Buckle up, because it's here: the second Mercury retrograde of 2021. Starting on May 29 and lasting until June 22, the Planet of Communication's backwards dance in Gemini is going to uncover secrets, mess with our communication, and send us into a hectic, glitch-filled frenzy. And, fair warning — Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com, is calling this the most potent Mercury retrograde in all of 2021. There's only one thing to do now, and that's prepare.
We'll have the classic Mercury retrograde mess-ups to worry about: travel, communication, technology, and information. But there are a few factors that point to why this particular retrograde may be exceptionally tough to handle. "For starters, it’s beginning while Mercury is forming a conjunction with Venus, so expect to have misunderstandings within relationships during Memorial Day Weekend," she warns. It’s also happening in impulsive Gemini, which is ruled by Mercury, meaning that the planet is most comfortable in the sign of the twins. "This allows Mercury to reach its full-on trickster splendour, so expect to fall victim of its jokes," she says. And finally, this retrograde is happening right in the midst of eclipse season and forming a conjunction with the new moon eclipse that's happening on June 10, magnifying its power even more.
Okay, so things are about to be a little intense — but this isn't exactly new energy. Lisa Stardust, the author of Saturn Return Survival Guide and The Astrology Deck, tells Refinery29 that this is because the pre-retrograde zone began on May 14, and the post-retroshade zone will end on July 7. "We’ll be working with this energy for a while," she says. "This retrograde will expose secrets, scandals, and add anxiety to our vibes." Her advice? Be gentle with yourself and others. Stardust says to "give yourself extra time for projects and travel, say 'hello' to old ghosts from the past, and make sure your work is backed up in the cloud." The only way out of Mercury retrograde is through, so taking any and all steps right now to prepare for battle is a must.
Because this transit is happening in chatty Gemini, your gatherings may be prone to turning into dishing sessions à la Gossip Girl. "Mercury in Gemini can have loose lips and bring out our inner Blair and Serena," warns Madi Murphy, astrologer and founder of The Cosmic Revolution. "When Mercury's retrograde, those messages can end up in the wrong hands or backfiring in our face." In other words, be extra cautious about what you say and who you say it to — you never know who it'll get back to. Xoxo.
There's more to look out for, according to Montúfar. She says that during this time, the second of the three Saturn-Uranus squares will take place on June 14, which means that we can expect this Mercury retrograde to bring a lot of news that will impact our world. "During this time, it will be important to protect our psyche from information overload," she says. "Turning off our phones, getting off the screen, and protecting our energy will be key during this time." If there were ever a time to go with the flow, it'd be now — flexibility is key here.
Although this transit can be nerve-wracking, Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer at Keen.com, says that Mercury retrograde isn't all that bad. "Retrograde Mercury is not part of a cosmic plan to upset, delay, or screw things up. Rather, this is part of the natural cycle intended to be a time of reflecting and re-doing things that need our attention," she says. "Even though it can be maddening at times, if you keep this perspective you can make the most of this three week cycle."
Mercury retrogrades always make us feel restless, like we're not ticking the boxes off our to-do lists fast enough. But while the Planet of Communication is in retrograde, it's more important than ever to stop and smell the roses. "In the fast-paced world we live in, it can feel like a punishment to have to slow down but, truthfully, it can be a blessing," Murphy says. "It offers us an opportunity to tidy up, chill out, and get crystal clear on exactly what you need to do to further align with your truth." It'll be rocky, sure — but it's nothing we can't get through.