We're about to enter an extremely stressful time of year: the holiday season. Sure, it's wonderful to be around family and close friends, it's great to receive thoughtful gifts, and it's nice to feel that special kind of holiday magic in the air we only get around the month of December. But it can also be exhausting, expensive, and overwhelming... and, unfortunately, the universe isn't doing much to make it any better. Mercury retrograde is happening during two other retrogrades (Uranus and Neptune), and you need to know what means for you.
When a planet goes retrograde, it essentially means that it looks like these planets are moving backwards, which throws things off. All of the planets out there orbit the sun in varying distances, and sometimes, their speed changes so that they zip past Earth, making it look like they're going backwards. This change in speed messes with anything that planet rules, affecting all of us down here on Earth in different ways according to the planet. And with three retrogrades at once, chances are good you'll feel something.
You've likely already heard of Mercury retrograde. It's that thing everyone blames when something goes wrong or a general feeling of confusion fills the air, and it usually happens a few times a year. This winter, Mercury goes retrograde on Nov. 16 in Sagittarius, and will stay that way for about three weeks. Mercury rules communication, and when it goes retrograde, it messes with anything to do with that; namely traveling, technology, making plans, and talking to others. It could mean that we interpret things the wrong way, have trouble figuring out directions when going somewhere new, or just generally have trouble expressing our thoughts. This isn't the time to start something new, make a big decision, or seek out a sensitive conversation with anyone. Instead, it's the time to reflect on your past and figure out what you can get rid of while you think about your journey so far.
At the same time, Uranus is also retrograde (in Taurus), as it has been since the beginning of August and will be until January. Because Uranus takes seven years to move through one sign, it doesn't go retrograde very often. Still, it's something to pay attention too. Uranus rules disruptions, sudden changes, and revolutions. Astrology.com says, "On the personal level, Uranus’ transit and retrogrades in Taurus will force a wedge between ourselves and an area of life where we may be ultra-fixed and stuck in our ways." Uranus retrograde is all about change and rebellion, meaning things could be unpredictable.
Neptune retrograde is another one that lasts a long time — it's been retrograde since July, and the cycle will end on Nov. 24. Spirit Articles says Neptune "rules over spiritual evolution, personal transformation, and dreams. When it goes retrograde, it dispels delusions and opens your eyes to reality." Neptune retrograde will push you into doing things and getting real, rather than just spending your time thinking and dreaming about your future.
As you can see, the effects of Uranus retrograde and especially Neptune retrograde seem to clash with the effects of Mercury retrograde. During Mercury retrograde, we're encouraged to take things slow, think everything through, and reflect. Uranus retrograde is all about change, while Neptune retrograde gives us the energy to do, do, do. So how can you deal? Well, it's a good idea to still take things slow. Don't do or say anything big without giving it a lot of consideration. And reflection is still important, even if you're feeling spontaneous. As long as you take your time with things, you should be okay.