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Mercury is in retrograde; here’s how to survive it

A retrograde refers to a transit where a planet seems to be moving backwards in relation to us on Earth. Whenever this happens, that planet’s influence goes haywire. For instance, Venus in retrograde often leads to mishaps in romance. When Mercury ‘back-spins’ (which happens approximately three times a year), our world of words goes wonky: emails don’t get sent, our intentions are misunderstood more than usual, contracts contain crucial errors. The essence of Mercury retrograde is delays in communication. This makes sense: Mercury is known as the messenger planet. Its reversal troubles and impedes all messaging. But, while frustrating at times, retrogrades can actually invite us to make sure we aren’t being overly hasty with our life choices. They should be used as periods to review, recalibrate, reword, rethink and rework how we are approaching romance, communication, spirituality, etc. Mercury retrogrades, in particular, will ask us to focus on using our words well and wisely. If we think of this Mercury retrograde as a little cosmic fender bender, then this horoscope might function as a kind of insurance plan that’s got you covered. Check out where this transit will be impacting your life until early October and how to work with it, rather than having it work for you. Aries Mercury will be reversing through your routine zone (which also pertains to co-workers). While trying to make yourself understood at work is always a challenge for us all, wobbly Mercury will be exacerbating things for you. When we add your rash nature (never good with the p’s and q’s), there’s more potential for misunderstandings in the office in the next couple of weeks. Advice: multiple drafts before sending out anything to HR or IT, so you’re really clear. No slap-dash messaging. Taurus Mercury stumbles through your creativity sector (which also relates to fun and amour). In the romance department, your witty texts might fall flat for the next few weeks, eliciting lacklustre responses, or no responses whatsoever (remember, this is a communication breakdown transit). When it comes to creativity, you may not feel so popping, either. Far better to go back through old sound files, word docs or designs to see if there is some little gem sparkling there that you’ve neglected. Hold off on new stuff until October, if possible. Gemini Seeing that you’re ruled by Mercury, this retrograde could affect you more than other signs. It will be activating your home zone, a part of the chart also known as the House of the Father. Your nature tends toward light and easy confab, but communication between your dad or father figures might take on a deeper tone – property, leases, inheritance, and other home-related issues. Discussions with flatmates about the home could also emerge: rethinking furniture arrangements for greater ease of movement. Cancer This Mercury retrograde slow-walks through your communication zone, which also deals with short-distance travel, siblings, and neighbours. Try not to take any weekend getaways during this transit – or, if you do, make sure you have a nice long novel to read, as delays could ensue. Communication with brothers and sisters (or sisterly/ brotherly figures) could also be fraught, as well. Hold off on talking about serious matters until early October. When Mercury goes direct, conversations will go more smoothly. Leo Your money zone will be activated by this pesky Mercury retrograde. Delayed processing of payments could result in stuff like your freelance work, so you might want to make sure you have some cash available. This could also be a good moment to reflect upon your price structure for said freelance work. Is it reflecting your own value? At the bare minimum, inflation and cost of living is way up – your fees need to be commensurate, so you’re not getting stiffed. And while negotiating a contract during this transit isn’t the best idea (wait until it’s over), use this time to think about new terms come early October. Once Mercury goes direct, words will be laser-focused, and communication precise and on point. Virgo This retrograde will feel personal, as it’s impacting your selfhood sector. Mercury also rules your sign, so expect a jolt of retrograde, where other signs might only experience a flicker. Your nature can be critical, especially towards yourself, so use this slowed down messaging period to re-edit the script on your self-talk. Instead of using red ink (Virgo nature), choose a green pen of affirmation to write positive notes. Libra Mercury retrograde impacts your unconscious zone, which pertains to dreams, hidden enemies, secrets, and private affairs. In other words, this part of the chart is shady. You don’t want messages stored there to come to light. Because communication can get topsy-turvy during a Mercury retrograde, make sure any private correspondence that you want to keep private remains private. It wouldn’t be unwise to up your encryption options, find a new hiding place for your journal, and change your passwords. Scorpio With Mercury going retro in your friend zone, try not to obsess if you don’t hear back from your BFF right away. You’re always fixating – it’s your nature. But the next few weeks could feel somewhat sluggish communication-wise between your crew. Mercury retrogrades in this zone of the chart can also be a time for reflecting on old communications with friends. Write an old-fashioned letter to someone dear to you. If you send it by post, it will likely get there just as the retro is ending. Sagittarius Your nature is fiery and changeable. Indeed, some would say you’re the sign most in need of thrills and instant gratification. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, because of this mutable flame in your chart, retrogrades are tough for you. You want things fast and immediate, but with Mercury reversing in your career zone, you might have to wait for the recognition you think you deserve. What can you do? Be patient. It will come. Capricorn This Mercury retrograde impacts your spirituality zone, which also deals with higher learning, long-distance travel, and distant lands. The essence of this part of the chart has to do with receiving messages from transcendent texts or places – either through scripture or discovering yourself on figurative or literal journeys. Clearly, a Mercury retrograde is going to slow down or even obscure spiritual insights you might otherwise glean more quickly with a more auspicious placement. But, when you think about it, no higher order insight worth its name didn’t take its time to unfold in the mind and eyes of the spiritual traveller. Aquarius You’re a fixed air sign – super objective and detached. Usually this detached approach to issues can be clarifying. But with Mercury retrograde in your intimacy zone (sex, desires, fantasies, and sharing), it could be that your distant fixed air nature is problematizing the delicate forms of communication associated with intimate connection. Mercury retrogrades are times to reflect on the way you use words. Making yours more watery might make your partner more watery. Pisces With the Mercury retrograde wobbling into your relationship zone, expect some communication challenges with a wife, husband, business partner, or any such significant other. You’re the most sensitive of the signs, so feeling misunderstood when trying to express your point of view can especially sting. But remember that Mercury retrogrades are times to reflect on how we are communicating. Do you start too many sentences with ‘I want…’ or ‘I need…’? Try something else, like ‘Maybe we should.’


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