Ready or not, Mercury retrograde is back and ready to roll (well, roll backward, anyway). The first 2019 Mercury retrograde will begin on Mar. 5 in the emo and introspective sign of Pisces, and the backspin kicks off with a heavy new moon on the very same day. Mercury, being the planet of communication, technology, and everyday travel, basically rules our day-to-day stuff: Think e-mails and text messages, driving around town, catching the bus, and anything else that has to do with getting places, using devices, and communicating with other people. When this planet enters one of its oft-dreaded retrograde periods (which simply means that it appears to be moving backward in its orbit from our perspective on Earth), the astrological consequences involve all those aforementioned areas of our lives exploding all over the place, Pop Rocks and soda style. It can be messy, but with a little astrological foresight, we can work to avoid one of those Pop Rocks/soda-esque situations.
Communicating clearly is always difficult during these transits, but we can expect to notice an even thicker veil of confusion settling around us once the Rx begins, which makes it difficult to successfully move forward on things during that time. "With Mercury retrograde in the zodiac sign Pisces, a dreamlike state of confusion and heightened imagination is likely," explained Star Sign Style. "This is an ideal time for an escape, to ruminate over any poignant areas of closure." Ruminating — rather than acting — is key: Retrogrades mark a good time to think instead of act, to reflect instead of react. We'll want to press the pause button (and maybe even a quick rewind) on the action-oriented parts of our lives to ensure we can re-evaluate where we're at and refine our course.
Bustle spoke with astrologer Lisa Stardust about the vibes of the upcoming backspin, and we appear to be in for a particularly rollercoaster-esque run. "This Mercury Retrograde will expose situations and people who may not have our best interests at heart. However, it will also allow us to see and value those who are true blue," explains Stardust. "There may be extreme emotional highs and lows during this Mercury Retrograde — give yourself a break and take care of yourself." The sign of Pisces is highly sensitive and full of emotion, so expect the retrograde during this period to follow its lead.
Mercury's first backspin of 2019 is going to affect all of us — there's no escaping a retrograde's intense effect on our lives. But Stardust weighed in on exactly how Mercury retrograde will affect each zodiac sign differently, so we can all get prepared for the potential drama ahead and make the most of this opportunity to kick back and review where we're at.
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
This retrograde will have you feeling like your energy level took a backspin along with good ol' Mercury — so use it as an excuse to chill and retreat from as many responsibilities as you can eschew. "You may be super exhausted, opting to stay in watching old movies rather than partying all night," says Stardust. You'll be less likely to get into any retrograde-induced trouble that way, too. Can't be late or get the date wrong to your plans if you didn't make any in the first place, right?
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
While you probably can't rely on your technological devices, schedule, or ability to think clearly during this transit, you will be able to rely on your friends, as that area of your life will be lit up and glowing with good vibes. "Your friends will be a form of support, encouraging you to lighten up and live in the moment," shares Stardust. Do be afraid to sign a contract, but don't be afraid of some low-pressure social fun to take the edge off.
Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
Schedules, deadlines, and probably every single one of your devices are alllllll out of whack, Gemini, making your work life feel like a trashcan fire that won't go out. Just try to channel your inner zen and let the retrograde madness roll off your back when it comes to work stress. "Work projects may give you serious headaches," warns Stardust. "Stay calm and carry on. These frustrations shall pass." Things will settle back down once Mercury goes direct, so wait it out and try to keep that trash fire under control, K?
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
Honestly, Cancer, we all kinda wish we had a trusty shell to retreat into during a retrograde, so consider yourself hella blessed. Go inward and reflect on where you're at and where you'd like to go. "Life is a dream for you, sweet crab," says Stardust. "You will be focused on how to manifest your visions into reality." Ignore the outside world and daydream the Rx away and you'll be golden. Introspection during this transit is key.
Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22)
Mercury retrograde's penchant to dump our plans upside-down doesn't jive too well with all the go-go-go passion you're feeling at the moment, Leo — so prepare to put your bullsh*t-blinders on if you want to maintain any semblance of your laser focus during this transit. "Drama will be headed your way," warns Stardust. "[H]owever, you can skip the dramz by hitting snooze on those who try to instigate issues with you." Stay retro-aware, for sure, because you can't keep up a superhuman pace during this transit — just do your best to tune out every super annoying thing the Mercury Rx cat drags in.
Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)
Retrogrades: Notorious for making us late everywhere we go, ensuring embarrassing accidental text messages will be sent, and of course, washing up every god dang ex-lover we've ever had onto our shores. "An ex will hit you up on social media, sparking an old flirtation," shares Stardust. Prepare for it — and decide for yourself whether this is a toxic Rx trap or a fun fling to help you pass the time as Mercury throws everything else in your life into a blender.
Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)
Mercury retrograde can't get a cheerful, charming Libra like you down — well, not too much, anyway. You're too busy working on yourself and manifesting your ~best life~ to allow this topsy-turvy transit to throw you fully off course. "Your focus right now is on improving your daily vibe," explains Stardust. "Your energy may be low during Mercury Retrograde, requiring you to take disco naps throughout the day." Disco naps happen to be your forte, so use 'em when you need 'em and then keep making your magic happen.
Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)
Ah, yes, the dreaded exes who inevitably come crawling out of the sewers as soon as a retrograde hits us. Look out, Scorpio, because these ghosts are comin' for ya — and not that I have to tell you this, but you might want to crank up your paranoia. "An old crush may resurface — don’t respond without carefully thinking if you want to relight that flame," warns Stardust. Now's not the time to start anything that you expect to run smoothly, so keep your wits about you and avoid wearing your heart directly on your sleeve.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
Sorry, Sag, I know Mercury retrogrades really push your travel-happy buttons given their notorious ability to destroy our travel plans like no tomorrow. As much as that sucks, though, don't you think this probably isn't the best time for you to be blowing your paychecks on plane tickets anyway? "You may be restless, yearning for a new adventure — even though you can’t afford to travel right now," says Stardust. Save your pennies for a post-retrograde rendezvous that you can actually indulge in.
Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)
Careful, Cap, cause Mercury Rx works in mysterious ways, and we know how much you hate to make mistakes. "Double check your emails before you send them out, you may accidentally add someone who isn’t supposed to be on the email chain," warns Stardust. Avoid this very Capricorn-worst-nightmare-scenario and be extra-diligent in your perfectionism. If anyone can outwit the tricks of Mercury retrograde, it's probably you. Prove me right.
Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
Retrogrades are for reviewing, reviewing, reviewing — and right now, you should probably focus some of that slow-down-and-focus energy on your financial sitch — cause it needs a little adjustment, don't ya think? "You will be reassessing your finances, trying to implement a new budget," explains Stardust to Bustle. Use this opportunity to get your sh*t together wallet-wise and you'll come out the other side of this retrograde with a solid plan that will be easy to put into practice.
Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20)
Ugh, life lessons, eh? Not the most fun for you, Pisces, as I know you love to live in the sweet dreamworld you've constructed for yourself (TBH, I wanna live there, too). But with Mercury backspinning through your solar season, you're going to notice some changes in yourself. "You will be focusing on how to assert yourself to others, which may be especially challenging, as you tend to swim away from confrontation," explains Stardust. Embrace this new and powerful you, lil' fishy!