Water, just water everywhere. Photo by Illy Vish.

It’s almost that time again when the basic bitch Pumpkin Spice Latte of Astrology, Mercury Retrograde, will be the hot topic of discussion. I call Mercury Retrograde the basic bitch Pumpkin Spice Latte of Astrology because even people who don’t know a quincunx from a hole in the ground seem to be familiar with it. I’m so fascinated by the basic bitchness of Mercury Rx that I designed a t-shirt with it in mind. It has become so mainstream yet doesn’t seem to be truly understood for what it is.

I swear I think this any time I hear someone who only knows about Sun Signs mention Mercury Retrograde.

Mercury Retrograde is far from basic, particularly when occurring in the cardinal water sign Cancer. When the planet of communication, messages, and thought processes is in the sign of initiated emotions, especially while retrograde, our minds are on what we feel and what we feel is on our minds. And what we feel can seem overwhelming af.

You may not know what your feelings are doing but they’ll be doing them just fine.

Mercury is the messenger, the trickster; the way thoughts, ideas, and information are exchanged. When I think of Mercury I automatically think of Gemini and Virgo, the two signs it rules; Gemini for its wit and chattiness and Virgo for its discriminating logic. Information is vital to both but processed differently. Their differences, however, can be reconciled when we consider Mercury’s role in connecting people.

Mercury is associated with travel, information, writing, memory, speech, the nervous system, connection, respiration, perception, the rational mind, reason, jokes, gossip, and coordination. Mercury connects us to one another in thought, word, and deed. Sometimes Mercury requires us to be open to collecting information and a variety of ideas (Gemini) and sometimes Mercury prefers we take the information we have, sift through it, and reduce it down to what is most necessary (Virgo).

When planets go retrograde, they appear from our vantage point on earth to be moving backwards. They aren’t actually moving backwards at all. Over time astrologers have observed that when a planet goes retrograde that it seems not to express itself as easily or directly. Many explain this as saying the energy of a retrograde planet is “pushed inward” rather than expressed as it is accustomed to expressing itself. Mercury going retrograde is indicative of a slow down in the realms of communication and connectivity.

Going retrograde 3 to 4 times per year, Mercury WILL NOT be ignored.

Mishaps connected to devices that we use to receive and share information are marked when Mercury is retrograde. Mercury not only connects thoughts to people but also connects people to people, hence its association with travel. Planes, trains, and buses being delayed when Mercury is retrograde is something we’re commonly warned about. As Mercury-themed areas of our life slow or shut down it’s a good idea for us to use the energy wisely by going back over things, double checking messages, and backing up electronic devices like cell phones and computers. This is a time the universe blesses us with the gift of introspection and review. We are reminded that we must take pause and reflect.

But Mercury retrograde in the emotional waters of Cancer? What does that feel like. I found this clip of a song by an amazing artist by the name of Kamauu that I think describes it well:

“What you revealin’ hurts my feelings, but I know I need it…”

Remember I said earlier that when I think of Mercury I automatically think of the signs Gemini and Virgo? To delve deeper into the flavor of what Mercury moving retrograde through Cancer is like, I think it’s wise to consider some keywords of those signs to get a feel for how they would work together.



















Using one keyword from every column above, try filling in the blanks of this sentence:

The __(Gemini)__ and __(Virgo)__ planet of communication is fixated on being __(Cancer)__.

You wind up with sentences like:

  1. The curious and meticulous planet of communication is fixated on being nostalgic.
Also known as that moment when your brain won’t stop compelling you to comb meticulously through your memories and obsess about how things could have been different

2. The chatty and precise planet of communication is fixated on being emotional.

Better known as that moment when your feelings zero in on the one thing you’ve been avoiding allowing yourself to feel and now you’re overly compelled to want to talk about it.

3. The fickle and critical planet of communication is fixated on being protective.

More accurately described as that moment you give yourself an honest critique and realize your inability to commit to anything is simply a defense mechanism to protect yourself.

These are just glimpses of how the essence of Mercury Retrograde in Cancer can manifest. Cancer is ruled by the moon, the fastest moving luminary, taking roughly 2.5 days to enter and exit a sign. This gives Cancer its moody quality. Couple that with the fact that Cancer is a cardinal or initiating water (emotional) sign and you can see the potential for things to be emotionally messy.

Not sure if it’s worse having this go on internally or actually doing it.

Mercury goes retrograde on June 18th, 2020 at 12:58 am Eastern time at 14 degrees and 45 minutes of Cancer joining Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto in retrograde motion. The retrograde energy of these planets is giving our value systems, money, relationships, rules, boundaries, restrictions, beliefs, aspirations, optimism, personal power, and transformative abilities a long hard look inward. What have we missed that may be crucial to uncovering before we can move forward? With Mercury joining this planetary slow dance we’re given the opportunity to uncover what it is.

Chart for Mercury Rx in Cancer 2020

The 14th degree and 45th minute of Cancer happens to be in the Scorpio decan and Sagittarius duad flavoring this retrograde with a scoop of Cancer, a scoop of Scorpio, and a scoop of Sagittarius. The water or emotional energy with Cancer and Scorpio here is poised to emote and to settle on what it finds in the depths. The Sagittarius influence then wants to use what it’s found in the emotional depths as an impetus to focus on something bigger than itself. It wants to reward us for our willingness to feel and to confront our darker emotions with understanding. The emotions brought to our attention to let out and heal serve to connect us to our greatest truths about ourselves.

Many of us have already started feeling the effects of this particular retrograde since June 2nd, when Mercury entered its first shadow phase. Essentially, from June 2nd to 18th, Mercury was hanging out between 5 degrees and 14 degrees of Cancer, the area that it will retrograde over. You can think of this as Mercury giving us a preview or sneak peak of some of the things that will be coming up for us during its retrograde. What have you noticed has come up for you?

Though Mercury’s retrograde ends on July 12th, at 5 degrees of Cancer, it’s important to understand that the retrograde cycle itself will not be over. Mercury still has to move forward over all the ground it retrograded over. This second shadow phase will be a time where any emotional debris left over from the retrograde itself is picked up and revisited. Mercury won’t complete this second shadow phase until July 26th, 2020. This means even the toughest of us will still have to do some emotional auditing from now until Leo season.

Emotional gangsta or not we’re all gonna catch those Mercury Rx Shadow hands so be prepared to shadow box! Bad pun, but the point is your emotional gangsta will be tested.

With this Mercury Retrograde beginning so close to Summer Solstice, Cancer Season beginning, and a New Moon Solar Eclipse in Cancer, things are about to get super… moist and unstable. I’ll talk more about that in my next post. Until then, make sure that you check your chart to see what house Mercury RX in Cancer will transit. If you need help with understanding your chart feel free to book a reading.

Meme credit @hornyastrology
%d bloggers like this: