The next Mercury retrograde is hitting in late-October, and hanging around for an awfully long time.

Mercury Retrograde Is Going to Mess up Your Halloween AND Thanksgiving Plans
Credit: Kayla Snell/Stocksy

This Halloween, the tricks may outweigh the treats by a rather wide margin. This year’s third Mercury retrograde will kick off on October 31 in the appropriately #dark sign of Scorpio. This will also be the last Mercury retrograde in 2019 — but that doesn’t mean it will go quietly.

This planetary backspin will, of course, bring the usual issues we’ve come to dread about Mercury retrogrades: confusion, mismanaged logistics, lapses in judgment, and a general sense of social awkwardness. But, in order to understand how this particular retrograde period will affect us, we must take a closer look at the sign that will host it.

As one of the three water signs of the Zodiac, Scorpio is a bit of an outlier, lacking Cancer and Pisces’ warm and fuzzy reputation. Rather, Scorpio people tend to wield their (usually excellent) intuition like a weapon, using it to predict what changes are to come, who they can rely on when they do, and who they should absolutely avoid. This calculating inner monologue can lead some Scorps to seem cold or a little intense — but it also makes them immensely loyal and trusting friends once they let you in.

When Mercury retrograde’s perilous influence is channeled through this mysterious sign, it’s fair to anticipate an uptick in the expected social awkwardness we mentioned earlier. Matters of trust and intimacy will bubble to the surface, prompting jealousy and even paranoia. You may catch yourself overanalyzing the most minor interactions you have, replaying them in your head as if you could scan them for hidden meanings.

If you fall into this pattern of suspicion, try to keep your feelings separate from the facts. As scary as this may sound, the only way you can be totally clear on a complex situation is to ask the other party directly what’s up. And, knowing what we know about Mercury retrograde’s ability to scramble signals and remove nuance from online communication, it’s best to carry out these conversations IRL. Lead with a listening ear, try not to jump to conclusions, and take a breather if you say too much. Thinking like a Scorp and going with your gut will help you navigate any tricky retrograde-inspired misunderstandings.

Finally, this retrograde will last until November 20. On one hand, that means Thanksgiving 2019 won’t be subject to the brunt of its effects, but it’s likely that your attempts to plan for it will. If you’re traveling for the holiday, book your tickets ASAP (before the 31st), settle on your itinerary early, and consider springing for premium coverage on your rental car. Mercury retrograde loves to sabotage all the logistics that help a trip run smoothly, so sidestep any unnecessary headaches by booking your Turkey Day well in advance.

Unfortunately, even if you’re staying put over Thanksgiving, your celebration could still end up soured by what’s known as Mercury retrograde’s “shadow period,” or the two weeks following the actual end of the retrograde, where its frustrating effects are waning but still present. Group dinners always come with the risk of committing a faux pas, but be doubly careful to keep your foot out of your mouth at this year’s Friendsgiving. If you make it to December without any interpersonal blunders or lost luggage, you'll have plenty to be thankful for cruising into the new year.