Secrets might be revealed during Mercury’s autumn backspin.

Almost all the major planets have regularly-occurring retrograde periods in astrology, during which they appear to move backward on their usual course and ask us to slow down and reflect in the areas of our lives ruled by the backspinning planet. But the most talked about of all the retrogrades are Mercury retrograde periods, and these frustrating transits happen three times each year for about three weeks a time. They’re known for causing all sorts of snags in communication, scheduling, tech devices, and beyond.

The reason why Mercury’s backspins often feel like the most chaotic retrograde of them all is likely because they happen more frequently than other planetary retrogrades (the other planets reverse course anywhere from once year to once every two years) and because the planet Mercury in astrology rules over so many day-to-day facets of our lives, including thinking, timing, traveling, communicating, and sharing information. That said, when its energy goes into reflect/refine/review-mode during a retrograde and these elements aren’t running smoothly, it can make for a frustrating experience at work and in your social life.

So when is the next Mercury retrograde period, you ask? Mercury retrograde fall 2020 begins on October 13 and marks the final Mercury retrograde cycle of the year. Taking place in the deep and emotional waters of Scorpio (and eventually backpedaling into Libra for a brief stint), this energy asks you to focus on the way you communicate your emotional needs, handle private affairs, and deal with the intimate secrets and truths that might bubble up to the surface.

Read on to find out how Mercury retrogrades affect all zodiac signs, as well as the dates of every upcoming Mercury retrograde period so they don’t catch you by surprise.

Expect Communication Clashes

Mercury rules communication, so when it’s retrograde, we’re likely to misinterpret information from others or say something we don’t mean. Think before you speak and choose your words wisely to avoid a mix-up, and re-read all your texts and e-mails before hitting "send" to ensure you’re not saying the wrong thing to the wrong person.

Your Schedule Will Feel Like A Mess

Timing is inevitably off during Mercury retrograde, so don’t be shocked if more plans end up being canceled at the last minute or if you accidentally miss a Zoom meeting or two because you mixed up your time zones. Try to embrace a more go-with-the-flow attitude when it comes to managing your schedule during these periods — and give yourself extra time to get around, as Mercury rules over transportation, too.

Avoid Starting New Projects Or Signing Paperwork

Signing contracts, making major decisions or purchases, or starting new projects isn’t advisable during a Mercury retrograde period. We’re more likely to miss an important detail or get confused while reading through the fine print, making it likely that we’ll regret the decision later on. Try to postpone any big new endeavors or agreements until after the retrograde ends.

Your Tech Devices Might Start Acting Up

Because Mercury governs our ability to share information, its retrograde periods can have a major effect on our tech devices — so don’t be surprised if your apps crash or your laptop starts acting up. Backing up all your files before a retrograde begins is always a good idea.

But Mercury Retrogrades Can Be Helpful, Too

Mercury retrogrades aren’t inherently a bad thing — if you know what to expect and take proper precautions, you can use them as tri-annual check-ins to reassess where you’re at and recalibrate your compass to ensure get to where you’re going. Make the extra effort to slow down, think things through, and avoid any major trips or decisions, and you’ll come out even more clear-headed than before.

Get Ready For The Upcoming Mercury Retrogrades

Now that you know all the antics that come along with Mercury retrograde periods, mark your calendar for the backspins coming through the rest of this year and next.

  • Mercury retrograde autumn 2020 takes place from October 13 to November 3.
  • Mercury retrograde winter 2021 takes place from January 30 to February 20.
  • Mercury retrograde summer 2021 takes place from May 29 to June 22.
  • Mercury retrograde fall 2021 takes place from September 27 to October 18.

Choose an edition:

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