Wouldn’t you know it: 2017 is going to start off with Mercury in retrograde.
By now, it seems like everyone has at least heard that term. And even if there’s still some mystery around what Mercury retrograde means, there’s no shortage of folks who dread this astrological transit.
But don’t panic. Mercury gets a lot of attention, but the fact is, all the other planets go retrograde at some point, too. They also transit through different signs of the zodiac, and all of these shifts affect us individually and collectively.
The key to working with these energies is in learning what they represent. When we learn how to make the most out of any astrological transit – even the most challenging – we begin to live in more purposeful, productive ways as we align with nature’s rhythms.
The year ahead doesn’t only start with a Mercury retrograde, but we’ll also see Jupiter move into Scorpio, Saturn move into Capricorn, Venus go retrograde, and more.
Here’s a look at what that might mean for you, with some tips on using Tarot and astrology in 2017 to make the most of what’s to come.
RELATED: Grab the 2017 Biddy Tarot Planner to Align Your Goals with Your Higher Self Using Tarot as Your Guide
Mercury retrograde dates for 2017:
December 19, 2016 to January 8, 2017
April 9 to May 3, 2017
August 12 to September 5, 2017
December 3 to December 22, 2017
Poor Mercury. This planet takes so much flack whenever it goes retrograde, which happens three to four times each year.
Mercury is the messenger. It rules communication, thoughts, and ideas. This is the planet you want to connect with when you need an “ah-ha!” moment. It can help you bring a burst of inspiration for a writing project, or galvanize stimulating conversation with a group of friends.
A retrograde is when a planet appears to move backwards. Mercury’s energy, in retrograde, can help to highlight what can be done differently or what isn’t quite ready to be considered complete yet.
It can be a great time to edit, review, and reflect. This isn’t always easy in our busy world. If something isn’t moving as fast as you’d like when Mercury is retrograde, don’t push at it. Usually, whatever feels blocked will speed up once Mercury goes direct again, and you might regret that you didn’t take the time out that the universe was giving you. So even though 2017 begins with a Mercury retrograde, don’t get to thinking the year is going to be jinxed. Instead, see it as a sacred pause, an extended opportunity to rest up before rushing back into your regular routine. If Mercury helps us to communicate with each other, think of a retrograde period as a time to turn that communication inward to better listen to yourself.
Mercury Retrograde Tarot Spread:
Here is a tarot spread you can use for the current and upcoming Mercury retrograde periods:
1. How can I slow down at this time?
2. What does Mercury want me to appreciate right now?
3. What new insight can I welcome at this time?
4. What needs to be re-evaluate or revised at this time?
5. How can I use this retrograde to stay on track?
Meditate with: The Hanged Man
The Hanged Man is willing to look at things from another perspective, which is exactly what a Mercury retrograde can help with, too. In meditation with the Hanged Man, you might want to ask, “What is trying to get my attention lately?” Or, “Where might I need to change direction, and why?”
Venus Retrograde: March 6 to April 15, 2017
Unlike fast-moving Mercury, Venus goes retrograde for 40 days only once every year and a half or so.
Venus shines brighter than any star, hence why ancient cultures called her the Morning or Evening Star. This is a planet of comfort, and that can include your own comfort zones – or your boundaries.
Venus represents beauty, charm, and seduction. This is the planet of love, art, and femininity.
This March, Venus will go retrograde in the sign of Aries. Aries is ruled by Mars, which rules impulse, will, confidence, anger, and aggression. Venus isn’t exactly comfortable in the sign of Aries, because it’s not an easy place for Venus’ soft, feminine energy to come through.
So what might that mean? If Venus represents how we receive – perhaps in love, attention, affection, or respect – then Aries might push you to create stronger boundaries if you’re letting someone walk all over you.
Alternately, a Venus retrograde in such an individualistic sign might also ask some of us to soften our edges. If your guard is always up, or you have a selfish streak that you’re ready to adjust, then this might be the time to do it.
