June's Mercury-Retrograde Catch-Up


As of yesterday (Sat Jun 7), Mercury's back to his wily retrograde ways, having flipped his wig to apparent backwardness in the emotionally evocative sign of Cancer.

I've thrown in the 'emotionally evocative' descriptor to immediately signal where some of our biggest Mercury-retrograde problems, at least in the shorter-term, are likely to reside this time around: in our presumption that a situation is self-explanatory, assuming our feelings about it will naturally provide us a most logical conclusion to draw.

To put this particular Mercury-retrograde into context, it comes on the tail-end of an atypically rocky, raucous, and rather eventful few months… a period which, upon looking back from the annals of our future, will show to have changed many lives in a profound fashion that, now as we still haven't totally left the rockiness behind, may not yet be clear or obvious. Since the last time Mercury was retrograde back in February, we endured an entire 2 months of Mars being retrograde in one of his least favorite signs (Libra)—and, as part of that retrograde madness, Mars forming a sharp grand cross with Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto, bringing some of the most challenging astrology we'd seen in a long while. You've heard all of this before, of course, but isn't one of Mercury-retrograde's jobs to offer us a chance to review and regroup? Naturally.

As Mercury kicks off his current retrograde (which lasts through Jun 30), Mars has been back to direct motion for a few weeks now, but continues to retrace steps he's taken twice already over these past six months. In other words, our planet of proactive get-up-and-go initiative is still wrapping up business he began around the new year. Much of that wrap-up takes place during June—while Mercury remains retrograde—as Mars forms his third-and-final challenging aspects to Pluto (a square exact Jun 14) and Uranus (an opposition exact Jun 25) of this extended configuration. The remainder of this month, then, could likely bring to a culmination any lasting tensions or crises not yet decisively handled or expressed. And, yes, Mercury will be retrograde throughout that time.

By now, we astro-followers should know the standard Mercury-retrograde drill, which ought to include: extra patience with apparent glitches or unforeseen detours, due-diligence with important conversations and pressing papers, and cautious hesitance in making bold public statements or irreversible decisions, among other careful-steppings and double-checkings.

These practices should come in especially handy insofar as many of us have yet to mentally, informationally and/or organizationally catch up with all the dynamic changes which continue to impact our daily lives, in ways we're still working on figuring out. We might need to adjust our routines, update our stories, begin to get the hang of this altered landscape enough so that it doesn't feel as strange or distressing as it first did. Mercury retrograde can provide a perfect chance to reconfirm, reconnect, and resituate ourselves within these latest changes.

Mercury in Cancer is not known for being especially by-the-books accurate with details or facts, but is strongly motivated by emotional concerns in its mode of communicating. I consider Cancer to be the best non-verbal communicator of all the signs… which allows Cancerian folks to intuitively sense when a loved one is in trouble and needs support, and to effectively offer solace and understanding with a meaningful glance, a soft touch, or a warm meal. But more often than not, Mercury requires actual words to convey its messages reliably—to fully explicate as many of the nuances as it can, leaving as little as possible to chance—or there's too much space between the lines for misinterpretation. And Mercury in Cancer can be reluctant to come out with the full verbalization, in an effort to 'spare' another person's feelings or 'sensitively' spin the story to minimize upset… which, though it may come from a genuinely caring place, could still smack of dishonesty-by-omission. I'm sure you can imagine how a Mercury-retrograde under this zodiacal influence might play out, under pressure to append any previously incomplete stories with the unabridged version and/or unpack whatever feelings have perhaps been implicitly acknowledged but not yet discussed in detail.

I also sense that this week-and-a-half ahead, while Mercury's still retrograde in Cancer, could prove quite illuminating in situations where a chasm of understanding has grown between ourselves and those close to us. Though we might imagine someone else is happy, sad, angry, confused, or harboring whatever emotion we think should be 'natural' in light of the specifics they've been dealing with, that may not be what they are feeling at all. What looks like certain disaster from the outside could be experienced as a fortuitous break by the person actually living it… just as what would be cause for celebration for us may be a source of deep anxiety or distress to another person. An excellent Mercury-retrograde-in-Cancer way to bridge such chasms: Rather than projecting our own emotional presumptions onto what we think somebody else needs or wants from us, try asking what they need or want. The answer could surprise you.

Mercury retrogrades back into Gemini, a sign he rules (and thus where he's much more at ease), on Jun 17 and remains there for the duration of the retrograde. Once retrograde Mercury is back in Gemini, we'll be better set up to handle all the missed phone-calls and emails, the misplaced or erroneously completed paperwork, any dangling conversations we neglected to finish or glaring mistakes we now must fix. Meanwhile, Mercury doesn't land back in Cancer again until Jul 13… by which point many of the informational blanks will have been filled in, and we ought to have a better grasp on how those around us are actually feeling.