Messenger planet Mercury is retrograde in dramatic, expressive Leo from July 26 to August 19, 2018, and we could all use a little extra help to power up our purr! We tapped our star sister, wellness astrologer Stephanie Gailing, to provide salubrious strategies for making it through this three-week phase, vitality intact. Cheers to your health! –T&O
By Stephanie Gailing, MS
Astrologer & Wellness Alchemist
It’s that time of year again: From July 26 to August 19, mental Mercury is doing a backwards dance in roaring and radiant Leo. When the planet of communication retraces its steps in this proud sign of the bold, courageous, and dignified, we can learn how to creatively express ourselves in a new (and improved) way.
On the positive side, Mercury retrograde in Leo offers us many dynamic opportunities to acknowledge and embrace the special creatures that we are. Hidden talents emerge and we may dig up an archived project and rediscover its brilliance.
That said, the path to self-authorized stardom could come with a side of stress and challenges. We may have a fired-up face-to-face with our inner divas, or realize just how reliant we actually are. In some moments, we may even struggle to embrace the very things that make us unique.
To amplify the creative potential of this time—while mitigating the obstacles that could otherwise impede our joy—here are some self-care tips designed specifically for Mercury’s retrograde backspin in Leo.
Bring on the Borage!
Leo rules the heart, and this retrograde helps us find new ways to weave our words with warmth, love and generosity. The borage flower can give us the botanical boost to do just that. Also known as starflower, this regal blue-violet blossom has been revered for millennia for its heart-healing and joy-sparking properties. There are numerous ways to incorporate borage into your self-care regimen, including in food, tea or as a flower essence.
With its cucumber-honey taste, you can add fresh borage flower to salads, desserts and cocktails for a spirited and uplifting boost. Make a tea from the dried leaves, or drop a few blossoms into a glass of water; the color alone will amplify the joy of that hydrating H2O. Borage, in its flower essence form, can also help with processing grief or disheartened feelings, so you can return back to your happy place. Like the confident Lion, this heart-flowing plant is said to buoy courage. Welcome back!
In wellness astrology, the solar-charged sign of Leo is associated with citrus fruits. These globes of sun-filled juiciness can be amazing allies during Mercury retrograde, especially in the form of essential oils. Want to sharpen your focus and combat Mercury retrograde’s mental meandering? Inhale or dab on lemon essential oil. Grapefruit oil can help rekindle that inner fire if you’re feeling listless, or if you need a little extra help dissipating frustration.
Since it may be hard to quiet the mind during Mercury retrograde, consider neroli essential oil. This divine (and heavenly scented!) oil is made from bitter orange blossoms and is used by some practitioners to reduce hot agitated conditions, including restlessness and insomnia.
There are numerous ways to incorporate these essential oils into your repertoire. Add a few drops to unscented massage oil and use to moisturize your body. Mix with mineral salts for a fragrant relaxing bath. Or use them to scent a room, whether in a diffusor or by adding a few drops to a mister bottle filled with filtered water.
Channel the Muse
While left-brain thinking may sometimes feel a bit muddled during Mercury retrograde, it’s a time when our right brain—and its creative verve—can be the star of the show. Whether painting, sketching or a coloring book is your thing, let your imagination soar as you unwind and regale your playful side. The trick is to not take yourself too seriously. Rather than judge and edit yourself, take a cue from Leo and tap into the fun-loving divine child that you are. Or, try your hand at basic doodling. Seeing what arises on the paper is a fascinating reflection of your unspoken thoughts. Plus, research has shown that spontaneously drawing helps to bolster memory and relieve stress.
Don’t forget that you can be colorfully creative when it comes to recording your dreams. Instead of just limiting yourself to using words in your dream journal, draw: it may open up a powerful portal to your subconscious that can help you tap into otherwise unremembered dream images.
Be the Lion
Practicing the yoga asana Lion Pose (Simhasana) can help you to embody the inherent courage and fearlessness of Leo. This playful posture encourages self-expression and confidence, and also invigorates our eyes and throat.
To practice a simple variation of this posture, begin by kneeling on the floor with your heels facing upward and pressed against your buttocks. Place your palms, with fingers spread wide, on your knees. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, opening it wide. Stick out your tongue, reaching it down toward your chin while boldly making the sound, Haaaaa! (which is also known as Lion’s Breath). Simultaneously, look up and lightly focus your eyes above the bridge of your nose. Strike this Leonine pose several times and feel your fierceness!
Photo Credit: Stocksy
About Stephanie Gailing
As an astrologer and wellness consultant, Stephanie Gailing weaves together stellar insights, flower essence therapy, dreamwork, and compassion-based coaching. Author of Planetary Apothecary, Stephanie offers Stellar Guidance Sessions, teaches workshops, writes about holistic well-being, and crafts custom-designed flower essence elixirs. Stephanie’s latest offering includes her Inspiring Dreams webinar series that features classes on astrology and dreams, self-care strategies for sleeping better, how to remember your dreams and more. Based on Whidbey Island, outside of Seattle, she frequently travels to New York City, and works with clients all over the world.