Creating through Mercury retrograde: July 7 – 31, 2019
Out of all the astrological activity that takes place throughout the year, Mercury retrograde is one occurrence that gets the most buzz.
And unfortunately, it also freaks a lot of people out. Which is unnecessary.
So what is Mercury retrograde, and what does it mean for you?
First, all planets have retrograde periods – times when they appear to be moving backwards. Slower moving planets like Jupiter and Saturn go retrograde for months at a time each year. Mars retrogrades every two years; Venus about a year and a half.
But fast-moving Mercury retrogrades a few times each year, a frequency that gives us lots of opportunity to talk about it.
Other planets’ retrograde periods get play, too, but because they can go on for so long, or happen less often, they get talked about once or twice and then we forget they’re even happening.
Another reason Mercury retrograde is something to pay attention to is that Mercury rules our minds. It represents thoughts, communication, media, and technology. Mercury is the messenger, and so represents information and the speeds at which it travels.
In our tech-savvy, content-driven, ambitious world, ideas are everything. We are constantly thinking of what to post next on our social media.
We are always dreaming of our next plans, or waiting for inspiration to strike with a brilliant new idea.
Mercury is all about the medium and the message, and we are so reliant on both of those things in our plugged-in, online world now.
Symbolically, Mercury retrograde periods are times when we are encouraged to slow down, unplug, and take a break. You can think of Mercury as trying to go on a little vacation at these times, wanting to do something a bit different rather than the usual, straight-forward go, go, go routine – which isn’t easy because our hyper-connected world never stops.
The beauty of astrology is that it reminds us that nature makes time to rest, and we should, too.
With Mercury ruling the mind, it can sometimes feel like a struggle to concentrate or focus when this planet is retrograde. It can be an especially trying time for writing projects, but overall, our thoughts can feel foggy, jumbled, or unclear.
We can also have miscommunications, or delays in hearing back about pitches and proposals.
Does this mean you shouldn’t move forward with any plans or deadlines, though? Not at all. Just take note that if you’re having trouble focusing over the next few weeks, you may be feeling the effects of Mercury retrograde.
So what should you put your energy into?
In general, I encourage people to focus on the “re” in retrograde. Since we’re talking about Mercury’s territory here, reviewing, revising, and reflecting.
I try to schedule any editing or updating I have on my to-do list for Mercury retrograde.
If you have an online presence, use this time to update your website, comb your social media for old posts that you don’t want up there anymore, or catch up on organizational tasks that will free your mind for more creative endeavours later.
If you have any projects that are due for a revision, like some old drafts of a manuscript or a piece of poetry that is yet to be completed, pull them out and see if you can polish them up. Mercury retrograde is great for going back over existing work.
When planets are retrograde, they are behaving differently. If we enact the idea of “as above, so below” in astrology, then that tells us that whatever’s happening in the skies is happening here, too.
Mercury isn’t being its usual self right now. This means your thought processes aren’t going to be as predictable, either – and they are not supposed to be. It’s a time to let yourself play, experiment, and explore non-linear concepts.
Breakthroughs can come from unexpected places, or spontaneous encounters.
If you’ve been pushing yourself hard lately, the change of pace may ask you to simply back off and wait – don’t force your mind to be all-systems-go.
Whereas if you’ve been feeling blocked, uninspired, or itching for something new, then make time this month seek out a workshop or explore a new creative practice or technique that will open your imagination.
In other words: Change the channel. Let yourself focus on something else for a while and see what a fresh perspective does for you once Mercury goes direct on July 31.
Every Mercury retrograde will be a bit different based on the sign it’s in.
From July 7 – 19, Mercury retrograde is in Leo. On July 19, it will slip into the sign of Cancer.
These energies give each of us an opportunity to re-evaluate our relationships with attention and external validation.
Leo likes the spotlight, but we live in an attention economy right now, and it’s affecting a lot of people emotionally and creatively. It’s skewing our perceptions of what’s worthwhile to put our minds to.
It’s keeping us in frustrating routines that centre around likes and status updates, which all suck up our valuable self-esteem and erode our attention spans.
If you are feeling like your creativity is being negatively impacted by technology, this month’s Mercury retrograde gives you an opportunity to change your relationship to social media.
It gives you an opportunity to reclaim your identity from attention-seeking mindsets and brings good reminders that the quality of your creativity is not to be determined by the internet’s algorithms.
By the time we get into Mercury retrograde in Cancer in the second half of the month, it will be time to remember how to validate yourself and your creative dreams before they ever enter the public sphere.
Until next time,
If you are ready to reclaim or recover your creativity but you’re not sure where to begin, I can help. My tarot, astrology, and coaching sessions are specifically designed for creative people. Book a session here.