Mercury, the planet of thinking, timing, and communication, is officially taking a retrograde starting on Feb. 16 and going through March 9, leaving us high and dry when it comes to the ability to keep our acts together in each of those departments. The fast-approaching first Mercury retrograde of 2020 is taking place in the emotional sign of Pisces, which can shroud matters of thinking and scheduling with an added veil of confusion, and will also make us extra sensitive when it comes to communication issues. Given the communication- and scheduling-focused nature of this planet's rule, it's unavoidable that Mercury retrograde will affect friendships for all zodiac signs.
"Mercury retrograde can create conflicts with peers and friends. After all, Mercury is the planet of communication and when it moonwalks backwards, we can see patterns and issues in a different light," says astrologer Lisa Stardust. "Don’t worry! It’s a time to revise and make friendships better — and this can be achieved with the right attitude."
Retrogrades aren't the stars' way of trying to ruin our lives. The higher purpose of these transits is to get us to slow down and review where we're at. Life moves quickly, and if we don't take time to pause and touch base with ourselves and our goals, then we could easily find ourselves veering off-course. Plus, there are Mercury retrograde precautions that all of us can take to ensure our social lives carry on with relative normalcy. When it comes to friendships, the upcoming retrograde could be a great time to identify any outstanding issues or unhealthy patterns, and practice being more communicative and conscious of how you express yourself.
Every sign will feel Mercury retrograde's effects on friendships a little bit differently, so read on to find out what's in store for your social life during the upcoming backspin.
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
The retrograde is leaving you feeling lackluster about the people you choose to surround yourself with, Aries. "Your friendships may feel wishy washy now," Stardust says. "Don’t run away from problems, fix them head on." Trying to swallow your concerns isn't going to make them disappear. Addressing the issues with your friends in a kind and patient way could actually lead to stronger bonds between you.
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
You're feeling a little off under the influence of this retrograde, Taurus, and it's making it hard for you to open up to your friends and be communicative. "You may feel disconnected from your crew," Stardust says. "Chin up! This soon will pass." Social events can wait, so take some extra time to be alone and process feelings.
Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
Your job is keeping you busy, but you might feel extra drained and irritable because of it. "Work matters may leave you longing for time with your squad," Stardust says. "You’ll soon be able to resume your hangout sessions after work calms down." Throw some fun plans and events on your calendar to look forward to.
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
Tensions in your close relationships are higher than usual, and Pisces' influence on the retrograde is making everyone feel extra sensitive and more easily offended. "If you get into an argument with your BFF now, try taking the high road to work out the issues," Stardust says. Communication is definitely the key to addressing the emotional issues that are surfacing in your friendships.
Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22)
Your friendships are currently in flux, and you may feel you're outgrowing some of the people you used to have fun with, Leo. "It’s important for you to have boundaries now, especially with your friends," Stardust says. "Don’t over-promise anything at the expense of yourself." It's time to prioritize your wants and needs in friendships.
Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)
Mercury is your ruling planet, which can make this retrograde period feel messy in all different areas of your life. That said, you might find that trying to lean on your friends for support is only causing more trouble. "Conflicts with your crew will arise because of drama you’re having in your relationship," Stardust says. "Don’t overshare your problems with them." Instead, try journaling out your feelings, and wait until your emotions have settled before starting conversations.
Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)
Work has been a priority for you lately, Libra, and the retrograde is only exacerbating your desire to wrap up your projects and re-focus on your goals. "You may feel more connected to your colleagues than your friends for the duration of the retrograde," Stardust says. Developing deeper relationships with people in your field is always good — just be sure to explain to your friends why you've been so busy!
Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)
While Mercury retrograde periods aren't a good time to start new projects, they're actually wonderful for revisiting old, unfinished projects and looking at them in a new light. The retrograde is in a fellow water sign, so you're feeling extra creative, and connecting with your friends by tackling a fun project will be beneficial. "Have fun engaging in an old creative project with your crew," Stardust says. "It will lift your spirits."
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
Old wounds in your friendships might get ripped open under this retrograde, Sag, so be prepared to address them! "You’re getting to the heart of past arguments with your friends, which will clear the air," Stardust says. If there have been tensions dangling over your closest relationships, you'll likely see them come to a breaking point — but that's a good thing! Put your feelings out in the open and give yourself space to work through the drama.
Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)
While the retrograde certainly isn't inspiring you to gallivant all over town, it is inspiring you to seek bonding and friendship in the places that you feel most comfortable. "You are bonding with your siblings, roommates, or [people] at the local bar now," Stardust says. "Appreciate their kindness."
Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
Retrogrades have a tendency to send us into major memory spirals. You're not one to dwell on the past, Aquarius, but you may find that this transit is prompting you to focus your energy on revisiting old friendships. "You’re reconnecting with childhood friends on Facebook, which will level up your nostalgia," Stardust says. Sometimes old friends can be the most comforting, so plan to catch up with the people who knew you through many stages of your life.
Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20)
You're feeling super confused about your feelings under this retrograde, Pisces, and it'll be difficult to identify the issues that pop up in your friendships. "You may feel unsure of whether your crew is gaslighting you now," says Stardust. "Speak your truth to not personally fall into this issue." Communication is the only route to clarity here, so take the time you need to put your feelings into words.