By embracing the lessons this intense Mercury retrograde period has to teach, the next three weeks could prove completely game-changing. Memorial Day weekend is generally thought of as the unofficial start of summer, which feels like the start of something new. But if the messenger planet has anything to say about it, we’ll be focusing a lot on tending to old business. Mercury begins its second retrograde of 2021 on Saturday, May 29 in mutable air sign Gemini, symbolized by the Twins. (Its first retrograde was in Aquarius from January 30 through February 20.) Until June 22, the ruler of communication, transportation, and technology will appear to move backward through the sky.
If you’ve heard anything about Mercury retrograde, it’s that the astrological event is a total pain in the BUTT, wreaking havoc on communication, technology, and transportation for the better part of a month. Even before it “stations” retrograde — aka moves to nearly a standstill before turning backward — you’ll likely feel at times as though things are totally out of your control. Calls drop out of nowhere, emails mysteriously disappear into the ether, it feels like no matter how hard you try, you can’t articulate yourself the way you’d like to — or in a way people close to you will understand. But the messenger planet’s backward turn isn’t devoted exclusively to chaos, confusion, and delays.
Here’s what you need to know about the second 2021 Mercury retrograde and how to not only ease its stressors but make the most of its opportunities.
A Quick Primer On Mercury Retrograde
Whenever your ex texts out of the blue, or you hit one traffic obstacle after the next every time you leave your house, it’s easy enough to blame Mercury retrograde. After all, it feels like it’s happening all the time. And the fact is that it does happen frequently: The communication planet goes retrograde approximately three to four times a year for three weeks at a time. In other words, Mercury is retrograde 18 percent of the time. That 18 percent, however, doesn’t account for the lead-in and lead-out periods, referred to as the Mercury retrograde storm, before and after every retrograde. During this period, Mercury has to put on the (figurative) brakes before turning retrograde and then rev back up after the fact. Because it’s the speediest planet in the solar system — it moves around the sun every 88 Earth days, traveling at nearly 112,000 mph — it’s easy to feel the messenger planet’s slowdown and crank back up to speed. But the day you’ll most feel its effects will be when it “stations” — aka actually moves — retrograde or direct.
We often paint Mercury retrograde with a broad brush, characterizing it for triggering tech glitches, 86-ed travel plans, and eyeroll-inducing, blood pressure-escalating miscommunications. But it’s actually not that simple — or negative. Mercury retrograde also presents a chance to revise and reflect, to look backward and tie up loose ends on whatever you’ve previously started and need to address in order to more confidently and decisively move forward. Although we’re conditioned to gather and disseminate information and go, go, go 24/7 — as fast as humanly possible — the planet that rules all that mental energy and communication actually urges us to take the occasional time-out from that exhausting pace. After all, life wasn’t meant to be lived with your foot on the gas pedal every day. And by taking a beat to slow down and check yourself, you could get even further in the long-run.
Themes of the Second Mercury Retrograde of 2021
From May 29 to June 22, 2021, Mercury is retrograde in Gemini, the mutable (also known as most flexible — or indecisive) air sign. Known for being curious, super-social, stylish, tech-savvy, and dualistic, those born under the sign symbolized by the Twins (ME THANK YOU VERY MUCH)— or who have significant placements in Gemini in their natal charts — are natural born supercommunicators who thrive on soaking up and sharing information at every turn. That’s in great part thanks to the fact that Gemini is ruled by Mercury. (ME AGAIN, NO MODESTY HERE LOL) And the air sign is also the ruler of the third house of communication, neighbors, siblings, early education, and short-distance travel.
The vibe of Gemini is quick, chatty, fun-loving, and adaptable. And while Mercury is in the air sign, you may feel the desire to move at the same lightning-fast pace as the Twins, change course on a whim, and have lively, engaging conversations that go on and on. The planet and the sign go hand-in-hand — which is why a Mercury retrograde in Gemini could feel more intense than it would in another sign. It may heighten the impulse to connect, but also make it more challenging to do so.
At the same time, the placement of this 2021 Mercury retrograde can help with ongoing issues that fall under Gemini terrain. You could be going back to the drawing board to research key details for your business, revising an important project, dealing with everyday paperwork or car maintenance you’ve been putting off, brainstorming ideas with colleagues or friends you’ve missed over the past year, or revisiting beloved places and people and intellectually-stimulating experiences. You’ll also want to fact-check, as the origins of important info can vanish in the midst of airy Gemini’s excitable energy.
It also bears noting that we’re in the midst of the first eclipse season of 2021, which infuses this slowdown with a push to embrace change and contend with crises rooted in big, game-changing emotions. You could still be feeling the effects of the May 26 lunar eclipse in Sagittarius (opposite Gemini) while the life-changing tone of the June 10 new moon and solar eclipse in Gemini rolls in. The new moon forms a conjunction to Mercury, underlining the importance of recognizing the past and tying up loose ends before being able to charge ahead into the next chapter.
