I don't think anyone enjoys Mercury retrograde periods, but like many things — trips to the dentist and hourlong Zoom meetings that could have been an email — they're just part of life. Mercury retrograde summer 2020 began on June 18, and it'll rage on through July 12, giving us more than three weeks to deal with its classic mental mix-ups, communication clashes, and timing troubles. When Mercury is retrograde, it's notoriously hard to get to places on time, manage things smoothly, or get your point across without stumbling over your words. But with a little bit of added awareness, this transit doesn't have to be stressful.
When planets retrograde in astrology, it typically marks a period of slowing down, reviewing, and revising our current trajectory before moving forward again — which is why we often hit annoying snags and roadblocks if we try to charge forward and carry on with life as usual. Retrogrades also have a way of bringing past situations back into the present — sometimes this comes in the form of feelings around old issues being triggered, or by running into people from our past. However, if we embrace this as a period of review, reassessment, and realignment, we can usually circumvent most of the retrograde-fueled drama — and yes, perhaps even use the retrograde energy to our advantage.
Mercury retrograde affects the Mercury-ruled areas of everyone's lives, but as is true of all planetary transits, it'll be hitting each zodiac sign's chart differently. That said, we should all be following slightly different advice when it comes to navigating this tri-annual cosmic hiccup — so check out the survival tip each zodiac sign needs to get through Mercury retrograde without succumbing to its drama.
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
Survival tip: Don't run from your past — make peace with it.
This retrograde is likely to shake your foundations, perhaps even bringing up issues from your childhood. The best course of action? Roll with it. Suppressing those feelings will only fuel a later explosion, so take a deep breath, up the self-care, and deal with things as they come.
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
Survival tip: Think before you speak, text, or hit "send."
Mercury retrogrades are notorious for causing all sorts of communication errors — but you might find yourself especially prone to misunderstandings over the coming weeks, Taurus. Choose your words carefully, and remember to re-read all your texts and emails (and confirm you've selected the right recipient!) before hitting send.
Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
Survival tip: Keep your wallet on lockdown and avoid big purchases.
Mercury retrograde is making a particular mark on your financial life, Gemini, so it's best to avoid making any big purchases — especially tech items, like phones or laptops — as you may change your mind post-retrograde only to realize the return policy isn't what you thought.
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
Survival tip: Stay flexible and let yourself roll with the waves.
Both the sun and Mercury retrograde are hitting your sign for the coming weeks, Cancer, and you might experience some identity issues because of it. The best advice? Take things slow, and if something comes up, deal with it instead of resisting it.
Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22)
Survival tip: Slow down and prioritize quality time with yourself.
I know it's summertime, Leo, but during the retrograde, you'll probably feel more like hibernating than hitting a beach party. You're going to feel the most clarity and inspiration when you're alone, so don't fill your social calendar with plans. Get extra rest, keep stress to a minimum, and spend time doing things that nourish your soul.
Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)
Survival tip: Say no to drama, but yes to your dreams and aspirations.
While you'll likely experience some friction in your friend group over the coming weeks (whether it's due to botched plans, miscommunications, or past drama resurfacing), but instead of getting caught up in the gossip wave, try to focus on your own goals. You're feeling reconnected to past hopes, and now's a great time to start forming a plan to help you relight the spark.
Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)
Survival tip: Triple-check your work at work.
During Mercury retrograde, it's hard to manage a schedule or stay on top of deadlines, and it's a terrible time to look for a new gig. That said, try to lay low at work and be extra careful to triple-check things like due dates, meeting times, and emails. It'll be easy to miss something or run into confusion, so stay on top of your game until the retrograde clears.
Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)
Survival tip: Travel in the astral plane rather than an airplane.
You've got an itch to see the world, Scorpio, especially after spending the past months more cooped up than usual. However, traveling while Mercury is retrograde presents a slough of annoying issues — and it's definitely advisable to save any trips until the post-retrograde shadow has cleared. Instead of traveling, try to experience new cultures through reading books or watching films.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
Survival tip: Set boundaries so your affairs don't get sloppy.
It's easy to say something you don't mean during Mercury retrograde, but it's easier to keep your intentions clear when you've got solid (and respected) boundaries in place. Focus on maintaining healthy relationships — both intimate and professional — and you'll find that you can navigate any retrograde mishaps much more smoothly.
Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)
Survival tip: Avoid major breakups or makeups in relationships.
It's true, Cap: Breakups (or a romantic rekindling with an ex) that take place during Mercury retrograde are less likely to last. While you should follow your heart, you'll likely find that you're questioning things in your closest one-on-one relationships. If possible, wait until after the retrograde to make any big or final decisions about your status.
Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
Survival tip: Step back and reevaluate your daily routine.
Are your days flowing in the most productive way they can be? While Mercury is retrograde, the chances of that being true are unlikely. But this gives you a chance to look at your habits with a more critical eye. Focus on cleaning up your schedule and maintaining a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.
Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20)
Survival tip: Don't start new passion projects, but focus energy on old, unfinished ones.
You're naturally creative, and it's easy to get carried away with a new daydream — but during Mercury retrograde, you'd be much better off putting your energy toward an old project that got pushed to the back burner. You'll likely find that you're able to create something much more complex than you would have when you started it.