Mercury began the latest edition of its retrograde process on July 7th/8th, starting in Leo with the majority of it occurring in Cancer. It will last until July 31st in the Americas and August 1st elsewhere. In the weeks (and especially days) leading up to it we start to notice its influence as Mercury slows down and comes to a stop before moving the other way. This is known as the ‘pre-shadow’ period which began on June 20th.
This retrograde occurs during eclipse season, following a Solar Eclipse also in Cancer and during a Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn. All of this happening in the same month indicates a period of readjustments and shifts in specific areas of our lives connected to these signs as well as how it all corresponds to our individual birth charts. You can read my latest eclipse article here and join my mailing list to ensure that you receive my next eclipse article and other future content.
If you have read my previous Mercury retrograde articles, the first two sections of this article are nearly the same and you can skip to the third section if you don’t want to re-read all the general themes associated with these periods. The other sections are more specific to this edition of it.
Mercury retrograde is known for the problematic effects it often has on communication technology, transactions, motor vehicles, anything with moving parts, and commuting in general. Some people even get headaches near the beginning of it. We could experience some challenges, misunderstandings, and errors around our communications, numbers/details, and commerce, as well as changes, cancellations, or delays in our schedules. We may also feel more challenged when we are doing excessive analytical work without using our internal guidance.
Mercury Retrograde can also be a good time to revisit or redo tasks, projects, ideas, or anything else that was initiated in the past. It can give us a different perspective or shift in thinking that can help us to approach these things in ways we wouldn’t have done so before. This may also be a period of reconnecting with old friends, family, sometimes lovers, or others you haven’t seen in a while. However, many times when we reconnect with people during a retrograde, there can be some issues from the past that can come up and may need to be resolved.
The Deeper Purpose of Mercury Retrograde
Ultimately, Mercury Retrograde is a time for us to recalibrate and adjust specific areas of our lives as well as how we apply our minds towards these issues. It is a period in which we may receive important insights and see things in a new light. In most cases, it can be mildly transformational, but in some cases it can facilitate more major transformations depending on how it corresponds to your personal astrological chart.
During and following the retrograde, certain areas of our lives can go through changes or shifts, or we can experience a reorientation of some sort which influences how we proceed over the coming months or in some cases, it can have a more long-term significance. In the 2 weeks afterwards, known as the ‘post-shadow’ period, we move forward with some sort of new awareness, adjustment, as well as new ideas and thoughts that have been seeded which will develop as time progresses.
The things that you have been doing or circumstances in the two to three weeks leading up to this period could determine how and where this energy plays out. It is also possible that there could have been changes or things that came up at that time which may go through a sorting out process. There could have been unknown variables, either positive or negative, that were either unseen or hadn’t been conceived yet, which may become apparent over the coming weeks.
The sign(s) and element(s) in which Mercury retrograde travels shows the energy we are re-orienting ourselves with. More importantly, if you are familiar with your natal astrology chart, than your house(s) or any planetary placements being affected will show more specifically what areas of life you will be experiencing its energy in. For the astrologically literate, it begins at 4’28 degrees of Leo and will retrograde all the way to 23’57 degrees of Cancer, before turning forward again.
Occurring Mostly In Cancer and Partially In Leo, Part of a Water Sign Series
Mercury retrograde always happens in primarily one element for between 1-2 years. This is the second of a series occurring in water signs with the final one happening in the Fall of 2020. The water element is about emotion, feelings, sensitivity, intuition, and fluidity. This period is about re-aligning ourselves with these qualities and expressing them in new or revamped ways.
This one is primarily a re-orientation of Cancer themes which is about nurturing, family, home life, comforts, security, maternal nature, caregiving, empathy, bonding and emotional connections with others. It is also associated with nostalgia and holding on to memories, especially those that are comforting. Cancer energy is also instinctual and protective yet can also be easily offended, moody, manipulative, vulnerable, insecure, smothering, too subjective, clingy, overly emotional, and attached to the past.
This retrograde is also partially in Leo, and although the Cancer themes are stronger at this time, the qualities of Leo can be tied into this period as well. Leo is associated with self-expression, standing out, playfulness, children, heart centeredness, creativity, leadership, courage, pride, affection, and romance. It can also be very egotistical, pretentious, attention seeking/demanding, and pompous.
Mercury Retrograde Significant Dates/Periods
Below, are some of the dates and information for some of the major astrological configurations during this retrograde.
*The dates below are based on the Americas. The further East you are located you may need to consider it as the next day.
July 7th-9th Mercury begins its retrograde in Leo at 11:15pm Universal Time on July 7th while in a conjunction with Mars, Venus sextile Uranus. Mercury retrograde themes (mentioned earlier) and complications may come up more strongly at this time as Mercury changes motion. You may get more indication of some of the things that may be playing out for you over the next month based on how you feel or on what transpires. Our thoughts, communications, and even commuting can be more assertive. In some cases there can even be more of an aggressive tone potentially and perhaps ego based conflicts. The best way to utilize this is to use our drive and revisit some sort of creative effort or form of self-expression. Issues or developments pertaining to romance, sex, or children may also come up for some people. Some of this energy can get triggered again on July 10th. From July 7th-8th it is also possible that there can be some positive surprises around relationships, or even connected to finances. This period can also be socially stimulating and can also be good for new types of fun experiences.
