Welcome to the premiere of 2020's first Mercury retrograde period, aka everyone's least favorite astrological transit. Mercury, planet of communication and rational thinking, begins its next tri-annual backspin on Feb. 16. And it's giving us three full weeks to jumble up our schedules, trip over our words, and mysteriously crash our apps until it finally stations direct again on March 9, at which point we can hopefully resume some sense of normalcy. In any case, you're going to want to know how Mercury retrograde winter 2020 will affect your zodiac sign, because everyone is bound to feel at least a little off-kilter under this transit, and it's helpful to know what the stars have in store.
During a planet's retrograde period, it appears to move backward instead of forward through the zodiac for a temporary amount of time. Astrologically, this is believed to influence us by forcing a slow-down in the areas ruled by the retrograding planet. In the case of Mercury, retrograde periods can be particularly crazy-making, as this planet rules over things that seriously affect our day-to-day duties. Mercury even governs technology, so expect glitches, cracked screens, and accidental text messages.
"This Mercury retrograde starts in Pisces and eventually makes its way back into Aquarius, which can be symbolic of a need to pay closer mind to what your elders have to say," says astrologer Six. "Take time to engage with your community and reflect on the spiritual messages that you might have missed out on."
Pisces is a dreamy and emotional sign that is also very spiritual in nature. That said, Mercury retrograde could add a bit of an emotional sensitivity into our Mercury-ruled affairs during this period. But it could also inspire us to spend more time reflecting on the way we think about spirituality — as well as connecting with our social circles on a deeper level.
We'll all be feeling the effects of this planetary drama — in good ways and bad — so here's how Mercury retrograde winter 2020 will affect each sign during its upcoming reign.
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
The retrograde is likely to plunge you into a period of introspective soul-searching, whether you're feeling it or not. "It’s time to dig a little deeper and understand the depths of your subconscious, Aries," Six says. "Life is a lot deeper than you like to make it out to be — and Mercury retrograde is going to remind you of it." Embrace the intensity, and you'll come out the other side all the wiser.
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
You're reevaluating the relationships that currently comprise your inner circle during this retrograde, Taurus. "It’s time to take a deeper look at the people (or lack thereof) that you’ve decided to surround yourself with," Six says. "You could be holding on to old habits that could be distorting your ability to see your world clearly." Be open to shedding relationships that are no longer serving you.
Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
Your ruling planet's retrograde is prompting you to reflect on your recent successes. It'll be helpful to work on integrating these lessons before you start moving forward on fresh goals. "You’re looking back at all that you’ve done and all that you wish to accomplish, Gemini," Six says. It's easy to fall into the trap of confusion this month, so just make sure you run your ship extra-tightly.
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
While traveling can get a little messy during these periods, it might be helpful to make a very small getaway to visit someone who feeds your soul. "You’re taking time to build a deeper relationship with what you know, which makes now the perfect time for a short trip to somewhere familiar," Six says. "Perhaps a childhood vacation spot or a short trip to a sentimental space." Nurture yourself right now, Cancer.
Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22)
This retrograde is holding up a mirror to your identity as of late, Leo — do you like what you see? "You’re being given the opportunity to look at all your different stages, performances, and plot lines," Six says. "If you’re proud of who you are, then buy yourself a bouquet of roses. If you’re not fully satisfied with yourself, go back to the drawing board." Now's a good time to reflect on the ways you're looking to grow and improve yourself.
Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)
Your social life and relationships are under the microscope, and you're analyzing whether the problems lie in your behavior or theirs. "You’re being forced to focus on the relationships or the lack of relationships in your life," Six says. "Take time to consider if you’re seeing people clearly, or if you’re blocking your own blessings."
Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)
This retrograde is asking you to up the self-care, big time. "It’s time to take time for yourself and your health Libra," Six says. "You love to accommodate and concern yourself with others, so make sure you actively reflect on what you need for your wellness during this Mercury retrograde transit."
Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)
"If you haven’t been taking care of yourself, Mercury retrograde is going to come into your life and encourage you to prioritize your pleasure," Six says. "Perhaps you must unpack familial issues that keep you from fully indulging in life." Whatever the knots may be tied from, gently untangle them during the coming weeks.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
You're deep in your feels under this retrograde, Sag. You're not usually one to dwell on the past, but you'll find you are sorting through potentially painful memories in order to clear out the emotional clutter. "Be careful of repeating patterns and living out unresolved cycles from your past," Six says. "This Mercury retrograde may encourage you to reexamine your familial life and how it’s impacted your self-expression."
Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)
When you devote yourself to something, Cap, you do it wholeheartedly, and you don't stop until your goals are reached. That said, this retrograde offers you the opportunity to slow down and decide if the path you're traveling is actually the one you want to be on. "It’s time to take a step back and reflect on your values, especially before you share them with the world," Six says. "Do you know why you’re so passionate about the work you’re doing?" It’s time to reflect.
Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
This retrograde is highlighting all kinds of identity issues for you, Aquarius. "It’s time to bring your face into the light and take a deeper dive into understanding who you are," Six says. "Once you’ve developed a strong sense of identity, you’re able to more clearly understand all that you possess." Your uniqueness is one of the best things about you.
Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20)
With the majority of the retrograde taking place in your sign, Pisces, you're going to feel the pensive energy of the backspin in some of the deepest parts of yourself. "Who we are is heavily impacted and influenced by the experiences that lie in our subconscious," Six says. "Spend this Mercury retrograde dedicated to your meditation routine — you know the power of the messages in your dreams." Getting in touch with your spirituality can help you work through these issues.