Most of us in tune with the planets and their movements will duck for cover at the very hint of Mercury Retrograde. It's famously a time of general chaos for all kinds of communication. Dodgy contracts are in abundance, nudes are sent to the wrong recipients, travel plans go haywire and exes come crawling back... But not this time! The universe has decided to give us mere mortals a break. So as Mercury hits reverse and enters Retrograde on August 23, we've assembled a comprehensive guide on what to expect and how to prepare for the upcoming transit. All the details, below.
Wait, what's a Retrograde again?
Before we get into the nitty gritty details, here's a little refresher on what exactly a Retrograde is for anyone who has suppressed all memories of the last one – completely understandable. A Retrograde is the phenomenon that occurs when a planet moves more slowly than earth. This creates an optical illusion where it looks as if said planet is moving backwards. Naturally, there's a lot of meaning that can be pulled from this visual. This is why, as a rule of thumb, Retrogrades are a time of upheaval. Throw Mercury into the mix, a planet so notorious for its swift orbits that it was named after the Roman god responsible for wealth, commerce, travel and communication, and you have plenty of room for error.
What can we expect this Mercury Retrograde?
Here's where we get to the meaty part. Mercury Retrograde begins on August 23, the first day of Virgo season, and will continue until September 14. Virgo, the virginal maiden, just so happens to be Mercury's optimal sign. It symbolises all things pure. Virgos are known for being meticulous, for wanting to improve systems, for being practical, logical and its tendency toward perfectionism. This just so happens to be a great thing come Mercury Retrograde. Since Retrogrades serve as opportunities to reassess our reality and soul-search, the detail-oriented nature of Virgo offers a unique perspective from which to do so.
Another thing. Mercury Retrograde just so happens to overlap with Venus Retrograde – the cosmic force credited for all the celebrity breakups. Given this, we are encouraged to be more thoughtful with our self-expression, be it our voice, actions, the way we dress, or creative outlets like writing or painting. While two Retrogrades at once can sound terrifying, it's actually a unique, and therefore auspicious, period. Having so much focus on communication (Mercury) and optimisation (Virgo), and with Venus' influence on desire, confidence, self-worth and relationships, don't be surprised to emerge from Mercury Retrograde with a fuller understanding of self.
What are important dates to look out for this Mercury Retrograde?
Another unique and special transit will occur on September 4, the day Mercury Retrograde in Virgo will cross paths with Jupiter in Taurus. Jupiter represents expansion and healing, and is often a sign of good luck and miracles. With this energy in vicinity and Mercury Retrograde's tendency to unearth things from our past, you may find opportunities you once thought expired or previous aspirations drop into your lap. Those seeds you planted long ago? There's a very good chance you'll get to enjoy the fruits of your labour soon enough.
All this said, it's still Mercury Retrograde and all the usual precautions apply. Leave yourself enough time. Double check who you're texting. Think before you speak. Hopefully, with these steps and Virgo softening Mercury Retrograde's edges, you'll come out the other end not just unscathed, but with an enlightened understanding of self.