Wherever you’re at, this Venus retrograde can be a gentle but potent time to reflect on what needs to change when it comes to your relationship with yourself, and with others.
Venus Retrograde Tarot Spread
Here is a tarot spread to help you work with the Venus retrograde:
1. Where might I need to strengthen my boundaries while Venus is in Aries?
2. Where might I need to soften my boundaries while Venus is in Aries?
3. How will others perceive me at this time?
4. What should I see in myself?
5. What can I do to make the most out of this Venus in Aries energy?
Meditate with: Strength
Often associated with self-worth and self-esteem, the Strength card can offer additional guidance as to the health of your personal boundaries. In meditation, you might want to ask, “How can I honor what I need? How can I assert my strength?”
Jupiter in Scorpio: October 10, 2017
Jupiter spends about one year in each sign, and this October, it exits gentle Libra and enters the mysterious realm of Scorpio.
Scorpio is ruled by Pluto, which represents the underworld. Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system, expands whatever it touches, often bringing new opportunity, or an opening of the way.
So what might that look like under Scorpio’s influence? Bring on those tarot decks! This can be a powerful time for divinatory work, as well as shadow work. Scorpio can also help us connect to the occult, the supernatural, and the spirit realm. I wouldn’t be surprised if this transit brings even more mainstream attention to tarot, witchcraft, and other esoterica.
Jupiter in Scorpio Tarot Spread
Here is a tarot spread to help you work with Jupiter in Scorpio:
1. How will Jupiter in Scorpio help to expand my consciousness?
2. How can I work with this energy to make a deeper connection to my intuition?
3. How can I connect to my ancestors throughout this time?
4. How can I best align with my soul's purpose throughout the next year?
5. What hidden insights will Jupiter in Scorpio bring forward for me?
Meditate with: The High Priestess
The High Priestess encourages us to face our shadows, align with our true selves, and trust our intuition. As you allow for quiet reflection, ask the High Priestess, “What is my inner voice telling me right now? What is in my shadows that can now be faced with honesty and integrity?”
Saturn in Capricorn: December 20, 2017
Saturn has been in the fiery sign of Sagittarius since 2014. It hasn’t exactly been an easy road. In optimistic Sagittarius, grounded Saturn brought a lot of reality-checks, bursting many hopeful bubbles along the way.
But Saturn’s influence is ultimately helpful for our own evolution, like all of the planets. It governs restrictions and boundaries, and asks us to commit to our goals in a realistic, sustainable way.
This year, Saturn is moving into a more compatible sign in late December as it shifts gears into serious, industrious Capricorn.
While Saturn can bring up feelings of constraint and pessimism, it can also provide the impetus needed to make solid commitments, establish better structures and routines, and get things on track in order to reap the rewards. Yes, Saturn asks us to work, but there is payoff at the end if you are willing to pay attention to the lessons ahead.
Saturn in Capricorn Tarot Spread
Here is a tarot spread to help you work with Saturn in Capricorn:
1. What lesson must I now put into action?
2. What major commitment will Saturn push me to make?
3. Where can I no longer take short-cuts?
4. What can I do to take more control over my life?
5. What kind of progress can I make with Saturn in Capricorn overall?
Meditate with: The Emperor
The Emperor encourages us to get down to business. This is a card that believes hard work is the first step in building a solid foundation for the future. You might want to ask, “How can I embrace authority over my life? How can I make a grand vision become reality?”
About Liz Worth
Liz Worth thought her one and only career would be as a writer, but she started reading tarot in 2008 on the advice of an astrologer and her life has never been the same.
Today she uses tarot and astrology to help others move past emotional and creative blocks, overcome any obstacles or setbacks, and begin to live their truth through personal freedom and creative liberation.
Her new book, Going Beyond the Little White Book: A Contemporary Guide to Tarot, is now available. Reach her at http://www.lizworth.com/.
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Align Your Goals with Your Higher Self Using Tarot as Your Guide
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