June 28: Mercury enters Leo
July 25: Mercury Retrograde begins
Aug 18: Mercury Retrograde ends
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, for example, 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 realms are particularly affected during 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.
We last experienced Mercury Retrograde in Leo one year ago, from Aug 31 – Sep 5, 2017. Now Mercury rewinds in Leo again. He first enters Leo on June 28, and we will begin to feel the effects of the retrograde as early as July 7. Life will be back to normal by Sep 1. Mercury will remain in Leo until Sep 5.
Mercury Retrograde in Leo is one hell of a lesson. It is time to face ourselves, our identity, our narrative. In popular astrology, Leo is synonymous with megalomaniacal behavior. Regardless of the veracity of this association, we will actually be quite painfully aware of our imperfections during this cycle as we confront the consequences of egotistical behavior. Are you sabotaging love in the fires of unruly self-interest?
Leo lives forever shackled to his savage heart. He has the heart of a child, 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, where words are painted with bright, broad strokes in the air. But is this real love? Is this self-love? Or is this love of desire, love of power, love of control?
Words and actions have extraordinary power during this cycle. Stay true to yourself and don’t give in to impulse so easily. Channel your passion into creative projects and gratitude for what you already have. Mercury Retrograde in Leo teaches exactly this: appreciation for what we already have, especially the love in our lives.
Blinded by greed, we hurt ourselves and others. We chase and grab like mindless children. We cannot or will not see beyond the gluttonous glory of self-satisfaction until it is too late, until we are apologizing, 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, without destroying what you already have? Burn away the impurities, emerge crisp as a daffodil bobbing in the sun.
Dates worth mentioning before the retrograde starts: on June 30, Mercury squares Uranus in Taurus – treat this day as you would Mercury Retrograde and avoid travel – expect the unexpected! Also avoid travel and hold off on important conversations on July 5 and July 9 – Mercury first squares Mars Retrograde in Aquarius, then Jupiter Retrograde in Scorpio.
Open your heart with music, laughter and Leo Yoga. In meditation, focus on the heart chakra and sit in the sun. If you were born with Mercury in Leo, you’re in for an exciting Mercury Return. To find your Mercury sign and whether he was direct or retrograde at the time of your birth, click here.
Mantra: change is good