Don't Panic! Your Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide Is Here

Buy a durable phone case and block your ex’s number because everyone’s favorite astrological transit is just around the corner: Mercury Retrograde. When the planet that rules communication, technology, and our thought processes stations retrograde, ’tis the season to collectively drop our phones in the toilet, forget to hit send on important emails and texts, and have awkward run-ins with our exes.

Retrogrades are tough enough as it is, but when this one kicks off on July 7, it will actually move through two signs: Leo and Cancer. You’ll be experiencing two very different retrograde energies: Leo’s bold, overly confident and (sometimes) obnoxious showoff style of communication and Cancer’s mood-swinging, sensitive AF, cuddle-me-now-or-feel-my-wrath type of energy.

Mercury retrograde:

Your ex:

So which signs will be affected the most? First things first: This Mercury Retrograde is taking place during eclipse season (can we catch a freaking break?!) The eclipses are taking place in Cancer (solar) and Capricorn (lunar), which are cardinal signs and are often considered self-motivated and ambitious. Therefore, all the cardinal signs–Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn–feel the brunt of retrograde and the eclipses the strongest.

Here’s a breakdown of how the different planets will impact Mercury throughout retrograde, and what type of energy will result in order to help you best prepare for this epic transit.

July 7: Mercury Stations Retrograde in Leo

When Mercury is in Leo, you’re leading with confidence when it comes to your ideas. You’re goal-oriented, passionate, and loud. Leo is a theatrical, dramatic sign, so when murky retrograde crops up, you can except a heavy dose of drama. There’s a tendency to be more stubborn with your opinions, and focus on speaking your truth, rather than listening to others.

Avoid attention-seeking behavior, be careful where you gossip (your boss might be right behind you), and do your best to listen to others before you speak your mind.

July 8: Mercury-Mars Meet Up

When the planet of communication meets up with Mars, the planet of war, aggression and ambition, the results are explosive. Mars is all about moving quickly—the energy in the air will support speaking before thinking today (hello, word vomit). There’s hostility in the air, and everyone’s easily agitated.

If you have nervous or impulsive energy built up, find an outlet. Hit the gym on your lunch break, try a 10-minute meditation, or go on a quick walk.

July 19: Mercury Re-Enters Cancer

When Mercury is in Cancer, you put your passive-aggressive hat on. Cancers are symbolized by crabs, and crabs hide in their shells. Mercury doesn’t perform at its optimal level when it moves through this sensitive water sign. Cancers rely on intuition to communicate and suss out situations. They’re moody and sensitive, and words carry extra weight and cut deeper. Retrograde is known for facilitating misunderstandings, and with Cancer in the mix, it will be hard to not take anything way too personally.

Lead with empathy and give people the benefit of the doubt before making assumptions.

July 21: Mercury-Sun Meet Up

The Sun represents your life force, charisma, and ego. When it meets up with Mercury retrograde, you’ll think you’re communicating confidently, but today has misunderstanding written all over it. Your outer world and inner thoughts are syncing though, which will help align any message you’re trying to convey. The key is to pause, be explicit with the details, and don’t assume everyone knows what you’re talking about.

Whether you’re presenting during a meeting or drafting an email, pretend you’re explaining it to a fifth grader. Details matter. Don’t rush—take your time.

July 24: Mercury-Venus Meet Up

When Venus, the planet that rules the way you give and receive love links up with Mercury, you’re feeling lovey-dovey. You might want to shower your boo with compliments and profess your love from the mountaintops (or, more likely, your Instagram feed.) This strategy might work for some of us, but for others (cardinal signs, I’m looking at you), this could lead to disaster. Cancers are known for being the smothering-type of lover. And a little space goes a long way. There’s a strong chance that any declaration of love today might be received as a lil’ too needy.

Try journaling your emotions instead. Share your most intense feels with bae once the retrograde ends.

July 30: Mercury-Moon Meet Up

Do not send that text. You know, the one that’s like seven paragraphs long and lays all your most raw feelings totally bare? Yeah, no. When the Moon, your emotional core, syncs up with Mercury Retrograde, your emotions and mental state both get a boost. There can be a tendency to feel passionately and speak from an emotional place. Ah, the perfect day to text our exes. You’re almost out of the clear—one more day!

Do literally anything else than profess your love or regret to a past romantic interest. They’re in the past for a reason. It’s time to move forward, babes!

July 31: Mercury Goes Direct

There is a two-week shadow phase pre- and post-retrograde, where the effects are still felt. If you’ve had any lingering turmoil that was kickstarted during retrograde, it still has a few weeks to work itself out.

Acknowledge uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that arise during this timeframe. Let situations unfold naturally–you can’t control everything.

August 9: Mercury Post-Retrograde Shadow Period Ends

The two-week post-retrograde shadow phase ends today! Say goodbye to miscommunications, cracked cellphones, and showing up late basically everywhere. You can now return to your regularly scheduled programming until October 31, when Mercury goes retrograde in Scorpio (literally the spookiest, most Halloween astro event.)

Go to a boozy brunch and celebrate!

August 11: Mercury Re-Enters Leo

When Mercury returns to Leo, where it started its pre-retrograde path, we can all collectively let out a sigh of relief. It’s the perfect time to review those texts you held off on sending and see if you’re feelings surrounding the person or situation have changed. We’re only moving up from here!

Plan a mini getaway to relax—it’s finally safe to book travel plans and airplane tickets!

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