It's that time of year again — the infamous Mercury retrograde officially begins on July 26. Every planet goes into retrograde from time to time, but Mercury's retrograde cycle is the most frequent and most well-known.
Three times a year, Mercury, ruler of communication, travel, technology, and intellectual thoughts, appears to move backwards in the sky for about three weeks. Mercury doesn't actually move counter-clockwise — its orbit around the Sun is faster than ours, and this causes the optical illusion of a backwards-moving planet.
When a planet is in retrograde, the themes and energies it embodies are reversed and internalised, which can make you feel like you're swimming against the tide.
With Mercury retrograde specifically, the way you communicate with others is put on the chopping block. It's much easier, in this period, to have more frequent misunderstandings with others, random issues with technology, transportation problems (like flight delays or your car breaking down), and scheduling mishaps. Another thing to look out for the next few weeks is old friends or exes reappearing out of nowhere, as Mercury retrograde's apparent reverse motion can bring up relationships and feelings from the past.
With this specific retrograde, Mercury is in Leo the entire time, moving backwards from 23º Leo to 11º Leo between July 26 and August 19. When Mercury is in Leo, people have a more bold and expressive style of communicating, as Leo is a fire sign that encourages being more authentic and outspoken. You have bright ideas, your creative juices flow, and you don't sweat the details as much. It's a good time to joke, flirt, speak from the heart, and confidently share how you feel with others. All good things, right?
Here's the catch though: In Leo, Mercury is also very opinionated — it's easy to be self-centred or believe your feelings are more valid than other people's, thus becoming pushier about your views. You may also be more prone to elaborate and exaggerated storytelling that can quickly turn into gossip if you're not mindful.
Ideas and plans you were confident in before may crumble under pressure. Rumours can come back and bite you in the ass. All in all, during this retrograde, watch out for speaking before you think, accidentally spreading false information, or not listening to other people during an argument.
If you're a Leo born between August 3 and August 16, sorry, but you'll be feeling this retrograde cycle the hardest. Other fixed, more stubborn signs like Taurus, Scorpio, and Aquarius will also have the most difficulty with this window of time. The main thing to remember is that setbacks and obstacles from this time are ultimately important for your growth.
You'll have to have patience with others through the misunderstandings and delays you experience – any rashly-made plans or inconsiderate words during a fight will need to be worked through. To make it through this cycle, you'll have no choice but to find new ways to problem-solve and communicate efficiently. Don't worry about your summer being ruined — this cycle only lasts a few weeks, and you'll learn some bigger things about yourself through it, potentially growing closer to people as you talk through your issues. Hang in there!
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From: Cosmopolitan US