How Next Week's Mercury Retrograde Will Affect Every Sign
If misunderstandings are off-the-charts, getting to-dos done has gone from mildly irritating to stressful and slow, and you feel like you're speaking an entirely different language while having a run of the mill conversation with everyone from your boss to a hot new date, chances are you're feeling the impending Mercury retrograde. From September 27 to October 18, trickster Mercury will be retrograde in cardinal air sign Libra — but even in its pre-retrograde shadow or storm phase, you can count on Mercury retrograde will throw a wrench in communication, transportation, and technology.
Quick refresher on Mercury retrograde: Three or four times a year, the planet that oversees communication, transportation, and technology appears to move backward from our vantage point on Earth for three weeks. The slowdown and backup tends to delay or fully curtail progress on all of the aspects of life that fall in the messenger planet's wheelhouse. But Mercucy retrograde is also a time for channeling mental energy inward, reflecting, revising, and rethinking whatever it is we've been razor-focused on over the past few months.
Mercury retrograde isn't only about quiet solo time. It's also about tying up loose ends in order to have the space to truly plow ahead. Mercury retrograde — especially in partnership-oriented Libra — is a wonderful time to reconnect with a best friend from the past, steel yourself alongside your S.O. to jointly tackle any project you've been putting off, or heal old wounds within your closest one-on-one relationships. It's about hitting the brake and going in reverse — all for the sake of a smoother trip ahead.
And because its backward turn this time around is occurring in the sign of the Scales, one of two signs Venus rules (the other is Taurus), the themes of the retrograde will be especially relationship-focused. You'll be asked to consider what work needs to be tended to before you can actually make progress within your romantic, platonic, and professional bonds.
Ultimately, there are ways to make the most of the oft-villainized transit. Here, how this particular Mercury retrograde will affect you, based on your sign. (Pro-tip: Be sure to read both your sun and your rising sign, if you know it. If you don't, you can find it on your natal chart or via this CafeAstrology calculator.)
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Messenger Mercury will retrograde through your seventh house of partnership, so you could very well have an ex or two pop up out of the blue (although it's not necessarily worth reading into, given the tricky, playful, and curious vibe of this transit). But more importantly, this period encourages you to reflect on and reassess how you're showing up in your one-on-one relationships — and what others are bringing to the table too. Take advantage by talking through any misunderstandings with your S.O., BFF, biz partner, closest colleague, and work through unfinished business as a team.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
The planet of communication moves backward through your sixth house of health and routine, nudging you to look at how you've been approaching your everyday hustle. If it could use a little more balance, a bit more self-care, or — most likely — more time for connection, beauty, and romance, then it might be time to rework your approach. Because your ruler, Venus' other home sign is the host of this retrograde, you'll connect with its themes, knowing that yeah, you would totally benefit from more spontaneity, more fun, more time with friends or your lover — off of the couch. And you have the green light to go back to the drawing board and figure out the best way to make that happen.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
This retrograde falls in your fifth house of romance, turning your attention to any already-established business or projects that allow you to express yourself, have fun, flirt, and play. You're a big fan of eschewing definitive plans, which can be incredibly helpful over the course of the next three weeks, because your ruling planet, Mercury, is urging you to embrace the moment as much as possible. At the same time, the lighthearted, slightly flighty feeling of the retrograde could spur random encounters with exes or confusing conversations with new matches. And when in doubt, the main lesson of this retrograde for you is to trust your heart and own your voice.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Thanks to messenger Mercury moving backward in your fourth house of home life this time around, you might want to carve out time to catch up with loved ones, get more clear on the foundations that gave way to current emotional questions, and nurture your sense of security. You could also be interested in redesigning your domestic sanctuary, healing old wounds, or even returning to a place you used to live. And with the retrograde's emphasis on partnership, you'll do well to approach any of this challenging terrain with the support of your nearest and dearest — be that a lover, friend, or family member.
Leo (July 23-August 22)
With the retrograde happening in your third house of communication, you might want to take those traditional retrograde steps extra seriously, backing up all your crucial data — and then doing it again just to be certain. Also, know you'll need to save and show your receipts, explaining facts, figures, and a variety of other details to friends, colleagues, health care providers, whoever over and over again, because wires will get crossed. The good news is that lots of old friends, neighbors, and coworkers could also pop up, hoping to catch up. Just remember — especially when life gets stressful as it is apt to do during a retrograde — your time and energy are a valuable, limited resource.