The Signs This Mercury Retrograde Will Affect Most
Because the retrograde is happening in mutable Gemini, the other mutable signs across all elements will feel this particular backward turn the most. That includes Virgo (mutable earth), Sagittarius (mutable fire), and Pisces (mutable water). Virgos, you’ll feel it in your tenth house of career, Sagittarians, in your seventh house of partnership, and Pisces, in your fourth house of home life.
Geminis will find this Mercury retrograde especially intense (in part thanks to the June 10 eclipse), but Gems and Virgos generally feel all Mercury retrogrades more acutely than others. That’s because both signs are ruled by the messenger planet.
Tips for Thriving AND Surviving the 2021 Mercury Retrograde In Gemini
By leaning into the lessons of the second 2021 Mercury retrograde, you can absolutely find ways to make the most of the moment. Consider making the following moves.
Connect with People Who Offer Mental Stimulation
If you always have fiery, intriguing debates about politics, psychology, or relationships with your college bestie or you and your coworker always seem to come up with cool ideas for collaboration, now could be a time to revisit ideas you’ve batted around before. You could find that the slowdown allows you to consider all those copious, creative, intellectually-charged, Gemini-ish ideas through a lens that allows you to gain more clarity and create an actual action plan.
Catch Up with Siblings and Neighbors
Maybe you’ve been meaning to meet up with your sister for a catch-up dinner and your schedules have been clashing. Or you haven’t had an actual in-person book club meeting or happy hour with your neighborhood besties since before the pandemic. This retrograde — informed by Gemini’s third house themes — could lend itself to checking those boxes.
Take Special Care with Tech and Transportation
This is something you’ll want to do every Mercury retrograde, but because this time around, the event’s themes are magnified by its placement in Gemini, you’d be wise to back up all your devices. Knowing you’ll have group text transcripts and creative brainstorm notes on an external hard drive even if your phone is on the fritz will give you lots of peace of mind. Similarly, consider tackling all of the things related to transportation — whether that’s regular car maintenance or finally heading to the DMV — in order to avoid a headache in that Mercury- and Gemini-ruled department.
Gather All the Info, Then Prioritize Peace of Mind
In the midst of wires getting crossed and inevitable delays, you could feel like you’re dealing with an overload of confusing, contradictory, overwhelming information. It can help to work with the unpredictability and airiness of this transit, so do your best to remain open-minded and flexible, field a variety of opinions, check your sources, and give yourself regular time and space to step back and practice mindfulness.
Ultimately, the best way to manage the frenetic, confusion-spurring vibes of this retrograde-eclipse season is to let go and find joy and — if at all possible — a sense of calm in the unclear and unknown.
But let’s take a look at the most important transits of the month:
June 2nd, 2021 – Venus Enters Cancer. On June 2nd, 2021 Venus leaves Gemini and moves into Cancer, applying a trine to Jupiter in Pisces. What a lovely welcome! Venus feels cozy and homely in Cancer, and after a relatively agitated Gemini season, this is a nice change of vibe.
June 10th, 2021 – Solar Eclipse In Gemini After a relatively cozy start to the month, the weather changes as we get to the “event of the month”. On June 10th, 2021 we will have a New Moon and Annular Solar Eclipse at 19° Gemini. The Eclipse is exactly conjunct Mercury retrograde, and is square Neptune in Pisces, so this is a confusing one! Confusion doesn’t necessarily mean “bad”, but when Mercury is retrograde AND square Neptune, things may not be exactly as they seem, to put it mildly. This Solar Eclipse in Gemini is an Annular Eclipse. Annular Eclipses are “special” Total Eclipses. The disk of the Moon totally covers the Sun just like in a Total Eclipse, but because the Moon is a bit farther away from the Earth than usual, there is a ring of Sun around the edge of the Moon, which looks like a halo. A halo has a deep spiritual meaning, symbolizing resurrection, or the idea that what is holy and divine (the light) cannot be overcome by darkness.
June 10th, 2021 – Mercury Retrograde Conjunct Sun On June 10th, the Sun is conjunct Mercury retrograde at 20° Gemini. Whenever we have a Sun-Mercury retrograde conjunction, a new 116-day Mercury cycle begins! This doesn’t mean that Mercury retrograde is over, but the Mercury-Sun conjunction gives us a sense of hope and new beginnings. Right now, we are in that “in-between phase” where we are still on the sky path of the previous Mercury cycle – meaning we are still connected to the knowledge of the past, yet have received a new creative impulse from the Sun.
