Murky Waters: What To Expect When Mercury Goes Retrograde in Cancer this Summer
On Thursday, June 18th, at around 12:58 AM EST, Mercury will station backwards at 14'45 degrees Cancer, where it will continue it's backwards journey until Sunday, July 12th, when it will station direct at 5'29 degrees
What is Mercury in Retrograde?
A retrograde planet is one that appears to be moving in the opposite direction. Astrologically, this means that the energies represented by the planet are directed backwards or inward. Retrograde periods are often riddled with delays and disruption, but they don't have to be. These periods are not so much a time for action, but a time for reflection. Retrograde periods are also loaded with synchronicity and karma. So, they can also be periods of magic and manifestation if you just focus within rather than without. Things from the past will return to us. This could be people from our past, including from our past lives, situations, or memories that we thought we had forgotten about, or maybe just lessons that we're getting a second chance at learning after having failed the first time around.
And what kind of energy does Mercury represent?
Mercury is the messenger of the gods in Roman mythology. Like Venus, Mercury is a social planet, but unlike Venus, which is more about intimate relationships, Mercury is more about communication in general. This includes letters, emails, and even divination. Mercury is also associated with commerce, travelers, and in astrology, it represents the mind (especially the logical mind), intelligence, and the way we think. Look out though: known for its speed and swiftness, Mercury is also the trickster god, associated with both tricksters and thieves.
Ruled by the mutable signs, Virgo (the virgin) and Gemini (the twins), there is a dualistic nature to the planet, that gave birth to the word "mercurial," (meaning unpredictable or changeable). It makes sense then that Mercury would travel between two worlds, being the only Olympic god with the ability to travel between the realm of the gods, and the realm of the underworld, where his job was to accompany souls on their journey to Hades. As the planet closest to the Sun, and also the planet with the fastest orbit, Mercury goes retrograde about three or four times a year, for periods of about three weeks.
Mercury in retrograde periods are generally riddled with delays and mishaps around communication, travel, and technology.
For example, your flight might be inconveniently delayed, or your computer may freeze at the most inconvenient time. To use my own life as an example, just about every time Mercury is in retrograde, my phone charger breaks. Miscommunications and misunderstandings are common during this time, so try to be as clear as you possibly can when speaking to others, and avoid making assumptions. Astrologers generally advise that you avoid signing any major contracts during this period, for it may backfire on you once Mercury goes direct. These periods are often loaded with unexpected, unplanned, and seemingly inconvenient events that will make you think of Murphy's Law: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong."
It really isn't as bad as it sounds, however. Honestly, it really isn't as bad as people make it out to be, and this period also comes with numerous advantages. While Mercury direct represents the logical mind, Mercury retrograde represents the intuitive mind. As the messenger of the gods, its retrograde period is probably the best time for divination. These periods are also often loaded with tons of strange coincidences and synchronicities. There may be messages in your dreams, including messages from ancestors or guardian angels. To some extent, this is true of every planet in retrograde, but in my experience, it's more true with Mercury than with any other, given its nature. The "unexpected" and "unplanned," events mentioned in the last paragraph are not always "inconvenient." More often than not, you'll find that these events are serendipitous and wonderfully fated, presenting you with opportunities of good luck, like being at the right place at the right time. As I said, Mercury is a very dualistic and tricky planet. You just need to know how to work with it. If you believe in the law of attraction, or other forms of manifestation, this is a better time than ever to take advantage of it. Even without the magic and the metaphysical, however, this is a good time to reflect on things; the kind of deep thought, reflection, and consideration necessary to yield powerful ideas and insights, insights that you can put into practice once Mercury goes direct.
Mercury Retrograde in Cancer 2020
Mercury rules over the logical mind & Cancer is a water sign, more comfortable in the realm of emotion than logic. Emotional as it is, however, it isn't always the best at expressing those emotions. While Mercury rules communication, Cancer is a mute sign, known for it's quiet & shy disposition, and tendency to clam up in the face of confrontation. While Mercury in Cancer has a ton of positive qualities too - like it's strong memory, it's ability to bond with others, poetic use of language & an intuition bordering on psychic - it's these qualities that are emphasized when Mercury moves Retrograde.
Symbolized by the small & vulnerable crab protected by its hard shell, Cancer is self-protective in nature, and sometimes, this may cause it to behave in ways that are dishonest, such as lying to avoid confrontation or if confronted, denying there's a conflict altogether. Likewise, we may be extra sensitive to the emotions of other people at this time & defensive as a result, going to great lengths not to be put down or yelled at, or even playing the victim if people call us out on our own problematic behavior. If not outright dishonest, we may shut-down in the face of emotional conflict or even ghost, not wanting to deal with the drama or pain of seeing another person angry or upset. On another note, since Mercury in Cancer is so plugged into the emotional undercurrents behind what's being said, we may have a hard time understanding it when others are not so intuitive, expecting others to read our mind at all times & getting angry when they fail to do so.
