How to Motivate After Mercury Retrograde, Based on Your Sign
Every time Mercury, the planet of communication, moves backward—which occurs three or four times a year for three weeks at a time—we get a chance to revisit old business, reconnect with old friends and lovers, edit, revise, and basically tend to any and every kind of loose end, whether its material, mental, or emotional. Then, when the messenger planet moves forward, we get a green light and can finally hit the gas pedal on whatever goal, project, or other undertaking we’ve been perfecting. Being able to surge ahead can feel like an adrenaline rush for some, but for others—such as Virgos and Geminis, who are more sensitive to these transits, as both signs are ruled by Mercury—it may feel more challenging to get the ball rolling after slowing down and taking a couple steps back.
Thankfully, tapping into what drives you innately, courtesy of your sun sign, can help you you make the most of this transitional period. Here, how each sign can motivate themselves to move forward after any Mercury retrograde. (Be sure to read your rising sign, too!)
Read This Now: Everything You Need to Know About Mercury Retrograde
Aries (March 21–April 19)
There may be nothing you abhor more than being forced to slow down and reassess, so chances are you’ve been beyond frustrated by creeping traffic, tech glitches, and confusing conversations these past three weeks. Mercury moving forward is a morale booster, for sure, but make sure you take a moment to detox before forging ahead. This could look like sweating it out in an infrared sauna, doing your favorite juice cleanse, and/or meditating on what tested your patience and how you can channel that energy into something productive. In the end, the extra-clear vision you’ll have to work with is worth the effort.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Any excuse to slow down and get your chill on is fine by you, Taurus, given your penchant for R&R. You’re also fairly sentimental, so it’s not uncommon for you to find yourself having long catch-up chats with old friends or daydreaming about an old flame while Mercury is retrograde. Once it moves ahead, think about how these long-lived bonds will (or won’t) serve you in this current chapter of your life. You’re the queen or king of holding onto relationships for their longevity alone, but it’s possible you’ve outgrown these connections. Doing some concrete soul-searching on this can inspire your best path forward.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
When your key planet Mercury is retrograde, you can feel like your lifeblood—nonstop texts, calls, emails, chatter, socialization, idea generation, travel, etc.—has painfully stalled. Though, hopefully, you’ve figured out how to use these transits for well-deserved rest! (Yes, even supercommunicators need time to tune out.) Once Mercury moves ahead, you may feel more like yourself again, itching to connect and put your fast-paced brain to work ASAP. Give yourself permission to ease into it, and try to zero in on two or three big picture projects/ goals instead of allowing your excitement to spread you too thin. Concentrating your efforts sets the stage for success.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You may have spent Mercury retrograde retracing your footsteps in a past relationship or friendship (think looking back at journals, reading sent emails, scrolling through years’ worth of old photos on social media). Or you’ve fallen into one or two rabbit holes produced by thinking about actions you took or didn’t take in the past. Either way, transitioning out of a Mercury retrograde transit can feel like an emotional extrication for you. Once the messenger planet is direct, you’ll do well to start channeling your innate daydreaminess toward what lies ahead. Creative brainstorming, planning for the future, and taking actual steps to make your future dreams a reality all serve to boost your optimism and productivity!
Leo (July 23-August 22)
During Mercury retrograde, the hopeless romantic side of you may have all the fun fantasizing about former lovers, rereading love letters or sexy texts from months or years ago, and maybe even reconnecting with exes. You might also be consumed by revisiting creative goals and projects you started but felt the need to backburner for whatever reason. When the communication planet moves forward, triggering a burst of feel-good, confident energy is key for you. Throw impromptu dance parties, hit up an energetic concert with a friend, enjoy a bonfire with loved ones, or experiment with your favorite art form. The more playful you can be now, the more traction you’re sure to get on your passion project!
