Astrologer Laura Craig

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini: Curiouser and Curiouser

Illustration by Leonard Weisgard

24-16 Gemini

It starts off on a golden summer afternoon, pleasant but unremarkable. One minute you’re a little girl fighting off boredom, and the next, you’re an interloper in a topsy-turvy world of double talk and animal speak. Our messenger Mercury, like our Alice, starts off the day arm in arm with Venus, moving through Gemini, but then suddenly veers off track, falling backwards down a long rabbit hole. Through Mercury’s eyes, we encounter everything from the hilarious, to the absurd, to the confounding, to the maniacal (consider the cause of the hatter’s madness, after all!). And under Neptune’s influence, we go off with our heads, our view becoming the meandering, episodic, extemporaneous sequence of a lucid dream. Growing and shrinking, changing from minute to minute, it is disorienting at first, but we adapt quickly to our nonlinear nature. Nonsensical is now the norm, circumlocution is the standard, and we communicate with parody and puzzles, soundbites and punchlines. Interruptions, lost threads, non-sequiturs, are all part of the lingua franca. We play in the land of double entendre, where live the jokers and knaves, the tarts and the tricks. It is a fantasy simulacrum, with hookah-smoking caterpillars, pig babies, mock turtles and chaos croquet, full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing. 

Although this transit is in his home sign, it’s not the usual breeze-through our fleet-footed friend would expect. A retrograde with the Twins brings out the liminality of Mercury best; that is, his ability to move between worlds, or states of being. The terrain of Gemini is familiar but different this time; our traveler is busy but not fast. It’s the same dance but different steps, like Ginger Rogers, doing it all backwards, and in high heels. We may receive our information indirectly, or arrive at our destinations via roundabout routes, but receive and arrive we eventually will. We must try to find patience where we can, because it will not be in abundance at this time., Holden Caulfield or Marty McFly, Miss Havisham or Miss Marple—to name a few of a motley crew. One of them just might have a message for you. This next few weeks sound like reverb and feel like reverie, as well as the usual retro keywords: rethinking, retelling, reassessing and renovating. Watch for themes of youth, siblings, teachers and students, strays, and doubles to constellate in your life. We are bees doing the dance of the figure eight to the flower patch: there is nectar to be found and shared. Embrace the weirdness and wonder, and expect this transit to feed your head.

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