In any case, it's important we make the extra effort to verbalize how we feel at this time, even if we need a little bit of space first to feel things out and think through what we want to say. While avoiding painful conversations to protect ourselves & our own emotions may be tempting, it usually just creates more conflict in the long run - conflict based on misunderstanding. If you don't speak up, people will more often than not misunderstand you & have no clue about what you really think and feel. But also, YOU may be the one misunderstanding others. With Mercury in Retrograde, our thinking may be unclear at this time. Our emotions may get in the way of us obtaining clarity on just about any matter. As the title suggests, we're traveling through murky waters at this time & our vision may be blurry.
It's also important to mention that Cancer is a sign very often associated with the home & family, our roots, as well as anything having to do with our pasts. Mercury in Retrograde is always associated with the past, whether that be looking back at the past or past situations coming back to haunt us, but this is especially true now with Mercury in Cancer. We may be thinking way back into our pasts, back to childhood. Things or people we haven't thought about since childhood may come back into our lives, forcing us to confront inner demons we've long suppressed. This is a good time to heal from childhood traumas (whether "big T" or "little t") that have subconsciously affecting our emotional lives even to this day.
Mercury is stationing Retrograde at a time when Venus, Jupiter & Saturn (as well as Neptune & Pluto) are also Retrograde, causing a heavy focus on the past & the purging that comes along with that. It is a good time to take a pause on what we're doing so we can go within & reflect.
While Mercury's station Retrograde itself makes no aspects to other planets, it will be conjunct Sirius, the Dog Star, the brightest of all fixed stars & revered by the Ancient Egyptians. Mercury conjunct Sirius is said to indicate success in business & help through influential people, but also, unnecessary worries & physical defect through accident. It is associated with the church.
At the moment of Mercury in Cancer's station Retrograde, it's dispositor, the Moon will be in it's exalted position of Taurus and well-aspected by a sextile to Neptune & Mars in Pisces, as well as a trine to Jupiter & Pluto in Capricorn. This gives this retrograde period a very positive influence, with themes of emotional security & fulfillment. The Moon's sextile to Neptune & Mars indicates inspired action, strong compassion & connection to the divine, but also an ability to set boundaries, stand up & fight for what's right. Meanwhile, the Moon's trine to Jupiter indicates joyful & positive feelings, optimism, and the trine to Pluto indicates transformation & the possibility of deep intimacy.
The Sun will be only two degrees from the North Node in Gemini on this day as well, suggesting that this will be a period of evolution & growth all around.
On July 8th, Mercury Rx in Cancer will be making a square to Mars in Aries. Our emotions may get the best of us at this time and misunderstandings could lead to anger & resentment, even violence in extreme cases. More likely, however, harsh words will be exchanged for most of us, while others may be more inclined to communicate their anger by giving the silent treatment. Either way, it's important we take a step back and think things through first to make sure we're not making assumptions or being irrational (for example, getting angry at someone for not reading our mind etc.).
Mercury in Cancer Direct
On Sunday, July 12th at 4:26 AM, Mercury will station direct at 5'29 degrees Cancer, allowing us to put the lessons we learned throughout the last few weeks into practice.
While Mercury itself will make no aspect, the Sun at 20 degrees Cancer will be making a nearly exact trine to Neptune in Pisces, bringing about feelings of oneness and a connection to the beautiful & the divine. This indicates that the lessons we learn during this Mercury Retrograde period will likely be of a more spiritual & emotional nature.
Meanwhile, Mars, now in it's home sign of Aries, is conjunct the Moon, Mercury in Cancer's dispositor. This suggests confrontation. After about three & a half weeks of reflection, we're finally speaking the truth about how we feel and calling people out if we have to. Instead of clamming up, we're actually doing something about our feelings. This can imply feelings of anger, but not necessarily. The Moon & Mars in Aries are both making a sextile to Venus in Gemini, now Direct, so we're going after what we want in love as well. If over the last three weeks when Mercury was in Retrograde (or even the past two months since Venus stationed Retrograde!) we've been afraid of expressing how we feel for a love interest, we're now feeling confident enough to do so.
Mercury in Cancer won't completely turn back to it's usual self, however, until after July 26th, when it passes the 14'45 degree mark & exits the retrograde shadow phase.
Now it's time to see how it will affect your sign. I suggest reading the horoscope for your ascendant or rising sign, first, instead of the sun. I find the rising sign horoscope to be more accurate than the sun, as these horoscopes are based on the houses. If you don't know your rising sign, click here to generate a birth chart. Yes, you will need your birth time for this. If you don't have your birth time, Sun sign horoscopes are the next best thing.
