat the little ones

Kid A contends with the pervasive atmosphere of fear than hangs heavy in the air on ordinary days. Their music contends with the loss of individuality and privacy, fraught with that uncomfortable feeling of being watched.

Kid A reminds you that constant surveillance, perpetual war, and dehumanization is really happening. Though many of your rights as a private citizen have been sold to multinational corporations, Mercury’s retrograde through Sagittarius will illuminate the fact that you can still protect the sovereignty of your own mind.

Kid A’s dark mood is not meant to promote despair. Like this Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius, this music inspires transcendence through the rediscovery of the vastness of one’s inner space. By the end of this retrograde cycle, you should be renewed in spirit. Even under immense pressure to conform, you can still seek out the guiding voice within which is loving, honest and defiant towards the party line! 

As a perfect soundtrack for this three-week period, Kid A catalyzes a new resolve to maintain the freedom to think for yourself and question authority. The album’s disjointed inner monologues pull you to remember your own private thoughts, which bloom with tender memories and beloved histories. These are inner treasures that do not have to be offered up for analysis or used as fodder for likes and shares.

On December 22nd, Mercury will station direct at 13 degree Sagittarius. By this time, Saturn will have left behind the wide open spaces for the unforgiving mountain tops of Capricorn. Now that an era has ended, expect to feel a new sense of philosophical strength and integrity. Over the last 2 ½ years, you have become much better equipped to protect yourself from invasion, to uphold your moral viewpoints, and to appreciate the beauty inherent in the sublime.

Dinosaurs roaming the Earth

As Mercury regains its forward momentum, your mind will feel cleansed and refreshed. Expect a new quest for beauty, truth and wisdom to begin.

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