Mercury Retrograde ☿ Summer 2017

Mercury in Leo: July 5 – 25

Mercury in Virgo: July 25 – Aug 12

Mercury Retrograde in Virgo: Aug 12 – Aug 31

Mercury Retrograde in Leo: Aug 31 – Sep 6

Mercury in Leo: Sep 6 – 9

Mercury in Virgo: Sep 9 – 29

Planets in retrograde are not actually spinning backwards – it is entirely 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.

Mind candy from EarthSky:

On Mercury … 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 turns retrograde approximately three times a year, more frequently than any other planet. Mercury is: communication, the mind, travel, expression, technology. These realms are particularly affected during Mercury Retrograde. Think delays, cancellations and sudden changes to travel/social plans; technological failures, especially cell phones, laptops or automobiles; communication breakdown; disorganization; confusion; impaired decision-making; mysterious disappearances or lost/stolen items; malfunctioning of anything and everything! I do not recommend major purchases or signing important (read: any) contracts/documents. This is not a good time for long-distance travel, life-altering commitments or investments. In a nutshell: no new endeavors.

Most of the retrograde takes place in Virgo, with just the last week falling in Leo, so I’ll focus on the former constellation.

Mercury rules Virgo, so he is “at home” here. Mercury (Retrograde) in Virgo is an ode to busy bubbly worker bees. Virgo refines within and without. T’is the season to prune, sort, clear, and warmly welcome responsibility. Virgo is objective and productive. She designs the master plan, otherwise known as the (re)instatement of regiment and order.

Yes, Virgo is precise, and this is how she accomplishes everything that she does, but she can lull herself into a reverie through hypnotic, repetitive motion, becoming completely immersed in her body and hands as they work and cut, pull and harvest, chaff and sew. Others struggle to attain that which comes effortlessly to Virgo. This retrograde period will teach us how to juggle, and thereby fall into a moving trance. Virgo rules basic facets of life such as cleanliness, health and nutrition. If you come into this cycle imbalanced, it will be obvious, as you will be messy, unhealthy, and without routine. Don’t worry, this makes you a perfect candidate for Virgo medicine!

Mercury (Retrograde) in Virgo is about coordination, not control. When I visualize this transit, I see a bird peering with sharp eyes. I see a spiral caving noiselessly in an endless brainloop. I see an attentive, hyperactive mind. Mercury channels each constellation directly into the mental process, and in Virgo this manifests as constant surveillance. If we stay busy, we will easily avoid typical Virgo pitfalls like paranoia. When long, silvery new antennae grow silently from the pit of your gut, don’t be alarmed. The purpose of this exceptional perceptivity is not to bog you down with insane hypothetical tangents or petty worries but to help you be more efficient and organized. You’ll know right away if you don’t have enough to do because your mind will instantly wander to the most trifling of concerns and then stay there squawking like a skipping record.

Mercury (Retrograde) in Virgo is best tempered through selfless service – by giving time and energy to others, we keep our troubles in perspective. You might feel a bit robotic, but this is normal. Drone on, little bees, and don’t stop, there will be time later to smell the flowers.

Now you might be imagining Mercury (Retrograde) in Leo as a loud and arrogant cycle, but in reality we will probably be very quiet and well aware of our own imperfections, working conscientiously to tame the ego and become ever more humble. Mercury (Retrograde) in Leo is a lesson in self-appreciation. It’s about allowing ourselves to love and be loved, believing in ourselves, and believing that we are worthy of love. With Leo, a brilliant, golden heart provides the beat for glistening romance and a life of sensual texture and great affection. A grandiose life of laughter and happiness, where words are broad, colorful brushstrokes, dipped brightly in love.

Mercury (Retrograde) in Leo teaches us to accept that we all need to feel appreciated within and without. Once we learn to appreciate ourselves, only then can we reciprocate. Fall in love with yourself! Leo is here to show you just how lovable you are, so let him! We are all lovable. And we can’t run from this truth, or ourselves! This is it, baby, you just got you and no one else, and you can’t love yourself tomorrow or when you do this or when you do that; you can’t premise self-love on whether or not you’re the person you want to be yet, or your accomplishments – no! YOU HAVE TO LOVE YOURSELF RIGHT NOW.

This is a slow, meandering retrograde with no agenda except leisure and relaxation. Turn off the mind; sunbathe, sleep in, wander aimlessly through sun-drenched fields and forest, and embrace your inner child – the curious, adventurous one, not the one who insists he knows everything :) That one might want to come out, forcing his way into your head with monologues about how you don’t really deserve to relax, spouting about what other people are thinking and doing, comparing and judging. This manifestation of our inner child does not like change or mystery, but if you gently remind him that it’s ok to play and have fun, he will fade back into the sun of your heart. Do not respond to him with anger, however, or he will only grow louder. This is where we must direct our vigilance during this last week of the retrograde period. Remember that Leo lives for and from the heart, shackled as it were to his unruly sensitivity.

Our words carry special weight, power and strength during this cycle. Stay open and don’t internalize. Say what you feel.

And just in case you missed it – yes, things can get whacky during Mercury Retrograde – but by September 19 we’ll be back on track and feeling somewhat normal again :)

To determine your Mercury sign and whether he was direct or retrograde at the time of your birth, click here.

Mantra:  change is good

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