Virgo (August 23-September 22)
The messenger planet, your ruler, moves backward through your second house of income this time around, which means you'll be feeling compelled to get into the weeds, analyzing, reorganizing, and possibly revising your approach to financial growth. Maybe you're ready to brush up your resume so you can score a higher-paying, more fulfilling opportunity or you want to rework your long-term savings or debt plan. Let's be real: You're pretty content to do all of this, especially if a spreadsheet is involved, but because relationship-oriented Libra is at the helm, you could find that working alongside a partner, a dear friend, or a financial coach is actually the best way to tackle ongoing issues, pinpoint lasting solutions, and set yourself up for even better returns on your investments.
Libra (September 23-October 22)
For the next three weeks, messenger Mercury will be retrograde in your sign — and first house of self — encouraging you to take a microscope to your personal brand. Even if you're not an influencer, you'll be thinking about how you present yourself to the world, how you're perceived, and what you want to showcase more or less of. Big-picture personal goals could also be a chief focus now, especially those that are undeniably tied to important people in your life. Spending more time journaling, meditating, or even talking through all of this with a trusted loved one can help you to ultimately gain more clarity about what you want — and how you'll get it.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
The planet of communication's latest backward turn is happening in your twelfth house of spirituality. The social planet's time in this zone — and Libra season in general — is always a time for resting, recharging, and getting in tune with your intuition, but a retrograde there can make for an even slower, sleepier phase in which you could get a bit frustrated that everything you're attempting to create progress on feels stalled in the idea stage. Tending to your inner life, healing old wounds that might be holding you back unwittingly, nurturing your spirituality, and working with your intuition and your dreams are the key ways to make the most of this transit.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
The messenger planet moves backward through your eleventh house of networking for the next three weeks, making it more likely that old friends, colleagues, people you met on a group date in 2019 suddenly resurface. They might want to collaborate or talk about shared long-term wishes that could be achieved through teamwork. Although you're usually all about throwing yourself into any exciting opportunity with lots of optimism and joy, the nature of a Mercury retrograde is to cause at least a bit of chaos and confusion, so you'll want to be sure you're going into any group effort with eyes wide open. Be sure you're not signing yourself up for a commitment that looks and sounds better than it actually is.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
The planet of communication moves backward through your tenth house of career and public image during this retrograde, so you could be reassessing your top professional goals — and the strategies you've been using to hit them. It might be time to revamp an aspiration that is no longer serving you, rethink how you can best lead a team, or reflect on how you can score that promotion you've had your eye on. You're all for taking a slow, steady, calculated approach, so Mercury retrograde-fueled delays aren't necessarily going to throw you off. But you do want to see progress — and it's important to bear in mind that the greatest growth could happen in an internal way now.
Aquarius (January 20-February 18)
Thanks to messenger Mercury's backward turn in your ninth house of adventure and higher learning, you'll be daydreaming about those moments when you've just up and gone on an impromptu trip with your best friends or you took a class to pick up some quirky, random new skills. And while the same old mundane routine might feel even more stale than usual now, you could find it challenging to make headway on any bold new plans. The fix: Spend the next three weeks putting your nose to the grindstone researching the eye-opening experiences you want to have in the future. Then, whenever the moment is right, possibly in the mid-to-late fall or early winter, you'll have a clear runway for making these dreams real.
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
Mercury's backward turn through your eighth house of emotional bonds, sex, and joint resources sets the stage for reexamining ongoing financial collaborations and intimate connections. If you're in a relationship where there's a lack of reciprocity or comfort for whatever reason, it could be time to address that for your own emotional well-being. If you're single and have been craving a connection that's as fulfilling as it is transformative, it could be time to get even more clear on how you're going to attract that. And should you get stuck, keep in mind that as a cardinal air sign, Libran energy is somewhat foreign to you, but this retrograde presents an opportunity to infuse your approach to love, sex, and shared money with the Scales' lighthearted, balance- and beauty-seeking vibe, which could end up bringing you a surprising amount of satisfaction.
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