The first Mercury retrograde period of 2020 is coming up on Feb. 16, and it's here to rock our worlds with its infamous brand of brain-scrambling and schedule-destroying flair. But first we have to pass through its pre-retrograde shadow period, aka Mercury retroshade, which begins on Feb. 2 and is when we begin to feel the retrograde's pesky effects. Naturally, you're probably wondering how Mercury retroshade winter 2020 will affect your love life, given that Valentine's Day falls right in the middle of this period.
This Mercury retroshade is in Pisces, a feelings-centered water sign, so it's putting an emotional filter over everything Mercury-ruled, from the way we think to the way we communicate. "The pre-retroshade will be in the sign Pisces, and we will have to lean into our intuition and feelings more than ever," says astrologer Lisa Stardust. "Words will come second to our emotions, which will be unspoken but felt."
Mercury's typical retroshade drama — things like missing a date because you penciled in the wrong time, or texting an "I love you" to the wrong person — will feel even more confusing and hazy than usual, as Pisces energy has a tendency to disconnect us from reality, leaving us lost in our daydreams. But there are other astrological influences that will affect our love lives during the retroshade, too. Love planet Venus enters Aries the day after Mercury retroshade begins, which will make us all feel more impulsive when it comes to making the first move or demanding that our needs are being met.
However, the bold Aries energy that's exploding in our love lives combined with Mercury retroshade's mishaps can result in some major foot-in-mouth moments. It's advisable that all zodiac signs remember to slow down, breathe, and be extra gentle in the way they communicate with partners, potential partners, and even friends.
While we'll all need to slow down and prepare for the retrograde to come, Mercury retroshade will affect each zodiac sign's love life in a unique way, so read on to find out what's in store for your sign.
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
You're craving a getaway with your partner to ensure some quality bonding time. Unfortunately, Mercury retrograde transits aren't necessarily a good time to travel — but if you get creative, Aries, you can take a lovers' retreat without even leaving your house. "Plan a great escape with [your partner] by cuddling at home and taking warm baths to rebuild the closeness," says Stardust. Keep plans on the chill side, and work on openness and trust.
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
Things may not feel quite right in the romance department under this retroshade, Taurus, so don't make any rash moves. "You may feel distance between yourself and your better half now," says Stardust. "Chin up! You can work through it over the next few weeks." Remember, retrogrades are a good time to revisit unresolved issues from the past — and with this one taking place in Pisces, those issues might be emotional in nature. Be open to working through it.
Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
If you're suddenly feeling too deep in the throes of a relationship or not ready to make the next move, that's OK! Take things at a pace that feels comfortable. "You may want to take a step back from making your relationship status known," says Stardust. "You can keep it private for as long as you want to." This retroshade is asking us to begin a lot of emotional processing, so slow things down in the love department if needed.
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
Life has gotten extra hectic in so many different ways for you lately, Cancer. And with all the upheaval, your love life may have taken a hit — so now's a good time to rekindle the flame between you and your partner. "Take a mini vacation with your [partner] to connect on a deeper level," Stardust says. "You’ll need it now, as you feel distant from their warm arms recently." Word of retroshade advice, though: Keep your plans loose and triple check your itinerary!
Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22)
If there's something good going on in your love life now, Leo, then this retroshade is going to challenge you to step up and make sure you prioritize it. "Keeping boundaries may be hard, but it's essential now," says Stardust. "Make sure you allow equal time for you and your relationship before it consumes you." It can be difficult to make time for love when you're busy with work and personal issues, but it's time to check in with your emotions and focus on love, too.
Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)
As we head into your ruling planet's next retrograde, you might find yourself preoccupied with thoughts about whether or not you're on the right path in your romantic life. "You’re rethinking your current relationship status and wondering how to boost your commitment," says Stardust. If you're unhappy, address the issues before the retrograde blows them up in your face.
Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)
You've been a busy bee, Libra, and you've had no choice but to spread yourself thin between work, friends, and other obligations. But you may be feeling ready to prioritize love again. "Love may have been on the back burner recently, but now you’re ready to go out there and meet perspective lovers," says Stardust. And if you're in a relationship, the retroshade will inspire you to devote more energy toward having fun with your partner.
Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)
Retrogrades always bring a higher chance of an ex-lover washing up on your shores — and such is definitely the case for you now, Scorpio, so watch your back. "An ex may resurface during this time, which will make you reconsider your current situationship," says Stardust. Be wary of bringing this ex back into your life. And if you're linked up with someone now, think long and hard about whether compromising what you have with them is worth this ghost of the past.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
You're a wild child at heart, Sag, but the retroshade is prompting you to focus your energy inward and tend to your emotions in love — and that means quality time at home with your partner will be a lot more meaningful now than a big, expensive night on the town. "Home is where your heart is and you can spend time canoodling with your [partner] — even if it makes you feel basic," says Stardust. Let go of FOMO and embrace the retroshade's slowed-down energy.
Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)
This retroshade, along with the upcoming retrograde, will bring emotional issues to the forefront when it comes to the way we think and communicate — which means that being as straightforward with your romantic prospects as possible will be the best policy. "The best you can do right now is to express your truth and be honest about your feelings," says Stardust.
Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
Mercury's impending backspin is jumbling up our communication centers, so you might find it difficult to express your feelings in your love life. But go out of your way to try. "Be confident now in expressing your emotions, even though it may be hard to find the right words," says Stardust. Your intuition is strong right now, and your partner will appreciate your honesty and willingness to open up.
Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20)
With Mercury retroshade kicking off in your sign, you're feeling the confusing influence of this transit harder than, most Pisces — and it's making you unsure of how to proceed when it comes to romance. "You may feel confused about which way you want to take a relationship," says Stardust. "Listen to your heart and take your time understanding your feelings." Leaning into your intuition is the key to making sense of the retroshade's mayhem now.