Mercury Retrograde In Leo – 26 July- 19 August

by Andrew Smith


The July – August Mercurial Process

Mercury is technically retrograde from the 26th July until the 19th August. However, if you are exploring the psycho-spiritual process related to this celestial phenomenon, there is a lead in and lead out time that extends the Mercurial Retrograde process from the 12th July through to the 26th August. This entire process refers to the time prior to the retrograde wherein Mercury is at its furthest distance from the Sun in the evening skies until the time that it ascends as far away from the Sun as he possibly can climb in the early morning skies.

The Yin stage

As the process begins, Mercury’s slide towards his embrace with the Sun is symbolically seen as a time of increasing reflection – one wherein creative and right brained transformation techniques are heightened (meditation, dream/ image-work, dance, writing, music and other divinatory/ intuitive processes). Since philosophy teaches us that your way of thinking is at the root of all your actions, as Mercury makes its Greatest Elongation in the Western sky on the 12th July, a breathing space in consciousness is created to enable you to reflect (West/ Yin) on the quality of your open spirit (Mercury in Fire) that currently underlie your internal process. 

You will feel increasingly reflective as Mercury heads into his Stillness phase on the 17th July. This happens to be the time when astrologers suggest NOT to sign anything (due to the fact that there is virtually no ‘apparent’ motion in the process of trading (Mercury)), yet, in terms of spiritual process, this is a phenomenal time to reflect and meditate, as your consciousness is more likely to be quieter and more receptive to your inner voice. The duration of this Stillness varies from retrograde to retrograde, with some cycles having two short stages of Stillness and other cycles the Stillness extends through the entire period.

As Mercury disappears into the beams of the Sun on the 1st August, this is when the height of the alchemical process of your mind gathers strength. During this time Mercury can move quite quickly and it appears as if ‘he’ is rushing into the embrace of the Sun, consequently moving from being an ‘evening’ star, or maturing mind, to becoming a youthfully replenished, or ‘morning’ star, mind. Any old thought forms, related to the sign of the zodiac that Mercury is moving through, can be offered up and released during the pre Mercury-Sun conjunction. 

The peak of the entire retrograde process occurs when Mercury conjoins the Sun, which will take place on the 9th August at 16°27’E (Leo). The celestial fertilisation of the Divine Mind with the Light Source is a time appropriate for the insemination of any thought that you want to fuel your life for the next several months (until the November Retrogradation). This can be done by consciously committing your images and ideas to paper and/or taking the first step in manifesting a project.

The Yang Stage

From the moment that Mercury conjoins the Sun during this retrograde cycle, Mercury moves from a Yin, or reflective, process to a Yang, or proactive, process. Whilst Mercury climbs out from the beams of the Sun into the fresh nascent light of the early dawn skies, the seed that is planted is gestating and readying itself to sprout its first shoots. This dynamic, yet invisible process takes place until the 17th August. It is still a reflective time, but there is a feeling of urgency and anticipation as the idea planted is gathering an identity.

Ironically, as Mercury becomes visible as the Morning Star, rising just ahead of the Sun at dawn, its speed stalls as it prepares to turn direction, moving from its backwards loll into a forward march. It is as if your mind is getting the last minute preparations done before it ‘gets on with it’! During August, Mercury moves Direct on the 19th August and gathers speed after the 24th August, when the tentative first steps, actively experimenting with the new ideals wane and a more confident articulation of the seed that you planted on the 9th August is in full throttle. Mercury’s movement forward, thereby technically ending the Retrograde process, takes place on the 19th August and this proactive climate lasts until the 21st September, when the Sun and Mercury once again align, marking the start of a new Yin cycle. However, Mercury’s direct motion heralds a Yang-Yang time now and concerns the dissemination of the ideas that you have planted on the 9th August.

As Mercury’s approaches its greatest elongation in the Eastern morning sky on the 26th August, you are in a strong time frame to delineate a plan of action, make concrete and conclusive decisions, signs papers, advertise, and act upon your germinated thoughts etc. The task during the post-retrograde period, from the 24th August to the 21st September is to “get it out there”.


