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Astrology: Your Retrograde Survival Guide

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An enhanced-color image of Mercury from first MESSENGER flyby. 

Brace yourself for communication complications in the next three weeks while Mercury is in retrograde. If you aren’t entirely sure what that means, in astrology, this is a period where the alignment and position of the planet Mercury affects the communication aspect of our lives.

The planet slips into retrograde four times a year. This is the third occurrence of 2017, and the final retrograde period will be in December. This retrograde begins with the Virgo zodiac sign. It began on Saturday, Aug. 12 and will conclude on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

This can seem like a lot of information to digest if you don’t closely follow astrology, but it is relatively simple in regards to what you should be doing and what you should be cautious of during this period. It’s time to try and focus on communication with others and to not fall into the holes of forgetting important tasks or ignoring loved ones.

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For those who don’t believe in astrology, this time just means that the planet Mercury is orbiting the Sun as it always does and there are no astrological influences, but rather astronomical explanations. This happens so often because a year on Mercury is shorter than a year on Earth, with Mercury's year only being 88 days compared to our 365 days.

Although science cannot explain the reasons why you and your significant other can’t get along for the next couple of weeks or why you can’t remember something important no matter how hard you try, astrology has the answers. So here is a bit of advice for each of the zodiac signs and just some general advice on how to navigate this Mercury retrograde:

Drawings of the 12 Zodiac signs.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Be careful of speaking before thinking. Be sure to thoroughly plan what you are going to say to people. Do not allow the planetary alignment to let you answer in vague and unrefined thoughts. Aries, your feelings and reactions are valid, so take a second to breathe and contemplate before speaking.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Now is not the time to be stubborn and uncooperative. Taurus, it is time to be a team player and decide what it is that you want to spend your energy on. Don’t lead people on without following through, but do try and focus on creative endeavors.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Don’t believe everything you hear, Geminis. During this retrograde, you are likely to misinterpret the message, and only havoc can ensue from there. Focus on not sending mixed signals to others, and don’t entertain too many thoughts at once. Try working on some self-care.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Cancers, when are your thoughts not clouded by your sensitivity and worries? It may seem far too easy to retreat away into your shell and avoid reality, but it isn’t that simple. Instead of retreating to fantasy, make an effort to reconnect with your roots and take a walk down memory lane.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

We are all aware of how idealistic you can be, Leos. You love sharing your thoughts and opinions, but during this retrograde, it is not the time to speak negatively. Refrain from ranting about frivolous things, and suppress the urge to critique others unnecessarily. Instead, take some time to review your thoughts before sending them out into the world.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

High-strung Virgos, you might find yourself being misunderstood during this time period. You might have a run-in with some miscommunication due to body language. You are a structured person, so be sure to maintain that structure and don’t make any hasty decisions.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Libras, you may have the least difficulty in this retrograde as you tend to be diplomatic and compromising. It should be a breeze to navigate through as long as you don’t start anything new on top of something you haven’t finished yet. Instead of starting something new, try renewing the commitments you already have.

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Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

You are typically truth-seeking and quite observant, Scorpios. So don’t allow this retrograde to make you lose your focus. Instead of jumping to conclusions when someone misunderstands you, try to be passionate and helpful instead.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

You may find yourself filled with grandiose ideas and pure optimism, but don’t allow your head to be caught up in the clouds, Sagittarius. It’s important that you pay close attention to what you are doing and don’t stray too far off the beaten path.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Capricorns, you are usually very methodical and precise in who you let into your life. You’re guarded and for good reason, but now is not the time to distance yourself. Now is the time to plan some time with friends and loved ones.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Now is exactly the time to avoid committing to any big changes in your life, Aquarius. However, if you must commit to something new, be sure to triple check all contracts or other documents before signing your name to anything.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

Pisces, you are a very gentle creature, but you also tend to be a bit vague. Vagueness is miscommunication's best friend, so try to be a bit more direct. You are observant, so it shouldn’t be too hard to catch yourself when you aren’t being honest about what you want to say.


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