Whether it’s a missed flight or the untimely crash of a laptop, you’ve likely overheard someone blaming “Mercury retrograde” for their drama. Perhaps, you have even used this excuse a time or two yourself to describe a recent or random misfortune. But do you know why blaming these minor catastrophes on a distant planet has become so on trend? Well, to answer that question let’s begin with the basics.
The optical illusion that is Mercury retrograde takes place three to four times a year when the planet passes the earth in its orbit, appearing to stop and spin backward. Technically, this doesn’t actually happen. However, the concept itself has garnered a reputation for wreaking havoc. In terms of astrology, Mercury is said to be responsible for travel, contracts, communication, and technology. Therefore, when the planet is in retrograde, all of these aspects of our lives can feel quite compromised.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, Mercury is retrograde in fiery Aries from March 22 to April 15, creating what the Astro Twins refer to as a “spring awakening” of some selfish moments and rash outbursts. However, this doesn’t have to be bad news! In fact, it can actually be an incredible time for personal growth and development.
Curious to know more? Here’s how you can use the next three-ish weeks to set yourself up for an amazing 2018, based on your zodiac sun sign.
(March 21-April 19)
As described by the well known Astro Twins, Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, and is, therefore, a strong force to be reckoned with. Given that those with a sun sign in Aries tend to be quite direct in how they address others, a shake-up in communication could easily lead to misunderstandings. However, from challenge also comes growth. If you are an Aries use this time to work on truly tuning in to the opinions of others. This will, in turn, make you a better listener and allow you to move through the next few weeks with a bit more ease.
(April 20- May 20)
Ever the face of practicality, those with a Taurus sun sign are known for being as reliable as they are stable. With that said, there is a reason your sign is signified by the bull. At times the strong will and conviction you so boldly possess can look a lot like stubborn or uncompromising behavior. In terms of communication, now is the time to put yourself in the shoes of others before willfully digging in your heels on a topic. You may even feel the need to backtrack on a past decision or belief. Similarly, technology and travel can go haywire during Mercury retrograde (as well as at any time, really) so working your “go with the flow” muscle will be quite the benefit for you moving forward.
(May 21-June 20)
A sudden change in plans is rarely anything worth stressing a Gemini out over. Adaptable and witty, people born under the Gemini sign tend to enjoy the spontaneity that comes from new friends and experiences. This makes sense since Gemini is ruled by Mercury. However, given that the term retrograde speaks to the idea of moving backward, all of the elements associated with Mercury during this time could pose a challenge for the naturally airy and sociable Gemini. Now is the time to hone in on communicating clearly and effectively. No flip-flopping over here! Plus, while a laid-back attitude may typically work for you, the unpredictability of this period will require you to add some structure to your life. After all, organization isn’t always the enemy!
(June 21-July 22)
As a Cancer, you likely know, that you’re prone to feelin’ all the feels. Much like the crab used to signify your sign, you have a hard exterior shell, but underneath you’re soft, sensitive and vulnerable. Given that you are a creature of habit who feels comfortable with routine and security, Mercury retrograde can make things tricky. Take time to reflect and enjoy the comforts of home, after all, you’re a nester at heart! In addition, acknowledge that this is a time for miscommunication. Doing so may help you to take interactions less personally, and to bounce back quicker from any potential mishaps.
(July 23- August 22)
One of the zodiac’s most courageous signs, the fiery Leo is passionate and often dramatic in all of his/her undertakings. However, now is not the time to let dramatics take center stage. After all, miscommunication certainly doesn’t need to be amplified. Advice for this latest retrograde? Tread lightly. Acknowledge the opinions of others and try to avoid major debates or sensitive subjects for the time being. Instead, use this period to hone those patience skills, get quiet with yourself (something you likely hate) and give that inner lion a break for awhile.
(August 23-Sept 22)
Meticulous by nature, those born under the Virgo sign have a tenacity for completing tasks to perfection. However, as the Astro Twins point out, they can also experience moments of “analysis-paralysis,” nit-picking small details to exhaustion. Given that Virgo is ruled by Mercury, a retrograde of this planet can feel pretty powerful for the Virgo personality. If you are a Virgo, try to remember that you are naturally resourceful, so there is no need to sweat the small stuff. Overwhelm may feel like the natural response to a change in plans or a miscommunication. However, it is not your only option. Work on lessening your hold on things during this time, and you will come out of retrograde feeling stronger and more capable than ever.
(September 23- Oct 22)
For the charismatic Libra, maintaining balance is always the key. So, it is no wonder this sign is represented by the scales. While you tend to enjoy doing things in your own time, you’re not necessarily one for organization. This can be a bit problematic when things go wonky this time of the year. To help prevent any Mercury retrograde mishaps, try to double down on your planning skills. It may feel foreign, but you’ll be happy to have structure should a problem arise.
(Oct 23-November 21)
If there’s one word to describe those born in the zodiac’s eighth sign, it’s intense. From protective to loyal, you’re an all-in kind of human. While these traits can be great in certain circumstances they can also be problematic when moving through a planetary retrograde. Given that Mercury rules areas of communication and shared financial resources, you should be mindful of the decisions you make during this time. Whether it’s revisiting a touchy conversation or making any major life changes, try to evade your desire to fully commit. This is a great time for double checking your work or re-reading an email. Your goal these next few weeks: comfortably float through life, rather than deep dive in.
(November 22-December 21)
According to Cafe Astrology, all Mercury retrograde cycles particularly affect the communication skills of those born under this zodiac sign. So what does that mean for the naturally extroverted and optimistic Sag? Use this period as an opportunity to review and evaluate situations for what they are. There’s no need to communicate these thoughts just yet. Instead, simply get clear on the things that require further reflection. While you’re naturally prone to life on the go, now is your opportunity to do the opposite. It may feel uncomfortable, but it’s the only way you’ll truly be able to reflect.
(Dec 22-Jan 19)
As a Capricorn, I feel for all my fellow goats when I say that typically we do not do impulsivity well. However, it’s something we could all benefit from working on. With travel compromised during this time of the year, there is a chance that delayed flights or traffic jams may get in the way of your well thought out plans. If so, try not to let pessimism get you down. There’s a lesson to be had in all of your discomfort. After all, the world will not end if you’re five minutes late for that workout class. In fact, lightening up (just a bit) may even feel liberating!
(Jan 20-Feb 18)
As a free-flowing Aquarius, you know a thing or two about fighting for the things that matter. Tech savvy and a great communicator, the Aquarius is as industrious as they are rebellious. However, there’s a time and place for that trailblazing energy. So remember, as you move through the next few weeks, that how you communicate is everything. After all, you don’t want to end up the rebel without a cause. Be mindful of the amount of time you put into listening to others, and don’t be afraid to double check any correspondences or emails you may be sending out. Emotions can heat up during Mercury retrograde, so take space to move through your feelings in a way that won’t influence how you interact with the world.
(Feb 19-March 20)
A true water sign, Pisces is known for exuding a deeply intuitive, selfless and often, emotional capacity. However, with communication often going awry during this time of the year, now is a perfect opportunity for reflection. Take some time to think before you speak, and be mindful of the fact that you may be more prone to taking things personally during this period.