Entire period – 12th July to the 26th August

Reflective and inward until the 9th August

Proactive and outward until the 21st September

Extra care when signing from 17th July to the 1st August, and then again from 17th to the 24th August.

Seeding of new idea – 9th August

Mercury Stations Retrograde in Leo (Inner Spirit)

biquintiling the Moon, Pluto and Chiron, but is otherwise un-aspected

(This offering is a meditative reflection on the Stationing of Mercury, a time where there is a powerful PAUSE, setting up the tone for the entire retrograde phase, even if the planet that it connects to at the Station, is not in aspect to Mercury for the full three weeks of the retrogradation. This logic also holds for Mercury’s station Direct at the end of the Retrograde cycle. However, this article concerns Mercury’s pause.)

It may feel, at times, an inconvenience to pause, take stock and reflect a little more deeply on certain scripts, patterns, themes and happenings in life, when there is so much on, so much information bombarding your mind, so much to look at/ understand/ read/ process/ answer and so little time to do all that needs done. Taking time, you know is good; you know is necessary; you know is intrinsically part nature, but… and there is the but AND resistance, since you have been brainwashed into thinking, imprisoned into believing that to turn inwards means there is a problem and you have issues, straight jacketed into a narrow use of your mental energy by an education system that states you have no right to a ‘real’ opinion until you have at least a PhD. It is no wonder that many, who have turned to astrology for guidance, dread the phrase – Mercury is turning retrograde, since it means, quite simply, that “Mind has turned inwards”.

Inwards is a Yin state, and in a world addicted to being Yang, it is not surprising that this thrice annual loll is considered to be deeply misunderstood in terms of its true meaning and opportunity. Yet myths are hard to bust and even within the astrology community, this valuable inner space has been reduced to soundbites about ‘stuff going wrong’, ‘contracts not to be signed’, woolly thinking and decision making, when in actual fact this time truly represents a time wherein the mental component of our collective consciousness is preparing to let go mental scripts and patterns that are no longer necessary; to review the mental health of a particular dimension of consciousness; and to lay the foundation for a more conscious expression of a particular aspect of consciousness. 

That is all.

However, you are indeed entitled to continue to believe in fear, doom and gloom and that the cosmos was constructed to provide us with deeply frustrating experiences of losing our keys, our digital data, our phones and whatever else we use to write, communicate and sign. For me, I see this time as particularly valuable. Imagine what music would sound like without any pauses or spaces between phrases? Imagine what a novel would read like, without any punctuation marks or spacesbetweenwordstoallowyoutoreadandabsorbwhatisbeingwritten???? And so pauses in nature are necessary, just as loops in time offering you a chance to review, with a maturing vision, patterning from a differing angle.

Mercury retrogrades three times a year, in the same way that all planets from a geo-centric perspective retrograde for a good part of the year, bar Mars and Venus, who have their own relationship with pausing. Since Mercury symbolises our mental function, it’s ‘apparent’ change in direction to track back over space already traversed, reflects a time wherein you can review how a particular style of thinking and specific scripts within your mind are operating. This coming July and August, 2018, Mercury spends a longer time than usual in the tropical sign of Leo, a sign that reflects the desire to turn inwards and to nourish, sustain and keep lit your inner flame, that spark of confidence that is so readily extinguished by a world we have created that would prefer to harness your energy and time for its own purpose, leaving you lacking in confidence and belief.

This coming Mercury retrograde concerns an almost undistracted inner reflection on the ways in which you hold back from clearly articulate your opinions on things that you truly believe in. Have you the confidence to speak from your heart, without egoic attachment to the outcome of any interaction, so that your dialogue is heart-felt and has heart filled meaning? That is no mean feat to achieve considering that the person with whom you are interacting also has heart-felt longings, desires and a need to speak from their own heart! But are they on a path that merely seeks to express their inner world so that they gain approval, that they attract more likes on their social media account, that they can feel justified or vindicated that they are right, putting you in your place?

