It's everyone's favorite astrological nightmare: Mercury retrograde. Whether you're a Co-Star fanatic or someone who occasionally dabbles in the science of zodiac signs, we bet you've heard of this ominous astronomical event. And this year, Mercury will be in retrograde three times (we already got through one in January!), and now is a great time to mark your calendars and brace yourself for what's coming. Ahead, we've outlined exactly when this strange planetary pattern will occur so you can be as prepared as possible.
What Even Is Mercury Retrograde, Anyway?
Mercury retrograde refers to the illusion that the planet Mercury is traveling backward through the night sky in relation to the zodiac. The scientific term for this phenomenon is "apparent retrograde motion." In astrology, Mercury retrograde is connected with instances of confusion, frustration, errors, and delays. More specifically, Mercury retrograde is said to negatively affect our communication. So what does that mean for you? Double-check and proofread everything — e-mails, texts, presentations, or any important words you might be sharing with others. It also means you might feel more frustration when others don't understand what you mean right away, so try to exercise a little more patience during these weeks.
Retrograde may also cause problems in other areas of your life. Expect more technological issues, and try to avoid making any big decisions until your astrological luck is renewed. Give important plans a buffer and be open to having a plan B, C, or even D — just in case.
When Is Mercury Retrograde Happening in 2021?
This year, Mercury will be in apparent retrograde motion three times. First, from Jan. 30 to Feb. 21; then, from May 29 to June 22; and finally, from Sept. 27 to Oct. 23.
If you're stressed about these dates, don't despair! There are some positive astrological benefits that might help make up for everything else. Mercury retrograde is said to be a great time for self-reflection, so focus on how you can avoid making past mistakes again going forward. Take a step back and assess what you'd like to change in your life, and take steps in the right direction.
Either way, nothing lasts forever, retrograde included. With patience and a little extra caution, you can survive all three Mercury retrogrades this year and come out the other side maybe even better than you were before.
—Additional reporting by Lauren Harano