9 Times Of Year You’re Most Likely To Be In Emotional Overdrive, According To Astrology

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If you've ever felt like you're in emotional overdrive during certain times of the year — but can't quite put your finger on why — it may have something to do with the astrological goings on of the sky. Things like Mercury retrograde, lunar eclipses, and other changes in the stars can make it seem like your whole life is turning upside down. Or, at the very least, as if something is shifting.

While there are obviously a lot of factors at play whenever you experience emotional turmoil, or go through a major life change, it can be quite eye-opening to consider how astrology may be playing a role. "Astrology helps us correlate the cycles of life with the cycles of the heavenly bodies so we can gain meaning for our personal lives," astrologer Rachel Lang tells Bustle. "There are times of loss followed by times of regeneration and rebirth. Times of challenge can lead to spiritual growth."

Instead of letting these astrological phases get the best of you, it may help to embrace them. As Lang says, "You can navigate those stressful times and discern how your life events may be guiding you to a deeper sense of purpose. Astrology offers a symbolic language to help you find meaning during stressful times. If you have knowledge about the upcoming astrological cycles and how they might relate to your personal birth chart, you can make the most of those influences to reduce stress, worry, or fear."

Here, a few times of the year that can make you feel emotional, contemplative — or as if you'd really like to make a change — according to astrologers.


Mercury Retrograde

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Even if you've never heard of Mercury retrograde, there's a good chance you've felt its effects in one way or another. "Mercury retrograde can be a stressful three-week period," Lang says. "Mercury goes retrograde three to four times a year. It is an optical illusion in which Mercury appears to be moving backward."

Since Mercury is the planet of communication, communication devices, details, and transportation, anything pertaining to these areas may go haywire — or seem to be running in reverse.

"Mercury retrograde places a spotlight on these Mercury-related areas of life," Lang says. "There can be misunderstandings or communication challenges in relationships, for example. Travel delays can also happen, which can be stressful."

While it can temporarily make your life messy, there are also plenty of benefits to be had. "The key is to rethink how you communicate, and to improve and upgrade your communication skills," Lang says. "Mercury issues all serve a purpose ... which is to help us revisit the past, repair broken things, reconnect with people from the past, remember to keep everything in perspective, and reach completion."


Lunar Eclipses

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Anytime there's a lunar eclipse, you might be able to feel the energy change in the air. "The eclipses stir within us the desire to change. They shake things up," Lang says. "A lunar eclipse is often experienced as an internal knowing or realization ... that alerts us something is off in our lives or we need to take some sort of action to move life forward."

Without even realizing there's an eclipse going on, you may begin to feel an intense desire to change an aspect of your life — even if you don't go about doing so right away. As Lang says, "The resulting changes may take months to manifest, but they start with these profound realizations."


Solar Eclipses

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Solar eclipses can also be quite profound. (Think back to the one that happened in August 2017, and you'll likely remember how strange and mystical it all felt.)

Just like lunar eclipses, these events have the power to bring about change in your life. "A solar eclipse tends to feature external events and circumstances changing in such a way that some aspect of your life shifts as a result," Lang says. "The event could be as simple as a conversation that inspires you to overcome limiting fears or it could be a breakup that wasn’t your idea."

During solar eclipses, it's important to keep in mind that some changes are often for the best — even if it's stressful at first. "No matter how life changes, trust that it is unfolding for your best and highest good," Lang says. "After all, eclipses help change anything keeping us spiritually stuck. The two-week period between two eclipses can be intense."


New Moons

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The various phases of the moon may have an impact on you, as well. "Full and new moons are significant points in the monthly lunation cycle," Lang says. "A new moon happens when the sun and moon are conjunct. This is the beginning stage of a lunation cycle that happens once a month. During the new moon phase, the moon is said to be dark because it cannot be seen. It’s a good time to initiate a new beginning or to set an intention." So think of your goals at this time, and use it to your advantage.


Full Moons

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As for full moons, that's the phase when the moon is the brightest in the night sky. "And it is often when we can see situations in our lives more clearly and have awareness about what works and what doesn’t work in our lives," Lang says. "This is the point in the lunation cycle that’s best for releasing anything out of alignment with your higher self. That process can be stressful, though."


Venus Retrograde

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Venus retrograde, which occurs less frequently than Mercury retrograde, can lead to problems in your relationship, all thanks to the fact Venus is the planet of love — as well as finances, style, beauty, and self-worth, Lang says.

"During a Venus retrograde cycle, Venus-related issues can arise in order to help you prioritize your values, both in relationships as well as in your finances," she says. "If you have been settling for unsatisfying personal relationships or struggling with any financial issues, the retrograde period has been a time to reflect on your priorities and values."


Retrograde Planets

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Besides Mercury and Venus, other planets can go retrograde as well, including Mars. And when that happens, it might make you feel stuck.

"Mars is the planet of passion, action, and drive," Lang says. "During a retrograde cycle, these aspects of life can slow down, which can be quite stressful. Plus, Mars is one of the relationship planets, and conflicts or past anger can surface."


Planets Changing Signs

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Planets that are further away may not affect your daily life as often as Mercury or Venus. But they're important to keep in mind, too.

"Outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto move more slowly than the other planets," Lang says. "When they ingress into a new sign, they introduce a whole new cycle. We all have to adjust to that cycle." And that can feel a bit strange.

These planets have specific things they're associated with, too, which may explain why your life feels upside down. "Uranus enters a new sign about every seven years," Lang says. "When it does, we experience changes in matters related to Uranus, like technology."



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One of the lesser-known astrological changes, called a transit, can disrupt your life — sometimes on a daily basis.

"Throughout each month, we experience transits when two planets (including the sun and moon) aspect one another in the heavens," Lang says. "Because the heavenly bodies are always in motion, transits happen almost every day. The challenging ones tend to involve the slower-moving planets because they last longer. You may experience a challenging transit as a bad day or a rough week."

While there's always more than one explanation for feelings of emotional turmoil or stress, astrology can help make sense of it all, and provide meaning and guidance in an otherwise chaotic world.