The Summer 2020 Mercury Retrograde Is Here. How to Cope by Zodiac Sign.

Give your inner child some love! The summer 2020 Mercury retrograde takes us back to our roots, paddling back through sensitive Cancer’s waters from June 18 to July 12. Now is the time to reconnect to family and heal emotions from the past.

by The AstroTwins

Mercury, the planet of communication, technology and travel, does its second backspin of the year from June 18 to July 12.

Home is where the heart is…or so the story goes. But in 2020, home has become the hotbed for so much more. The summer 2020 Mercury retrograde retreats in Cancer, the zodiac sign that governs our domestic lives and our childhood patterns. Cancer energy, at its best, reveals what we need to feel nurtured, safe and rooted in the world. When at odds, the Crab throws us into survival mode, allowing insecurity and fear to overtake our emotions. Those pincers can grip tightly, but they can also cause others pain.

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What is Mercury retrograde?

Three or four times a year, Mercury passes the earth in its orbit. As it rounds the bend, Mercury slows down and appears to stop (station) and spin backward (retrograde). Of course, it really ISN’T moving backward, but much like two trains or cars passing each other, this creates the optical illusion that one (Mercury, in this case) is going backward.

Mercury rules technology, travel and communication, so during Mercury retrograde, all of these things can go haywire. Any time the messenger planet shifts into reverse, our thinking can get muddled, communication can go sideways, and scheduling will require extreme flexibility—and patience! (See also Mercury Retrograde: How to Survive A Three-Week Communication Crisis)

The summer 2020 mercury retrograde is the second backspin of the year. The first was from February 16 to March 4 in Pisces and Aquarius. The third and final mercury retrograde of 2020 will be October 13 to November 3 in Scorpio.

What you can expect during the summer 2020 Mercury retrograde

Social restrictions have forced us all to stop, look and listen to what’s going on inside our four walls. The slower pace has brought us “home” in greater connection to our bodies, AKA the soul’s address here on Earth. Whether we consciously chose it or not, it seems that the human race was in desperate need of a year of internal reflection. For some, this deep inquiry has churned up isolation or loneliness. For others, buried conflicts turned our spaces into battle grounds, forcing honesty among relatives, lovers and roommates like never before.

Mercury’s retrograde, which has gotten such a bad rap, might just be the blessing we all need in 2020. This forced timeout is best used for all “re” activities, like reexamining, reviewing, rewinding and renewing. Consider this retrograde a hall pass to step back, draw into our shells, take stock of our inner worlds.

Ready for more personal revelations

What’s happening on the homefront, in our immediate neighborhoods and with the people we’ve known since back in the day? As the conversation of racial equity resounds around the globe, and Pride Month is celebrated, people are processing the pain of oppression while others are awakening to painful realizations about their role in upholding broken systems. Mercury’s backspin through Cancer will bring more revelations about long-held beliefs within family systems that are ready to shift, transform or be celebrated loud and proud.

Cancer is associated with the archetypal mother. How well do we care for ourselves? Do we know how to self-soothe when we are upset? Can we dress our own wounds? For some people, Mercury’s backspin will reveal the opposite: Where do we pull back and get passive-aggressive instead of asking directly for what we need? Have we resorted to pouting, punishing or sullen silent treatments to make a point?

Yes, this could get messy

We recommend gathering a small (3-4 person) support group during this three-week cycle. Set up a regularly scheduled call—even a daily check-in—where you simply share your feelings, cry together, hold space. Do this WITHOUT offering unsolicited advice. Find people who have shared your pain and can witness it without judgment. This is not about getting stuck in trauma. While Mercury is retrograde in Cancer, we need our feelings to be validated in a healthy way. And that means to simply allow them to be heard by people who “get” us.

Mercury’s retrograde through Cancer is NOT the time to make any sudden moves, especially when it comes to our homes, family relationships or inner circle friends. But if a particular relationship is charged to the point where you simply cannot support or hear each other, taking some space (at least until July 12, when Mercury turns direct), would be a good idea.

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Here’s how your zodiac sign can cope in the potential crosshairs of the summer 2020 Mercury retrograde


Feeling prickly, Aries? Messenger Mercury turning retrograde stirs up trouble in your emotional and domestic fourth house during its backspin until July 12. Avoid triggering people or situations during this transit. Family drama could get particularly heated, but resist flying off the handle. A shouting match never solved anything, but neither did sweeping issues under the rug. Get clear about your boundaries, then discuss them without being heavy-handed. You may need space from relatives or the people under your roof in order to resolve some buried childhood issues. Call your mother or visit a maternal woman from your past.


Watch out for mixed signals as messenger Mercury turns retrograde in your communicative third house. For the next three weeks, major misunderstandings could arise. Do your best to express yourself in the clearest manner possible. If you need to have a major talk with a loved one, it might be best to hold off until after Mercury corrects course on July 12. The same thing goes for high-stakes business meetings. Can’t wait, Taurus? Be sure to rigorously prepare—even over-prepare. Since retrogrades rule the past, don’t be surprised if an old friend resurfaces in your life.


Start pinching those pennies as communicator Mercury (your ruler) retreats through your financial district, AKA, second house. During this transit the messenger planet could make it difficult to balance the books or have conversations about cash. But don’t panic, Gemini! With a little financial planning, you’ll be able to ride out this cycle without going into the red. Rework your budget, put a moratorium on lavish purchases, and consider making extra ends through a summer side-hustle. The silver lining? Retrogrades rule the past, so an old colleague could come through with a new and unexpected opportunity.


