“Everyone Is in for a Mind-Blowing Time”: A Not-So-Serious Guide to Surviving Mercury in Retrograde

Zodiac images courtesy of Sanctuary.

“The way retrogrades work, they are very specific to the individual person,” explains professional astrologer Julia Modorsky, from her home in Oregon. “Everyone is in for a mind-blowing time. Different areas for different people but collectively, mind-blowing changes.” Modorsky works for Sanctuary, the first-ever astrology app to provide on-demand personalized professional chart and Tarot readings. The “mind-blowing changes” she’s referring to are the result of the arrival of Mercury’s retrograde this past June, and which extends to mid-July. A retrograde happens when a planet “travels backward.” Though the retrograde is a physical illusion, the movement causes rippling effects on our energy and everyday life. Currently, Mercury is in Cancer which, as Modorosky puts it, can translate into constant deep emotional spirals, as well as a forced, and necessary, pause to connect our head with our hearts. “Mercury’s mental, so you’re connecting heart and mind and that’s that,” she says.

Despite the irreverent amount of transitory energy coming in and out of our cosmic spheres, not to mention the larger shifts happening around the world and in our country, a time for healing approaches when Chiron—a small lesser-known planet dubbed in astrology as a “wounded healer,” enters retrograde on July 12th. “Chiron is the energy of our deeper wounds in life. So, when Chiron enters retrograde, it’ll be a deep inward healing process,” says Modorsky. In the hopes of making it past the remaining days of Mercury’s exhausting retrograde on Cancer, we asked Modorsky to tell us how the retrograde is attacking (yes, attacking) each zodiac sign, and we suggested a few things, some obscenely wild, others quite reasonable, that could help ride the energy wave. Remember: be patient, connect your head and heart, and check your rising




“Mercury retrograding will most likely be in either the fourth or third house or both. They’ll be more focused on thinking about the home, thinking about the heart. Because the fourth house in the chart—there are 12 houses—the fourth house is all about home, family, foundations, the inner-world, your intuition, your heart. It’s tied in with concern energy. Aries risings will be slowing down to focus on that area in their life. Also embracing your listening skills, embracing your voice. Developing curiosity and openness. Letting go of dogma. Letting go of past beliefs and perspectives that no longer serve you. And it’ll be about learning, for Aries risings, and looking into the facts. Of course for everyone, but even more so for Aries risings. They’ll be asked, ‘How do you communicate with your family? How do you communicate through your heart? From the heart?’ It’ll be a great time to better understand your family if you have different viewpoints. How’d you let go of a tie with your family and how do you regain the heart between you two? It might be nice to create a photo journal to express how you feel with family members, or even to just express how you feel in general.”

Image courtesy 23andMe.



 “Mercury retrograde will be in their third or second house. So you’re probably going to be having a lot of thoughts going on. Heartfelt communications. It’ll be a time to embrace self-worth, self-love, self-care, your values in life, your voice’s nature, the natural rhythm of it all, and what you find valuable in life. Your security and grounding. Also understanding your empathic form of communication and not getting ahead of yourself when you speak. Connecting with your heart and mind. So it might be nice to do some self-care things. Connect with crystals, get a weighted blanket, a bathrobe. Take a course to learn more.”

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“Gemini rising is going to be exploring ideas. How you connect with your voice, how your ideas define you, and how you’re emotionally tied to your values. And your body. It’ll be about exploring your sense of self and your freedom with others, and maybe letting go of some perspectives that you thought about others that you realize may not have been true. How do you release beliefs and perspectives surrounding your relationships? Tuning in to your heart’s natural rhythm.”

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“It’s very much about who you are. How does your heart, your emotions represent who you are? Are you wearing it on your sleeve? Do you feel that it defines you? Do you feel that there are any subconscious blockages in your life? Are you speaking through your soul? Are you getting more spiritual? Are you connecting with what you know to be true, without seeing it? Are you embracing the unknown and sitting with it? Releasing any self-criticisms, any need for perfectionism, any over-analyzing. Are you letting yourself feel free in this way and trusting the motions? Communicating in a nourishing way that will nourish yourself and not just others. Connecting with how you feel about yourself. It’s a great time for self-love and self-reflection and getting to know yourself and your heart and soul’s desires.”



“Are you focusing on your grander vision? Are you reflecting on your hopes for the future? Your dreams for the future? Make sure to dig deeply into your soul to understand those heart’s desires, to address any fears deep within. Release any old emotional hurt and wounds and continue to progress forward and ahead with new brilliant insights you’re receiving. Sometimes it can border on kind of a psychic knowing that can blur past our perception of time. Are you dream journaling? Getting into your creative flow can help. It’s a very energetically sensitive zone. So it can be a very deep healing time for the soul. It’s important to really catch up on your sleep. Getting that eye pillow, eye mask, a journal to write poetry, maybe a past life reading, akashic records reading.”





