waterfall and bridge

Bridging Troubled Waters

The Mercury Retrograde cycle, from June to August 2019, is actually part of a longer journey that takes us through troubling waters. Yet, it also offers some spectacular and inspiring scenery. For one thing, it's conjunct Mars...

When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down~ Paul Simon

Mercury doesn't make any 3-pass transits during this retrograde cycle (direct, then retrograde, then direct again), although there are a few 2-pass transits. He makes up for it by wrestling with Mars, waltzing with Venus, and rumbling with Saturn and Pluto.

The path Mercury takes during this retrograde cycle also interacts with the Lunar Nodes and the New and Full Moons, including the upcoming Solar Eclipse in Cancer (July 2) and Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn (July 16). Much of Mercury's unfolding energy takes place in the weeks before the retrograde cycle, which lays the foundation for the actual Mercury Retrograde cycle.

The Mercury Retrograde Story

The specific dates, positions and transits are listed in the table below. Mercury comes In-Bounds (by declination) on the same day as the Full Moon in Sagittarius (June 17), so he's still adjusting to reality's gravity and might be feeling a bit tired, disoriented, or even inspired and full of ideas after playing in the stratosphere for 3 weeks (May 26 to June 17).

Mercury returns from his Out of Bounds play-cation, and he barely has time to brush the stardust off his sleeves when, three days later, he enters the retrograde Shadow. He then conjoins the North Lunar Node and Mars in Cancer, which could see you needing to say or hear difficult things that need to be said.

At the same time, Mercury, Mars and the North Node oppose Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. Saturn and Pluto have been troubling the waters this year, stirring up a lot of deep-down mud, and it continues throughout 2020. This Mercury cycle therefore puts you in touch with this larger-than-life momentum and encourages you to become more aware of how you are being impacted by it, both collectively and personally.

After spending a week or so teaming up with Mars to hurl spitballs at Saturn and Pluto across the Nodal axis, Mercury travels in conjunction with Mars from the time the Shadow begins (June 20) until Mercury turns Retrograde some 2½ weeks later. During that time, Mercury and Mars make 2 exact conjunctions, and in fact, Mercury turns retrograde just 39 minutes of arc from Mars (July 7).

The first Mercury-Mars conjunction is at 21° Cancer (June 18), which could bring up issues related to family, home, belonging and nurturing. Don't be surprised if you get into some arguments around this time, which may be a bit emotionally triggering. Alternatively, this might be a very energizing time with lively conversation that could stimulate new ideas. It can be a time when you or others find the courage to say things that have been difficult to say, or to face a situation that has been scaring you.

Their second Mercury-Mars conjunction is at 4° Leo (July 8), which has a rather different flavour to it. This one may be focused more on creative expression and boisterous fun, although it could stir up the need to be noticed and acknowledged, including ego issues from feeling neglected or ignored. Don't be surprised if you and others are a bit prone to defensiveness, a temper on a short fuse, or instant readiness to take on a fight, especially if you feel your honour or esteem are at stake.

On the other hand, you could be seized by an impulse to start a creative project that would benefit from several weeks of investigation (through the retrograde period). It may be helpful to use the stuff that comes up at the first conjunction to inspire a creative solution or expression when the second conjunction rolls around.

And just in case you thought you might get bored, all of this takes place as we go through Eclipse Season, in which the Saturn-Pluto-Nodes alignment plays a key role. At the same time, both Mercury and Mars make a trine aspect to Neptune (120°) in mid-June, which may provide some inspiration and ease – kind of like being lit up by the beautiful scenery just as you go over the falls. ;-)

So, strap yourself in and make sure there's lots of popcorn within reach – life's going to be pretty "interesting" for a while.

Navigating the Flow

In a nutshell, the best way to go through June, July and August is to be well prepared for a strenuous journey, and know that you have the ability to nurture yourself (and others) when necessary. Take time out to take care of yourself when you get too stressed. No excuses. I don't care if you "don't have time" – just do it. Like in the movie Men in Black III, take time out for some pie.