History could repeat itself as Mercury goes retrograde until July 12, digging up your past in the process, Cancer. It’s one thing to be nostalgic, but don’t start reliving your former mistakes. This backspin could be particularly tricky, as the messenger planet will be creating confusion in Cancer and your first house of self. Mixed signals will complicate your efforts at communication. If possible, it’s best to delay the launch of major projects for a few weeks. The same thing goes for any public statements. Table them until this transit is over if possible. In the meanwhile, take time to fine-tune your message. Is it as clear as it could be?


Put up some firm boundaries with toxic people as Mercury turns retrograde in Cancer and your twelfth house of healing and conclusions. Are past mistakes haunting your present existence? During the next three weeks, Leo, work to resolve any residual issues you may have. Confront a problematic person about their troubling behavior. Hopefully, you’ll be able to have a reparative conversation and put this whole mess behind you by the time the backspin ends on July 12. But if the other party is unable to own up to their role in this unhealthy dynamic, it may be time to put some space in between you.


Conflict could spark among your squad while Mercury is retrograde until July 12, backing up through your eleventh house of groups. If a fight erupts among your friends or colleagues, examine the inciting incident. Does this all just stem from a simple misunderstanding? Play peacemaker if you must, Virgo, and work to ease the tension. On the other hand, if there’s a bad apple who continues to poison the bunch, it may be time to show this person the door. Better to nip it in the bud before things spiral out of control. Be diplomatic but firm. You don’t need this negative energy polluting your posse!


Assess your professional progress today, as savvy Mercury turns retrograde in Cancer and your tenth house of career advancement. Is everything going according to your plan, Libra? If the answer is “no,” it’s probably a good idea to adjust your strategy. During the next three weeks, brainstorm ways to approach your professional problems from a fresh angle. If you start feeling frustrated with a colleague or client, find a way to diplomatically address this issue or don’t go there. Losing steam? Extending a deadline and working at a gentler pace could help you recharge your batteries. You’ll be ready to jump back into the action by the time Mercury resumes forward motion on July 12.


Wanderlust has been a hard itch to scratch in 2020, but as Mercury retrogrades through your ninth house of travel and expansion, the pull of nostalgic locations will be hard to ignore. Well, Scorpio, COULD you safely revisit any of those important destinations? Taking a road trip and spending a week in a (properly sanitized) rental property might be just what you need between now and July 12. Just make sure there’s a spare in the trunk and that you’ve got your itinerary carefully mapped to avoid retrograde snafus. This backspin is also a powerful time for reconnecting to long-distance friends or diving into a course of study in the “spirituality” or “self-development” category.


Intensity, intimacy and a deep inquiry: You’ll feel it all as Mercury backs up through your eighth house of bonding and joint efforts until July 12. Could pooling resources with a partner help you stabilize your finances? On the other hand, if a close connection has been draining your reserves, insist that they pull their own weight from now on. During the next few weeks, try not to let jealousy get the better of you, as envious feelings could bubble up out of “nowhere.” Sexual chemistry could ignite then fade, then spark up again. Don’t rush to conclusions, Sagittarius. If it feels like someone is being shady, careful not to launch into impulsive accusations. Do a little digging instead and get your facts straight first. 


Work to rectify any relationship speed bumps as messenger Mercury goes retrograde until July 12 in Cancer, and your seventh house of partnerships. Have you been pulling too much of the weight in an unbalanced twosome? Let the other party know how you’re feeling, rather than allowing resentment to simmer. On the other hand, if you’re the one who’s been slacking, offer to take on more responsibility. Just beware: This wonky cycle could scramble signals. Think carefully about what you want to say so you can avoid misunderstandings. Retrogrades rule the past, so don’t be surprised if a former flame comes back to rekindle that spark. Proceed with caution! This could be the real deal…or you could get hurt again. Do your best to protect your heart without shutting it down, Capricorn.


Keep calm and carry on with those daily duties, as messenger Mercury turns retrograde until July 12 in your meticulous sixth house. Rigorously proofread and revise before you press “publish” or “send” on anything, Aquarius. Don’t rush to finish an assignment or you could make crucial errors. Take the time to do things right. If you’ve got a health or medical matter on the table, you may want to delay any important procedures until Mercury resumes forward motion on July 18. If you can’t postpone your treatment, no worries—just make sure you go over everything thoroughly with your provider. Your efforts to eat healthier and work out could be interrupted by Mercury’s mischief. Try a lighter workout schedule and stretch well to avoid any injuries.


Love could get complicated as Mercury turns retrograde, stirring up friction in your fifth house love zone until July 12. During this heated transit, fight the urge to Google your ex or reach out to that oh-so-bad-for-you former fling. There’s a reason that things didn’t work out the first time around, Pisces. Take off your retrograde goggles and focus on the present! If you’re currently coupled, you may need to redefine some parameters in your relationship. Does it feel like you keep hitting the same wall? The gift of the retrograde is that it reveals stuck patterns and helps you take a deeper look. How can you avoid getting sucked into a similar situation this time around? 

Were you born during Mercury retrograde? Find out!

Use our handy calculator to discover if Mercury is retrograde or direct in your birth chart.

To learn more about how to handle the summer 2020 Mercury retrograde, see Mercury Retrograde’s Shadow Phase: Decode the ‘Retroshade’

Photo credit: Pansfun Images via Stocksy

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The AstroTwins

Identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut, known as The AstroTwins, are the founders of and the authors of multiple bestselling astrology books. Their horoscopes reach millions here and through their resident astrologer column at ELLE Magazine.