Virgo (August 23-September 22)
When your ruling planet is retrograde, you might be in life editor mode, spending time reassessing minutiae like cash flow if you’re perfecting your budget or revising all the specifics of a project you’ve poured your heart into. You actually love getting in the weeds so much that it can be hard to put down the red pen. But there’s no such thing as “perfect,” and you’ll do better to crossing the finish line than continue to tinker. Practicing self-compassion and self-love go far for you once Mercury is direct. Give yourself credit for all that hard, detailed work, then allow your work to enter its next phase. Witnessing how it evolves from here on out—not to mention seeing others appreciate your efforts—can prove truly fulfilling.
Libra (September 23-October 22)
While Mercury is retrograde, you might be a bit frazzled and even passive-aggressively testy if your social life is compromised by miscommunication and misunderstandings. After all, Mercury’s backward turn can thwart connection, which you thrive on. Thankfully, when it moves forward, you’ll get the go-ahead to plan those charity events or family gatherings and find more time to bond with your BFFs. But let’s be honest that you might go from 0 to 100 too quick, so allow yourself to ramp up to your full-fledged social butterfly ways. Self-care (like a hair or spa treatment or weekend getaway) can have you feeling genuinely refreshed and ready to greet everyone on your to-meet list.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
During a Mercury retrograde, you may find yourself rehashing old grudges or emotional wounds, maybe even having intense conversations with loved ones or stewing over a business-related conflict from the past. The truth is that it can be fairly difficult for you to let go of anything that has affected you significantly. Giving yourself room to process complicated, difficult emotions is key, but you’ll do well to work through that in a productive way (think talk therapy, journaling, or taking a meditation class). Then, once Mercury is direct, you’ll find yourself centered and driven by a new sense of empowerment that comes from having done this heavy emotional self-work.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
Your joyful, free-spirited nature and sense of adventure might feel a bit suppressed during a Mercury retrograde, because the planet rules transportation, and jetting around the globe—or just around your neck of the woods—can be more challenging when it moves backward. That said, it might also inspire you to revisit old haunts and previously tread paths, seeing these escapades in a new light. See if you can let that renewed perspective excite you and inform your next steps once Mercury is direct. Reflecting on what you’ve seen and done up until now might be the very thing that inspires the next frontier.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Mercury retrograde periods offer you a chance to revise and refocus your efforts on your key goals, which you’re generally a fan of. But you also like to see forward movement, so feeling slowed down or stalled can lead to aggravation. For that reason, it’s important that, instead of continuing to push and plow ahead, you allow yourself a beat to chill around the time the planet of communication moves forward. Think actually hitting the pause button on that major project (that’s right, no answering emails!), and spending time with loved ones and/or treating yourself to a massage. Finding a bit of solitude, quiet, and calm allows you to let go of tension that pent up over the last three weeks so you can dive back into your work rejuvenated and ready to take on the world.
Aquarius (January 20-February 18)
While Mercury is retrograde, you might feel like it’s tough to express your unique ideas to others and/or find it more challenging to coordinate group projects and social engagements you enjoy. Your reaction to these issues may very well be to dig your heels in more and push until you get a result that’s better than nothing but definitely not ideal. Or just throw your hands up in a huff. Either way, the transit can exhaust you intellectually. When Mercury is direct, giving yourself a brain break by engaging in pastimes that feel lighthearted, joyful, and come naturally. Think having an impromptu coffee date with your closest friends, or carving out time to free write, paint, build, etc. The freedom to explore without expectations gets you back in your flow.
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
While Mercury is retrograde, it might actually feel like the messenger is more on your page, as communications are less definitive and more open to different interpretations. The slow-paced, past-focused energy may stimulate your imagination and/or open old emotional wounds. Hey, the two often go hand-in-hand. In fact, for you, curiosity and getting in touch with your inner artist can get you moving forward when Mercury is direct. If you can do your best to be super-observant when you’re in your feelings, and then put what you’ve learned toward an all-new creative project or goal, chances are you’ll be praised for your creative brilliance.
Maressa Brown is a writer, editor, astrologer, and author of Centennial Presents’ 2018 Astrology Guide. Her work has appeared on/in various publications such as Cosmopolitan.com, The Washington Post, Parents.com, and Women’s Health.