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Mercury in Cancer

While the sign that the Moon is in will show how you instinctively and emotionally react to situations, the sign that Mercury is in tells us a lot about how we think, how we communicate, how we learn and how we connect different pieces of information together.

When Mercury is in a water sign, emotions, feelings and environmental moods are what matters. Emotions motivate thought, word and deed. If you have Mercury in a water sign, you may have problems expressing how you feel – and you probably don’t think that you should have to; everyone else should just know. After all, you tend to pick up on the moods of others and assume that they too have this sensitivity.

If there was to be a conversation, it might go something like this:

‘Do you want to talk about what happened?’

‘Do you think we need to talk about what happened?’

‘I thought that maybe we should…’

‘Really? Why?’

‘Maybe we don’t need to talk about it…’

‘No, it’s not such a great idea, is it?’

‘Are we cool?’

‘Yep, all OK…’

It’s not all okay, you’re not fine and you’re far from over it – not that anyone else would know that, because you haven’t used your words and told them.

People with Mercury in Water signs may have difficulty detaching emotionally from a problem or situation in order to look at it objectively. Because they feel it or sense it, they often assume that those around them are also able to absorb knowledge at an emotional level as well. They assume that the words don’t need to be said, and between watery people, quite often they don’t!

Where Mercury in Gemini makes connections between disparate pieces of information using words, Mercury in Cancer will rely on feelings and moods to make the same connections.

Where Mercury in Gemini will then want to talk about it, Mercury in Cancer will tuck those thoughts and ideas into the protection of her shell and grow them and nurture them until they are strong and secure enough to stand on their own. Only when she feels that it is safe will she disclose them.

Even at this point, she will choose her words carefully to avoid risking those emotions that make her so very vulnerable. When she does speak, she does so instinctively, with sensitivity and with an amazing ability to feel the mood of her audience.

In the body, Cancer rules the parts of the body that act as “containers”– the stomach, breasts, uterus. Cancer encloses and protects. Mercury in Cancer holds and protects memories. Photos and other memorabilia aren’t just memories of an occasion or a person, it’s about how you felt in that moment, about that person. And, very often, those memories are tinged not just with nostalgia but an overlay of how things were. The past is known and because of that even if it wasn’t happy it’s more comfortable than the future – which is completely unknown.

Mercury in Cancer will remember conversations, events, anniversaries, arguments and slights (real or imagined). She remembers events from her past and from your past and from your shared past. She may not talk about it, but she will remember. Mercury in Cancer holds onto these – in some cases longer than she needs to. 

She will assume that your memory is as clear and retentive as her own. What she uses to access and catalogue these memories is mood and emotion. How did the event, person, conversation make her feel? What was the mood of the conversation? What was the mood of the event? What emotions were raised?

If you happened to mention in passing that it would be great to catch up when you are next in town, Mercury in Cancer will look forward to it and then feel let down when you don’t contact her. You, in the meantime, have completely forgotten even making the comment. Will she say anything? Nope, but she will remember. She will also assume that you know she feels hurt.

When talking to Mercury in Cancer, she will be listening to you, but also “feeling” you. She knows that “fine” usually means anything but! What you are saying will not be as important to her as the emotions she is hearing behind the words.

Because she is looking for the meaning behind the words, Mercury in Cancer can take what you say personally and defensively – even when what you said was not intended to cause offense. This comes back to Cancer’s need to protect her emotions. Because she’s reluctant to share how she feels (if you really knew her and really cared about her you would just know) it can be hard for those around her to know just which subjects should be avoided or at least treated with more care.

When faced with something new or confronting Mercury in Cancer will withdraw into her shell in order to explore and absorb the new information away from the jangling emotions of others. This allows her to make decisions that are more objective and intuitive than they otherwise would be. If you push for a quick answer from Mercury in Cancer, it will generally be “no”.

Mercury in Cancer prefers to avoid arguments and conflict wherever possible. Other more assertive signs might see this as passive-aggressive. A simple “fine” can contain a myriad of alternative meanings. She will then retreat to her shell where she can replay the conversation along with the verbal responses she could have and should have used.

Anyone who has Mercury in Cancer needs a safe environment within which to disclose these emotions. A journal (preferably with a lock or password protection) is an absolute must; chocolate also helps.

Mercury in Cancer may be drawn to poetry and song lyrics. There is something so very special about hitting on a line or a verse that says exactly what you can’t.

Mercury will be in Cancer until June 27.

Doing it for yourself…

We all have Cancer somewhere in our chart and it’s that part of your life that will be stimulated by Mercury’s transit. Take a look at this part of your life and notice what’s going on – those little things that you’d usually skim past could now be of more interest to you. 

Follow your curiosity by all means but feel your way through it. If something pops up more than once it’s probably worth noting. Listen beyond what’s being said and choose your words carefully. When Mercury is in Cancer it’s a great time for deep and meaningfuls, but not so great for providing (or accepting) rational and dispassionate feedback. 

You might be tempted by nostalgia – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with spending time in the past – but if you’re hanging onto ideas, grudges, slights – whether they be real or perceived – from the past, let them go.

If you don’t know what the houses mean, check out series 1 of the Toolbox or this post.

If you don’t have any idea about your birth time, or can’t be faffed working it out, you can follow the solar guide:

  • If your Sun or Ascendant is in Cancer, Mercury will be transiting your 1st house.
  • If your Sun or Ascendant is in Leo, Mercury will be transiting your 12th house.
  • If your Sun or Ascendant is in Virgo, Mercury will be transiting your 11th house.
  • If your Sun or Ascendant is in Libra, Mercury will be transiting your 10th house.
  • If your Sun or Ascendant is in Scorpio Mercury will be transiting your 9th house.
  • If your Sun or Ascendant is in Sagittarius, Mercury will be transiting your 8th house.
  • If your Sun or Ascendant is in Capricorn, Mercury will be transiting your 7th house.
  • If your Sun or Ascendant is in Aquarius, Mercury will be transiting your 6th house.
  • If your Sun or Ascendant is in Pisces, Mercury will be transiting your 5th house.
  • If your Sun or Ascendant is in Aries, Mercury will be transiting your 4th house.
  • If your Sun or Ascendant is in Taurus, Mercury will be transiting your 3rd house.
  • If your Sun or Ascendant is in Gemini, Mercury will be transiting your 2nd house.

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