Here we go with another retrograde! This is the last personal planet retrograde for a few months, so we've just got to make it through this and then we can breathe a sigh of relief! First we had Mars to start the year, then another Mercury, then Venus, and now Mercury. Just a little while longer!
The basics: A retrograde occurs when a planet appears to be moving backwards from our vantage point here on Earth. It isn't actually moving backwards, it just appears that way. Mercury turns retrograde most often because it's nearest to us, about 3-4 times per year, and lasts for several weeks. When a planet retrogrades, what that planet rules tends to be thrown off, along with what the sign it's retrograding in rules.
With Mercury retrograde, we experience a shadow and a storm. The shadow period starts when Mercury first hits the point in the zodiac it will turn direct at, and ends when it last hits the point in the zodiac it will turn retrograde at. Most people don't feel the effects of Mercury retrograde until it enters the storm period though. The storm period of Mercury retrograde is when Mercury is moving at its slowest, less than 40 minutes per day. Mercury is a fast-moving planet and hates it when he's moving slowly. There's usually two storm periods, one around the time Mercury turns retrograde, and one around when it turns direct.
The shadow of this Mercury retrograde begins June 26th and ends August 21st, lasting eight weeks. The first storm period will be from July 5th - 25th, and the second will be from July 31st - August 14th. The exact retrograde begins July 14th at 10:16PM ET and ends August 8th at 1:40AM ET.
Mercury continues his retrogrades in the fire signs, with just one more in Sagittarius in November. He turns retrograde at 12 degrees Leo, right in the middle of the sign, and the retrograde will occur entirely in Leo. Can anyone say drama queen? You think people throw temper tantrums now, just wait until this retrograde starts. We're pulling drama out of thin air and making an Everest out of a molehill. Everything we say, we say with flair, and everything we think, we think with flair. But because it's Mercury retrograde, that flair is in all the wrong moments and gets completely misunderstood or goes berserk.
Leo rules actors/acting, so watch for problems in Hollywood (as if that place is ever problem-free). Scandals, perhaps? Leo also rules children, so kids collectively are going to be more temperamental, especially in groups. Since Leo is naturally ruled by the Sun, and the Sun rules our physical bodies and vitality/strength, that might be on the lower end during this retrograde. The Sun also rules men, so this may be a period that's better for women than men (or maybe has something come out that's not such good news for males).
The only saving grace of this retrograde is the fact that Mercury won't be making any difficult aspects during it. Hallelujah! In fact, he'll be sextile Venus when he turns retrograde, so hopefully, the effects won't be so horribly unpleasant. Or, we'll be stuffing our faces with junk food over all of the drama and that makes it feel less unpleasant.
Mercury turns direct at 1 degree of Leo, so those July-born, early-sign Leos (say July 22nd - 26th) may have the most trouble around the direct. August 2nd - 7th Leos may have the most difficulty with the turn retrograde at 12 degrees.
For the rest of you, check the house(s) Mercury will be retrograding in of your own natal chart, and any aspects Mercury will make during its retrograde to your natal planets, to fully understand how it will impact you personally.
If you have Mercury retrograde in your natal or progressed chart, you may not feel the worst of this. Those individuals generally don't experience the difficulties of the retrograde because it feels more natural to them. Of course, chances are everyone else around them doesn't have the same aspect, so they can still experience difficulties brought on by others.
Now come on people, we're almost through it!