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Mercury Retrograde in Leo: July 7 – 19
Mercury Retrograde in Cancer: July 19 – 31
Mercury in Cancer: July 31 – Aug 11
Mercury in Leo: Aug 11 – 29
Planets in retrograde are not actually spinning backwards – it is an optical illusion as seen from Earth. Backwards motion appears to happen when Earth passes slower moving planets in the outer solar system. In astrology, this illusion manifests as a “backwards” functioning of the planetary roles. Click here to learn more about retrograde.
Mercury turns retrograde three times a year, more frequently than any other planet. From EarthSky:
On Mercury … the Sun sometimes moves in retrograde! As the planet speeds through its closest approach with the sun, its orbital speed overtakes its rotational speed. An astronaut on the surface would see the sun partially rise, then dip back below the horizon, then rise again before resuming its east-to-west trek across the sky. Once a year, Mercury gets two sunrises on the same day!
Mercury represents communication, travel and technology. These are the realms affected by Mercury Retrograde. Expect delays, cancellations and sudden changes; technological failures, especially cell phones, laptops or automobiles; miscommunication; lost/stolen items; general malfunction and wtf moments. I do not recommend starting a new job, buying a car, moving to a new place or signing any contracts/documents. This is not a good time for travel, life-altering commitments or investments.
The first half of Mercury retrograde falls in Leo, the second half in Cancer. We will begin to feel the effects of the retrograde as soon as June 20, just before the summer solstice. Life will feel back to normal by Aug 15.
As the word “retrograde” implies, it is time to go back, finish, review, redo. Mercury Retrograde shuffles stifled energy out, across the tongue. Let’s first discuss Mercury (Retrograde) in Cancer.
The perfect visual for Mercury in Cancer is an ancient tortoise housed in ancient insight: rock solid yet lighter than light. Though tortoises are physically slow moving, their wisdom ascends and expands as they age. Mercury the Messenger supposedly made the first lyre from a tortoise shell. The tortoise, like Mercury in Cancer, guides souls between worlds. In many cultures, turtles are symbols of rebirth. According to the Iroquois, it was the turtle who graciously transformed to become the earth. When Mercury fishes for crabs, the heart opens to the mind. It is time to wander softly to the past, to home, to family. Cancer is sweet and low like summertime rain. Ever earnest, protective and prudent, yet speculating and fanciful. Cancer tumbles in giggling waterwheels of soul springs. She is the constellation of heartfelt anecdotes, rambling tangents, motherly love and youthful, wide-eyed impressions. The crab is sensitive, yes, but not weak.
Loving friends and family bolster potentially deflated confidence during Mercury Retrograde in Cancer. The crab sometimes betrays her own brilliance and beauty. Nonetheless, she cares deeply, feels deeply and fights only out of insecurity. What we have to work on during this transit is reactivity. Steer clear of fearful or clinging thoughts. In The Four Agreements, Miguel Ruiz writes that “nothing in life is personal.” This is particularly difficult for the crab to embody, as she is beholden to the tides of her innermost being, jostled by the moon. But these tides are not inherently uncontrollable. These are the chitta and vritti of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and their unruliness inspired the entire practice of yoga and meditation!
Stay hydrated and spend time in/near a body of water if possible. Calm your mind with swimming and Cancer Yoga. Seek counsel from mother figures. Give special attention to your stomach and digestion. Wear pastels and cool colors.
Now Mercury (Retrograde) in Leo: a time to face ourselves, our identity, our stories and narrative. In popular astrology, Leo is synonymous with megalomaniacal behavior. Regardless of the veracity of this association, we will be quite painfully aware of our imperfections as we confront the consequences of egotistical behavior. Are we sabotaging love in the fires of self-interest? Leo lives forever shackled to his savage heart. His is the heart of a child; he plays like a child, lives like a child. By all means, embrace your playful inner child, but not the inner boy-king who insists he knows everything. Leo’s golden heart drums the beat for glistening romance, a grandiose life of laughter and fleeting pleasures, words painted with bright, broad strokes in the air. But is this real love? Or love of desire, love of power, love of control?
Words and actions hold extraordinary power during Mercury Retrograde. Stay true to yourself and don’t give in to impulse. Channel your passion into creative projects and gratitude. Mercury Retrograde in Leo teaches exactly this: appreciation for what we already have, especially the love in our lives. Blinded by greed, we are unable to see beyond self-satisfaction until it is too late, until we are weeping like a child. But we are not children! Leo rises to his full height with merciless eyes. Will you find a way to loosen your creative and sexual energies, a way to loosen the tongue, free the mind, awaken the heart, all without destroying what you have? Burn away the impurities, emerge crisp as a daffodil bobbing in the sun. Open your heart with music, laughter and Leo Yoga. Sit in the sun and wear warm, fiery colors.
To determine your Mercury sign and whether he was direct or retrograde at the time of your birth, click here.
Affirmation: change is good