“Mercury retrograde will be in your eleventh, tenth houses. You’re probably going to feel your heart tied in with your community. And so how do you feel about your connection with your community? With your friends? Those that feel like family to you? Do you need to review what you thought about them? What you thought about the progress of the future, does it need rehashing? Make sure to back up your work, as everyone should. For Virgo, it’s very important to cleanse your internal world, especially during this time. Make sure to cleanse your external world, your surroundings. Making sure everything is tidy, especially during this time where we might not focus so much on taking care of our surroundings. Make sure you do that so you can be in a state of centering where you can actually process through your emotions. Also, share your ideas. Think of your career. Now is the time to take a step back with Mercury retrograde and understand what information you’re getting. Now’s the time to ask for facts if you’re not getting the whole story so you can see the bigger picture of what’s going on.”



“For Libra risings, retrograde will be in the tenth ninth house. The area of career, the area of exploration. So it’s a time where you’re definitely releasing old patterns of thinking and speaking and a time to be freer with your voice. Freer with your questions. So, if you’re feeling that you want to travel during this time, definitely take a step back and slow down. Things are wonkier than usual during this time. Explore new beliefs. Explore new perspectives. Also, a time to think about your career, what you want to do, how it’s tied in with your heart. Maybe explore the world virtually too, explore new philosophies. Kind of expand your mind, expand your thinking.” 

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“Scorpio risings, you’re probably going to edge to expand, to grow. You’re going to want the new information, and just be very meditative about what’s going on and be okay with waiting and knowing that everything comes with time. Especially during retrograde, it’ll be a time to focus on your inner growth, on being more vulnerable. Spreading information with your voice. How can you help others during this time? How can you be empathic for others when uncovering what may have been hidden, when finding the greater meanings and the truth? Study something you’ve been wanting to for a long time, maybe to explore new forms of seeing the world. Either through astrology, or tapping into your more intuitive nature with Tarot, and seeing how that works for you. Really combine the power of both your mind and heart. There’s a lot of power there and you may have been neglecting that recently.”


Modern Witch Tarot by Lisa Sterle.



“Mercury retrograde is going to be in their eighth and seventh houses. The eighth house is the area of depth, the seventh house is the area of connecting with others, and so it is a time to take a step back, to think how you communicate and cooperate with others, to help put your plans into action. Sagittarius risings are very propelled forward to want to bring growth and expansion, but it’s important that now, especially, they let go of their idea of what they thought was true. Right now is not the time to be tied in with your old truth. Now is the time to be open to new truths, and what’s coming in, and to let go, again, of being overzealous or dogmatic about what you used to know. Maybe I should take a step back and do some research during this time of introspection and contemplation. Don’t cut others out of your life before coming to an understanding of what’s going on. Be open to going deep and doing the work to go there. Shine a light on those darker areas within yourself and within what you’re dealing with. Definitely fact-check and don’t get too caught up in the emotions because right now we’re going to be exploring how our emotions affect the way we think. Let go of any control. Reflect on how you can be of help while processing and not projecting. If you’re feeling intensely, really hold space for yourself. Reach out to others. Just be open with how you feel.”

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“Retrograde is going to be in seventh and sixth houses. The seventh is the area of relationships, support. The sixth in the area of health, healing, consciousness, centering balance. It could be that now’s the time to think of the way you connect with others. To put it frankly, if there’s been any sort of narcissism going on, or if you’ve been too focused on yourself, now’s the time to really focus on your relationship. How can you take a step back and notice how your emotions affect others? Are you giving others space so they can process before directing how you feel with them?  Now’s the time to really focus on the words you’re using and realizing that, even if you don’t give power to certain words, they may have power to others, or in general. It’s also a great time to build that health routine. Take a mental health day off of work or get into yoga.”

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“Aquarius rising is going to be in their sixth and fifth houses. The sixth house is the area of health and healing, the fifth house is self-expression and creativity. They’re going to be very introspective about how to express yourself and speak out, and how you’re doing from a heart-centered space. It’s a time to let your individuality shine outside of the crowd. Ask yourself, are you acting on your emotions? How do you feel about your day today? Are you taking care of your health? It’s a great time to explore new mantras, to create new mantras. Find new habits and patterns. Start eating more fruits, less take-outs, focusing on making food at home. Great time to nourish your body with a bath, with natural bath salts. Make sure you’re staying hydrated, lot’s of water. And just because it’s really a health focus for those Aquarius risings, so the more you can focus on how to nourish your body, the better.”



“Retrograde is going to be in the fourth and fifth houses. So the creative area and the area of the home, it’s a time to really get down into your creative writing, into painting, into art, dancing, creating or listening to certain music. You might be feeling a lot inside, and so it’s a great time to journal, to find a new writing project, to remodel the home, or renovate, or move things around in a feng shui sense. Are you ready to address anything that you might have not addressed that’s from childhood? In terms of maybe even things that you knew to be true from when you were a child but you’re starting to realize, they may not have been the actual truth. Are you learning more about your home and your foundations and are you also releasing old beliefs and perspectives you had about your workspace?”