Your Guide to the First Mercury Retrograde of 2020

Look out — you may accidentally sexted the wrong person or delete an important email from your boss.

Mercury retrograde is more infamous for its ability to screw things up than your most problematic ex. And speaking of, get ready to play whack-a-mole with past partners during the first Mercury retrograde of 2020, which starts in early February. During this time, they have a tendency to reappear (though in some cases, you’re the ex creeping back around), travel gets delayed, and communication goes haywire. Mercury is the messenger of the gods, which is why when it goes retrograde you may accidentally sexted the wrong person or delete an important email from your boss. Travel can also get a little funky, and delays are more likely to occur. You may find yourself taking an unexpected detour on a road trip, for example.

While fear of Mercury retrograde is rampant, there is no cause for alarm. It’s different each time, and with a little knowledge, you can even use it to your advantage by correcting past mistakes and steering life back on course.

What is special about this Mercury retrograde?

Before and after the official Mercury retrograde period, there is a two week “shadow period” that bookends the experience. During this period, not only can you can mildly feel the effects of the retrograde, but it’s also a time to prepare and reflect on the time (depending on whether the shadow is before or after). Start double-checking your calendar. If possible, sign any important documents and close any deals that were slated to close during retrograde ahead of time. The front-end shadow period of this Mercury retrograde begins on Sunday, February 2, in innovator Aquarius. Mercury is very happy in air sign Aquarius, which is represented by the water bearer and has a direct and logical communication style. This sign is often accused of being cold, though it’s also quite community-oriented and the revolutionary of the Zodiac.

Mercury is in Aquarius until Monday, February 3, when it enters water sign Pisces. Pisces is a creative, artistic, and emotional sign — quite the foil to rational Aquarius. Use the rest of this shadow period to brainstorm some creative ways to manage both your personal and professional life.

Then, Mercury retrograde officially begins on Sunday, February 16. People with a lot of Pisces in their chart or signs ruled by Mercury (Gemini and Virgo) will be the most affected. Finally, Mercury retrograde reenters Aquarius on Wednesday, March 4 before the retrograde ends on Monday, March 9, the same day as a full moon in Virgo occurs. Virgo, an Earth sign ruled by Mercury, is known for its organization skills, which means that Monday is the perfect day to tidy up any messes made during retrograde. There will be a shadow period for about two weeks, during which you can reflect on anything that happened during the retrograde and revisit the themes.

How can I make the most out of this Mercury retrograde?

Not only is Mercury retrograde notorious for bringing exes out of the woodwork, this one occurs just two days after Valentine’s Day. Many folks end up feeling nostalgic on February 14, and end up texting people from the past — even those who ended up being heartbreakers. Be prepared for this possibility, both as a potential sender and receiver of such text messages.

Give both your partner and yourself the benefit of the doubt.

If you’re happily partnered and celebrating Valentine’s Day weekend, prepare have to have some patience and ask your partner to do the same. A romantic getaway may be wrought with travel delays, or you might show up at a restaurant only to learn you made the reservation for the wrong day. Communication is majorly affected during Mercury retrograde, so don’t be surprised if you stumble over your words during a romantic speech. Give both your partner and yourself the benefit of the doubt.

On the same day that Mercury retrograde begins, fighter planet Mars enters hardworking Capricorn. This is just the kind of disciplinarian energy that you need. While we’ve already mentioned that signing contracts is to be avoided if possible, there are times when you just have to put your name on the dotted line, so go for it — just make sure you double-check all the fine print. There’s no need to be overly paranoid just because of Mercury retrograde.

Your professional life may feel a bit more laborious, and you will have to hustle behind the scenes and wait for recognition. With Mars in Capricorn, it should be easy to get to work, just try not to take it personally if your contract doesn’t come through until after March 9. Mercury will be in Aquarius when the retrograde ends, which will help you reflect on any and all Mercury retrograde events with a detached and cool mindset. Good luck, and see you in June for the next one.

 

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