If you thought you thought you had a couple of weeks to relax before the chaos of the winter holidays, the cosmos have a different plan. That's right my friendlies, Mercury retrograde returns Nov. 16, 2018 in Sagittarius, just in time to muck up your Thanksgiving, and this one is going to be a doozy. Because you haven't had enough karmic turmoil in 2018, Mercury retrograde is back for its final backspin of the year to ensure that the proverbial dumpster fire that is our new normal keeps burning bright. Ugh.
You have Neptune to thank for making this Mercury retrograde super extra. "Mercury retrograde November 2018 is square [90 degrees apart from] Neptune which adds confusion and deception to the usual Mercury retrograde problems like communication and technology breakdowns, nervous anxiety, travel delays, and lost items," Astrologer Jamie Partridge wrote on Astrology King. "Moon conjunct [8 degrees apart from] Neptune increases the risk of deception and confusion from Mercury retrograde square Neptune."
The one bright spot in this mess is that Jupiter officially exited Scorpio on Nov. 8 and started its year-long sojourn in its home sign of Sagittarius. According to Astro Butterfly, this means that the confusion and intensity of the past year should fall away and allow you to begin a new journey that embodies the motto of Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights: Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.
The main theme of this Mercury retrograde is the duality between dark and light, which means the three weeks Mercury is in its backward boogie are going to feel like you're on a roller coaster without a seat belt. "When Mercury goes retrograde in Sagittarius and backs up into Scorpio, things get a lot darker and more mysterious, as if the beautiful quest has led down a dark road to places unknown and perhaps scary," Pandora Astrology explained on its website. "Scorpio makes us look inward, instead of the outward view of Sag, and this can be a real about-face."
After the summer of eleventy-million retrogrades, the stress of the midterm elections, and the daily onslaught of bad news, it's likely that your nerves are pretty frayed. Unfortunately, this Mercury retrograde isn't going to make things any easier. In fact, for the next three weeks, it might feel like your mind is playing tricks on you. "At first, the journey may have seemed like a straightforward, even obvious, thing — now you discover it’s filled with layers of meaning and may prove itself to be deeply emotional."
What's more, you might feel like some otherworldly force has taken over your body. Because you're more likely to speak without thinking during this Mercury retrograde, if you don't want to spend all of December trying to get your foot out of your mouth, take a beat before blurting out the first thing that comes into your head. Play the tape all the way through and consider whether you really need to say that thing that will almost certainly come back to bite you.
"When dealing with family and friends, try to stick to the basics of communication. Your imagination and potential for deception can lead to sticky situations," Partridge advised. "You may feel very opinionated on a particular subject and care little what others think. However, this is not a good time to be preaching to others and telling [them] how they should think or act. Your emotional biases can influence your thoughts and intellectual reasoning."
If you don't feel like you can control yourself, this is a perfect time to retreat for a bit of self-care before the holidays. You can even get a Mercury retrograde CBD bath bomb to help you calm down. After your bath, queue up the Netflix and settle in for some hygge. If you're feeling particularly glum, consider decorating for the holidays early as research says it can actually make you happier. The good news is that Mercury turns direct Dec. 3 so it won't ruin your end-of-the year holidays — always a silver lining.