Uranus recently turned direct, indicating a renewed impulse to free ourselves from the past as it inches its way out of square with Pluto, a collectively transformative dance, or grind, that has been ongoing since 2012. Meanwhile, Venus has entered Sagittarius, linked with the desire to experience new worlds with new people, or revitalize old relationships through shared adventure. But Mars has entered Scorpio, so before we can launch out and away we have to tend to our needs deep within, possibly fighting the urge to flee out of fear of our own inner dark.
Here is the stage that is set for the next Mercury Retrograde, lasting from January 5th - January 25th (the final direct pass ends Feb 14). This is a potent cycle that starts with Mercury in very early Aquarius at a near exact square to Mars in Scorpio. The lesson with that aspect is to figure out how to communicate our own ideas and needs while remaining open to the conflicting needs of others without reacting with anger. Personal situations that require us to face where we've been too detached may flare up to force us to look at the real motivations that keep us separate. Are we truly being compassionately detached or are we being too lofty, compensating for some fear of real intimacy? The gold in this lesson is in finding shared freedom through the truth of our hearts.
There's power in this transit's ability to speak directly about what isn't working and take new action to resolve it. But as always with Mercury in retrograde, the start of the process isn't the time to try and finish it. Take it slow, know that you'll have several chances to get it right. The first part of this retrograde has Mercury in Aquarius, initiating new, original ideas, with the bulk of the retrograde path in Capricorn, which suggests looking to old ideas for inspiration. Don't throw away traditional solutions, keep your mind open to what has worked in the past and utilize already existing resources to move forward.
During this retrograde, Venus will cross over Saturn in Sagittarius. This suggests discipline in handling ourselves in relationships, particularly as Mercury tests our thinking and communication skills. We want to bond through our beliefs, but can we do it without compromising our principles? To the degree we follow through with integrity, the more durable and lasting our relationships will be.
By the time Mercury leaves its retrograde path on Valentine's Day, we ought to have cleared much in the way of relationship drama and loose ends. A Venus trine to Jupiter that day suggests it's a good weekend to get cozy with someone special, more closely bonded through whatever was cleared the month prior. It'll be around that point when we'll be ready to launch into our Uranian liberation, perhaps even feeling a new destiny calling as Uranus is finally becoming free of its square to Pluto. Enjoy the effort as much as the rewards!