June 11th, 2021 – Mars Enters Leo On June 11th, 2021 Mars leaves Cancer and moves into Leo. Somehow, we always notice when a planet moves into Leo, because that’s what Leo energy is all about… getting noticed and making a statement. And that’s not because Leo is attention-seeking energy… but because we cannot NOT notice a planet in the sign of the Sun. There is this light, radiance and warmth that emanates from any planet that travels through the “Leo territory” of the sky. And when Mars, the boldest of the boldest, enters Leo, the temperature will rise pretty much straight away. In our everyday life, Mars in Leo will bring direction and focus into our lives. We will find it easier to connect to our heart, and act from that place of truth and authenticity. As a result, we will feel more in tune with life, and confident about our actions.
June 14th, 2021 – Saturn Square Uranus Mid-June we have the 2nd (in a series of 3) Saturn-Uranus square. Saturn is at 13° Aquarius, and Uranus at 13° Taurus. Saturn and Uranus have been in a tight orb pretty much all year, so it’s not that this square will take us completely by surprise… we somehow already got used to its tension and friction. But as with any aspect that becomes exact, we will witness an energy peak. The good thing about any energetic culmination, is that there is no further escalation. The tension bursts, forcing us to deal with whatever it is that requires our attention. This is a time to deal with what’s no longer working, and FIX it, once and for all.
June 20th, 2021 – Jupiter Goes Retrograde
On June 20th, 2021 Jupiter stations retrograde at 2° Pisces. When Jupiter changes direction, our belief system is up for a review. Most of our beliefs are borrowed from other people. When Jupiter goes retrograde, it’s time to look at these borrowed beliefs and ask ourselves whether they really define us. We know we are at odds with our beliefs, when we have a feeling of alienation, and lose our faith. Our natural state is to have faith in life. When we lose this faith, we know that something is off, we know that there is something about our beliefs that needs to be addressed and reviewed. Jupiter retrograde is an excellent opportunity to ‘get real’ and scrutinize our belief system.
June 21st, 2021 – Sun Enters Cancer Happy birthday to all Cancers out there! On June 21st, 2021 the Sun enters Cancer and we have the Northern Solstice, which brings us Summer in the Northern Hemisphere and Winter in the Southern Hemisphere. This – as any Sun’s ingress in a Cardinal sign – is a very important turning point. And I mean it literally, because the Sun literally changes direction when it is at 0° Cancer. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, the Sun starts moving South, and if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, the Sun starts moving North. The Cancer solstice is also a point of culmination. We either have the longest day, or the longest night of the year. This is when we reach a crossroad: do we continue on the same path, or do we choose to start a new course!
June 22nd, 2021 – Mercury Goes Direct On June 22nd, 2021 Mercury goes direct at 16° Gemini, bringing back our focus, mental clarity, and sense of direction.The good thing about this Mercury Retrograde is that it occurs in Gemini, the sign of its domicile. When Mercury is in domicile, even the retrograde is not as tough as it is in other signs of the zodiac. Yes, we had to review what was no longer working, yes we had to fix what was broken, but it’s not that we had that many hurdles on the way. And now that Mercury goes direct, it’s not only that a weight will suddenly be lifted from our shoulders, but we will also have that feeling of accomplishment and forward momentum: yes, it was a bit tough, but it was worth it!
June 24th, 2021 – Full Moon In Capricorn On June 24th, we have a Full Moon at 3° Capricorn. The Full Moon makes a sweet sextile to Jupiter, and it is 23° away from Pluto (Pluto is now at 26° Capricorn). Most Full Moons in the past 10 years or so had a Pluto favor. This Full Moon will have such a different vibe, that we will wonder if this is really a Full Moon in Capricorn… or we’re still in the Gemini/Sagittarius lunar season. Yes, the Full Moon is in Capricorn, it’s just that it is more flamboyant and optimistic than usual. This is one of the most positive and constructive Full Moons of the year, so make sure you take advantage of it!
June 25th, 2021 – Neptune Goes Retrograde On June 25th, Neptune goes retrograde at 23° Pisces. When a planet changes direction, we notice an intensification of themes connected to that planet. When Neptune goes retrograde, old memories, dreams, fantasies or longings resurface, asking us to deal with them. Of course, the way Neptune deals with things is not very straightforward, but it doesn’t mean that Neptune doesn’t work in the background. In fact, working in the background is pretty ‘Neptune’. Let’s say something happens to us but we can’t really process it. This unprocessed thought or feeling eventually shows up in a dream. We get stuck in a problem and we can’t seem to find a solution, but then suddenly, when we take a shower or go for a walk, the solution comes to us. Dreams, serendipities, unexpected encounters… these are all the workings of Neptune. Neptune may not be straightforward, but it DOES offer solutions. Pay attention to signs, dreams, unusual communication messages. If something feels relevant and important – even if you can’t put your finger on it – chances are, it IS important and Neptune is whispering into your ear.
June 27th, 2021 – Venus Enters Leo On June 27th, Venus enters royal Leo, and starts applying a conjunction to Mars. Next month, we will have a beautiful Venus-Mars conjunction in the sign of Leo. This is the most joyful, romantic, and creative aspect we can have, and perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the year! But more about Venus conjunct Mars in the July forecast!