It's happening, people. Mercury, the planet of thought and communication, will begin its second retrograde of the year on June 18. Usually, Mercury retrograde is a time to expect the complete disruption of communication, self-expression, and travel. This time around, we can expect some pretty revolutionary results.
Overall, this retrograde will not be as intense as usual, notes Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer at Astrology.com and Horoscope.com, tells Refinery29. But we're not getting off totally scot-free. The transit, which will last until July 12, overlaps with this year's Venus retrograde, which may cause the first week to feel extremely intense, Montúfar points out.
The retrograde occurs in the sign of Cancer, which, as a cardinal sign, is associated with leadership. "We'll see the current leadership issues we've been going through exacerbate even more due to the cardinal quality of Cancer," Montúfar explains. "This could be especially true around the time Mercury forms a tense square with Mars on July 8, just days after the intense lunar eclipse that happens exactly on the fourth of July weekend."
We might see government officials make some missteps surrounding state re-openings during the coronavirus pandemic, for instance. But it's also possible that we'll see the effects of this retrograde in how leaders respond to the Black Lives Matter protests that are still sweeping the country, Montúfar notes.
"This Mercury retrograde cycle in Cancer definitely has a revolutionary flavor," she says. "From its current position in Cancer, Mercury will be linking to Uranus, the planet of rebellion and freedom, three times. The first of these three sextiles already occurred on June 5, which is when thousands of people marched the streets asking for justice, all over the world." The second occurs on June 30, during this Mercury retrograde. Montúfar says she believes we'll continue to witness citizens standing up to law enforcement; we may even see more videos depicting police brutality surface, given Mercury's tie to tech and communication.
Mercury forms its final sextile to Uranus on July 22, once the messenger planet is moving direct again, "possibly bringing either the end of a battle or a turning point along this journey," Montúfar notes.
On a personal level, retrogrades typically offer us an opportunity to reassess. Cancer is related to domestic or household matters, so that's where your attention might be drawn during this transit. "When Mercury retrogrades in the sign of Cancer, we’re being asked to pause and take a moment of reflection around our family situations," confirms Kesaine Walker, an astrologer and Reiki master based in New York City. "There may be issues related to our roots and security, or anything related to our home that we’ll have to reassess during this time."
Astrologer Lisa Stardust suggests using this retrograde to ask yourself questions like these: Is what you've been doing working? Does something need to be adjusted? You may be surprised by what comes to the surface. "In the sign of emotional Cancer, Mercury retrograde can bring up old wounds and issues that we haven’t been able to discuss in the past," Stardust says. "Keep in mind, the sign of Cancer is known to have an excellent memory. They will hold on to matters for quite some time and use their claws to pinch back — so we can definitely expect to argue or cry quite a bit."
Remember, retrogrades can cause miscommunications. So if you plan on talking through these issues with loved ones, think carefully about how you approach the topics.
"When Mercury finally goes direct after July 12, it will be time to start implementing changes — although this will not be done overnight," notes Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer at Keen.com.
In all, we're in for quite a ride over the next few weeks. But keep your head up: Change is coming.