Seriously. If you don't take care of yourself, you're likely to feel like you're pushing a big rock up a very steep hill after you've had 2 hours sleep. Just take a few minutes, a few hours, a couple of days or whatever. Get out of your head, put your problems on hold for a minute or two. Breathe. Let yourself come back to yourself again, back to centre, so that the choppy waters start to calm out. Then you can step back into the fray refreshed—or you might even see that you could take a different, better approach to whatever you're wrestling with. Trust the pie.

Sometimes taking care of yourself means moving on from your current sour mood quickly so you don't get stuck in it. On the other hand, that doesn't mean running away from stress or problems. Listen to what your intuition and feelings are telling you, and then stick a pin in it for later reflection, and move on. If you find you are only in a rush to get out of the mood or situation you're in, try writing down what you're feeling before you let yourself run away.

Pay attention to your dreams – your aspirations, but especially your sleeping dreams. With the Saturn-Pluto conjunction being involved, you may notice some larger-than-life themes in your dreams, fantasies and thoughts. Some of that comes from the Collective currents swirling around you, so not all of that will be about you personally but you are being impacted on a personal level by it all.

This time offers a chance to be aware of how you're being challenged to grow beyond your personal self into a more trans-personal version of yourself. Listen to that. It's part of a longer journey over the next few years, but you're given a chance now to travel that road more deliberately, mindfully and consciously.

This is a time when you can build a bridge to take you over the troubled waters of this year and next, instead of being dragged over the waterfall. Or, this might be an exciting time of change that leads to a whole new life path, in which case this Mercury cycle can be a way to build a liferaft that will give you some stability as you shoot the falls.

Steps Along the Path

June 4 Mercury enters Cancer, still Out of Bounds (declination)  
June 8 to July 16 Mercury in orb for conjunction to Mars Within 8° orb
June 14 Mars trine Neptune 18 CN 42
June 12 Mars conjunct Lunar North Node 17 CN 52
June 14 Mars opposes Saturn 18 CN 57
June 15 Mercury conjunct North Lunar Node, which is still conjunct Mars 17 CN 42
June 16 Mercury trine Neptune 18 CN 43
June 16 Mercury opposes Saturn 18 CN 50
June 17 Full Moon in Sagittarius Mercury comes In-Bounds (declination) 25 SG 53 20 CN 10
June 18 Mercury Direct conjunct Mars (the first of two passes) 21 CN 31
June 19 Mercury and then Mars oppose Pluto. Mercury and Mars are parallel (declination) 22 CN 28/2722 N 46
June 20 Mercury enters the Retrograde Shadow 23 CN 56
June 23 Mercury-Sun maximum elongation as Evening Star 27 CN 01
June 26 Mercury enters Leo  
July 2 Solar Eclipse in Cancer 10 CN 37
July 7 Mercury stations Retrograde 04 LE 27
July 8 Mercury retrograde conjunct Mars (2nd pass) (Mercury won't catch up to Mars again until Sep.03, for a Mercury-Mars-Sun partile conjunction.) 04 LE 25
July 16 Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn 24 CP 04
July 19 Mercury retrograde enters Cancer again  
July 21 Mercury Rx conjunct the Sun Mercury is Cazimi (within 0:17 orb) for about 2½ hours: 7:20 AM EDT to 9:47 AM EDT 28 CN 28
July 24 Mercury Rx conjoins Venus (Mercury doesn't catch up to Venus again until Sep.13, the day before the Full Moon in Pisces.) 26 CN 13
July 31 New Moon in Leo Mercury stations Direct 08 LE 36 23 CN 56
August 9 Mercury-Sun maximum elongation as Morning Star 27 CN 52
August 11 Mercury Direct enters Leo again  
August 15 Mercury leaves the Shadow Full Moon in Aquarius 04 LE 27 22 AQ 24

© Wendy Guy 2019, all right reserved. Beyond brief quotes or strictly personal purposes, please obtain written permission from the author to reproduce this article. Photo of Waterfall near Briksdal Glacier, Norway by Tatiana Popova, via 123rf.com.

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