Hi, friends. How has your Mercury retrograde been so far? I hope well! As for me, well, since Mercury retrograde began on Nov. 16, I've gotten locked in an airport parking lot, forgot to do several important things for work, sent off typo-ridden e-mails, and even engaged in an exhausting miscommunication-fueled political debate with a family member in the middle of a restaurant. Fun! Clearly, the cosmos have decided it's time to wreak a lil' havoc in our lives, meaning the biggest travel day of the year is falling right smack dab in the middle of everyone's *very favorite* astrological event. Mercury — planetary ruler of communication, technology, travel, and information sharing — will carry on with its bad retrogradin' self up until Dec. 6, when it'll station direct again. It's a short but sassy one, and there are a lot of things Mercury retrograde winter 2018 will affect during the holidays, so perk up your antennae — you're gonna need to hear this.
Just when you thought you couldn't take another dang planet going retrograde this year, Mercury shows up to test our collective limits. Thanks, bro. "Mercury retrograde brings communication and technology breakdowns, nervous anxiety, travel delays and lost items," explained Astrology King on its site. "You can also expect to dwell on things, reminisce about the past, or unexpectedly meet up with people from your past." Mercury will begin its retrograde period in the fiery, world-travelin', knowledge-seeking sign of Sagittarius, then move backward into the deep, dark pools of Scorpio territory before heading direct again.
The particular aspects this retrograde is faced with, including Mercury being square Neptune, can majorly trip up communication and potentially lead to some seriously unpleasant drama. No bueno. "When dealing with family and friends, try to stick to the basics of communication. Your imagination and potential for deception can lead to sticky situations," continued Astrology King. "Even little white lies could lead to major embarrassment or the need for more convoluted cover ups." Considering the retrograde alone already leaves us vulnerable to this sort of thing, all signs are going to have to be extra careful about what they say during this transit.
While no one looks forward Mercury retrograde, the transit (and the subsequent effects it has on all of us Earth beings) offers all of us a much-needed opportunity to take a few steps backward. It's a time to review our work and assess where we stand in our current endeavors. Are we on track? Are there holes in our plans? Is this really what we want? These are the questions we should all be asking ourselves as we introspect during this retrograde. That said, no one claimed it would be easy to do, especially in the midst of this holiday madness, so just take some Mercury retrograde winter precautions and do your best. All in all, the transit is likely to leave a lot of us feelin' a bit rough around the edges and extra exhausted, so indulge in some retrograde self-care if you can find a spare minute over the Thanksgiving holiday.
That all said, Mercury Rx is going to rear its obnoxious little head when it comes to various parts of our lives during the holidays — regardless of how careful we are. Bustle spoke with astrologer Lisa Stardust who weighed in on some of the things this winter 2018 retrograde is sure to affect. Stay cool, guys — and be prepared.
Traveling, Traveling, Traveling
Every single one of the millions of Americans who are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday is pissed AF about the retrograde (whether they know it or not). "Have an ulterior route for all travel, as delays and unforeseen issues may arise," warns Stardust. Follow these tips for retrograde traveling and do your best to avoid any avoidable snags by triple-checking your flight itinerary, keeping your phone charged, leaving the house extra early to get to your destinations, and getting your car serviced before leaving if you're driving instead of flying.
Check Yourself (And Your Text Messages)
Mercury rules communication and the sharing of information, so expect lines to be cross times ten. Typos, misunderstandings, texts to the wrong people — we'll be prone to all of these communication mishaps for the next few weeks, so be aware of it. "Triple check all communications — this includes texts and emails — before hitting send to make sure they are being sent to the right person," advises Stardust to Bustle. "You can always use Larry David’s 'fake text by accident' move to mend miscommunications too."
Expect Emotionally-Fueled Arguments
You may feel more easily provoked during the retrograde — which is obviously stressful, given that extended family time can sometimes lead to arguments to begin with. Do your best to keep your cool and react with rationality if someone says something to upset you — everyone else will be struggling to communicate, too. "Be easy on others! Try to listen carefully and if issues ensue, try to clear them up with an open mind and heart," explains Stardust.
If you're planning to partake in some Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping, do your due retrograde diligence and make sure you check the return policies before finalizing a purchase, because now is not necessarily the best time for gift-buying. "Keep your receipts this holiday season ... Mercury retrograde may make us all feel spender's remorse, or our presents may need to be returned," explains Stardust. "Add a gift receipt to help expedite returns for yourself and others."
Maintaining Your Boundaries
As mentioned, the likelihood that someone will push your buttons and elicit an emotional response is high (and vice versa!), so you're going to have to work doubly hard to maintain healthy boundaries — especially around family members or old friends who might trigger you. "Stay in your lane during Mercury Retrograde! Don’t project your issues onto others," advises Stardust. "[O]r vice versa — don’t let others project their insecurities on to you."
Easy On The Partying
The night before Thanksgiving is a classic hometown party event, but you miiiiight want to take it easy. Drinking can obvi leave us vulnerable, and we need to be extra careful about spiritual vulnerability during this transit. "Drugs and alcohol are a big no-no during Mercury retrograde 2018," explained Astrology King on its site. "Psychic vampires may find holes in your aura so stick to more suitable activities for this transit, like music, dance, poetry or creative writing." On top of needing to avoid psychic vampires (um, yikes?), you'll also want to be careful of saying things you don't mean, which is obviously harder to do when you're a few vodka sodas deep.
Schedules In General
Mercury is wreaking havoc on just about everything time/tech/travel related, so loosening up your grip on schedule-related issues is going to lessen your stress level. "Don’t make plans, play it by ear! Be flexible in your planning with others," Stardust tells Bustle. "Understand crazy things like travel delays and missed messages change your vibe."
We'll All Be Feeling Extra Sensi
Last but not least, we're all in this together, peeps. All the cosmic mayhem you're experiencing? Well, everyone else is under the same retrograde, so keep that in mind in all your dealings. "Don’t stress! Relax! Take a deep breath, knowing Mercury Retrograde is just a transit," explains Stardust to Bustle. "Normalcy will resume shortly after Mercury turns direct."