Skeptic or hardcore believer, few of us can resist blaming Mercury retrograde when sh-t hits the fan—and since the astrological phenomenon happens three times a year, it feels like it’s pretty much always around to blame. But whether they muddy our mental process or create a hot mess in our relationships, there are actual several other cosmic culprits responsible for tampering with our moods during their own retrograde cycles. Meet the lineup of planetary bodies notorious for causing the most havoc.
ICYMI: Mercury Retrograde
The planet of communication, as its known, starts moving backwards again December 19, completing its journey on January 8, 2017. (Insider tip: the backwards thing is actually a visual illusion created by its position in relation to our planet. But the effects on the psyche can feel very real.) When this planet switches course, it’s advisable to mind your thoughts and words. Not only will you be frustrated by constantly tripping over yourself, petty issues or emotional distress just below the surface will have a way of inconveniently bubbling up, potentially putting strain on relationships of all kinds. So, like, the holidays should be real interesting this year…
Venus RetrogradeA lesser-known emotional sh-t-disturber—but no less impactful—is the planet Venus. When she spins in reverse every year and a half, expect her to mess with things like love and relationships—definitely not the best time to try and take that dating status to bae level. You’re bound to ghost, or be ghosted, once the planet of romance returns to its usual forward motion.
Next retrograde: March 6 to April 15, 2017
By far, the heavy mood hitter is Saturn. Astrologically speaking, this cold planet is the authority figure, meant to keep you on the right path, the slow and efficient route. During its roughly yearly retro motion, self-discipline seems to slip away in certain areas of life. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself walking away from certain responsibilities without a care. And for better or worse, boundaries of all kinds could be temporarily broken down.
Next retrograde: April 6 to August 26, 2017
Generally considered your desire and drive planet, Mars goes retrograde every two years. Expect to become more lax when it comes to updating your Snapchat/Instagram/Twitter/Facebook, because you just can’t be bothered. And like your work ethic, you can expect your libido take a dip. Sucks, right? But there’s a positive flip side: if you naturally tend toward spontaneity and recklessness, your act-without-thinking vibe could be curbed during this time, helping you temporarily move through life with a cool head.
Next retrograde: June 26 to August 27, 2018
How to deal
To limit emotional casualties during these periods, it’s best to go with the flow and try to work with the planets’ energies. The retrograde effects may temporarily kick you in the ass, but ultimately they’re doing you a solid by giving the necessary lessons to help you grow.