Mercury stations retrograde on July 8th 12.15am BST at 4 degrees Leo. Mercury appears to stop, before gliding backwards through the zodiac to 24 degrees Cancer, where Mercury will station direct August 1st at 4.58am BST.
The Mercury Retrograde Cycle
The retrograde phase of Mercury is just one part of the complete Mercury retrograde cycle. The entire cycle encompasses Mercury travelling the same degrees of the zodiac three times, firstly in direct motion – known as the pre-shadow phase, then in retrograde, before again travelling them in direct motion – known as the post-shadow phase.
Mercury retrograde typically it happens 3 or 4 times a year, it’s a routine part of Mercury’s cycle. Mercury retrograde is associated with communication, travel and technology errors, confusion, disruptions and breakdowns – the trickster aspect of Mercury at work! At the crux of this is that Mercury is mind – our thoughts, our memories, our logic, how we reason, learn, analyse, process and share information.
Mercury retrograde interrupts and alters the flow of energy inwards. Encountering outer disruptions is a way of jolting us out of drifting along oblivious, failing to recognise something beneficial to us. Mercury retrograde is a process that encourages and motivates us towards an internal, private sifting and assesment of our behaviour and actions – which can be powerfully rewarding and even healing.
Mercury Retrograde Cycle ~ Dates – July/August 2019
Pre-shadow phase -Mercury enters the retrograde zone – June 20th at 6.10pm BST at 23 degrees 57” Cancer
Retrograde phase – Mercury stations retrograde – July 8th at 12.14am BST at 4 degrees 28” Leo
Mercury’s Inferior Conjunction with the Sun – Mercury Cazimi – July 21st at 13.40pm BST at 28 degrees 29” Cancer
Post shadow phase – Mercury stations direct – August 1st at 4.58am BST at 23 degrees 57” Cancer – Mercury leaves the retrograde zone – August 15th at 8.53am BST at 4 degrees 28” Leo
Every Mercury retrograde is variable in effect and feel, the sign/s involved and the aspects formed, indicate the style and flow of the energy. On a personal level, if Mercury retrograde is occuring on, or very near, a natal planet or point, the energy and impact will be more intense.
This Mercury retrograde begins in fire sign Leo, before returning to Cancer and water – inspiration and ambition moves to feelings and reflection. Amalgamating with the Mercury retrograde energy, we are also in eclipse season, having had a solar eclipse on July 2nd and have a lunar eclipse happening on July 16th.
The lunar eclipse, which will be visible in the UK, is at 24 degrees Capricorn, exactly opposite 24 degrees Cancer where Mercury stations direct on August 1st. The Cancer-Capricorn polarity brings up themes of family, nurture, safety and security versus authority, rules, leadership and ambition, how we balance and find harmony between them.
The Influence of the approaching Saturn Pluto Conjunction
I am also going to bring up here, as it is highly significant, that we are moving towards a conjunction of Saturn and Pluto exact on January 12th 2020. Throughout 2019 Saturn and Pluto are already parallel, which is like a conjunction, by declination, which measures the distance north or south, up or down from the celestial equator. We are already feeling the energy, and it is only going to amplify, as Saturn and Pluto move towards their conjunction in degrees longitude. The parallel is exact three times in 2019, on March 10th, July 16th and November 5th – an exact parallel between Saturn and Pluto also occurs on the same day as the lunar eclipse on July 16th! During 2019, Jupiter is also travelling parallel with Saturn and Pluto.
The conjunction on January 12th 2020 is at 22 degrees 46” Capricorn, and features the Sun, Mercury and Ceres tightly conjunct Saturn and Pluto. Mercury is at 23 degrees Capricorn and Jupiter is conjunct the south node. Whatever Mercury retrograde and the eclipses raise, or point out – personally and collectively, is likely to be an ongoing story, combining potent, deep, potentially volatile energy, that it is necessary to come to terms with, process and transform to move into the future.
This of course will be particuarly personally notable and relevant if natal planets or points are between 20-25 degrees Cancer, Capricorn, Aries or Libra.
The next, and last Mercury retrograde of 2019 takes place in water sign Scorpio, traditionally ruled by Mars and now additionally Pluto from October 31st until November 20th.
Mercury Retrograde Cycle ~ Aspects
Pre-shadow phase ~ During the pre-shadow phase, Mercury’s initial passage of the retrograde zone is likely to offer an idea of the themes on the horizon for the retrograde phase.
Mercury entered the retrograde zone on June 20th, conjunct Mars and opposite Pluto. Mars is turning the heat up on situations, indicating a rash, bold, aggressive, confrontational feel surrounding all Mercurial realms. Pluto intensifies this and is suggestive of issues and struggles around power, control, manipulation, obsessions and secrets.
Retrograde phase ~ Mercury begins his retrograde phase on 8th July, commencing an inner review or outer reveal of the consequences that may arise from overlooking details, or making wrong assumptions.
Mercury stations retrograde conjunct Mars on July 8th, the exact conjunction between Mercury and Mars takes place later in the evening at 23.27pm. Whilst Mars is still inflaming things, the opposition to Pluto is now out of orb, consequentially the extreme, harsh and challenging energy diminishes.
Mercury is also square Uranus and trine Chiron. The square to Uranus brings the possibility of sudden or unexpected news or personal insights arising that bring new, innovative ways of looking at things. Uranus brings unpredictability and adds to Mercury’s natural restlessness. With Mars conjunct Mercury and also square Uranus, take care and pay attention on the road, both Mars and Uranus can indicate speed and accidents, Mercury of course is travel.
The trine to Chiron shows potential for empathy and compassion for ourselves and others, opening a path to understanding and possibly revealing a remedy or way to soothe our discomfort or woe.
Mercury Cazimi ~ Mercury Cazimi is exact at 13.40pm BST on July 21st – Traditional astrologers term a planet between zero and 17 minutes of the Sun “Cazimi.” Any planet that is Cazimi is greatly strengthened, they have the ear of the King, the Sun. Approximately 2.5 hours either side of this time, (13.40pm BST – if you are not in the UK, adjust this for your own time zone) is when Mercury is within 17 minutes from the Sun, literally – “In the Heart of the Sun.” Mercurial activities are literally sprinkled with magic during this brief period!
Use this moment to focus, and be decisive, about your plans and intentions. If you need to sign a contract, write something important or have a crucial, candid conversation, try and time it to coincide with Mercury Cazimi.
Post shadow phase ~ The post-shadow phase instigates a clearer focus, more certainty about prior proceedings and how to move forwards.
Mercury stations direct on August 1st, opposite Pluto. This highlights the capability for deep, self-analysis and transformation, but also the prospect of outside forces, wielding power and control, seeking to dominate. Of note, is that, Mercury will trigger the July 16th eclipse degree.