Mercury goes retrograde in the sign of its detriment November 24 at 20 degrees Sagittarius, stationing direct again December 13 at 3 degrees.
This retrograde has us mentally taxed - more so than a regular Mercury retro - and there is a great impetus to get away from communication - anything that isn't necessary, meaningful, or enjoyable - whenever possible to give our poor, stressed synapses a rest.
Don't push your exhausted self into going into that one last store to find that one last gift, and don't put any more pressure on already pressurized service staff unless you'd like a candy cane stuck somewhere funky. If you're employed in retail sales, this holiday shopping season will require even more meditative survival tactics than usual, though this eases gradually beginning December 14.
The influence of pressurized Mercury in Sagittarius means people are going to be itching for a chance to shoot their mouths off so as to release a bit of the mental stress. Those who don't have the knowledge of a holiday season Mercury retrograde in their back pockets are going to be a bit snipey. You can just sit back and watch or, if they're really asking for it, snipe back. If you do snipe back, though, make sure you damn well mean it and that you damn well have a point that can't be refuted. Don't exaggerate (Sagittarius) the issue, as words can come back to haunt us here.
Verbally, things could get feisty.
Luckily, Sagittarius, in general, is a "don't sweat the small stuff" sign, and this is the kind of Mercury placement that will only deal with so much frustration until saying, "Screw it. Let's go get an eggnog."
We're given the freedom to let it go and to let the big picture deal with it to a certain extent until January 8 when Mercury moves into Capricorn, and we get down to business once again.
All in all, this winter holiday season is a great time to get away from cell phones, Blackberries, Facebook, Twitter, and the like to enjoy some face-to-face revelry, relaxation, and merriment. In fact, with the North Node in Sagittarius until the end of August 2012, curtailing the use of these things a lot more in general is a good idea. Electronic over-stimulation increasingly leads to exhaustion, and this Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius, moving back and forth over the North Node, is a mental re-wiring on this front.
Venus and Mercury came together in a conjunction with the North Node November 13/14 before Mercury started to slow for the retrograde station and Venus pulled out ahead.
Now, with the Mercury retrograde, we get a second (and third) chance to figure out what that conjunction was all about.
There's some insight we need in order to successfully navigate our way forward from here related to that Venus-Mercury-North Node conjunction, and Mercury deposits some more of it December 2 in its second pass over the North Node. The final conjunction to the North Node is December 27 with Mercury moving direct.
This is all good as long as we can decipher what it is Mercury is trying to tell us through the filter of one of its more difficult placements (Sagittarius). The big picture Sagittarian truths are not all that easy to break down into easily digestible Mercurial words, concepts, and phrases, though this is our challenge. Sagittarius is often more of a "vibing on the silent inner wisdom" kind of sign - although it will certainly shoot an arrow of truth or two when it thinks it has a clear shot. Let's hope it does here.
The Mercury retro in Sagittarius also has us thinking about those who aren't having such a relaxing, revelry-rich time on this planet, and we honour all angles of this, aware of the facts, holding a loving space in our hearts and minds for anyone in this category. Many won't have gifts to unwrap or a holiday feast to eat, and finding new ways to share the wealth is a fine use of this retrograde energy, creating a holiday season that fits personal ethics.
In my mind, the ultimate goal is to make "charity" unnecessary, ensuring that every living thing on this planet has full access to the necessities of life. But in the meantime, local food banks and charities need help. My Sagittarius Sun Mum always finds new and interesting ways to share the holiday spirit. One way she does it is by purchasing gift donations for Unicef that buy Survival Gifts: things that have practical aims like funding new school supplies, water treatment, or vitamin-rich snacks to help prevent disease. This can obviously be applied in local societies, also. Anything that has a direct result is good with Sadge. Sagittarius likes direct.
By winter solstice December 21, Mercury is back up to full speed direct.