Here’s Your Musical Guide To Surviving Mercury Retrograde
Mercury retrograde is here to fuck everything up - here's how to get through it.
Whether you’re an astrology expert or a complete amateur, Mercury’s notorious retrograde period is feared by everyone.
The astrological transit refers to a time when the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards in the sky, even though technically speaking, no planet is capable of orbiting the sun in a reversed motion. When a planet is moving this way it doesn’t function in the way it usually does, which is where all this intensity comes from.
But what does that mean for you? During this time aspects of our lives that are ruled by Mercury tend to be heavily affected — and sometimes for the worse. Mercury governs language, friendships, communication, intelligence, timing, your tone of voice, technology, important decisions, and contracts. It’s everything from DMs, texts, and conversations to your Instagram captions. So even if you think astrology is a load of nonsense (if that’s the case, I feel sorry for you) the overwhelming pressure this transit brings is palpable.
In 2019, Mercury will go retrograde three times. The bad news: it’s retrograde right now and will be until July 31. During this time, Mercury will oscillate between fire sign, Leo and water sign Cancer, which according to astrologer Lisa Stardust, “isn’t going to be easy.” As fire signs, Leos tend to be passionate, egotistical, and have a penchant for intense outbursts, and this time will bring all of that energy to the forefront. The crab of the zodiac, Cancer will elucidate emotional and maternal forces making us look inwards: go with it.
Fun fact: I destroyed three iPhones in succession during Mercury Retrograde once.
Basically, there’ll be miscommunications, petty arguments, confusion, unanswered texts and it’s not going to be great for direct communication. You’re going to be ready to throw yourself into some heated arguments, especially when it comes to love and romance, you might hear from those exes you wish lived in another dimension, and everything is going to feel incredibly intense.
But it’s also a great time to reflect, reassess, and be patient. If that wasn’t already a lot of information, this retrograde is happening during this month’s full moon lunar eclipse, where we’ll be forced to deal with things we’ve neglected, whatever that might be. If that sounds ominous, you’re in for one hell of a month.
There is some good news! This is a great time to slow down and reflect on your actions instead of worrying about everything breaking down. (Fun fact: I destroyed three iPhones in succession during Mercury Retrograde once.) Depending on your birth chart, Mercury retrograde could be a fantastic time to harness your irreverence and penchant for the extreme, but even then you will feel it.
Whatever you end up doing (or breaking) this month, here’s our guide for soundtracking the roughest time in the astrological calendar based on your sun sign.
Aries — The Fiery Ram (March 21—April 19)
As the first sign of the zodiac, Aries are natural go-getters. Always starting new projects with a bunch of new ideas always bubbling to the surface, Mercury retrograde might be a good time to slow down. Your impulsiveness has always gotten you far but when Mercury is acting up, intuition has a way of malfunctioning.
Telling an Aries to chill has never worked, so instead do like fellow Aries Lady Gaga and get that frenzied energy out of your system.
Aries to listen to when you’re overwhelmed:
Aries to listen to when you have a new business idea:
Aries to listen to so you don’t fight that person getting on your last nerve:
Taurus — The Earthy Bull (April 20—May 20)
It’s very cliche to say that Taureans love to indulge in the finer things in life, but where is the lie? From food to fashion, this sign enjoys spending time on the couch, Netflix and chilling all on their own while feasting on some fine brie and wine.
To keep this retrograde energy at bay, try adding Mercury’s favourite flavour citrus to the mix. As grapefruit has the essence of Leo and Cancer is represented in pineapple, chomp on these to protect yourself this month.
Taureans to listen to when you’re overwhelmed:
Taureans to listen to when you want to splurge on that new Prada jacket but are trying to save:
Taureans to listen to so you don’t act like a stubborn brat:
Gemini — The Airy Angel (May 21—June 20)
Geminis are actually ruled by Mercury which usually gives you the gift of the gab but also means you’ll be feeling this extra hard. Past issues that you’d rather not revisit could come up, but if you’re able to step back and take things slowly things could turn out fine.
Geminis (think Kanye West, Naomi Campbell, and Laverne Cox) love to flex their witty, fast talking flair but with communication set to go haywire, you might need to pump the breaks before you piss a lot of people off.
Geminis to listen to when you’re overwhelmed:
Geminis to listen to when you feel a Twitter rant coming on:
Geminis to listen to so you don’t act like a smart-ass:
Cancer — The Emotional Crab (June 21—July 22)
Who doesn’t love the mother of the zodiac? Cancers are caring, nurturing, and treat their friends like their children but they could probably conserve that energy this month. It’s their birthday month and with Mercury acting a fool and ruining the party, try not to get caught up in its antics.
It’s likely someone from your past may pop up but you should refrain from welcoming them back with the unconditional love of a mum, because you need to look out for yourself.
