Meghan Markle's family seems to be the one (extremely) sore spot in her otherwise fairytale life since her wedding to Prince Harry back in May. But the drama appears to have hit a fever pitch in the last month. Her father, Thomas Markle, told The Sun that he's been cut out of her life, adding that Markle looks "terrified" and can only muster a "pained smile" around the royals. Her half-sister, Samantha Grant, stated that she'd blame Markle if Thomas ends up dying from the stress she's supposedly causing him and, most recently, Grant has started a feud with heroic Markle defender Chrissy Teigen.
Whether Thomas and Grant are desperate for a shot at fame or simply want to sabotage Markle's happiness, our astrological antennae can't help but stand on end. Hear us out: Markle, whose birthday is mere days away on August 4, is a Leo. We're in the midst of Leo season, this sign will host a solar eclipse on August 11, and Mercury retrograde is currently unfurling in Leo, to boot. That's a lot of celestial activity going down in Markle's sign, but considering Mercury rules communication and information, there's a chance that her family's gossipy nonsense feels extra ridiculous due to the timing of this planet's backspin. And the fact that it's a Leonine retrograde makes this an especially intense period for Markle.
To put our current celestial state in a wider context, all three Mercury retrogrades this year will take place in fire signs. Your average Mercury retrograde is stressful, but one that occurs in Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius is volatile, temper-testing, and downright maddening. Leo-based retrogrades in particular may place our egos, reputations, and pride in the crosshairs, with misunderstandings and back-handed comments acting as ammo.
If you ask us, this particular brand of Mercury retrograde fits the Markle family conflict eerily well: Our current retrograde started on July 26, but its preliminary shadow period (think of it as the astrological equivalent of a warm-up before the main event) set in two weeks before then on July 7, right before Thomas and Grant kicked off their latest campaigns against Markle's character.
Leos usually rise above any drama in their lives with ease, but they may struggle to do so during Mercury retrogrades — astrologer Leslie McGuirk told Refinery29 as much back in March, when Mercury was retrograde in Aries. Leos' challenge, McGuirk explained, is to access their noble side and resist the urge to join the fray, no matter how bruised their egos may be. In Markle's case, she's royally obligated to take the high road. Nevertheless, according to a source who spoke to Us Weekly, she's expressed frustration over the fact that she isn't permitted to speak out against her father's comments. If this isn't a perfectly staged Mercury retrograde conundrum, we don't know what is.
Luckily, the Palace is reportedly holding meetings to determine how it might put an end to Markle's family's stunts. Until then, we'd encourage Markle to complain about the retrograde to her heart's desire, if it helps her vent her frustrations. Let's be honest, she wouldn't be the first person to use astrology to explain why her family is being so awful.