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By now, most people have heard of Mercury retrograde. If you have not, Mercury retrograde is the infamous transit that happens a few times each year and causes a bit of chaos.

You see, all of our planets have a retrograde phase, and during this phase, they seemingly slow down to the point of spinning backward. Each of the planets represents its own energy and Mercury rules over travel, communication, expression, and electricity. When Mercury begins to spin backward, it can cause some mishaps in these areas. During this time, communication is sure to feel off. You are likely to experience technical difficulties. Some report that old patterns re-emerge in their lives during this time as well.

For example, you may feel pushed to revisit old habits. Some even feel drawn by their ex during this time. (Don’t do it!)

However, Mercury retrograde isn’t all bad. Mercury retrograde can be a beneficial transit if you use it as an opportunity to work on yourself and slow down and go inward. Mercury will go retrograde three times this year. The first will happen pretty soon, on April 21 until May 14. This retrograde will be under the influence of Taurus and the shadow phase begins on April 7. During the Mercury retrograde shadow is when most people experience the urge to fall back into bad habits or relationships.

Mercury will go retrograde again in August from the 23rd until September 15, under the sign of Virgo. Then, to close the year out, Mercury will retrograde once more in December from the 13th until January 1, 2024 (Happy New Year) under the sign of Sagittarius.

The upcoming retrograde in Taurus will be a tricky one. Taurus energy may make us all a bit headstrong and stubborn, and during this time, we may struggle to stay grounded and practical. One good way to use the Mercury retrograde is to SLOW DOWN. Practice mindfulness during this time. Pay attention to your thoughts, patterns, and behaviors. Self-awareness is key. If you find yourself feeling hazy during this time, do not be afraid to take time for yourself. The pre-shadow and post-shadow (two weeks before and two weeks after) is the best time to do shadow work, and honestly, to me, feels like when the energy is the most intense, so brace yourselves.