Dawne Kovan

Sky Watching Wisdom , Astrology

Visual Astrology & Mercury Retrograde 

Visual Astrology

As I write this article (12th May, 2015) Mars has just entered Gemini and is opposite Saturn in Sagittarius. Sun Aries natives will likely be feeling as if they are swimming in treacle right now – no enthusiasm or get up and go. Thanks to Saturn it all got up and went! Please remember that the planets are NEVER out to get us, so this week of Saturn opposite your Mars serves the purpose of making you take time, pause for breath and consider before leaping in, to good effect, for a better outcome. There is always a reason why the Universe does what it does to us – and it’s always a good one. Just to note that “consider” means “con” = with and “sider” = the stars – so to consider means to act with the stars.

If you are living in the Northern hemisphere and have clear skies (not here in Scotland – grrr!!) you will be able to see Venus, Mars and Jupiter in the sky just after the Sun has set. Venus is the brightest as she’s closest to the Sun, then Mars with a pink tinge and finally Jupiter. 

And if you are living in the Southern Hemisphere then you will see the same planets but just before sunrise. It’s still an amazing thing to behold.

And please note that the difference between a star and a planet is that stars twinkle and planets don’t – they just shine steady like lights in the sky.

These are the raw materials that the Ancients used to develop the astrology that we work with today.

Just so that you know, I am taking the whole of the Mercury Rx period (see dates above) away from my article writing as I intend to spend it putting all my notes together in preparation for the launch of my own online teaching webpage. I will announce it when it’s done – if it’s something that might be of interest to you then please register your interest on my comments page or Facebook.

So back to Mercury:

For new readers – just to say that planets never actually change direction – they all zoom around the Sun in the same direction. However, the orbit of each planet is overtaken by our Earth’s orbit on a regular basis – in Mercury’s case, every 4 months – so it appears to move backwards. If you imagine slow trains and fast trains, when your train overtakes a slower train, the other train appears to go backwards. You really get strength the illusion of the effect if you’re sitting on the slower train. And so it is on earth as we whip ahead and sending Mercury backwards.

Just to alert you that Venus will do the same in Leo from June to October – another important astrological event. I shall be back in time to examine this in detail for you then.

Back to Mercury for now. The faster moving planets, ie Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter all change direction, or go retrograde, regularly. Venus and Mars do it once every two years, Jupiter once a year and Mercury a surprising 3 times  every year. While  Mercury’s retrograde period is only 21 days – the effects can last a week or two beyond the day he goes direct. Especially for Gemini and Virgo natives, being Mercury ruled. This may be why Geminis and Virgos are so quick to change their minds about things, and need to be on the go both mentally and physically.

The only people who are unaffected by Mercury going backwards are those born during that particular planetary phase. They do everything that astrologers warn the rest of the world NOT to do – and do it successfully, because they are in phase with their own birth charts. And that’s the key with all the planets on your chart – they work more clearly for you when they are replicating their natal phase – either direct or retrograde.

This Mercury Rx period through May/June is important to us,  as it offers an opportunity to stop rushing around and consider exactly what is meaningful in our lives. We can begin now to look at what we plan to do with our various projects, interests, short journeys, our siblings and cousins, our paperwork, our finances – all of these are ruled by Mercury, especially the market place and communications. Phone messages, emails, documents, contacts can all be compromised during this phase – so one thing to do is to double check and make a note of everything that you communicate to others. 

And back-up, back-up the back-ups and keep checking your diary in case you miss an important meeting. Of course nothing can ensure that the other person turns up for the meeting as Mercury Rx is democratic and makes no favourites – he will influence them as much as he influences them. If some of our daily routines feel empty and meaningless, however necessary in our lives, then we could have an opportunity to find another way of doing them that brings satisfaction during the retro-phase. Once the direct phase is upon  us, we can go back to doing things in the manner before, if we so choose.

While Mercury is going backwards – 19th May to 11th June – the advice is to go over your work. Edit, check, write, wait before making a purchase of anything electronic, and watch your words, as they can slip out and slip you up! Old friends may suddenly get in touch after years of being out of touch; a childhood interest is awakened; old notebooks hidden at the back of a drawer may contain an idea whose time has come – you never know. Mercury loves to play tricks on us when he has his back to you, not all of them bad. 

His other sign Virgo is associated with routine work, so if you are thinking of employing a builder of decorator for your home, please wait as the work won’t be up to scratch and you’ll have to call them back in to complete the job to your satisfaction. Health checks are also associated with Virgo, so you could find that the health centre mixes up your report with someone else and you have to redo the whole test again. You get the idea.

He is not called the “Trickster” for nothing!

Through 2014 Mercury dipped his toes in the early degrees of all three water signs, where he is said to be “mute” by astrological tradition. He quickly went Rx back into the air sign behind, where he was very comfortable, because air is the element associated with communication and human discourse. Now, in 2015, he stays for the full period, both back and forth, for 10 weeks in airy Gemini. So, lots of news, ideas, and the like in the air for a couple of months – just don’t act on them too quickly. And it’s a great time to be revising for the upcoming exam period for students.

Your Zodiac Signs  – Sun, Moon or Ascendant – and how Mercury Rx meddles 

NB – The readings below can either be read from your Sun Sign – ie your birthday – or your Ascendant sign, which is calculated form your time of birth. Try also reading it from your Moon Sign, as Hindu astrologers suggest. You may even read them all together for an even broader picture of your life. 

Don’t know your Moon Sign? Get your FREE Sun/Moon combination reading  and discover how your emotions impact with your ambitions to create your unique life path.  Just email me your birth date, time and place and I’ll email it back to you FREE!!! 

