There are many dynamics to Mercury retrograde. This blog article discusses what to expect (and not to expect) while Mercury is retrograde, which happens 3 times a year for 21-23 days. Keep in mind that to change direction, Mercury (and all planets) must slow down. We notice the slow motion up to 2 weeks before the day of stillness.
Dates and Signs of Mercury Retrograde
First I repeat from the Gemini Blog the dates and signs of Mercury retrograde in June 2014.
JUNE 7 to JULY 1 – Mercury is Retrograde
(3 degrees Cancer to 24 degrees Gemini)
Mercury retrograde this year starts off in Cancer and continues in Mercury’s associated zodiac sign Gemini. The day Mercury turns retrograde it slows down to a stationary position. In this point of stillness and with Mercury in Cancer, we have a chance to feel deeply into our emotional body and get an honest read of how we feel about ourselves and things in our life. We can and should certainly take advantage of June 7 to notice, not what our mind thinks about our feelings, or mental interpretations of our current life challenges, but the messages that our emotions are expressing.
July 7 through 16 (while Mercury is in Cancer) we can get an emotional understanding of deep and often suppressed and ignored emotions. What emotional needs are crying out for our loving attention? What sensitive needs have we ignored that need to be honored? Hint: our deepest emotional wounds and needs relate not to how others treat us, but to how we relate to ourselves. It is time to monitor and upgrade self-love, kindness, and self-acceptance.
June 17 – July 12 – Mercury moves into Gemini, where it stays for the rest of the retrograde period. Mercury will continue to be in Gemini when Mercury goes direct on July 1. Mercury remains in Gemini through July 12.
July 13 – July 31 – Mercury re-enters Cancer, where it stays through the end of July. Note these dates and pay attention to how your mind and emotions change as Mercury shifts between signs in both its retrograde and direct periods.
The Dynamics of Mercury Retrograde
Mercury retrograde is a very interesting phenomenon with many interpretations and always presenting us with something to learn. While Mercury is in Cancer (and the other water signs Scorpio and Pisces) pay attention to the subtle messages of your emotions, sensitivities, and feelings.
While Mercury is retrograde in Gemini, (and the air signs Libra and Aquarius) investigate the nature of various aspects of how you communicate. Talking is not necessarily communicating. We could just be relieving our mind of mental garbage that we are unable and unwilling to process internally. We find an audience so we don’t have to listen to our own thoughts.
Watch the activity in your mind and the nature of your thoughts and evaluate the subtleties of what you are communicating. We communicate through intention, feelings, thoughts, words, and actions, all of which have power and create effects. The impact of criticizing, judging, blaming, shaming, and labeling is violence, separation, and pain. The impact of acceptance, allowing, blessing, and honoring is peace, connection, and love.
Our Mind and Heart during Mercury Retrograde
Mercury retrograde slows down our mental processes so we can listen to our heart and stop being overwhelmed by obsessive mental activity. Our mind can serve our heart when we are honest about what we feel and need.
During Mercury retrograde, our meditative right brain becomes stronger and our analytical left brain is less dominant. Sometimes we may even feel like our thinking brain is turned off. (If so, don’t get worried, enjoy a moment of relief.) The result is that focus in meditation is facilitated, and it is easier to hear and pay attention to our intuition.
Mercury is the trickster, who resists categorization and changes nature depending upon circumstances. Named Hermes, the Greek god was a versatile divine messenger who could slip with ease between heaven, earth, and the underworld. During Mercury retrograde we can watch our mind shift between dimensions.
Three times a year for 21-23 days our rational clarity is blurred so that our neutral mind can awaken and we can become more conscious of Spirit and our soul. An irresistible force awakens our higher mind, which is drawn to wisdom and inner knowing. In the Mercury retrograde laboratory, we witness our illusions and our reality. We have time to notice how our assumptions are based on fluff, tinted lenses color our perceptions, and false hopes define our projections. We can also notice that all of the above can turn around very quickly when the veil of illusion disappears.
Mercury retrograde can cause delays, put on the breaks, slow down activity, and make things seem to go backwards. The confusion and reversals are part of its function. We are supposed to be stopped in our tracks so we can slow down, go within, and connect with our inner reality.
So during Mercury retrograde be more attentive to details, be more responsible for what is going on and more awake to alternative opportunities. Our intuition speaks softly. Listen to your inner voice, trust it, and let it guide you. Feel the right moment to act or to not take action and to patiently wait.
When we expect things to move forward as usual, the retrograde phenomenon can make us fearful and incite uncomfortable feelings of uncertainty. In darkness we have a tendency to doubt and worry. But if we know that this is a special time to be with ourselves and to open our hearts, we can enjoy a few weeks of introspection and inner peace and share heart-felt and intimate moments with others.
As Mercury’s backward movement picks up speed, brightness, and power, our mind and heart tend to access the past memories and old relationships can actually show up. Although rational intellectual clarity may allude us, we become more sensitive, intuitive, and instinctual. It is time to take advantage of the power of darkness, silence, stillness, and deep caring.
When Mercury goes direct, we may even miss the quiet moments offered to us while Mercury retrograde spun a web of clouds around our rational mind and gave us time to escape our relentless thoughts. But usually we quickly shift gears and welcome more activity. Things look more favorable and we feel like we have turned the corner. We are back on track, full speed ahead.
Remember to deeply listen to your soul, others, and the Universe! Don’t miss the messages that give, receive, and ask for Love!
References and Footnotes
Austin, Stephanie, Gemini New Moon- May 28, The Mountain Astrologer, April/May 2014, p. 105.
Johnson, Kenneth, The Many Faces of Mercury Retrograde, The Mountain Astrologer, April/May 2014, pp. 25-7.
Wolz, Mark, Retrograde Mercury, The Mountain Astrologer, April/May 2014, pp. 29-31.
The Power of Neutral, which explains the workings of the mind, is a perfect guide to observe your mind and deepen you meditation practice while Mercury is retrograde.