The Most Intense Mercury Retrograde of the Year Is Coming; Here's How to Prepare

Everyone loves to blame Mercury retrograde for everything. Ex popped back up into your DMs? Mercury retrograde. An urgent email got trapped by your spam filter? Mercury retrograde. Realized you had food stuck in your teeth after you left an important job interview? Mercury retrograde!

But the truth is, not all Mercury retrogrades are the same, and the sign that Mercury retrograde is in can have a big impact on the general vibe of the "backward" spin. For instance, from April 21 to May 14, the second Mercury retrograde of 2023 will happen in the stubborn sign of Taurus, and it's bringing interesting energy into the season of the bull.

"During certain moments, the vibe [of Mercury retrograde in Taurus] will feel incredibly slow, like running through mud. This is due to Taurus being a slow-moving zodiac sign, an earth sign. And at other times, the energy will feel incredibly erratic due to the involvement of Uranus, the planet of electricity," says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for and author of "Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power." "This dichotomy of energies will feel like driving with the brakes on one moment, and driving at a super-fast speed the next."

That can feel disorienting. But if we adopt the right strategies, "we can download some pretty interesting insights that will help us grow later in the year," Montúfar promises.

First up: plan on slowing down. Thanks to two major transits (Saturn moving into Pisces, and Pluto moving into Aquarius), March marked a shift in our perspective and energy levels, and with the warmer weather underway, we've all been happy to run ahead at full speed all day long. But now, we may need a rest. "We'll all be feeling pretty tired now and should know that productivity will slow down in all industries during these three weeks," Montúfar say. "To avoid exhaustion, we will need to rest more than usual and take care of our bodies."

A few specifics she suggests: be more mindful about your screen time (she warns that some shocking news is coming, so we'll have to be extra cautious to take scrolling breaks); and since Taurus embodies the body's senses, engage in self-care for all five of them. "Listening to music, eating healthy food, and practicing self-care will be crucial now," Montúfar says.

Plus, this Mercury retrograde will be conjunct Uranus at first. "Since Uranus is the planet of technology, we can expect our computers to go haywire and our messages to be lost," Montúfar warns. Tech mishaps often go hand in hand with Mercury retrograde, but this time, they'll be worse than usual. So if you're going to take time off, do it around April 21, during the start of the retrograde, to avoid being super impacted.

Next, expect change. This retrograde will be more intense than a typical Mercury backswing, both because it's conjunct Uranus and because it overlaps with the first eclipse season of 2023 — astrological events that almost always trigger big changes. "Having Mercury going retrograde and eclipse season happening at the same time will be incredibly transformative for all of us, regardless of our zodiac sign," Montúfar says.

Finally, get ready to take a close look at your budget. Blame tax season if you want, but Montúfar says Mercury retrograde in Taurus is going to encourage you to make some smart budgeting moves. "Since Taurus is a zodiac sign with strong connections to money, a lot of us will find ourselves going over our personal or company budget. While we might have to cut back now, getting clear about our limitations will set us up for success," she says. "Taurus is the zodiac sign that Jupiter will occupy later this year, from May of 2023 to May of 2024, so getting clear on our financial capabilities and limitations will set us up for success in the future."

Montúfar also points out that different signs may be affected by Mercury retrograde in different ways. "The fixed signs — Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius — will be hit harder, as Mercury challenges them to change their mind and see things from a refreshed perspective," she says. Meanwhile, "Pisces, Cancer, Virgo, and Capricorn will see more benefits [during Mercury retrograde in Taurus] as both Mercury and Uranus help them come up with out-of-the-box solutions to their problems."

Mercury retrograde ends on May 14, though it remains in Taurus until June 11, when it enters Gemini. Montúfar also suggests preparing for the end of the retrograde. "As it turns direct, Mercury will be in a conjunction with the Lunar North Node of Destiny. This is big news for those who feel misaligned from their true path. The messages we receive around this time and the people we run into now could have a huge and positive impact on us," she says.

In other words, we may come out of this retrograde feeling like our lives are about to change. Who doesn't love a pre-summer revolution?