One of the by-products of being the children/ grandchildren of a generation who had no voice in the 1950s and early 1960s has been to encourage our offspring to believe in themselves; to encourage them to speak from their heart and to follow their dream; that they are brilliant and can do anything. Sadly, this has spawned a sense of entitlement, along with an obsessive focus on ‘self’ – how wonderful, how beautiful, how amazing MY life is, as exemplified by an entire generation that lives life through the lens of a camera. Each of the zodiacal signs has a less conscious and more conscious way of showing itself and the less conscious expression of Fixed Fire, or Leo, is insecurity about self, thereby compensating by focusing exclusively on the appearance of exterior confidence, exterior glam and success. However, the deeper expression of confidence comes from a ‘knowingness’ of purpose and walking, without needing re-assurance, a deeply creative and self-determined path. Not an easy thing to do when you live within an education system that has been designed to limit your freedom and to keep you focused on the future so that you can apply your creative energy into stock piling so you have enough to survive when you retire.

The importance of this ‘pure’ Mercurial retrograde lies in the fact that you can explore, without much distraction, the thought patterns that have prevented you from spending time alone and developing a relationship with yourself, by yourself. This aloneness can foster a deeper relationship with yourself and your mind and can help you more consciously understand what jOy means to you; what lOve means to you; what activities brings out the best in you, so that you walk confidently with a smile in your eyes, exuding presence and not needing validation or acknowledgement from anyone in your life. But to do that means to retreat from the world for a while; to do that is to find a place of stillness so that you can ‘ask’ for illumination on those scripts and patterns that distract you from being true to your heart; and to do that means cultivating a still mind, one that does not berate yourself for focusing on you and your needs.

The highly charged emotional energies that have surrounded you over recent weeks have, ironically, got you to focus on what you have created and given permission to exist in your life, and it is true that you have been more reflective of late than would be normal. Therefore the ‘weather’ is permissive of a deeper reflectiveness up until the 9th August when the ‘tides’ alter and become more pro-active. From the 17th July your mind is naturally in a state of quiet contemplation as it prepares to turn away from the illusions of the material world on the 26th July (a reason why it is more appropriate for Yin-orientated mental activities than Yang-ones), focusing instead on matters of a deeply personal and private nature. During this time, it would be useful to hold a space for all those people you have sought validation from, looking particularly at the underlying reasons that exist within you that have prompted you to give away your power. As this process gets deeper, more ancestral and more spiritual from the 1st August, to dive into the patterns that exist within your family and tribe that have contributed to this script in your life would feel appropriate. During this time, you could hold a space for an ideal that will help you strengthen your inner-confidence and belief to arise would be something I would encourage you to do, as it will be revealed around the 9th August.

On the 9th, the mood shifts, as the old thought-patterns are burned away in a healing and cleansing flame of healing and in its place, you are encouraged to commit, in prayer or meditation, to the idea that has arisen in your consciousness that will support you to move forward in a more self-assured manner. It will take several days to get used to that new script and from the 9th until the 17th August, take your time and be patient as this new ideal takes its time to discover ways of growing. This will feel like a private and almost unseen process, but from the 19th August onwards you will start to feel increasingly more proactive and visible with this inner journey, as you will be offered the opportunity to live from your heart and to speak confidently from your heart.

Remember to speak confidently is not to impose onto the world, but to merely know something to be true. This is not arrogance. This is not hubris. It is merely a knowingness that for you it is truth. It does not mean the world will like you or indeed support you. But it does means that you have more confidently defined your boundaries; that you know yourself in a clearer manner and therefore you can interact with the world in a way that does not drain or disappoint you, as your ego no longer requires acknowledgement or approval.

I wish you well with this inner journey and that you plant a seed that yields a more confident and self-assured you on the 9th August.

All rights reserved. Andrew Smith, article created during the morning of the 15th July 2018, finishing at 08:21 BST

All rights reserved – www.cosmicintelligenceagency.com and Andrew Smith.
Written at 23:55 GMT, 19th November 2016.

Location:  Dublin, Rep. Ireland

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