We interrupt your ChatGPT session with an important astrological announcement: Mercury will be retrograde in tactile, old-school Taurus from April 21 to May 14. And it’s asking you to step away from your screens for a while.
Unavoidable fact: Mercury retrogrades always point us back to the past. And this one’s hearkening a bygone era when life was analog. People sat down face to face for fireside chats instead of streaming them on Instagram Live. Cottagecore influencers weren’t the only people planting edible gardens. And humans met in the flesh for coffee dates (and spicy sex) instead of simulating with AI avatars.
Over the years, Mercury retrograde has done its fair share of damage, serving communication breakdowns, disruptive texts from exes, and scheduling mayhem. (The Southwest airlines holiday season meltdown being a recent example.)
But we’re here to tell you that there actually can be good that comes from these disruptive three-week cycles. The trick? You have to be willing to pivot and put the focus on your past.
Fortunately, nostalgia is au courant. Brands like J.Crew, Kate Spade, and Banana Republic are rolling back the clock, recreating heritage pieces from their own classic lines. Vinyl album sales rose to a record 41 million in 2022, according to Business Insider.
Take notes! Mercury retrograde in Taurus lives for throwbacks like these. In fact, all Mercury retrogrades are actually the best times for “re” activities: reviewing, revamping, revising, reconfiguring, etc. To keep your feet on solid ground, here are some analog experiments—custom-designed for your zodiac sign—to take a stab at during this trying time period. Wi-Fi password not required.
Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius
Action-oriented fire signs usually have (at least) five simultaneous projects in rotation at any given time. But the “project management” part is where you hot-blooded creatives tend to fall down. (Blame it on your overarching—but contagious—enthusiasm.)
With this Mercury retrograde disrupting the “executive functioning” zones for Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, it’s time to stop and organize all your brilliant work. But you don’t need to sign in to Google Sheets. Instead, start with a physical whiteboard or printing paper.
Neuroscience has proven that when you write by hand, you compose ideas more thoughtfully because you are forced to slow down and be mindful of shaping the letters on the page. This practice could bring a brand-new level of clarity to your ambitious ideas.
Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn
Of all the signs, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorns may be hit the hardest by this retrograde, since it falls in an earth sign. Brace yourselves for major disruptions to your neatly planned schedules. But also know that this will be a blessing in disguise.
The reason? Chaos forces you to think outside the boxes you pragmatists tend to get trapped in. With this Mercury retrograde ramming through the creativity zones for earth signs, you have planetary permission to get your hands dirty—with art supplies, kitchen ingredients, and literal garden soil.
Seeds you plant during this retrograde may not take root. Think of them as “studies” that inform anything that you want to cultivate after May 14. While you’re digging for inspiration, check your archives. What retro version of yourself is ready for a comeback?
Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius
Buzzing around like pretty bumblebees is classic air sign behavior. But it’s hard to pollinate anything meaningful when you’re always on the move. While Mercury retrograde deep dives into the sensitivity sectors for Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius, it’s time to explore a more emotional landscape.
The tough news: feelings you tried to run from will catch up with you during the retrograde. The bright side? You’re in the perfect place to face them head-on, do some soul-searching, ugly cry with friends, and emerge feeling freer and more multidimensional than ever by May 14. As a bonus? One or two key relationships will be stronger than ever.
Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces
For comfort-loving water signs, hibernation is a year-round activity. But that doesn’t mean you should hide away. The world desperately needs your compassion, empathy, and culturally aware brand of cool.
So here’s some positive news for Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Mercury retrograde will hit your social sectors, luring you back onto Instagram and reminding you just how much you love entertaining your treasured, innermost circle. The “re” activity for water signs during this Mercury retrograde is obviously reunions.
Warning: you may also rethink certain alliances. Shield your field against energy vampires and reset boundaries with anyone who has a habit of crossing the ones you’ve attempted to establish. The rest will work itself out.
Identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut (a.k.a. The AstroTwins) are ELLE.com’s resident astrologers. They have written several astrology books, including Momstrology and Supercouple, and star as the astrological matchmakers for Prime Video’s Cosmic Love. The Eduts have read charts for celebrities the likes of Beyoncé, Karlie Kloss, and Emma Roberts. For their spot-on predictions, books, and online courses, check out our horoscopes coverage or visit astrostyle.com.