All Of This Year’s Mercury Retrogrades Have One Thing In Common

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.

Enjoy this period of peace and quiet while you can because, come March 22, the first Mercury retrograde of 2018 will arrive, bringing with it the usual headaches and chaos.

That retrograde is set to conclude on April 15, but we're in for two more before the year is out, one from July 25 to August 18 and another from November 16 to December 6. This is a normal amount of Mercury retrogrades for a single year, but they all share something very special. Every time it takes a backspin this year, Mercury (aka the planet of communication) will be moving through a fire sign: first Aries, then Leo, and finally Sagittarius. If you aren't super familiar with this astrological element, brace yourselves, stargazers.

Of the four elements of the Zodiac (fire, earth, air, and water), fire, as you might expect, has the most volatile and dynamic influence. Let's look a little closer at those three fire signs: Aries are known for their hardheadedness and combative attitude; Leos are warm, demanding, and passionate; and Sagittarians are an adventurous, boisterous bunch. These signs are not afraid to make their presences known — and their flair for the dramatic will only amplify the drama that tends to accompany Mercury retrogrades. Overall, these retrogrades will have the potential to affect the areas we are the most passionate about, according to astrologer Susan Miller — and thus they may spark more conflict than usual.

Under an average Mercury retrograde, we may fall behind on our to-do lists, lose important items, or go through rough patches with our friends or partner. But this year, you might not just forget about a dinner date you set before the backspin, you might also royally tick off the friend you stood up. Or, your decision to drop a work project at the last minute might lead to harsher repercussions than usual. Translation: The consequences for our mistakes may, at times, seem out of proportion from what we actually did.

Keep in mind that each sign will affect the Mercury retrogrades differently, too. The retrograde in Aries may prompt childish behavior in those who don't get their way, while Leo's retrograde could lead to inflated egos and snobbery, even among the most humble. Mercury's time spent in Sag will likely see spells of bad luck and grand, long-term plans going awry.

Worried for your survival? Here's a tip: Take things slow. Act carefully and conscientiously, admit mistakes when you make them, and get everything in writing. Oh, and at the very least, there's something to look forward to: Mercury will actually scoot from fiery Sagittarius into water sign Scorpio during its third and final retrograde. We'll still have to deal with its muddling effects, but hopefully with cooler heads.

Ready to launch into the new year but not sure where to start? Take a cue from the stars and let your horoscope guide you. 'Scope the rest of your year here.

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