Mercury Retrograde has quickly become one of the most popular, and feared, events in astrology. You’ve most likely heard one of your friends or co-workers mention it in conversation, blaming it for some technological breakdown or some miscommunication. As one of the few astrological phenomena that affects everyone the same way, Mercury Retrograde attracts the attention of everyone from bankers on Wall Street to yoga teachers in Santa Monica. Where the Full Moon, for instance, may bring clarity to one person, while bringing insomnia and emotional intensity to another, Mercury Retrograde does the same number on all of us. No matter your Sun sign, Moon sign, whether you care about astrology or not, Mercury Retrograde treats everyone equally.
The Technical Side of Retrogrades
All planets, besides our own of course, station retrograde at some point. Retrograde means a planet appears to be moving backward in our sky. The key word here is “appear.” The backward motion is simply an optical illusion. Mercury is the fastest moving planet in the Solar System, circling the Sun every 88 days. Retrogrades occur when Mercury passes Earth. Have you ever been on a train and another train passes you? For a moment it seems the faster moving train is going backward until it finally overtakes the slower one. This is the same effect that occurs in our sky when Mercury passes the Earth.
Mercury Retrograde is nothing new, either. We’ve all been through many of these periods in our lifetime. Mercury Retrograde occurs three times per year for three weeks each time. It may seem like it’s longer one time versus another, but in reality, this period always lasts for the same number of days. The current Mercury Retrograde begins July 7th and ends July 31st, the same day as the New Moon in Leo.
The Energetic Side of Retrogrades
Retrogrades spin the energy of the planet inward. Each planet rules some aspect of our lives with its energy. Mercury rules our communication, including all of our technology and systems of information exchange. Mercury affects the part of us which absorbs information and transmits that information to others. Not in retrograde, otherwise known as moving direct, Mercury helps energy flow outwards from us to another in a way which makes sense to all parties involved. When retrograde, the normal flow of energy is reversed. We have difficulty communicating effectively with others, may it be typos in our emails or the entire email server going down; we struggle to exchange information. We often see arguments between partners at this time simply from miscommunication. If you do find yourself in heated debates with loved ones, take a step back and ask yourself if the disagreement is a result of thoughts or feelings being improperly explained or heard.
The same communication breakdown occurs with our digital communication; social media platforms show their bugs, computers crash, videos fail to load, etc. Our normal connections and methods of sharing content fail to work as expected, leaving us feeling frustrated and at a loss. Communication seems to get stuck, then like a slingshot, it breaks through in an unorganized way, confusing everyone. If you find yourself pulling your hair out over a file that won’t upload, take a break and connect with nature. Instead of allowing Mercury to spin you out of control, take a deep breath, ground yourself with Mother Earth and plug into a source of energy which can’t be disturbed by technology. Take a walk in the woods, or on the beach, sit in a park and meditate, or lay down on the grass and stare at the clouds for a while. Reboot yourself and you’ll find rebooting your phone or computer goes much more smoothly when your battery is full.
The Silver Lining
Mercury Retrograde is not all bad. It can be a time of deep contemplation and introspection. Mercury Retrograde spins our communication inward, giving us access to thoughts, feelings, and energy normally held out of our awareness. It’s a wonderful time to dive deep into journaling as a method of exploring your subconscious, peaking around for often unseen patterns and behaviors. During this time, conversations with yourself are easier and answers effortlessly rise to the surface to questions you may have not even known to ask before the retrograde.
Also, Mercury Retrograde often “breaks” things which are misaligned in our life in the first place. Even though it seems initially frustrating or even heartbreaking, Mercury Retrograde's havoc can actually be a good thing. If something, or someone, is not a perfect fit for our energy then Mercury Retrograde often shows us where the cracks are in the foundation. After things have fallen apart, then we have an opportunity to rebuild them better and more in alignment, so when the next Mercury Retrograde comes around, we’ll be impervious to its meddling. If Mercury Retrograde breaks something in your life, be grateful! Take it as a sign that something better and more aligned is now available.
The Astrological Side of Retrogrades
Just like the Moon and the Sun, the planets also fall in an astrological sign. Mercury is currently positioned in the sign of the regal lion: Leo. Mercury will move backward through Leo until July 19th, when it’ll enter the sign of Cancer, continuing its backward momentum until July 31st, when Mercury will station direct in Cancer then re-enter Leo August 11th. Mercury in Leo helps us express our most authentic self. The Lion and Mercury pair well together, as both of these energies like to send information outward. Leo inspires us to speak our truth in all occasions and be who really are at our core. Mercury Retrograde in Leo gives us the opportunity to journey inward and discover our truth. It allows us to access places within which show us our authentic nature. It also helps us improve how we lead ourselves and others.
With Mercury Retrograde in Leo expect to come up against issues around your self-expression. Spend more time than usual thinking and feeling into how you want to express your unique personality to the world. If, for any reason, your communications are not lining up with your true self, or they do not adequately represent your leadership skills, then expect Mercury Retrograde to make things more difficult. Turn this challenge into an opportunity to sit back for a moment and recalibrate your communication to reflect your true essence. Know, also, Mercury Retrograde will make it glaringly apparent when you are communicating just for the sake of attention. Be sure to make all of your exchanges of energy root in meaning and come from a sincere heart during this time (and really all the time).
Mercury in Cancer is a different story. Cancer is already a softer, more internal energy compared to Leo. Mercury Retrograde in Cancer pulls our energy and focus deeply inward. Feelings and emotions may intensify, but we’ll have a greater understanding of where they originate. Be particularly careful during this period of the Retrograde (July 19th-July 31st) when talking with loved ones about emotions. If arguments arise, or even highly emotional conversations, take a step back, breathe and give each other space. Try to figure out, first within your own mind and energy, your feelings and why they are coming up, then talk them out with your partner. Be open to learning new things about your partner and create space for each to explore deeper emotions and even emotional triggers. Conversations can reach a new level of understanding during Mercury Retrograde in Cancer, but the proper care and mindfulness needs to be taken if both parties are to communicate effectively and meaningfully.
Mercury will station direct, putting us all at ease, on the Black New Moon in Leo, July 31st. When Mercury stations direct, there is often a surge of energy pouring outwardly. Feel into this, harnessing it to help you write and communicate your New Moon intentions. The Black Moon occurs when there are two New Moons in one month. The New Moon in Leo is our second New Moon in July (the first was the New Moon in Cancer July 2nd), bringing us special energy to work with in our energetic field. Read all about this Black Moon and Mercury stationing direct in the Leo Workbook. You can also read about how Mercury Retrograde will affect our Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in the Capricorn Full Moon Workbook.
I appreciate the in depth explanation, I’ve been following others for a better understanding and this came together for me perfectly! Stay strong fellow Lions- all is nothing we cannot handle! 🧡
I REALLY needed this article. Thank you for the in depth explanation of this particular retrograde.
fantastic article , very insightful and interesting
This resonates 🔥🔥🔥
Gosh, great reading. Thankyou for this. Can you tell me, is the mercury retrograde applied worldwide??? I’m in New Zealand.
Wonderful, detailed article! Thank you 🙏🏻✨