Mercury Retrograde starts this weekend, and yes, your exes will be coming out of the woodwork

Oh no, Mercury Retrograde is happening—again. Yes, Mercury turns retrograde three times a year—so it definitely shouldn’t stop you from living—but as common as this event is, it does not lose in substance or weight no matter how often it occurs.

Mercury Retrograde is itself an illusion and trickery—Mercury, of course, does not move backwards; planets have one and only one motion: forward. However, from our perspective on Earth, Mercury does look like it’s regressing. And that’s the beauty and meaning of astrology—it’s built on our observations.

Alright, so Mercury Retrograde—which happens this month from July 7th to July 31st—is about our mind, perception, communication, and movement being slowed down, being corrected, being tricked a little bit. The keyword—or prefix, that is—for Mercury Retrograde is “re.” Re-thinking, re-doing, re-making, re-conceptualizing, re-assessing. The best course of action during such a time is to avoid: initiating, rushing ahead, and starting new things. Why? Simply because it’s a time of skewed vision, and so during this time when things are distorted, your best advice is to take a new look at past things and re-model them. Taking a past look at new things will get you into trouble.

Now, everyone wants to know the same thing, so I’ll get right into it: Why are exes always popping out of the woods during Mercury Retrograde? Well, exes tend to pop up all year, like a sick whack-a-mole game, but Mercury Retrograde is a most fertile time for such interruption because everyone is thinking about the past and re-thinking. Should you get back with your ex because they’re thinking about you? No, not necessarily. However, it is indeed a good time to reflect on the relationship you shared.

This particular retrograde is occurring in the signs of Leo and Cancer, which means we’re going to be doing a whole lot of talking about relationships and healing. I think it’s really interesting that this Mercury Retrograde is occurring in these signs, at a time when psychology and inner child healing are extremely popular concepts on social media. After the rise of astrology comes the rise of psychology, which is not surprising since astrology and psychology are fundamentally trying to achieve the same results and are quite connected. Especially if you’re like me and you practice psychological astrology!

So this retrograde in Cancer is about reflecting on our identity, emotional needs, attachments, childhood patterns, family patterns, and relationship patterns. It’s not going to be an easy road, and I can tell you already that if you don’t ground yourself and force yourself to slow down, a lot of erratic mistakes will be made. The energy is electric for this month of July, and as much as great opportunities for growth are present, so are opportunities for reckless and impulsive mistakes.

You’ll find that we’re all a tad extra sensitive this month, too—a lot of buried emotions are coming out in an excessive fashion, and relationships will be the core of the matter for this retrograde. You can expect a crisis of identity, too. What fuels me? What drives me? Who am I? How am I special? Not in an ego-centered way, but more a sense of, What do I have to bring to this world that is unique to me?

I wrote a practical, guided workbook for those who want to know how this Mercury Retrograde is going to impact them personally, and you can check it out here. For everyone else, here is my astrologer advice for this retrograde season: slow down, know that you will be reactive, and negotiate with yourself right now on how you plan to discipline yourself not to react too quickly. Don’t make long-term decisions unless the situation requires it; instead, focus on what you’re feeling and what you’re passionate about. Nurture creativity, love, passion, and personal relationships.