Mercury retrograde
Western Astrology

Mercury Retrograde in Cancer: The Anchor of Memory

by The Astrologer's Daughter July 10, 2013 03:21 AM EST
Mercury Retrograde in Cancer: The Anchor of Memory getty images

There's a story (or was it a fable?) about consecutive generations of mom's in the same family who would religiously cut off both ends of the turkey before placing it in the oven on Thanksgiving. Finally, three generations later, a daughter decided to ask her mom why she cut off the perfectly good ends of the turkey. There was plenty of room for the whole bird, she protested! It seemed like such a waste! All the mother could say was that that's the way her mom did it. When she asked her mom, she said the same thing. "Well, that's the way my mom did it."

Let's assume this family has good genes for the sake of getting the point across. Finally, that mom asked her really old mom and she replied: because we had a small oven and we had to cut off the ends to fit the bird inside. Point being: there was no reason anymore to deny themselves the crispy turkey ends (ovens had come a long way since way back when) but old habits die hard, and oftentimes we just do things my rote because that's what was modeled for us, no matter how much of a disservice to ourselves or those we love.

As the messenger planet Mercury (ruling communication, messages, thoughts and perceptions) is in the sign of domestic, sentimental Cancer (home, family of origin, nurturing, the inner self), it's perfectly natural that we look back and acknowledge the past. The key during this time is to realize that we have more choices, more awareness and more to give than we may have thought possible at other times in our lives.

The Universe has a way of correcting shortages of the heart right now either by re-wounding us so we can heal with the awareness of an adult or by allowing us to receive information that helps us re-frame the past in a way which supports our present. We get to decide the stories we tell as we're knocked conscious from this 3-week review period concerning our first memories.

Cancer energy is so much about healing and nurturing. In order to give to others however, we must first model that sort of care for ourselves. This was the message of the July 8th's New Moon in Cancer as well, which will culminate at the Full Moon of July 22nd. What we learn about our past can positively impact our lives well beyond this lunar cycle however. If we're fighting a war inside, we'll be waging one outside. So as Mercury spirals backwards in our mind whipping up pages of memory and setting them at our feet for rediscovery, take a closer look.

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We are imprinted with so many things early in life - some good, some less good - that end up defining our beliefs about ourselves. Perhaps we should consciously mix-up the old messages and be honest about what fits and what is just an echo of limits that were placed on us by an earlier generation. By all means, keep the good ones! It's time to get cozy with our thoughts and turn the volume up on what our inner, innocent selves are telling us we need. So enjoy the rewind until July 20th as our past convalesces with our present as we realize we should be able to enjoy the crispy ends of the Turkey (so long as you're not a Veg -- in which case a giant grilled squash is best eaten whole).

P.S. A question asked in the Horoscopes section of Yahoo! Answers provides a nice example:
What could this mean about me?

I have an irrational fear of certain things when I'm around people. For example, I hate talking on the phone when I'm around other people (only people that I know). The closer the person is, the more intense the fear is; my boyfriend is probably who I'm closest to right now, because I moved out of state so I have no family here and haven't made any close friends. Things I get fearful of besides talking on the phone are reading my text messages around him, looking at my email, checking my mail, surfing the internet, eating, cooking, maybe a few other things too.

My fear is rooted in the notion that he (or other people) will hear or see something they don't like or will be critical of. I also know I am trying to avoid embarrassment. I have nothing to hide, so I don't know why I'm like this. But it almost seems like I'm being secretive with the things I try to avoid doing around people I'm close to. What does this mean about me?

If it matters I know my dad is the same way at least in the aspect of talking on the phone. He always turns his phone off when he's around his wife, and I and other people can only get a hold of him when he is not with his wife.

I'm 26 years old. And if it matters, I am Cancer/ Gemini Sun sign (born June 21st), Taurus Moon, Mercury is in Cancer, Mars is in Cancer, Jupiter in Aries, Neptune is in Capricorn.

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Definitely sounds like a behavior you picked up from your father. It might be helpful to ask him why he is so secretive/selective about what he shows to whom, who he'll allow to call when he's around his wife. Hmmm. You may just be unconsciously mimicking him for no good reason. It's worth looking into. You are likely needlessly keeping yourself at too far a distance and like you said, you're guilty of no crime. Make sure you're not being so vigilant just because you were raised in an environment that made this look "normal." It's one thing to be discreet ... but this is bordering on neurosis. If you had a Pluto Mercury opposition, I could blame that too :) 


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