Cancers to listen to when you’re overwhelmed:
Cancers to listen to when you want to have a bit of a cry:
Cancers to listen to so you don’t respond to your ex’s flirty DM:
Leo — The Vibrant Lion (July 23—August 22)
Who doesn’t wish they were a Leo? Or at least that’s what a Leo would say. Bold, enviable, and the most confident person in any room, Leos are known for a healthy ego but might see this bubble over during retrograde season.
It’s almost your month, key word being almost so take this time to be patient, kind, and caring even though the anticipation is killing you. And don’t overthink things, everything will be okay when it’s showtime.
Leos to listen to when you’re overwhelmed:
Leos to listen to when you want to scream at someone getting on your last nerve:
Leos to listen to so you don’t get caught up in trivial drama:
Virgo — The Meticulous Ruler (August 23—September 22)
Just like Gemini, Virgos are also ruled by Mercury. Combining this with their earthy sensibilities, penchant for perfection, and meticulous planning, Virgos tend to look to the past to tie up loose ends. But now isn’t the best time. Important conversations that get into the nitty gritty are best saved for when Mercury is back on a direct path, allowing you to eloquently explain whatever is pissing you off.
Imagine how mad you’d be if it got misconstrued…
Virgos to listen to when you’re overwhelmed:
Virgos to listen to when you want to explain the 99 ways someone pissed you off:
Virgos to listen to so you aren’t tempted to fight an ex:
Libra — The Balanced Beauty (September 23—October 22)
Find a Libra that isn’t charming, helpful, and incredibly considerate. These people-pleasers are always finding ways to make others happy — which is no surprise as they’re represented by the scales — but now is a time to look inwards. Your creative juices are flowing and you might be tempted to show everyone your new ideas but Mercury can mess with finer details and ruin everything before you get started.
Take your time, everyone loves you already, so hone in on your skills and indulge in the spotlight when Mercury isn’t trying to dull your shine. Also hate to break it to you, but you’re the most likely to hit up “the one that got away.” Just remember, they’re gone for a reason.
Libras to listen to when you’re overwhelmed:
Libras to listen to when you start stretching yourself thin:
Libras to listen to so you don’t get nostalgic for exes:
Scorpio — The Passionate Pincers (October 23—November 22)
Brimming with acute passion, Scorpios are the most intense water sign, and don’t we know it. You’ve probably taken an emotional or a financial hit in the past few months, which is making you extra defensive.
But exciting things are on the way so don’t mope too much. Intense energy is something Scorpios revel in but tend to project onto others. This retrograde is best spent pampering, empowering, and enjoying yourself.
Scorpios to listen to when you’re overwhelmed:
Scorpios to listen to when you want to subtweet your ex:
Scorpios to listen to so you don’t act like a stubborn brat:
Sagittarius — The Savvy Fighter (November 23—December 21)
Sagittarians are fiery and not afraid of a fight but now is the time to keep it to yourself. Symbolised by the archer your aim is usually spot on, but non-direct Mercury throws everything off.
The best thing to do is to pull back, even though everything in your body is telling you not to. You need direction and travelling may be the ticket to escaping this bad juju. Find nature, find adventure, and double (maybe triple) check all your plans.
Sagittarians to listen to when you’re overwhelmed:
Sagittarians to listen to when you want to take aim at a frenemy:
Sagittarians to listen to so you miss the important details:
Capricorn — The Earthy Goat (December 23—January 19)
This sign is all about power: getting it, sustaining it, and wielding it but unfortunately this is all going to turn against Capricorns. It’s time to stop gunning for world domination and actually relax.
Put away the spreadsheets, turn off your phone, and do the unthinkable: take a day off. All your synapses are firing off randomly causing your usual reliable and clear head to meltdown. Aim for balance.
Capricorns to listen to when you’re overwhelmed:
Capricorns to listen to when you want to work on the weekend:
Capricorns to listen to so you don’t get too power hungry:
Aquarius — The Unconventional Alien (January 20—February 18)
Aquarians exist on another dimension and are usually proud to let this freak flag fly, but Mercury retrograde may have you second guessing yourselves. This insecurity may result in projection, arguments, and taking things a little too personally.
If you want to approach someone about how you feel, either put it off or do it as gently as possible. Your communication skills aren’t great right now and this retrograde may make you feel like you’re living in a strange lucid dream.
Aquarians to listen to when you’re overwhelmed:
Aquarians to listen to when you’re feeling insecure:
Aquarians to listen to inspire cosmic energy:
Pisces — The Flirty Fish (February 19—March 20)
The most creative and emotionally charged sign of the zodiac, Pisces need a whole army to reign them in. If you’re a Pisces, you may be tempted to turn too far inwards and become a recluse but you thrive on social energy and need others to keep your head in reality.
You’ll be tempted to be overly self-critical and you’re usually your own worst enemy, so practice self care but also hit up your friend for a beer.
Pisceans to listen to when you’re overwhelmed:
Pisceans to listen to when you want to run away and live in a cave:
Pisceans to listen to so you don’t lose your weight in tears:
Kish Lal is a writer, critic, and astrology obsessive living in New York City. She is on Twitter.