Today’s the daaaay – dun, dun, DUN! Mercury in Leo is NOW stationed in retrograde on July 7, and will quickly transition into the sign Cancer on July 23 for the remaining retrograde period. This is our second water Mercury Rx this year (the first was in Pisces). With any Mercury Rx, you can pretty much expect the unexpected. Which begs the question – how can we navigate these watery depths during this retrograde period?
The 411 on Mercury Rx
This all-time astrological pain-in-the-ass, Mercury Retrogrades are awful to deal with. Why? Because the Mercury Rx will illuminate our poor communication, miscommunication, what we know vs what we thought we knew, cloud our judgment, and interrupt any travel plans.
But, what is a Mercury Rx? Any retrograde is the prime optical illusion as the planet(s) appear to be moving backward in the sky from our vantage point on Earth. During this time, the energy of the planet(s) is also going backward or turning inwards. Instead of expressing with ease outwards, we are called to rethink, review, then revise because of the inward channeling of energy.
The Mercury Rx will characterize these personality aspects – communication, intellect, expressing, learning, agreements, traveling, and technology. The sign the retrograde is stationed in will further characterize how the Rx period will affect us personally. The houses in which the Rx period moves through will illuminate the areas of our lives in which we need to rethink, review, then revise.
Wading the Depths of this Retrograde
On July 7, Mercury will station in retrograde, beginning in the sign of Leo. This period of the retrograde will be extremely short, but we ought to explore the Leo aspect of it.
A Mercury Rx in Leo will illuminate our creativity, drama, ego, and passion. Leo is a fixed, masculine, fire sign, so the expressive tendencies in a Mercurial position will be projected outwards in a stubborn, steadfast nature. We will be asked to rethink, review, then revise our creative intentions, our petty (and not-so-petty) dramas, and our egos will be challenged. During this time, get back in touch with the fun child you used to be. Work out any inward stress through painting, drawing, singing, telling stories, etc. Don’t feed into gossip or drama either. Taking the high road may serve you well as talking will be misconstrued during this time. The drama may be explosive, intrusive, and dramatic. But only you can give life to these things. Lastly, your ego will be challenged to grow, which may be hard for the fixed Leo. Letting go of an aspect of your personality, attitude, or mindset will be transformative. Don’t ignore what’s being illuminated, even if it is uncomfortable.
On July 23, the Mercury Rx will move into Cancer. Cancer is a cardinal, feminine, water sign. So, this is a sign who perceives/receives per its feminine nature. A sign that is empathetic, intuitive, and emotional (if moody). A sign who leads with the heart, not the head unlike its polar opposite, Capricorn.
The majority of this retrograde period will be stationed in Cancer, which may allude to great emotional upheaval. Arguably, a Mercury Rx in Cancer isn’t terribly disruptive in everyday life as far as travel plans go. However, we will see this period of the retrograde affecting communication more so than ever.
Cancer is the Crab, a side-stepper and a passive-aggressive sign. We could infer that side-stepping, not being upfront/clear, or trouble with taking the lead could occur throughout the retrograde period. Illusion, confusion, and deception may be exalted with Cancer stationed in the Mercury Rx (and that pesky Neptune Rx). This may occur due to Cancer’s moody, passive-aggressive nature. The Crab is deeply emotional and intuitive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody else is. The best way to navigate this incommunicative period would be to speak, thoroughly, and concisely. Be open and earnest. Be receptive to what’s being said rather than what you’re perceiving. If there’s anything clouding communication, just ask. Don’t beat around the bush, don’t be passive-aggressive until someone figures it out. Call upon that cardinal modality to speak up.
The Rx and the Houses
Hey, hi, hello if you actually want to know how much any retrograde affects you, and your life then you need to calculate your birth chart! I suggest using Astro-Charts. Next, use your Rising sign (a.k.a. Ascendant/First House) to navigate your horoscopes and yearly forecasts. Your Rising sign will also be the sign to use to navigate retrograde periods, as each retrograde transits through different houses, which heavily depends on your Rising sign. The House(s) affected during an Rx period are the areas of life in which are called for rethinking, reviewing, and revising. If we know which areas of life are affected, then we can make the most of our transformational Rx period.
