- Is this what it looks like inside Aries? Maybe. The more important question is, what does it look like inside you? Photo by Amanda Painter.
If that's the case, you have some options. Sure, you can insist on plowing ahead, damn the torpedoes. Chances are, however, that's not going to be the most efficient or smooth approach.
Every Mercury retrograde is an opportunity for review and introspection. With Mercury in Aries, that inner consideration could well have to do with your sense of who you are (your identity), your relationship to what you want (desire), your relationship to anger and how you express it, or your sense of agency in your life (whether you feel like you can make your own choices and actions).
Now, while you could go the full-meditation route, I'm not sure that really meshes well with a Mercury retrograde in Aries, either. Particularly not this one.
I say that because the sky is currently dominated by planets in Aries making square aspects to planets in Capricorn. (I'll touch on a couple of the specific squares in a moment.) These Aries-to-Capricorn relationships are calling the theme for the Mercury retrograde chart, which you can think of as a question:
Where are initiative and individuality running up against what is codified or institutional?
One illustration might be the March for Our Lives scheduled for March 24 in Washington, DC, with affiliated local events throughout the US. In this we see many individuals taking up a moral imperative to value students' lives above the entrenched corporate-governmental-military system that has allowed (and encouraged) weapons of mass murder to be normalized and protected.
Likewise, in your personal life, you might notice tension between what you really want to do and some form of established structure or authority figure—such as your need to express yourself artistically clashing with the requirements of your job.
Another angle on this dynamic comes through Venus in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn (exact Friday). This is a reminder that relationships need to grow to stay healthy—and growth implies change. If you insist on clinging to how a person, or a relationship, 'has always been', you're likely to experience difficulty. Trying to control someone by manipulating them is an especially bad idea.
On the other hand, if you can get excited about discovering what's unfolding, and about letting yourself explore the changes, a much more emotionally satisfying experience could be in store. It's easy to fear change, forgetting that what develops can be much healthier and feel better in the long run.
The other major square this weekend is between the Sun in Aries and Mars (ruler of Aries) in Capricorn. This is exact on Saturday, but is something to start working with now. You'll want to ask yourself how aware of your motives you are. The more unconscious your motives, the more likely you are to run into ego conflicts with others.
Sun square Mars, especially with Aries involved, is also a reminder to find vigorous, physical outlets for your energy. If used constructively, the energy and tension associated with this square could be incredibly productive—particularly with Mars in Cap. That said, when it comes to interpersonal interactions, pay attention to when you truly need to be assertive versus when you can get good results with a softer approach, and choose accordingly.
As you tap into the fuel these squares offer, you'll still need to be mindful of Mercury stationing retrograde. You don't need to paralyze yourself to appease Mercury; you simply need to use your head—and, ideally, slow your mind down enough that you can spot any assumptions and gaps in focus before they trip you up.
In fact, Mercury's retrograde in Aries could be quite beneficial for becoming more aware of your motives—and how those motives relate to your sense of self. To do so will likely spell the difference between getting tripped up by reactivity and staying in touch with a clearer sense of presence and purpose in your daily life.
We live in a world where more and more people invest increasing levels of their identity and self-worth in the number of Facebook 'likes', Instagram followers and online arguments they're able to 'win'. It's easy to forget that a sense of self, self-esteem, and simple presence in the world can—and needs to—exist within, separate from online activity.
As you back up your computer, check your email spam folder for errant messages, double-check all instructions, find workarounds for major purchases, drive extra carefully‚—and the other general Mercury retrograde housekeeping tips—notice where you have quieter opportunities to learn from what crops up. Aries is not known for being quiet or still. Yet, Mercury is stationing retrograde in a degree with a symbol that, in one interpretation, carries the note, "the value of a dignified inward withdrawal."
As contrary as that may seem to the energy of the season and the accompanying astrology, I do think there are plenty of ways to integrate it all. At the very least, you can use the Aries initiative to make a strong, spirited start to your inner accounting.