It's that time again when Mercury begins to slow down and start its retrograde cycle. This phenomenon happens three or four times a year, and each retrograde cycle emphasizes different themes, depending on Mercury's sign and aspects to other planets. This time, it comes to a standstill in the sign of Leo and shifts back into Cancer on July 19 before stationing direct on July 31. Let's discuss the themes of this Mercury retrograde and tips for how to make the most of this time, sign by sign.
Mercury Retrograde, in General
Mercury retrograde is an optical illusion that happens three or four times a year when Mercury appears to be moving backward in the heavens from our vantage point on earth. When Mercury is retrograde, we have a chance to prioritize and focus on all things Mercury, including communication and communication devices, thoughts, ideas, contracts, learning, teaching, transportation, travel, and the details of everyday life. It's a time to finish business, but you could experience delays.
During Mercury retrograde periods, we look back on our lives, reflecting on the past. We encounter individuals who played significant roles in our lives, and we revisit those relationships.
Mercury retrograde is usually not a great time to sign contracts unless you've been in negotiations for a long time. In those cases, it could be a time for closure and completion.
You may discover things about yourself, your past, or others, and gain clarity about life circumstances. You could also work through your fears and limiting beliefs, the ones that hold you back from living your most purposeful life. In this respect, Mercury retrograde is a time for healing and for clearing obstacles along your path. It's a time to go deep, and you may feel more intuitive and sensitive to energy than usual.
Mercury in Leo, Mercury in Cancer: This Retrograde's Big Themes
Mercury in Leo is dramatic, expressive, and loves a good show, even if it's a melodrama! Keep in mind, this is happening in the two weeks between the solar eclipse on July 2 and lunar eclipse on July 16. So, there's already a little drama in the air. Things feel more intense, and you may have a heightened sense of shifting currents in your life, like the tectonic plates here in Southern California. Find your grounding, center yourself, and lean on trusted friends for support. It's no time to try to navigate life's ups and downs alone.
Mercury in Leo adds to the overall flair of this season, this time in history. It inspires you to express yourself, tapping into your creative potential. The Mercury-Mars conjunction boosts your courage, and you could feel compelled to speak your mind with a sense of urgency. If you have a tendency to resist conflict or bite your tongue, this influence could help you overcome your fears and take a wise approach to speak your truth.
This is also a time to overcome insecurities and access the fullness of your power. Embrace your charisma. Step on stage. At the very least, walk right up to the line where your comfort zone ends, and then, take a step beyond. Allow yourself to move into fear head-on at the beginning of the retrograde cycle.
When Mercury moves back into Cancer, you might need to take a step back into your comfort zone. You could gravitate toward that which makes you feel safe and secure, like family, friends, and home. During this part of the retrograde cycle, you could feel more sentimental, sensitive, and nostalgic. Your right brain creative side takes over, leaving you to grasp for words and question yourself. Slow mental chatter by journaling, meditating, or consulting with a therapist, astrologer, or healer. Look for the hidden messages in your dreams and waking life.
If an ex comes back into your life, proceed with caution. Often, these reconnections are to help you close a chapter. If you jump back in, you could change your mind after Mercury stations direct on July 31.
This is a reflective time, and if you honor your needs for time and space, you will make the most of this period. You can find the intricate connections between your current life circumstances and those of your past. You can raise awareness about how to restructure unhealthy relationship patterns and coping strategies. This level of growth isn't always easy, as you may have to face some hard truth. At the same time, in a year from now, when you look back at this time in your life, you will pat yourself on the back as you recognize some pivotal subplots in your life story reaching a climax at this time. Move through with as much grace as you can. Any challenges you face are necessary, and it will get better!
Specific Themes and Tips, Sign by Sign
ARIES (MARCH 21 - APRIL 19):
Do you have something important to say? Be bold and let your voice be heard. This is a time to access untapped potential, rediscover a dormant talent, or complete a creative project that's been on the back burner. With this surge of dynamic energy, your romantic relationships could heat up. If an ex comes back into your life, proceed with caution. Also, stay in integrity with any connection you make, especially if you or the other person is unavailable. You don't need to be distracted by any relationship drama. So, stay on your path. If family issues arise, remain neutral, without rushing to defend another until you know more about the unfolding story. Center yourself as much as you can, through yoga, meditation, exercise, time in the water, or any way you engage in self-care.
TAURUS (APRIL 20 - MAY 20):
If you have been putting off making any home repairs, you may want to tackle them now. This is a time for making upgrades in your home, office, and life. Therefore, if an appliance or computer breaks down, consider it a permission slip to spend money on a nicer, newer model. (Of course, if you can wait until after Mercury retrograde, then do! If not, then upgrade!) Communication issues could come up, especially with family members. How much of those are anchored in the past? Try to stay present, centered, without taking things too personally or being triggered by others' words or actions. Ground yourself by creating art, planting seeds or working in the garden, and spending time in nature. Travel is a definite possibility late in the cycle, but watch your things and relax if you face delays.