- Rising in Aries/Libra: 4th House (Feminine/Mother/Children/Family/Home) & 10th House (Career/Maturity/Midheaven/Career/Father)
- Rising in Taurus/Scorpio: 3rd House (Learning/Communication/Siblings/Childhood) & 9th House (Philosophy/Travel/Teaching/Expansion/Freedom)
- Rising in Gemini/Sagittarius: 2nd House (Possessions/Finances/Assets) & 8th House (Taboo/Death/Occult/Sex/Transformations)
- Rising in Cancer/Capricorn: 1st House (First Impressions/Mask/Projection/Surface-Level) & 7th House (Partnerships/Contracts/Marriage/Divorce)
- Rising in Leo/Aquarius: 6th House (Health/Environment/Work) & 12th House (Shadow-Work/Illusion/Transformation/Subconscious/Dreams)
- Rising in Virgo/Pisces: 5th House (Entertainment/Fun/Honeymoon Phase/Childhood) & 11th House (Community/Goals/Humanitarian Efforts/Success)
Weirdly, think of a retrograde as emotional/personal puberty. Remember how our bodies ached with growing pains as adolescents? Well, our hearts and minds ache with similar growing pains during retrogrades. This is the perfect time for shadow-work, setting boundaries, setting intentions, and learning from our mistakes. This is the time to grow past toxic and mundane patterns. But we can’t reap the benefits without first doing the work. To navigate this Rx period consciously and gracefully, I will suggest the following.
Shadow-Work “Shadow-work” refers to acknowledging the deeper parts of our psyches – the parts we often neglect or ignore. Shadow-work is the process of getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Without challenging what is old, stagnant, toxic, and bitter, we can expect to remain old, stagnant, toxic, and bitter. This can be accomplished through several means of holistic methods, namely Yin yoga and/or meditation. Yin yoga is re-connecting with the Feminine energy through a slower, more focused flow. Unlike Yang yoga (a.k.a. vinyasa), Yin yoga is the practice of challenging ourselves to slide into deeper and deeper yoga positions while fixating on our Breath. So, unlike a fast-moving Yang yoga that starts with Child’s Pose and quickly flows into harder poses (i.e. Crow’s Pose), Yin yoga will have us challenge our discomforts through seemingly easy poses while engaging with the Breath. I think Yin yoga is an awesome way to begin a meditative practice, especially for individuals who find it difficult to sit still for long periods. If comfortable and ready, Meditation is the next logical step. Meditative practices involve us sitting in an upright position, closing our eyes, and focusing on our Breath. During a meditative practice, we are asked to not judge, but acknowledge the thoughts that pass through our minds. By allowing the mind to wander for periods (and calling the mind back to focus on the breath), we are allowed great insight into the deeper psyches of our mind.
Yin Yoga Videos Here’s some freebies for you to check-out on YouTube! This video is a no-props video for beginners. This video is has peace and love affirmations with the Yin flow. For a deep, long-lasting flow, check out this hour-long video. As always, go at your own pace and with your own personal health in mind!
Meditative Practices There are many different forms of meditation that we can use for greater insight while honing compassion, empathy, and patience. I suggest either the simple yet effective 3-Part Breath or Alternating Nostrils for newbies. For those who are practiced or those ready for deep shadow-work, try Love & Kindness, Tonglen, and/or RAIN. It’s okay to take a break when your emotions and thoughts overpower you. Go at your own pace.
Aromatherapy While meditating/practicing yoga, try using aromatherapy to help with your practice. Aromatherapy can be used for its holistic healing properties. Scents such as lavender for stress, sage for sadness, yang-ylang for anger, chamomile for stress/anxiety/irritability, and more! Be wary, as pure essential oils should NEVER be put directly on your skin! Why? Essential oils will irritate your skin, and you may even find out you have an allergy the hard way. Dilute your essential oils with water, or carrier oils. You can then spray the diluted mixture or use it on your pressure points.
Setting Intentions Now that you’ve had time to be conscious of what’s been happening, what could happen, and what you want to happen, it’s not time to set intentions. Goals and boundaries are only as good as the intentions behind them. For example, if you have a “no physical contact” boundary, but then you get in touch with everyone, then freak out if they touch you back, your boundary isn’t crystal clear. When setting a goal/boundary, it’s important to be forthright, thorough, thoughtful, and clear of the intention(s) behind the goal/boundary. This way, the goal/boundary is strengthened by its purpose (a.k.a. intention). Use your houses the Rx transitioned through and even your yearly forecast to help devise then implement these goals/boundaries.
But When is it Over?
Chill, Mercury will station direct on Wednesday, July 31, with the shadow-end period lasting roughly two more weeks. During the shadow-end, we’ll be called to wrap up the loose ends from the Rx period. Or we’ll be given that second chance to make the most of the period. If the shadow-end is neglected, then you can expect to repeat these same problems in the third and final Mercury Rx of the year during Scorpio Season.
Navigate these moody, explosive eclipses and Rx season with grace, consciousness, and clarity!
~ As above, so below.