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  • Writer's pictureCarmelina G

Mercury’s Intense Retrograde December 13 to January 1, 2024

Updated: Dec 4, 2023



Mercury is Retrograde from December 13 to January 1, 2024. It turns retrograde at 14 degrees of Purva Ashadha in Sagittarius, and then it stations direct at 29 degrees of Jyestha in Scorpio, on January 1. When Mercury is retrograde things go haywire, there are miscommunications of all sorts, medical errors, delays in travel, things stop working like the internet, electronics, etc. This all begins in the shadow phase which is about 2 weeks before. Sagittarius relates to our personal beliefs including spirituality, higher truths, personals growth and travel. While Scorpio deals with heavy karmic issues that put our soul in an environment of battle, it's the battle of the soul, death and rebirth situations, crisis and transformation.


(The chart below is the day that Mercury turn retrograde in EST)


This Mercury period is quite intense and chaotic for a few reasons. Mainly because it happens in Sagittarius and Scorpio, and this is where the gandanta degrees are found (the most critical ones are between 29 degrees of all sidereal water signs and 1 degree of all sidereal fire signs – we cannot use the tropical zodiac/signs for this).


Mercury crossing these overwhelming and highly Karmic degrees while in Retrograde, really intensifies things quite a bit. All retrograde planets are “stronger” because they are closer to the earth, consequently we can feel them more, or their energies can reach us more readily. This is internalized energy, however. The best thing to do during this time? Take it easy. Don’t rush, don’t push, go with the flow, and proceed with patience in all your daily activities. The more impatient and hurried you are, the more setbacks you’ll run into. This is a time of retrospection, reconsideration, and re-examination.


Another intense event is the conjunction of Mercury with Mars on December 27, at 0 degrees of Mula, in Sagittarius. This produces anger, violence, and destruction in the world.

The gandanta degrees are overwhelming and bring up karmic issues for us to face, they eventually lead us to soul growth, which is their ultimate purpose.

Simultaneously on this day, Mercury, and Mars square Neptune at 0 degrees of Pisces, this adds elements of intense mental confusion, deception, and poor judgement. Avoid making important decisions as your mind will be too clouded and there could be deceitfulness, avoid signing contracts, and starting anything new around these days.


This is the second time that Mercury squares Neptune. The first time was on November 27, and the third time will be after the retrograde has ended, on January 8, at 1 degree. Pay attention to what goes on in your life around these dates, as there will be deception, lies, and mental confusion. Be careful who you trust. Mercury rules information, which will be false or have many errors. If your Moon or Ascendant is in Gemini or Virgo, rest your mind as much as possible, meditate or take breaks for relaxation.


When Mercury first turns retrograde on December 13, it's in the Vedic star Purva Ashadha, which means the “undefeated one”, also referred to as the “invincible star”. The deity is Apas or the water goddesses who preside over all bodies of water such as lakes & oceans, they bring purification and regeneration to our soul. On this day, and the few days prior (from the 11 to the 13) when Mercury stations retrograde, it makes a sextile with Venus and a trine to Jupiter, which is highly harmonious, this day can cement our activities and make them harmonious and stronger or long lasting.


On December 16, Mercury enters Mula nakshatra to December 28. Mula deals with the destruction of inner ignorance on a higher level. On a lower level it deals with destruction in the world, unfortunate events, and self sabotaging behaviours. Use this period for profound introspection and inner work, as Mula is connected to the galactic center of the Universe where deep wisdom abounds. This is where the central Sun resides and relates to God’s divine intelligence. This is a very potent time for inner development, meditation, mantra, and prayer will be great. It enters the gantanta degrees from December 24 to December 28, in Sagittarius.


Then Mercury retrogrades back into Scorpio on December 28, in gandanta still. It stations direct on January 1, 2024 at 28 degrees of Jeystha.

Jyestha is called the “chief star” and holds immense power and courage. Indra is the deity here, he is the warrior and demon slayer. Jyestha is ruled by Mercury and as such the slaying of demons is done by craftiness, rather than by physical means. Mercury stays in the critical degrees of Scorpio until January 7. This is a time of accelerated soul growth and with that comes important challenges. This affects those with planets around 28 degree of Jyeshta more than others.


Then on January 7, Mercury re-enter Sagittarius and continues its gandanta journey all over again, this is when it makes a final square to Neptune on January 8. Mercury is in gandanta from December 24 to January 11, avoid these dates for auspicious event in your life, as this is disturbing energy, we'll have to ground ourselves as much as we can, especially Mercury ruled individuals or anyone with planets in the gandanta degrees. Spiritual practices are great during this times, even just praying to God with a sincere heart.


The most critical and extreme days are from December 26 to December 29 when Mercury will be between 1 degrees of Mula and 29 degrees of Jyestha. This can be a time of important calamaty in the world.


Gandanta Degrees

There are 3 gandanta areas in the zodiac. They are solely found in the Sidereal zodiac (not the tropical Western zodiac). When a planet is located at the end of the water signs from 26°40 to 29°59 (of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces) and at the beginning of the fire signs from 0° to 3°20 (of Leo, Sagittarius, and Aries), they are in gandanta.

Gandanta means “the end of a knot” or a karmic knot that is being undone or released. When planets traverse here or are present in our natal chart, it means we have some deep healing to do pertaining to that planet. It creates disturbing and overwhelming energy in our lives, however these are opportune times for soul growth, and that is the purpose. When we overcome trauma & difficulty, we become lighter and our soul takes a step forward in evolution. So everything has a higher purpose even if we don’t see it right now.


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