Michael Zizis
4 min readAug 23, 2023


When everything is made to be broken …

Mercury retrograde August / September 2023

The numbers;

ALL times are EDT.

Mercury Rx 21° Virgo / August 23 4 PM— Mercury D 8° Virgo/ 4:44 pm September 15.

This is the third Mercury retrograde of 2023. For most of us this will not be as severe as some past Mercury retrogrades. If you know others who are brittle and blamers, they will be less sanguine. The choices are wondering what demons are running on inside their heads, or taking on blame, guilt, and shame that does not belong to us. As always, the choice is ours.

To the ancients, before the discovery of the planet Uranus, there were eight planets if you include Sun and Moon. To the theosophists, aka Madam Blavatsky, the ‘modern’ rulers go like this. Uranus is Aquarius, for Neptune it’s Pisces, and for Pluto it’s Scorpio. Take from this what you need. For me, the modern ruler of Aquarius is Uranus {and I am happy with the traditional ruler of Aquarius being Saturn} etc. Yes I’m Aquarius so I would say that, wouldn’t I?

The reason I bring all this up is because the ancient Greeks and others before them gave a double duty to Mercury and Venus. I will save Venus for another time. Mercury’s traditional rulership is over Gemini and Virgo. This August and September Mercury will be sitting on his own throne in earthy Virgo. You can think of this as the planet “happy” to sit on his own throne and be home. Virgo can be seen as Mercury’s exultation. For most of us this means less trickster severity, and perhaps pleasant surprises concerning Virgo’s love of symbols, analysis, research, hygiene, rationality, and progressive pragmatism.

Mercury will be making three trines to Jupiter in Taurus, starting with the present one — Mercury 21° of Virgo and Jupiter in 15° of Taurus. Mercury then backs up and creates a retrograde trine to Jupiter, and then forward again in a motion direct trine to Jupiter. In astrology Jupiter is called the greater benefic, and Venus the lesser benefic. Benefic simply means benefit.

One of the ways that the modern mind deals with astrology and challenging planetary transits is — wake me up when it’s over. In my view humanity learns less from pleasure and joy than we do from pain. In the mythology of Genesis in the Bible, Adam and Eve are tossed out of Eden on their little naked behinds, to begin learning how to create what they eat, bathe occasionally, and even suffer death, not to mention the pain of childbirth.

If every day in Eden was paradise, what would they ever learn?

Pain and suffering are real on this planet. But war, for instance, creates technology, and here we are in a technological culture. No one ever said I’m so happy that today I will invent the plow. And so it goes with the majority of our modern culture, from seatbelts, to air conditioning, to that original person yanking a piece of meat from a forest fire liking the taste, to that first person who saw a blue mold on top of cheese in a damp cave, and said yes I will eat that — I am hungry.

In other words a lack of change equals a lack of learning. If the dinosaurs were still around, mammals including us would still be rat sized night stalkers. In fact there would never be an ‘us’.

So this Mercury retrograde in Virgo brings all of us with innovative minds some opportunities to innovate, to discover, get good rest today, and think of new ways for the old same thing. Many people who conclude that the universe is full of dead things will not be happy with any Mercury retrograde. The rest of us realize the universe is probably alive and responsive, and it is giving us a chance to RE everything: renew, repair, replace, redo, and heal — unless you have concluded that rest is for wimps and fools. If that is your conclusion, I strongly suggest that you read Genesis again. Work was God’s punishment, and not the way into paradise. However, the sign above Nazi death camps, said “work will set you free”.

After you’re done with that illuminating first chapter in the Bible, please start into Thomas Kuhn’s brilliant book — The Nature of Scientific Revolutions. He points out over and over again in every chapter how most scientific breakthroughs come by accident.

For further reading — Mercury retrograde in the houses;

Mercury Retrograde in Virgo Is Giving ‘Back to School’ Energy, Prompting Us All To Get Our Lives…
Mercury is retrograde in Virgo, the detail-oriented Earth sign, from August 23 to September 15. Learn what each of the…www.wellandgood.com

Transits: Mercury Retrograde
Cafe Astrology offers interpretations of the transits of Mercury Retrogrades and Stations through the houses.cafeastrology.com

The Black death and the Industrial Revolution;


The accident of innovation:




Michael Zizis

40 years as a student of astrology. Born in Pittsburgh