October’s Mercury Retrograde Is Going To Be Rough

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It's here: The last Mercury retrograde of 2020, starting on 13th October and, ominously, ending on 3rd November. We've been through a lot this year astrologically (and... not astrologically) and it's time to buckle up for one last wild ride.
As you may already be aware, Mercury retrograde is known to wreak havoc and bring confusion to all during its planetary moonwalk, astrologer Lisa Stardust tells Refinery29. "When the planet of communication, Mercury, starts slowing down in the cosmos, situations become more complex, ambiguous, and changeable here on Earth," she says.
Until 13th November, the planet of Mars is also retrograde, and the combination of the two planets moving backwards is, honestly, not so great. "The first days of Mercury retrograde will be stressful due to the sun in Libra forming a challenging opposition with Mars retrograde in Aries," Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for, tells Refinery29. She also points out that this transit is happening mostly in Scorpio, a sign that Mars traditionally rules, making the energy more intense. A good move during the first days of Mercury retrograde would be to keep your schedule light to avoid feeling overwhelmed and stretched too thin.
More on the Scorpio of it all: Montúfar says that since the passionate sign is nocturnal, it prefers quiet and solitude. So while we'll find ourselves experiencing textbook Mercury retrograde problems (misunderstandings, tech issues, exes resurfacing — you know the drill), instead of reacting and trying to put out fires, it's best to retreat, think, and ruminate about the situations at hand.
Mercury will square Saturn on 1st November as it’s preparing to go direct, Montúfar says. "There will be obstacles and pressure along the way, most likely from authority figures," she says. "It will be important to de-stress, focus on self-care, and ask for help when we need it." She's serious about that last one: "The helpful sextile Mercury will be forming with Venus from 13th to 17th October indicates that people will be able to help us along the way, if we dare to ask for it."
Mercury's backwards dance will move from Scorpio into Libra on 27th October, Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer at, tells Refinery29. "Our focus will change to relationships and partnerships at this time," she says. "During Mercury’s time in this sign, we will re-consider our closest partnerships and what we are getting out of them." Remember: It's not a great time for communication, so it may be better to wait until after the planet turns direct to tackle your relationship issues head on. But this is a good time to think about your partnership and ask yourself if you're getting what you need.
Mercury turns direct on arguably one of the most important days of the year: US Election Day. The last time Mercury stationed direct on US Election Day, Stardust points out, was during the 2000 election, when Al Gore won the popular vote, and George W. Bush took office. "The days after the actual election were tempered with uncertainty, frustration, and confusion until Al Gore stepped down from the race," she reminds us. So what can we expect this time around? "Well, we kind of already know what’s coming based on the current environment brought on by the pandemic. The mail-in ballots will take a long time to be counted. A lot of voters won’t get to the polls in fear of getting COVID-19. And we can expect that both the Democratic and Republican parties will demand a recount — no matter who the winner is," Hale says.
It's (hopefully) not going to be an end-of-the-world scenario, though. Stardust points out that Mercury will be in Libra on this day, and the sign of the scales is one of the best signs to have all of this frenetic cosmic energy transpire, because it's known to be fair-minded and balanced. Fingers crossed!
The Moon, which Stardust says gives the cosmic vibe and direction of the day, will be in Gemini on 3rd November, when Mercury turns direct. "Mercury rules Gemini, which means that there will be added mishaps that are unforeseen," she explains. "This adds a double whammy of unpredictability to the outcome of the election, especially because the Gemini Moon will be riding along the North Node of Destiny and squaring off with elusive Neptune."
We're not going to sugarcoat it for you: Mercury's final retrograde of 2020 this October will be rough. But remember — you've gotten through two other of the communication planet's backwards transits this year, and that's something to celebrate. Retrogrades are a time for the three Rs: Review, Reflect, and Reassess, astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo, author of Astrology For Real Relationshipspreviously told Refinery29. So while it may feel like the world around you is crumbling, it's exactly what you need to catapult into a better future. 2021, here we come!

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