3 Surprising Places to Look In Your Natal Chart To See How Mercury Retrograde Affects You
You know it, you love-slash-hate it — it's Mercury Retrograde!
Mercury Retrograde is a contentious astrological event that occurs three freaking times a year for about a month. All planetary retrogrades have a similar story: During a retrograde, whatever that planet represents or effects is a little bit ... dodgy. For example, during Venus Retrograde, it's ill-advised to propose, get married, or download Tinder.
As a result, retrogrades in sum get a bad rep. But, that negativity is a bit of misnomer. Planetary retrogrades don't drop in to ruin our lives — rather, they serve to make us slow down, rethink, revise, remember, and return to what we might have skipped past without a second thought. Are you catching the re- theme or ... ?
Great! OK, so you're a little less scared of what Mercury Retrograde brings? Cool, because I'm about to tell you exactly what you need to look out for during this next month. Hey, just because Mercury Rx isn't as catastrophic as you thought it was doesn't mean it didn't come to play. This little planet demands our attention — and as long as you give it the respect it deserves, you'll be fine.
July 7 - Mercury stations retrograde at 4° Leo 28’
July 19 - Mercury enters Cancer retrograde
July 21 - Mercury conjunct the Sun (closest to Earth)
July 31 - Mercury stations direct at 23° Cancer 57’
August 9 - Mercury at maximum elongation (begins to speed up)
August 11 - Mercury finally leaves Cancer
What Typically Happens During Mercury Retrograde?
I'm so glad you asked. Mercury is the ruling planet of communication and technology, and Mercury Rx has come to be associated with freak technology mishaps and major misunderstandings. Think: cancelled flights, computer crashes, accidentally hitting 'send' on that embarrassing booty call to your ex, etc.
Generally, Mercury Rx asks us to be more thoughtful about how we communicate. It's a good time to return to old, unfinished conversations and finally let them rest; to double check all your forms and triple confirm all your meetings; basically, to look at all of your interactions with a more conscious, thoughtful perspective.
Mercury Retrograde in Cancer
However, Mercury usually retrogrades in a specific astrological sign, and when it does it means that whatever is associated with that sign is also at play. During this summer 2019, Mercury Retrogrades through Cancer.
"Cancer is not an especially challenging place for Mercury. While Mercury will still be going against the normal flow and wandering down side roads and alleyways, you may actually have to look for the classic problems in communication, commerce, and movement. Rather than outward events, miscommunications are more likely subjective disagreements or matters of taste—so don’t make any one-size-fits-all assumptions. As Cancer is a cardinal sign associated with leadership, problems are also more likely when not honoring the chain of command or when trying to impose personal subjective feelings on the group."
With that being said, this planetary transition will effect some much more than others. Time to pull up your natal chart to see which areas of your life might be most effected by Mercury Retrograde — for better or worse. (But probably better! Really! Just keep scrolling, you'll see what I mean.)
Where to Look In Your Natal Chart to Determine Your Mercury Rx
First, pull up your natal chart. I like using AstroDienst because it shows you a few different types of charts. You could also use apps on your phone like Co—Star or TimePassages. Co—Star is great because it shows you which planets are in each house through a really lovely design that's easy to understand, and Time Passages shows you your whole natal chart if you're relatively good at discerning what the symbols for each house sign are. For some reason I'm terrible at this, and as a result I usually pull up four different natal charts and cheat sheet in order to understand what I'm reading.
But OK, before you dive into a natal chart rabbit hole, we're here for some BUSINESS! You can google your crush's Venus placement later. We have shit to do. These are the three areas of your natal chart I want you to look at as we roll into Mercurcy Retrograde.
Your Cancer Placement
Look for the symbol that's like two little sperms swimming in circle around each other. That's Cancer! Now, check out the planets are are in that area of your chart. If you don't have any, great — skip to the next chapter.
If you do, notice a few things:
How many planets are in that area?
What do these planets represent?
Can you see a theme between two or more?
For example, if you had a Mars Cancer placement, you might already know that you assert yourself with a warm but stubborn vibe. During Mercury Retrograde, you'll need to pay attention to how you take action a little more carefully. Your actions might be misinterpreted during this time, so take a second to imagine how every step you take might be perceived by the opposite party.
If you have a Venus Cancer placement, think about how you express love and affection during this time. There's a great breakdown of what all the planets represent here.
Your Mercury Placement
So, you might've gazed at your natal chart and noticed that you don't have any planets in Cancer. Maybe you felt lucky; maybe you felt left out; maybe you felt confused. Never fear — no one will be shooting blanks when it comes to having the planet Mercury in their natal chart.
Find where Mercury is in your natal chart by looking for the stick figure that has little horns. Because it's a planet, it will have an astrological sign and a House number associated with it.
In my chart, my Mercury is in Aquarius and lives in my seventh house. Huh? Yeah. So that means my communication style (Mercury) is influenced by the astrological sign (Aquarius) and I use my voice to exchange ideas with the people around me to better empathize with them (Seventh House - Relationships).
While Mercury retrogrades, this area of my life will be a little funky. I'll need to be extra careful of how I communicate with others, especially the ones I'm in relationship with. Because my communication style is Aquarian (read: I'm kind of a dick? Who loves conspiracy theories? Who doesn't sugar-coat things? Shocking!), I already have to be EXTRA aware of my tone.
Everyone has a Mercury placement in their chart, but figuring out how it applies to real-life can be a little tricky. I made this 10-minute worksheet to help you bring these three pieces together so you have a more cohesive understanding of how the way you communicate with the world might be affected during these next few weeks — plus, a few action steps to get ahead of Mercury Retrograde interfering with your life.
Your Third House
Our final stop — The Third House. No, not Hufflepuff. It's the Third House of the Zodiac Wheel, which is the home of communication. Because this Mercury Retrograde is in Cancer and will particularly impact how we communicate, we want to look at the Third House of our natal charts in order to get a more dimensional picture of what we're dealing with.
Your Third House might be empty — no biggie. The planets are constantly transiting through your chart. Use an app like TimePassages, or go to AstroSeek and create a transit chart. Scroll to the bottom of the page where it says "Planets In Houses" to see which planets might be transiting through your Third House. Utilize those top-notch critical thinking skills to consider what planetary transits that take place RIGHT NOW impact your life, and how you could apple Mercury Rx's motto of "return, reflect, revise" to those situations.
Mercury Retrograde isn't all that bad — especially if you're already prepared for what could happen. Set aside 10 minutes before this five week cycle begins to map out where your areas of opportunity could be, and how you can set yourself up for the least painful, most expansive Mercury Retrograde season!