GEMINI (MAY 20 - JUNE 20):
You could face hidden monsters (fears) and demons (shadow aspects of yourself) this retrograde cycle. Take a break from busy work if you can, to create space to explore your inner life. You could become stuck in a self-defeating storyline if you're not conscious. So, mute negative thoughts and temper self-criticism. Travel is a possibility, and it could lead to unexpected adventures. If this time brings up financial fears or issues with self-worth, go in deep to find the root of your insecurities. They are likely rooted in what you lacked in childhood. Take time to read, talk with old friends, and reconnect with family members. This is a sensitive time, and you might be more in tune with others' emotions.
CANCER (JUNE 21 - JULY 22):
Insecurities could arise during this retrograde period, especially if you feel undervalued at work or in relationships. Ask for reciprocity in relationships that feel out of balance. Confront feelings of resentment, even if they're lying dormant in your psyche. Bring them up to the surface, compost them, and turn that energy into fuel for making a positive change in your life. Prioritize health matters, especially if you have had ongoing issues. Have them checked out. Refine the way you communicate with your significant other, and focus on listening with your head and heart.
LEO (JULY 23 - AUGUST 22):
With Mercury stationing in your sign, you could feel insecurities rise to your conscious awareness. Therefore, realize you may not have all the facts or know the entire storyline. So, try not to take things too personally. Likewise, try not to let yourself become involved in others' dramas or engage in gossip. Miscommunication mishaps could happen. However, they will help you refine how you listen and speak to others. Above all, tap into your creative abilities. Maybe you have some unexpressed talents.
VIRGO (AUGUST 23 - SEPTEMBER 22):
This is a time for introspection when you could have profound awareness about emotional and spiritual matters in your life. You may wish to grasp for what's tangible, but allow yourself to delve deeper into the unconscious realm-- the unknown. Pay attention to your dreams, and keep a dream journal nearby to jot insights. Friendships may be in flux, and you could reconnect with people who were once close. Plan a reunion if you feel led to more formally connect with others. Your vision for your future life is coming into focus; clear obstacles to that path.
LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 22- OCTOBER 22):
Reconnection is a theme for you. As you gather with friends from your past at the beginning of this cycle, you may revisit unrealized dreams. It's not time to resurrect those goals, as they may have been unattainable in the first place. However, in reflecting on the possibilities, you may gain an appreciation for how your career path has taken shape. Finish projects, seeing them through to completion. Have a genuine appreciation for where you are, professionally. Then, you can envision a future path from a better vantage point. Back up your computer and phone, and keep electronics away from the bathtub and pool!
SCORPIO (OCTOBER 23 - NOVEMBER 21):
This is a time of discovery when someone close might reveal a secret or something they've been holding in. You, too, are going through an awakening of sorts, and you may realize hidden aspects of yourself, including beliefs, personal history, and unused talents. This awareness could even lead to a career shift. You could have travel delays or missed connections. Be patient! Any doubts are pathways to restored faith. Meditate, read, journal, and take time for dedicated spiritual practice.
SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 22 - DECEMBER 21):
You could crave adventure and feel frustrated if you feel stifled in any way. Freedom is a keyword for you this Mercury retrograde. However, freedom for you right now means detachment, being in the flow, and allowing life to take shape without trying to control the outcome. Find freedom within yourself first, and then you will feel it in your work, relationships, health, and more. At the end of the retrograde period, you could revisit financial decisions and try a new strategy. Do some soul-searching about how to raise your own upper limit.
CAPRICORN (DECEMBER 22 - JANUARY 19):
You could experience inner turmoil with regards to sharing time, energy, resources, or the limelight. Do others take credit for your hard work? Do you feel resentment about how much more you give than receive in relationships? Some questions like these could arise for you. Trust the laws of Divine Compensation, and find ways to communicate with a business or romantic partner about reciprocity. Likewise, look for ways in which you might be taking others for granted in your life. Intimacy and how it's shared will be in the spotlight for you. Face feelings of resentment or regret. Ask for support if you need it. You don't have to do it all alone.
AQUARIUS (JANUARY 20 - FEBRUARY 18):
Back up your computer, phone, and tablet! Get any noisy appliances checked out. Minor issues could disrupt the flow of your everyday life. Maybe you need to stop, take a break, and look at other emotional or spiritual issues in your life. Perhaps you have felt unsettled about your relationship (or lack thereof). Busy work could be keeping you out of your heart, away from your emotions. While you are waiting for your devices to back up, close your eyes, and unplug. Breathe deeply, finding your center. Then, in that stillness, you may feel the backlog of emotions. This can be a healing time for you.
PISCES (FEBRUARY 19 - MARCH 20):
Last time, Mercury was retrograde in your sign. So, this time could feel like a break! Still, back up your communication devices and keep liquids away from your phone and computer. Also, keep your phone away from the pool. Accidents can happen. You may revisit health issues that have been dormant for some time or have lingering concerns checked out. You could find a solution to an ongoing problem. It's also an excellent time for a detox. Realize there are spiritual and emotional correspondences for any issues you face, and find the root of those to optimize your health and wellbeing.