People with angles or personal planets (or even the North and South Node) between 4 & 16 degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) will most especially be affected by this transit. If you have angles or personal planets between 4 and 16 degrees of the other water signs, Scorpio and Pisces, you may also be heavily affected by this transit.
With Cancer in your 4th house, the house of home & family, Mercury Retrograde is bound to stir up some old childhood wounds. There may be misunderstandings between you & your family members, and past conflicts from long ago are likely to be brought up. For example, if you get into a fight with your parents, you might find it has very little to do with the situation at hand and more to do with a larger pattern of behavior relating to how they treated you as a child & the pent up rage resulting from that. On a more positive note, conversations regarding these topics may prove to be productive and even healing for you, Aries, and if you want to reach out to a family member you've been estranged from, now would be a better time to do so. Its a good time to make amends with any family member who you may have held resentment towards. Of course, this transit could also cause less emotionally heavy annoyances, such as minor damages to your apartment or home particularly when it comes to areas of technology.
With Mercury Retrograde in your 3rd house, communication may be hard for you now, Taurus, especially given that Cancer is a mute sign. It may be hard for you to verbalize what it is you want to say. This may be due to an inability to pin an exact label on what you're feeling or thinking. Taurus & Cancer are similar signs in that your safety and self-preservation are of the utmost importance, and you may prefer to stand back, stay quiet, and feel things out before you feel comfortable enough to take action or integrate yourself in the group. Right now, you may have trouble speaking up for fear of creating unnecessarily conflict, or getting yourself hurt. On another note, there may be miscommunications between you & your siblings, roommates/neighbors or extended family (uncles, aunts, cousins). There may also be unexpected setbacks revolving travel & transportation, such as your car breaking down at the worst possible moment.
Mercury is your ruling planet, Gemini, and it's retrograde periods may make you feel especially out of whack. With Cancer ruling your 2nd house, the house of money and belongings, financial matters may be especially out of whack for you right now. For example, perhaps, that check you were expecting has yet to come in the mail like it was supposed to. Or maybe that new product you spend all that hard-earned money on is broken already. New electronics may be especially faulty. Less talked about, however, the 2nd house also rules over one's personal values. You're questioning what it is you truly value, and Cancer is an emotional sign. Do material possessions really matter in the long run? Compared to the emotional fulfillment that others can bring you?
Transiting your 1st house, this Mercury Retrograde period may feel especially strong for you, Cancer. Everything I wrote in the introduction may be applied to you but amped up to the extreme. You're feeling even more emotional than usual, and you may be over-analyzing your emotions as well. You may be suffering from feelings of self-doubt that make it hard for you to express yourself fully. You're crawling back into your shell, afraid to expose your vulnerable self to the world. Conversations with others may prove triggering at this time. On the bright side, you're undergoing a process of self-analysis, going deeper within to understand the source of your wounds, insecurities & communication issues, so that you can heal from them, becoming a better communicator in the process.
You're used to being the center of attention, Leo, but now, you may find that you don't even want to be. Or even if you do want to be, perhaps, your social life's been on pause since this corona-crisis started, forcing you to love yourself on an even deeper level. In any case, Mercury Retrograde is transiting through your 12th house, traditionally known as the house of isolation and self-undoing. You may feel stuck, lonely & misunderstood, as for whatever reason, you're forced or pushed into temporary solitude. However, the 12th house doesn't just rule over prisons, hospitals & asylums, but also monasteries & places of worship. It is a deeply spiritual house, ruling over secrets & the unconscious. Once you learn to find the beauty in solitude, even if you don't 100% enjoy it, you'll find that this time to be enlightening. Messages in your dreams - whether from your subconscious mind or telepathic messages from actual people - may prove very significant & insightful to you at this time. You're becoming aware of the subconscious emotional patterns that have been keeping you stuck, particularly in regards to your communication with others, so you can learn to let them go once & for all.
Virgo, you are known for your sharp & critical mind. Like Gemini, you are ruled by Mercury, but when it goes retrograde, your normally nice, neat and organized life is thrown for a loop. With Mercury Retrograde, in your 11th house friends, be careful not to let that inner critic get in the way of your friendships! Emotions are heightened with Mercury in Cancer and retrograding through your 11th house, this could make you prone to miscommunications with friends. You may misread into what someone says & blow it out of proportion. You might overthink every social interaction you engage in. It's possible you may pull back from the social world altogether. On the bright side, this transit can be good for making amends with a friend who you've fallen out with, or even just catching up with a friend who you haven't seen in a long time! I suppose you could also be discovering who your true friends are; just don't let a misunderstanding get in the way of a perfectly good & real friendship.
