From until July 31, messenger planet Mercury will be traveling retrograde through Leo and then in Cancer. The truth inevitably comes boiling to the surface during this phase, as mysteries reveal and skeletons tumble out of the closets.
Mental Mercury also rules the transfer of information, and during this signal-jamming cycle, it’s wise to password-protect all sensitive data and back it up to the cloud. Since Mercury retrograde can disrupt technology, take special precautions with your digital data. Back up all your important files and photos to the cloud. Mercury rules contracts, so think before you ink any deals. Either wrap up important negotiations before the cycle starts, or wait to sign documents until after Mercury goes direct.
So what IS Mercury retrograde, really?
Three or four times a year, Mercury passes the earth in its orbit. As it rounds the bend, Mercury slows down and appears to stop (station) and spin backward (retrograde). Of course, it really ISN’T moving backward, but much like two trains or cars passing each other, this creates the optical illusion that one (Mercury, in this case) is going backward.
In astrology, Mercury rules communication, travel, and technology-so all of these areas can go haywire for about three weeks. To top it off, Mercury retrograde also has what’s called a “shadow period” (which we explain in this post), so you may feel the retroshade a couple of weeks before and after the official Mercury retrograde dates. Great, right?
Mercury retrograde do’s and try-not-to do’s.
- Review all contracts and legal documents before signing.
- Pause and breathe before speaking. (Repeat yourself if necessary!)
- Read all emails and documents before you send.
- Insure/track important mail and packages (Mercury rules the postal system).
- Get your vehicles (or bikes) tuned up, pack an emergency roadside kit.
- Leave early for any travel and appointments, since Mercury Rx can delay flights.
- Renew your commitments instead of making new ones.
- Focus on the prefix re-, which means to go backward (renew, review, revamp, redecorate, et al.)
- Plan reunions with old friends & loved ones (but prepare for possible mishaps!)
- Expect to hear from/run into people from your past at the weirdest moments.
- Get sentimental. Reconnect with your roots, walk down memory lane.
- Practice forgiveness. Finish processing what’s unresolved so you can let it go.
- Confirm all dates, plans, meetings, appointments.
- Think of the retrograde as a quarterly review period, a chance to pause and finish what you’ve started.
- Back up your digital data (photos, contact lists, files) before the retrograde or ASAP if it’s started.
Try not to…
- Buy new vehicles, electronic equipment or gadgets (unless they come with a good return/repair policy).
- Sign contracts without a thorough review (delay until Mercury turns direct if you can).
- Fly off the handle or jump to conclusions if someone misunderstands you.
- Run into the arms/bed of an ex without careful screening (Mercury reunions aren’t always meant to last).
- Shoot the messenger if someone from your past comes around.
- Put anything sketchy into an email or text (you could hit “Reply All” or send to the wrong person!).
- Leave late for flights or appointments.
- Start anything new on top before finishing what’s ahead on the to-do list.
- Lead people on, give mixed messages or believe everything you hear (actions speak louder than words).
- Spread rumors, rant on social media or share unconfirmed information.
- Turn in sloppy or unchecked work, cut corners, dash off hasty communications. Inspect to protect!
The silver lining
Mercury retrograde is a great opportunity to handle unfinished business. Most of us start a million things that we don’t complete, never realizing how much psychic clutter this creates. The retrograde is like a quarterly review. It’s a chance to tie up those loose ends and create a clear vision for the future.
Take advantage of it, and you’ll emerge fresh and ready when Mercury goes direct. As the cliche goes, what you resist persists. So the more you can embrace chaos or a lack of control (and isn’t control an illusion, anyhow?), the better you’ll survive this cycle!