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It’s that time again: Mercury retrograde is right around the corner. And while most people may view this time as something dreaded, it doesn’t have to be.

Mercury retrograde is a time in which the planet Mercury appears to be moving backward. On May 10th this retrograde will begin, moving backward through Gemini and into Taurus. Because Mercury rules over communication, when the retrograde happens, it can cause misunderstandings and mishaps on a major scale.

Gemini is an air sign, and one that is very expressive, so during this time, our ability to express ourselves may become stunted, pushing us inward to contemplate more deeply about how we express our authentic voice when speaking to others.

Mercury also rules over travel, technology, connection, and our intelligence. While most focus on the mishaps that come with the retrograde, retrogrades provide us with an amazing opportunity to go inward and work on ourselves.

The retrograde comes to us in stages, beginning with the pre-shadow, or retroshade period. This time around, the retroshade period begins on April 26. During this period, another planet, Pluto will also go retrograde. And just days after that on April 30, we will encounter a black moon eclipse. We can expect to see some massive highs and lows, with our personal energy, and ability to express ourselves, and will also likely face us with some majorly transformative energy.

To be honest, it’s going to be a lot.

Throughout the retrograde, beginning on May 10th, it’s best to avoid making major and life-changing decisions, but instead, focus on growth and self-work. While the retrograde may feel problematic, it’s a wonderful opportunity to take a step back, and reanalyze our journey.

Part of this process will push us to look back at things, so be wary not to slip back into old habits or even relationships that do not serve you. You may also feel the impulse to start something new, but it’s best to wait until the end of the retrograde on June 18th.

Above all, don’t let this time bog you down. Embrace it, don’t fight it, and the potential for what you can do with this energy is endless.

According To Cafe’ Astrology:

The next three weeks may well mark a lot of ebbs and swirls in the social fabric you move in, with associates backing and filling and sometimes seeming less than reliable. No blame here, just general reshuffling until everyone feels comfortable with their positions, including yourself. Try to work on removing obstacles to the flow and diplomatically shift your schedule according to who fits your evolving agenda. Toward the end, you may have to call into question some aspects of your financial underpinnings in order to effectively make contact and cause others’ goals to come into step with your own.