Three or four times a year, we all go through the infamous Mercury retrograde. A retrograde occurs when the planet appears to travel backward in the sky, and in Roman mythology, Mercury is the messenger of the Gods. Our cosmic problematic fave, Mercury is the planet of communication and rules Virgo and Gemini, which is why both these signs can be tricksters. You’ve probably heard all the rumors about Mercury retrograde being generally terrible. Communication is wonky. An email from a coworker may randomly decide to send itself to the trash. We take things personally when we don’t need to or slip and accidentally insult a friend. And of course, there is the infamous return of the exes. Everything can just feel harder, as if you’re dragging yourself through the mud every time you want to have a conversation. And right now, there are many important conversations to be had.Mercury goes retrograde from Thursday, June 18 to Sunday, July 12. The planet [that rules communication] CUT is in family-oriented Cancer for this summer’s retrograde, turning our attention to our communities. In addition to the sign the planet is in at the time, other planets are often associated with Mercury retrograde and can have an effect on how we experience it. For instance, if Mars were to get involved, we could be in for an extra intense Mercury retrograde, as Mars is the planet of war. However, according to Astrology King, this Mercury retrograde makes no planetary aspects. It does, however, connect with a star called Sirius, which is the brightest star in the sky. You’ll get a chance to make amends when it comes to any recent communication mishaps.Sirius is much less dramatic than any of the planets, but it’s still brilliant. It’s the star of wealth, abundance, honor, passion, and resentment. Overall, it’s actually pretty positive. When Sirius connects with Mercury retrograde, it can help us make decisions that lead us on a path towards abundance. When any planet goes retrograde, it gives us a second chance to make things right. For Mercury retrograde, that means you’ll get a chance to make amends when it comes to any recent communication mishaps. When we ignore unresolved issues, they stay unresolved.Though this Mercury retrograde will be easier on us than those in the past, it doesn’t mean we’re having an easy go of it right now by any means. Regardless of what the planetary aspects say, to imply that anything right now will be easier than usual would be false, given the political circumstances we’re currently living under. Many of us are trying to not only navigate surviving a pandemic and an economic collapse but are also protesting police brutality and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. We’re talking about systemic inequalities and how to break them down and start over to rebuild for a better future.With our focus on community and the pull of the brightest star, use this Mercury retrograde to reflect and repair any past communication errors — especially for white folks who have avoided tough conversations for long enough. When we ignore unresolved issues, they stay unresolved. Right now, in America, we have a chance to confront racism head-on.Use the family-focused pull of Cancer to support the communities you align with and have tough talks with any friends or relatives who still have a lot of work to do. Have them now, because the next Mercury retrograde likely won’t be so friendly.Read more stories about astrology:These are the signs you’re most compatible with romantically:Find Sophie on Instagram andTwitter.