Just as we were all settling in for a cozy cuffing season, Mercury went into retrograde and things got complicated in the love department. The extra planetary motion created tension between some signs and fleeting feelings between others. Now, finally, as of November 20, just in time for pre-holiday coupling, the retrograde period will end — but it's never that simple when it comes to astrology, there's always a catch. You'll want to know how Mercury retroshade will affect your love life, because from November 20 to December 7, Mercury will be in a transitional state that's not quite retrograde and not quite prograde. Aka we have a few more hurdles to overcome before we can really embrace cuffing season freely.
According to astrologer Lisa Stardust, retroshade is a "wonky" time, romantically. We're being confronted by the past and present at the same time. Exes are still making their way into our consciousness and lives and at the same time, new prospects are presenting themselves, leaving us in a confusing place. With the past butting up against the present, all signs will be dealing with a fair amount of philosophical questioning. What can we learn from past relationships and apply to future ones? What can we learn to appreciate about past relationships and how they've shaped us? Though we'll all be in our heads with similar thoughts, retroshade's affects won't be reflected in our actual love lives in the same way. According to Stardust, here's how each sign will react:
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
During this time, Stardust says it's important to create boundaries. If you don't have a strong sense of where you stand in relation to the people you're romantically entangled with, in the present or past, make sure you draw lines. If you don't someone is bound to get hurt.
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
"You are redefining what you want from a partner," Stardust explains. This means making important shifts in your love life to reflect those desires and making it clear to those around you what you need and what you no longer have the bandwidth to entertain.
Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
Gemini is exhausted from the nonstop drama of the retrograde, according to Stardust, so they'll be more interested in checking out and disengaging during retroshade than keeping up their energy. Aka, your love life will be boring in the best possible way during this period.
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
According to Stardust, you can expect "an old flame to resurface again," so ready yourself for the possibility and try to embrace it if it happens. "If you don’t shy away from discussing the past, it can heal you," Stardust explains, so try to see this as a sign that there's healthy work left to do.
Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22)
"Your views are changing, which will make you understand your desires on a deeper level," Stardust predicts. During retrograde you spent a lot of time confronting your past relationships and now you feel differently about love and who you are as a partner. You know what you want so clearly now, you'll be able to get it much more efficiently.
Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)
Virgo isn't going to have the time or energy for love during retroshade, which might create some complications if they're in a relationship. The good news is that their professional life is thriving and soon they'll get a much needed break to explore romantic options again.
Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)
Libra is going to be feeling much more clearheaded and eloquent during this time, and they'll be surprised by the ways in which this changes their relationship. "You’re leveling up and expressing yourself to your partner. You’re not holding back your feelings, which will serve to elevate your relationship," Stardust tells Bustle.
Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)
"It’s hard for you to decide exactly what you want to commit to at this time," Stardust explains. Going on to say that you shouldn't be hard on yourself, rather, give yourself a moment to think things through and be OK with being confused. It's a good time for Scorpio to explore their feelings, not act on them.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
Cuffing season, here you come! "You’re almost ready to step back into the dating world. The retroshade gives you the boost you need to update your Tinder profile," Stardust says, so get back out there and use all of the self work you've done in the last month to help you find what you want and deserve.
Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)
To some degree, Caps are always thinking about the future. But during retroshade, they'll be feeling incredibly optimistic about the future, and if you're in a relationship, you might be thinking about lasting commitments more than usual. "The answer is 'yes.' Commit to the future with your boo!" Stardust tells Bustle, in case you were wondering what to say.
Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
"You’re unsure if you want to share your relationship with the world or keep it on the DL for now. You may decide to keep it low key until you are ready to answer questions from your friends." Stardust tells Bustle. It's OK to be guarded and to keep things that are meaningful close to your chest, just make sure that you're not missing out on an opportunity to celebrate something special that you're really grateful for.
Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20)
According to Stardust, retroshade is going to make expressing yourself easier than it normally is. If you're in a relationship, you'll be so in tune with yourself and your partner that you'll be able to "let your partner know how you feel with a simple look." This will make you and your partner feel closer than ever, so try to hold onto this vulnerability and expressiveness as long as you can.
While retroshade might feel like an even messier period then retrograde, in that its effects are confusing, it actually serves as a buffer that helps us all transition into the present more seamlessly. After weeks of thinking about the past and dealing with old wounds, we're finally all ready to move forward and apply what we've learned to our current relationships, and in its own "wonky" way, retroshade facilitates that.