You may be doubting your potential, Libra, specifically in regards to the workplace. With Mercury Retrograde in your 10th house, you may be doubting whether you're on the right path or if you're good enough to keep going. Perhaps, due to COVID, you've got laid off, and with Mercury in such an emotional sign, it's hard not to take it personally, seeing it as an attack on your performance even if that clearly isn't the case. On the flip side, if you're an essential worker, you may be working your ass off only to feel under-appreciated by your employers, and perhaps, under-paid as well. Some of you might feel the work you do is more stress than it's worth & you're questioning where you really want to be in life. In any case, since the 10th house also rules public image, how you appear to the world whether you actually have a job or not, it can be hard not to let what people think of you get under your skin at this time. Try not to overthink things or let other people undermine your confidence. You're a valuable person, regardless if other people give you that validation or not, and you're doing a great job.
You're a passionate person, Scorpio and this is admirable. However, with Mercury Retrograde in your 9th house, you may just find that your passion is causing problems in your communication with others. The 9th house rules over many things from travel to education to our belief systems or ideologies. It's disagreements about your political, spiritual, religious or philosophical beliefs that may cause problems for you at this time. Your feelings on these issues may blind you to the facts and you may crusade for things without knowing the whole story, only making a fool of yourself or worse, ruining real friendships, in the process. Mercury Retrograde periods are all about misunderstandings, and you may read too deeply into things at this time, calling out & cancelling people who when reality, as a deeper discussion would show, you actually agree with. Or on the other hand, others may find you too overly opinionated and misunderstand what you are trying to say when you speak out about things, calling out or cancelling you when in reality you're on the same side. On another note, travel plans could go awry. We are still in a pandemic after all, and you may be disappointed to find that going to back to school won't be the same as it used to be. But don't let it get to you; Scorpio is all about transformation!
As a Sagittarius, you like to stay optimistic and jovial. You'd rather keep things lighthearted than dwell on any of the negatives. However, with Mercury in Cancer retrograding through your 8th house, it will be hard to turn a blind eye to your feelings at this time. You are no longer free to run away from any of the challenges you're facing. The 8th house is traditionally considered to be the 'House of Death,' also the house of shared resources, inheritances and taxes. While in rare cases it can indicate literal death, more often than not it's simply a house of transformation: endings & new beginnings. Something may have recently ended in your life that you weren't expecting, forcing you to look at things in a whole new way. This may have triggered certain traumas, or feelings you've long buried & suppressed. It's important for you to be honest about the pain and difficulties you're facing in order to transcend them & transform as a person. Then, and only then, can you go back to being your jovial self.
Misunderstandings between you and your partner are likely with Mercury Retrograde in your 7th house, especially misunderstandings relating to each other's feelings. Either, you might expect your partner to read your mind, or your partner may expect you to read their mind, and this isn't actually possible. Really, this could be anyone, not just a partner: this can be your friends, co-workers, the people you live with. Either way, misunderstandings may be dominating your one-on-one interactions with others, and it's important you make more of an effort in your communication: to understand & be understood. As a Capricorn, you can be stuck in your ways sometimes, and as someone who appreciates limits, at times even a bit close-minded, but it's important you open your mind up enough to really listen to what another is saying, beyond your assumptions. It's possible too that an ex may come back into your life. If you needed closure, this can be a good time to receive it. It's a good time to have a heart-to-heart discussion with someone from your past, and get clarity on whatever happened between you two. Perhaps, you'll even get clarity on what you want from relationships in general.
Your routine may be out of whack, with Mercury Retrograde moving through your 6th house. It may be hard to stick to a consistent schedule as unexpected things keep getting in the way. Your health may also suffer, likely as a result of psychosomatic symptoms. Perhaps stress is getting to your head and is making you a bit of a hypochondriac. It might also be that too many chores and tasks that are expected of you are damaging to your mental or emotional health. Make sure to take time of for yourself and your own health too, Aquarius. You are known to be detached but that's not true, you have emotions just like the rest of us, and it's important you take care of them in your own way. Make time to relax and have fun.
You're a very creative person, Pisces, with a vivid imagination and powerful ideas that could leave a mark on the world for centuries. But with Mercury Retrograde transiting through your 5th house, it may be hard to get anything done. You may doubt yourself and your own creations, throwing them away before anyone sees it. In any case, you may be retreating within to yourself, unable to share your true thoughts or feelings with the world for fear of being judged or misunderstood, or for fear of creating conflict. As empathetic as you are, however, this is no good because you were born to create. On another note, however, the 5th house also rules children, so there may be miscommunications with your children.