Summer is officially here, and guess what else has returned? Mercury retrograde. On July 7, Mercury will go retrograde for the second time this year, ending on July 31.
If you're even the slightest bit astrology-savvy, you probably know a few things when this small-but-mighty planet goes retrograde (which just means Mercury's path across the sky appears to us on Earth to move in a backward direction). Technology (i.e. smartphones, computers, TV) goes bust. Communication is difficult to navigate, and travel hiccups are common.
However, astrologer Emily Ridout says there's more to Mercury retrograde than flight delays and Instagram bugs.
"In today's culture of moving fast and constantly being attached to our electronic communication, Mercury Retrograde has a significant message: You are more than productivity, success, what you say, and where you go," she tells Organic Authority. "Mercury Retrograde demands that we take a pause and shift focus to our true nature as living beings rather than productive, modern, social-media versions of ourselves."
As for what this month's Mercury retrograde entails specifically, astrologer Molly Cardinal tells us, that things are about to get intense.
"With theatrical Leo and emotional Cancer involved, we are going to be asked to look at not only how we’re performing ourselves in the world, but which parts of ourselves we’ve been hiding in the dark," she says. "We must heal the past—the experiences that we’ve been citing as evidence that we can only be one way instead of becoming the future self that we are being called to deep down within."
As a result, Cardinal says, we run the risk of stepping out of bounds in our relations with others by forgetting that there are others to consider.
"Sure, we’re supposed to be figuring out who the heck we are, but let’s not be totally self-centered and annoying while we’re doing it."
Cardinal also warns that especially during the second half of the cycle (around mid-July) we might turn to other less productive coping mechanisms to deal with the emotional tidal wave, like overeating and indulging our whims.
For how to cope with July's Mercury retrograde, Ridout offers up her suggestions according to each astrological element, listed below.
Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius)
Don’t Panic—Lately, pop culture has been making a big deal about Mercury Retrograde. This might lead you to believe that it’s something bad that somehow throws a shadow over the Mercury Retrograde period. In truth, there’s nothing inherently bad about Mercury Retrograde. Rather, these times are moments when Mercury’s energy shifts focus from the external landscape, to what’s within us.
Earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)
Lean in— The shifted energy of a Mercury Retrograde is here for a reason. Rather than resisting Mercury’s new focus, try to see it as something you can embrace. The message of Mercury Retrograde: Slow down, look within, and allow for a little ease in your life. If you’re frustrated by things not going perfectly, ask yourself why. Perhaps you could take some time to be a bit easier on yourself.
Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)
Embrace your patience—Instead of focusing on Mercury Retrograde’s inconvenient side, notice how absurd it is that modern society demands productivity and efficiency at all times. Embrace Mercury Retrograde’s message that it’s okay to go a bit slower, to take a bit more time, to allow for patience for ourselves and others.
Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)
Love yourself and each other—Hey, it’s okay if you feel frustrated, overwhelmed, or just plain "not enough" sometimes. Just remember that these are passing emotions rather than the truth of who and what you are. Astrology theory teaches that at your core you are whole and that it’s always within your power to choose your highest vibration. Give yourself (and Mercury Retrograde) a little love.
Ultimately, Cardinal says Mercury retrograde asks us to retreat into ourselves for a minute in order to re-write and change some stuff, which means for these changes to stick, we must discover the roots of why we might feel compelled to engage in these less healthy behaviors.
"Part of honoring the self is taking care of the self, appreciating that wellness is holistic and is best practiced by minding the body and the spirit," she says.
This could mean anything from indulging in creative endeavors to cooking delicious and nourishing foods.
"Remember that we are all travelers on our own unique journey, and there’s something beautiful about, even while we’re working so hard to make it to the destination, embracing all the stops we’ve made along the way."
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