July 8th – 9th The Sun conjunct the North Node opposes Saturn at the South Node. Some of the themes of the previous Solar Eclipse are triggered. We can be pulled between the future and the past. There may be developments connected to how we need to move forward but we may have to deal with obstacles connected to behaviours or ambitions that ultimately are not serving us anymore yet may still play out over the coming months.. Emotional, family, or home related issues may be at odds with responsibilities or outdated commitments. We can face some limitations, restrictions, and may need to get realistic about something. Some people may have realizations of a need to take a more caring or personable approach in their life or regarding aspirations. Issues pertaining to status may be source of problems. This energy will still be in the backdrop until early Fall when it gets triggered again, and some of the themes can even continue until mid-late 2020.
July 10th-12th Mars square Uranus, Trine Chiron and Mercury Retrograde sesquisquare Neptune, Sun trine Neptune. This can reflect potential disruptions or changes that can also be tied into Mercury retrograde related complications. Some people can act more impulsive, rebellious, or get easily angered. It’s important to be flexible at this time and be cautious with decisions as we can be more easily confused or not see things clearly. It may also be harder to focus. However, this can also be good for actions that are innovative, unconventional, or holistically oriented. However, from July 10th-11th their will also be some nice Neptune aspects which can bring themes of compassion, empathy, inspiration, selflessness, and oneness. Our intuitions can be stronger than normal and it can also be great for creative and spiritual pursuits.
July 16th – 17th Lunar Eclipse In Capricorn Conjunct Pluto, Venus conjunct North Node opposite Saturn conjunct the South Node. This Lunar Eclipse has potential to be intense and stir up deep feelings and strong emotions. Issues around power, shadows, or hidden matters may come up. The themes of this Eclipse could have already begun to play out weeks prior and may still unfold over the coming months. Venus in Cancer joins the North Node while opposing Saturn near the South Node. We can face some obstacles around relationships, values, money, or aesthetic related. Developments around relations that can be beneficial for our growth may come up, however, they may be at odds with some limitations, negative behaviours, or issues pertaining to social status or responsibilities. I will be writing a separate article on this eclipse, you can join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it along with other content.
July 20th – 21st Mercury Retrograde conjunct the Sun, Venus opposite Pluto with the Moon triggering it. This is that halfway point of Mercury retrograde known as the ‘inferior conjunction.’ It can be a period of increased insights yet complications can also be stronger at this time depending on how you are applying yourself. Ideas and thoughts that are seeded now may develop over the coming months. Their can be some deep feelings, jealousy, possessiveness, obsession, power struggles, hidden matters, or other conflict in our relations. If so, there is also potential for it to be worked out and perhaps experience positive changes in some cases. This can also manifest as passion and trigger desires. This may also reflect a conflict or shift around values, and it would be wise to be cautious with finances at this time.
July 23rd-25th Mercury Retrograde conjunct Venus, Mars trine Jupiter. This can be a good time for connecting with others socially as interactions can be pleasant. Considering the retrograde, it can good for catching up with others that we haven’t seen in a long time and resolving any issues if there are any. In some cases revisiting any creative effort or aesthetic adjustment could make sense as well. This can also be a time in which we feel we have more energy or we are more confident and optimistic in how we apply ourselves. We may want to take action in a way that is expansive, explorative, and optimistic. However, keep in mind that in most cases it is best to wait to finalize any major decisions until after the retrograde is over unless your gut tells you otherwise.
July 29th-30th Sun square Uranus, Near end of Moon Cycle and Mercury Retrograde. There can be surprises and disruptions during this time, so best to stay flexible and expect the unexpected. This can be good for doing things in a different and unusual way. However, considering it is near the end of the Moon cycle and retrograde, this energy is more conducive for some sort of release of separation from something than it is to initiate something new.
July 31st-August 2nd Mercury Transitions From Retrograde to Direct, New Moon in Leo with Venus Square Uranus, Trine Chiron. Mercury will slowly begin to move forward from August 1st onward. The areas of our lives that have been affected by this retrograde will start to become more clear and things will fall into place more easily as time progresses over the coming days and weeks.. However, usually the first 2-3 days afterwards can still feel like its retrograde and it’s usually best to wait until at least the 3rd day before finalizing decisions, agreements, etc. The exact moment of the New Moon is less than an hour before Mercury ends its retrograde which brings an extra sense of going into a new and refreshed energy after what was experienced leading up to this. During these days, it is possible that we can also experience some surprises, shifts, or may want to liberate ourselves from a situation. There is potential for some sort of healing as well but we may also experience some instability. It can happen in different areas of our lives but it is likely that many people will experience this more around relationships, either socially or romantically. It can also be good for new and exciting experiences. We would also need to be cautious with finances as it can be a period in which we may experience loss or regretful impulsive spending.
I’m doing a Sale on Astrology Readings this month during the Eclipse and Mercury Retrograde Season. Find out how these eclipses, retrograde, and other astrological energies apply to you individually. 20% off shorter readings and 30% off longer readings. More information here.