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Mercury Retrograde January 30, 2021 – Damocles Syndrome

Jamie PartridgeJanuary 27, 2021

Mercury retrograde 2021 begins on January 30, 2021, at 26° Aquarius, and ends on February 20, 2021, at 11° Aquarius.

Mercury retrograde is generally associated with communication and technology breakdowns, nervous anxiety, travel delays, and lost items. Mercury retrograde January 2021 is not much different but aligned with asteroid Damocles it may add more stress and a sense of vulnerability.

More detail about Mercury retrograde January 2021 follows some general information at retrograde Mercury in transit. Information about Mercury retrograde in the natal chart can be found at the end of this article.

Mercury Retrograde Meaning

Transiting Mercury in retrograde is a regular cycle occurring three or four times a year for about 24 days. While this is more frequent than any other planet, Mercury is still only retrograde 19% of the time. This is far less than Jupiter outwards, but more than Venus and Mars.

The retrograde Mercury phase is just one part of the retrograde cycle. The whole cycle includes Mercury going direct, retrograde, and direct again over the same degrees, or the retrograde zone. The two direct phases are called the shadow periods. The illustration below shows the apparent retrograde motion of Mercury as seen from Earth.

Retrograde Motion

Retrograde Mercury brings communication and technology breakdowns, nervous anxiety, travel delays, and lost items. There is a feel of a difficult Mercury–Saturn aspect to Mercury in retrograde. You can also expect to dwell on things, reminisce about the past, or unexpectedly meet up with people from your past. While the retrograde period might be good for flicking through old photo albums, it is generally considered more of a nuisance than a benefit.

Mercury transiting in retrograde motion can play havoc with your thoughts, communications, travels, and electronics. Take extra care with your words and try not to react too quickly in any arguments or if provoked. Take some time out if you start to feel overwhelmed by the hectic pace. Double-check all of your emails and posts on Facebook before hitting the send button.

Business negotiations will be in a state of flux so avoid signing contracts. Some important details will not yet be available, and others may be unreliable or dishonest. If going on a road trip then make sure you get your car serviced beforehand. The riskiest times for decision-making, negotiations, communication, and transport are the few days on either side of the exact retrograde and direct stations. However, care should still be taken during the retrograde period.

Mercury Retrograde January 2021

The retrograde phase is just one part of the Mercury retrograde cycle. The whole cycle includes Mercury going direct, retrograde, and direct again over the same degrees, or the retrograde zone (11° to 26° Aquarius). The two direct phases are known as shadow periods. The three phases of Mercury retrograde January 2021:

  1. January 15 to 30 – The first shadow phase from Mercury entering the retrograde zone until Mercury stationary retrograde (11° to 26° Aquarius).

  2. January 30 to February 20 – The Retrograde phase lasts from Mercury stationary retrograde until the Mercury direction station (26° to 11° Aquarius).

  3. February 20 to March 13 – The second shadow phase lasts from Mercury stationary direct until Mercury leaving the retrograde zone (11° to 26° Aquarius).

Mercury Enters Retrograde Zone

Mercury enters the retrograde zone on Friday, January 15, 2021, at 11°01′ Aquarius [see chart]. During the first shadow period, you will get an idea of the thinking, communication, or transport issues that will arise during the retrograde phase.

Mercury Stationary Retrograde

Mercury stationary retrograde on Saturday, January 30, 2021, at 26°29′ Aquarius. The chart below shows Mercury retrograde opposite the Moon but this is a very weak aspect with an orb of over 8°.

There are no major fixed stars conjunct Mercury retrograde January 2021 but there is an interesting asteroid worth considering.

Mercury Retrograde January 2021

Moon opposite Mercury will not have a strong influence but it could make it harder to understand your feelings and to share them. Some confusion and stress are possible and it may become more difficult to relax.

Spending some quiet time in reflection may help you understand your feelings and also help you relax. Or you could talk with a counselor or mentor about any feelings or attitudes that you sense are holding you back.

Asteroid Damocles

At 26°04′ Aquarius, asteroid Damocles (5335) is conjunct Mercury retrograde January 2021 by 0°25′. The asteroid was named after a courtier in the court of Dionysius II of Syracuse, a 4th-century BC ruler of Syracuse, Sicily.

Damocles was pandering to king Dionysius, saying how lucky he was to have so much power and wealth. So the king switched places with Damocles and hung a sword above the throne by a single hair of a horse’s tail.

Dionysius committed many cruelties in his rise to power and made many enemies. The “Sword of Damocles” evoked the sense of always having to watch in fear and anxiety against dangers that might try to overtake him. It is an allusion to the imminent and ever-present peril faced by those in positions of power.

“Damocles Syndrome” refers to the unique fear that cancer survivors have of relapse, despite recent advances in treatments and cures. Like Damocles, they feel the stress of the sword constantly hanging over their heads, never knowing if, or when, it would fall upon them.

Astrologically, Damocles represents a high level of stress and vulnerability related to a feeling that something terrible is going to happen. This seems appropriate for Mercury retrograde 2021 with the ongoing fear created by the coronavirus pandemic and the dangerous new mutations.

Natal Mercury in retrograde motion suggests there may have been a problem with how you thought and communicated in an earlier life. Perhaps you gave someone bad advice that had critical repercussions. Perhaps you were prone to making costly mistakes. Maybe you wrote slanderous material about someone in a book or newspaper, or verbally teased and abused people.

Whatever the circumstances of the previous significant incarnation, you come into this life with those bad memories etched in your soul. You probably don’t recognize them as memories but as déjà vu or unexplained guilt. A repeating theme of challenging events related to your past is likely, especially when young. The aim is to perfect those areas of thought and communication which once let you down. As your communication skills improve with experience, your karmic debt will be repaid and you can get off the roundabout.

Natal retrograde Mercury can show as learning difficulties, especially with reading, writing, and comprehension. You could be a shy, quiet person whose thoughts have turned in. Hesitant to speak up for yourself, you may miss out on many opportunities in life. This difficulty in expressing yourself can make you feel awkward in company, and lead to low self-esteem. You may experience teasing or verbal abuse, be nagged and criticized, or fall victim to slander and lies. Contracts may also cause problems and like so many things, lead to complications further down the track.

Retrograde Mercury only lasts for about three weeks so Mercury is going to turn direct at some stage in your progressed chart (where one day equals one year). After a couple of years, you will notice that your communication style improves and you can express yourself more freely. However, the opposite can also occur and someone with Mercury direct in their natal chart may experience progressed Mercury in retrograde motion later in life. I experienced this from age 13 to 37 and it was very profound. I even stopped reading books.

If you have Mercury retrograde in your natal or progressed chart then you can expect to make more rapid progress during transits of Mercury in retrograde motion. Use this ephemeris to see if Mercury changes direction in your progressed chart.

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