Aries : 21st March – 20th April:  Mercury going back and forth through your 3rd House of communication, short journeys, siblings and cousins, paperwork and teaching will highlight all these affairs. As Mercury also rules your 6th House you would likely find that  your job becomes just that bit more irritating as a co-worker could make your work load that bit more onerous. Just do it and see how things change for you after 11th June. Small animals can cause concern. A new journey to work could stimulate your ideas as you see areas of your locale you didn’t know existed.

Taurus20th April – 20th May: Mercury going back and forth through your 2nd House of finances could mean that the promised cheque gets lost in transit and your debtor has to send another one, causing delays to your bank balance. You may find that as Mercury also rules your 5th House that a child is being unreliable and costing you more money than you would wish to spend right now.  A tutor could be useful to help with a child’s exam revision. A creative project doesn’t seem as exciting right now – just hang on until the 11th June before scrapping it.

Gemini21st May – 21st June:  Mercury going back and forth through your 1st House is all about you, really. This could be a roller coaster of a time with small irritating matters that normally take 5 minutes, taking the whole day to sort out – and even then you’re not sure they really are sorted. Mercury also rules your 4th house of domestic matters, so the kettle stops working, the washing machine is less than efficient, the phone never stops ringing with wrong numbers. What fun – just hang on until 11th Junebefore you replace them.


Cancer21st June – 23rd July: Mercury going back and forth through your 12th House is offering you an opportunity to go through all those boxes in the attic or cupboard and get rid of things you no longer deem important in your life. You may find a siblings health causes you concern necessitating lots of short journeys, hand-holding and visits to the chemist’s.  However, a shift could occur after the 11th June. A book you notice in your local bookstore could grab your attention and offer you a whole new outlook on life – and give you the courage to act on it.

Leo23rd July – 23rd August: Mercury going back and forth through your 11th House is reconnecting you with people you haven’t seen in a while. A friend catches up with you on Facebook and it’s as if the years stood still you both look the same as you did way back when. A project that you thought was long gone may surface again and create a new interest or career path for you – just do the research before you expend too much energy on it. Your finances may need a thorough checking over as you may find that you have missed some tiny detail that could trip you up later on.

Virgo23rd August – 23rd September: Mercury going back and forth through your 10th House is bringing you projects for you to work on,  that you had thought had been shot out of the water. A revival of lots of interesting ideas could stimulate you onto greater heights. It’s all about learning, teaching and mental exploration for you right now – dig out your old notebooks and see what has some juice left for you. This could be a really good period of time for you to expand – just have courage and act!

Libra23rd September – 23rd October:  Mercury going back and forth through your 9th House is offering you an opportunity to revisit a place that held an interest for you a few years ago. You may meet people whom you thought had gone from your life forever – and here they are – back! This could expand your horizons both mental and physical that may just require that you do the research first before leaping. The older generation in your family may be calling on you to spend some time with them. Even though it may seem like a diversion to you, it may not be in the long run.

Scorpio: 23rd October – 22nd November:  Mercury going back and forth through your 8th House is needing you to focus on the deeper issues of life – your natural homeland, actually. Research, psychology, longterm relationships and their consequences are all food and drink to you. You may be applying for a loan – check your paperwork and then when you are clear about what it entails, just fill in your details and take the benefit. A friend could come back into your life during this time and bring their own benefits with them as their gift to you.

Sagittarius: 22nd November – 22nd December: Mercury going back and forth through your 7th House is creating havoc in all your relationships and not necessarily for the worse. You could meet someone from your past who could be very interesting in terms of your future. It would be useful to do your homework on this person before making hard and fast decisions about them. At work you may have to redo a project that you thought was finished, but new information has come to light. Just get your head down and put the hours in as it could prove rewarding in due course.

Capricorn: 22nd December -20th January: Mercury going back and forth through your 6th House is all about health matters, your routines and your fitness programmes. You may find a work colleague comes back to work in your department and causes disruption – but don’t make any decisions about anything until after the 11th June, as they may just as easily go as quickly as they came, and leave you feeling free again. If you do have a health check, you may have to take it again as your results could go walk-about.


Aquarius: 20th January – 19th February: Mercury going back and forth through your 5th House is a good time for editing and rewriting that book, project or dissertation. Revising is the name of the game for you right now – as long as you do it with a willing heart, then things after the 11th June may look much easier than you had feared. You may find that your shared resources seem to be in a worse state than you had hoped – but the fault mau not lie with you – banks can make mistakes too.


Pisces: 19th February – 20th March:  Mercury going back and forth through your 4th House is creating uncertainty in your domestic circumstances. As I said in the article above if you can possibly postpone the decorators or plumbers until after 11th June, then all the better. Your relationships, business partnerships and clients may all decide to take off for the month and leave you wondering if it was anything you said. It wasn’t – it was just them responding to your unconscious yearning to be alone and unfettered by their needs right now. Take time out too – it’ll do you good.


  1. Great to hear from you. I am interested in your website. Thank you

  2. Dawne, it always makes my morning cup of coffee go better when I read your SWW and to feel touched and informed by the planetary energies that weave their patterns into our daily lives here on Earth.

    The past year has been one of so much uprooting for me, it feels comforting and secure to read for Libra that older family members and old friends can connect in again to bring rewards that I can’t yet know about. This feels very right. I’ve been picking this up, and haven’t been sure how to act on it.

    I am delighted that your online course is taking shape and wish you great success with its launch.

    Love as always