Here’s everything you need to know about this month’s Mercury retrograde

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By Sam Cohen

April 10, 2024

Does everything in your life feel a little more chaotic than usual? Or do you feel like misunderstandings are cropping up more frequently than they did even a few weeks ago? It’s not just you. Mercury is in retrograde now through April 25—and this celestial event may have an unstabilizing impact on your day-to-day existence.

Mercury retrograde, or Mercury in retrograde, are probably common phrases you’ve heard before. But what do they mean? Essentially, during these periods, Mercury appears to be rotating backward in space. Don’t worry, though. The planet isn’t actually spinning backward—it’s just an illusion caused by the way the planets orbit the sun.

If you want to get into the weeds of Mercury retrograde (which happens three to four times a year and lasts around three weeks at a time), this one, in particular, is a bit of a doozy because it’s taking place during Aries season. Aries season is known for influencing your actions, passions, and motivations, and can typically be defined by the terms “impulsivity” and “restlessness.” So, if you’ve been thinking about reaching out to your ex, it’s probably because Mercury retrograde is happening in the middle of Aries season, which is basically a formula for chaos.

I’d like to point out that even amidst the turmoil, there are plenty of positive lessons we can learn from this period of instability. I wish someone had held my hand through my first Mercury retrograde, so I’m going to virtually do that with you below as we dive into everything you can expect (and manifest) between now and April 25.

Misunderstandings, mishaps, and more

 

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If, like me, you’re equal parts realist and optimist, you’ll appreciate knowing what to expect during Mercury retrograde. The key things to remember are that misunderstandings (primarily stemming from miscommunication) and technological mishaps are more common during this time. Why? I truly don’t know. Maybe iPhones are allergic to planetary changes, or maybe we’re all more easily influenced by changes in the atmosphere than we think we are.

Either way, don’t be surprised if you hear from someone you haven’t spoken to in months, or if you struggle getting your point across in important conversations. And while it’s never good to expect the worst, it’s probably wise to assume that you’ll send an email to the wrong person or your phone will stop working (temporarily? completely? TBD).

Elle offers some solid advice on the misunderstanding/miscommunication front. If you notice that you’re struggling to get your point across, or that you’re experiencing friction in communications right now, take a step back, literally and metaphorically. Take time to think through what you want to say and how you want to say it. Don’t rush to make decisions or jump to conclusions. People tend to be more reactive during Mercury retrograde, so that could cause problems that wouldn’t arise otherwise.

In terms of handling potential mishaps, now is probably a good time to pick up a screen protector for your phone and to triple-check who you’re sending emails/messages/sensitive documents to. And if you feel more vulnerable to these issues—like, say, if you break your phone screen and it makes you cry, or you hear from an old friend and it ruins your day—remember to give yourself some grace.

Take a deep breath. Prioritize self-care. It’s okay to slow down and think through how you feel, what you want, and how you want to communicate. You don’t have to deal with anything right away, in general, but especially during Mercury retrograde.

Put a positive spin on it

 

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Okay, we’ve gotten the primarily negative things out of the way. If you want to read more into what you can expect during this time—including a helpful list of “Dos” and “Don’ts,” click here to read W Magazine’s Mercury retrograde breakdown. They also have individual horoscopes so you can see how this season of life may impact you directly. (Mine says to practice patience, which is something I’ve been trying and failing to do for the better part of 30 years, but you can always teach an old dog new tricks, right?)

In addition to embracing a slower pace of life and thinking before you speak, you can use a lot of these Mercury retrograde events to reframe the narrative around this celestial chaos. Elle suggests going with the “re” route—essentially, you’ll think of these core things when something goes wrong: refreshing, revisiting, reuniting, rediscovering, reconnecting. You might not want to revisit an old wound, or reconnect with someone who broke your heart, and you totally do not have to (and I would not encourage you to do that either).

But you can look at these things as a way to revisit how far you’ve come over the last few months and to reconnect with yourself. What have you learned about yourself lately that you want to celebrate? What can you refresh in your home or work space to bring yourself joy? Who can you reunite with (in-person or virtually) to feel a greater sense of connection?

As someone who is typically impulsive when it comes to addressing how I feel in the moment, I’m taking time to think through and write out what I want to say before I send important texts. I’m also taking time to reunite with friends I haven’t spoken to in a while to catch up and get new perspectives on things. I bought flowers for my desk to refresh my work space, and I’m working against feelings of self-doubt by reminding myself of how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned in the last six months alone.

Mercury retrograde can feel really heavy. It can feel especially heavy right now when the world is on fire and being a decent human being is harder than it should be. But the important thing to remember is this: You’re going to get better, and feel better, and your phone will stop freezing and your ex will go back to whatever crevasse they emerged from and you will laugh and enjoy the sunshine again.

 

Until then: Be patient, take your time, and maybe put your phone on Do Not Disturb for a little while. Trust me, it helps more than you think.

Author

  • Sam Cohen

    Sam is the Editorial Product Manager in the Community Department at COURIER Newsroom. Prior to joining the organization, Sam worked as a writer and editor covering topics ranging from literature, health & wellness, and astrology to the British royal family and profiles of notable actors and musicians.

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