The Mercury Report: Forth and Back


Ordinarily, Mercury's move into Leo—which occurs today (Wed Jun 28)—is greeted fondly by fans everywhere of expressive language, brassy brainstorms and outspoken attitude. And that would be the case in this instance, too… if it were the whole story.

But of course it's not. (Lately, is anything that simple?)

Not too far down the horizon, we can spy mental-master Mercury slowing down, in preparation for his latest round of retrograde madness. The fun ('fun'… heh heh…) officially begins on Jul 4 (the Fourth of July… heh heh…) and lasts for 3 weeks. And during that time, Mercury will slip back into Cancer, reversing the trend I hailed above—and reverting us to the unspoken, the implied and the intuited.

Now, don't misunderstand me, there's nothing inherently wrong with Mercury in Cancer (where it's been since Jun 3). Yet, as far as planet/sign pairings go, it's an odd fit in my book.

Mercury signifies how we relate ourselves to people, places and things through our conscious thoughts, mental musings and communicative statements. He's the ponderer, the problem-solver and the messenger rolled up into one. Cancer, meanwhile, is a sign of dynamic emotionality—a non-verbal energy sensitive to where its nurturance is needed most, reacting instinctively rather than intellectually, evoking moods rather than explaining finer points.

Put the two together, and our minds (Mercury) become highly influenced by emotional stimuli (Cancer)… and are liable to flow in and out of ideas and explanations like the ocean toward and away from the shore. Examples of Mercury-in-Cancer concepts: saying whatever you sense will make someone feel better; changing your mind based on mood; phrasings drenched in metaphor and image; conveying as much with tone as actual wording; shyness in 'coming out with it'.

It's a wonderful mix for delivering difficult messages with compassionate grace, crafting poignant poems, and divining what isn't being said. For clean, direct, emotionally detached and fairly logical thinking and speaking? Not as ideal, I'm afraid.

Within a week following Mercury's shift to retrograde (Jul 10), Mercury will leaves its temporary stay in bold-and-theatrical Leo to return to Cancer, where it'll stay until two weeks after it's back to direct motion (through Aug 10). In my humble opinion, Mercury retrogrades in water signs are some of the most disruptive to our regularly expected efficiencies in transmission and transportation. The other most disruptives are those in fire signs. And during this spell, Mercury will dilly-dally between a fire sign (Leo) and a water sign (Cancer).

During the upcoming month or so, we'll want to remind ourselves that the experience of conducting our affairs is at least as important as how efficiently we do the conducting—or else plan on being driven crazy.

What we sacrifice in smooth sailing, we can make up for in engagement with the whole process, including our heartwarming exchanges with the folks we smile at in traffic jams, the helpers who save us from frozen computers and wounded appliances, and the customer service representatives we decide not to bitch out over inconveniences that are not their fault.

What we miss in the details or the delivery, we compensate for in the little life-lessons learned through how we react.

What we're about to blow our top over… well, take a deep breath, and make the choice to do something different. (Hell, write a poem about it.) Matters quickly become worsened by our own Mercury-retrograde conclusions, jumped to improperly.

Mercury retrograde doesn't happen to us, after all—it happens through us.