Most people experience Mercury retrograde as a chaotic period with countless occurrences of confusion and disruption to their livelihood.

Astrologer and podcast host Mahlet Yared defines Mercury retrograde as “an astrological event that happens once a quarter.” It’s a period where Mercury appears to be moving backward from Earth. While the planet isn’t physically moving, experts, including Yared, agree that it is an optical illusion.

The impact of this planetary movement creates hared experiences that many describe as “chaos.”

“Mercury is a planet of communication and connection,” Yared told 21Ninety. “To [society], we have a lot of issues that are easily misunderstood, and communication can feel challenging. In a physical sense, the energy of that planet isn’t moving in the right direction with us on Earth, so it can literally feel like things are backward.”

When Does Mercury Retrograde Happen?

The astrological event happens three to four times yearly and lasts approximately three weeks. This period of Mercury retrograde is expected to end on April 24. While the end of the planet’s shift draws near, the phenomenon will return again during the latter part of the year.

The second Mercury retrograde in 2024 will occur from Aug. 5 to Aug. 27, and the final one of the year will occur from Nov. 25 until Dec. 15. 

What Zodiac Signs Are Impacted The Most?

Although Yared said that most people will generally feel the effects of mercury retrograde, a few signs will experience them more intensely. She added, however, that there is a collective group of people who will experience opposite results of the energy shift.

She explained that Gemini, Virgo and Pisces are typically the most impacted signs. Gemini and Virgo are signs that are ruled by Mercury. For Pisces, Yared noted that the water sign naturally struggles with communication, and being in Mercury retrograde puts them at a greater disadvantage.

“Even though [Pisces] are very empathic and know how everyone else is feeling, it can be really hard for them to share their feelings with others,” Yared explained. “When Mercury is in retrograde, they can really feel disconnected.”

On the opposite spectrum, some people experience a positive experience. “[For individuals born during Mercury retrograde], the energy feels supernatural to them and [they] really thrive,” she said. “They feel more understood and seen than at any other time.”

Clearing Up The Misconceptions

Throughout the years, Mercury retrograde has earned a negative reputation for causing disorder in people’s relationships and lives. However, Yared views the astrological event as “misunderstood” and sees it as a time to improve connections with people. Her outlook stems from perceiving the moment as a divine opportunity to slow down and reflect.

“Mercury retrograde is a great time to do anything that starts with ‘re-,'” Yared said. “Re-vise, re-flect, re-turn. There’s a lot of opportunity to improve our relationships by reflecting on what we’ve been doing for the last few months and being able to start fresh the next quarter.”

Advice On Surviving and Thriving In Mercury Retrograde

Be Patient With Technology 

Astrologers believe that tech issues increase during this period. Yared urged people to be patient with apps, computers and other electronic devices to make the transition easier. She also noted that Mercury retrograde is a good opportunity to engage in a social media detox.

Revisit Past and Present Conversations

Others have shared how unfinished conversations from ex-partners, past friendships, family members and colleagues arise during this time. This occurrence aligns with self-reflection being more at the forefront of people’s minds.

“Anything you feel has been brushed under the rug and not discussed, be prepared for those conversations to come up,” she said.

Pause On Making Big Decisions

Yared warns against signing new contracts that were not discussed before Mercury retrograde. Since communication is more challenging amid the energy shift, it’s easier to be misinformed or misled by others. If those deals or contracts can’t wait, she suggests being extra thorough while reviewing paperwork and asking questions for clarity.