Thank you Justin, very insightful and right on. It's actually possible to know pretty specifically what area of your life will be affected by Mercury Retrograde. There are 4 dates associated with every retrograde period and that applies to all planets that go retrograde, not just Mercury. But, as in alchemy, as Justin mentioned, Mercury is known as the "great dissolver" and is known as one of our most influential personal planets, so this one is always important and will be felt by everyone in some way.
I am an astrologer so I have, most likely, too much information, maybe more than you require. However, if people realized the important tool that your natal chart is, no one would be without the copious knowledge of their own.
Okay, so here are the dates and the degrees.
25th July Mercury enters the Shadow period at 28 degrees Leo. This is where he will retrograde (go backwards) to before he goes direct again. Pay special attention to this period and the interactions you have. This is like time travel to me, you will review/rehash/relive and review the events or details of the house Mercury is in within your chart at that time. For me, it was just after my Solar return and in my 7th house of relationships. Maybe there were new people I met during that time and I had a certain impression of them, during the retrograde period I can then see them from a different perspective, an inward glimpse perhaps. Also, important stand-out interactions with others made during the time of 25th of July until the 11th of August will be under review.
11th of August Mercury turns retrograde at 11 degrees Virgo. Now the time traveling begins and things are under review, particularly anything that deals with mercurial issues; commerce, exchanges of trade, information, even theft; things may be returned to you during this period that you lost. Keep in mind there are 12 houses so this would apply to the house of your Mercury. Like I said, mine is the 7th house of relationships.
5th of September. Mercury turns Direct at 28 degrees Leo. All signs will be affected by Mercury and its at this point that you realize what's been affected. A piece of mail doesn't arrive, cars glitch out, internet gets dropped or the computer crashes, flights were delayed, or, that person you were trying to hook up with to no avail, easily happens.
(If you know your birth time and what constellation and degree your Ascendant/Rising sign is, this will be easier. You can see what house Mercury lands in, in your chart, and what degree he was at when you were born. I will use mine as an example.)
I have Mercury in the 7th house from my rising at 7 degrees Cancer. Mercury Retrograde began it's shadow period
19th of September Mercury leaves Shadow at 11 degrees of Virgo. Now we can attend to new business. Since 11th of August we have been reviewing and re-writing everything that happened since July 25 in the affected house. That will mean now I could begin a new relationship, or even get married or settle a legal case with no backlash expected.
If you need assistance to find where Mercury is in your chart please email me at Music Alchemy (aka The Humming Bath) firstname.lastname@example.org. I have studied and lived this practice daily going on 4 years now. I don't know how I lived intentionally without it! Have an awesome Mercury Retrograde!