Mercury is retrograde in Taurus from April 28 - May 23

What's going to happen?!

Probably not much. Popular astrology has made Mercury Retrograde into a significant event and cause for alarm, when it's actually not a big deal at all. Mercury is retrograde for three or four months out of the year, and for the real purists who pay attention to the "shadow period" pre- and post-retrograde, even longer. The traditional warnings to back up computer files and avoid purchasing technology, cars, or signing contracts are still worth heeding if you can help it. But you probably signed a contract once when Mercury was retrograde, and aside from a possible delay or review later on, you were fine. We were all fine. When a planetary pattern repeats reliably for one-third of every year, it's business as usual.

What is Mercury retrograde? It's an optical illusion that happens when the planet Mercury slows down, appearing to stop and turn backward for a period of time. Mercury stations (slows down) at a particular degree of the zodiac and appears to go retrograde until it goes direct (speeds up) and returns to the original degree.

In lieu of warnings, I prefer to think of Mercury Retrograde as an invitation to slow down, retreat, and revisit things that are symbolized by the area of your personal chart where Mercury is passing through. It's a time to emphasize reflection in that area of your life instead of charging ahead to act. We all need periods of our lives where we slow action to reflect and plan. What can make Mercury retrograde so frustrating -- and the reason popular astrology has made it seem alarming -- is our modern emphasis on relentless activity, productivity and achievement. If it seems like your life is in crisis during Mercury retrograde because your commute is slow and your computer is slow and people aren't responding to your emails quickly, that's an invitation to chill out.

Mercury is moving through Taurus, which is the zodiac sign symbolizing the material: wealth, abundance, money, food, clothes, and other possessions. We would all do well to reflect on and revise this part of our lives from April 28 - May 23. But the bigger emphasis is still on Mars retrograde, which only happens every two years, and is traveling through your chart for much longer. As you reconsider the Taurean part of yourself, stay focused on uncovering your true desires where Mars is transiting until July 29. Right now, Saturn, Pluto, and Jupiter are all retrograde too. Yes, this is happening: Pluto is retrograde for about half of every year, Saturn for about 4-5 months every year, and Jupiter regularly as well. Having five planets all retrograde at the same time is a signal to lie low. Whether we like it or not, the energy is slow right now, and things aren't moving forward quickly. Mercury is just one small part of that. Rebels, form your battle plan for the time when Mars goes direct.


Mercury Retrograde in Taurus

Retrograde: April 28 at 23 degrees Taurus

Stations Direct: May 23 at 14 degrees Taurus

Themes of Mercury Retrograde by Sign

Aries/Aries Rising: Money, income, spending, resources, possessions, and values

Taurus/Taurus Rising: Self and self-image, appearance, clothing, approach to the world

Gemini/Gemini Rising: Hidden activities, dreams, imagination, spirituality

Cancer/Cancer Rising: Community, friends, social networks, goals and hopes for the future

Leo/Leo Rising: Career or vocation, public image, reputation, ambitions

Virgo/Virgo Rising: Philosophy, travel, higher education, ethics, legal principles, religion

Libra/Libra Rising: Investments, debt, power, sex, transformation, the occult

Scorpio/Scorpio Rising: Relationships with significant others, friends, and business partners

Sagittarius/Sagittarius Rising: Daily routines, ritual, service, work, health, details

Capricorn/Capricorn Rising: Pleasure, self-expression, creativity, play, romance, children

Aquarius/Aquarius Rising: Roots, origins, ancestors, history, family, home, belonging

Pisces/Pisces Rising: Thought, language, communication, speech, writing, neighbors, siblings