Since Mercury retrograde occurs every three to five months, there's always one on the horizon. But don't panic! The best thing you can do is be aware of its meaning and know when it starts. Yes, getting new plans off the ground can be tough and projects can hit a standstill, but if you can't put things off until Mercury goes direct again, slow down. Pump the brakes and proceed with caution. You may not be able to prevent accidents and mistakes, but you can control how you respond to them.
In the astrology world, Mercury retrograde is a great time to shift focus to redoing things from the past rather than new ventures. Do-overs get a green light, so it's a great time to revive old projects, reorganize your house and rekindle relationships. If an old issue pays you a return visit, open the door to what it's offering you the second (or third!) time around.
This year sees three different retrogrades. The first one hit in March/April in assertive Aries, followed by one on July 26 through August 19 in Leo and then November 16 to December 6 (starting in Sagittarius and moving back into Scorpio). Did it just get hot in here? Yep, they're all in fire signs.
And if there's one lesson we can all take away from this year's temperamental Mercury retrogrades, it's not to force the issue. Wait to start anything new until you take some time to really think about things, and don't commit until you're 100 percent sure about the plan. Get in touch with your intuition, and if it doesn't feel right, don't do it. Grow from the inside out. Accept the challenge. Learn the lesson. Focus on the positive and don't fight the process.
Check the calendar below to see if you have anything big on the upcoming Mercury retrograde dates so you can start to prepare a Plan B (and even C).
Also, it's not just the dates that Mercury is in retrograde that matters. In astrology, every planet's retrograde has a pre-shadow and post-shadow phase. And although both of these two-week windows of time are often overlooked, they function as adjustment stages. During the pre-shadow and post-shadow, pay attention to the signs you receive because they can give you clues about how you may be affected during the retrograde.
And remember - even if you can't prevent, you can still plan for it. Just being aware of the next Mercury retrograde cycle may be enough to help you avoid potential disasters.