The planet that rules communication is flipping into a backspin, and taking our love lives with it. 

By Sara Coughlin
Updated Mar 05, 2019 @ 10:26 am
Copyright 2019 Michela Ravasio/Stocksy

Hope you enjoyed your relatively quiet start to 2019, because the very first Mercury retrograde of the year arrives at our doorstep Tuesday, March 5, ready to stir us into a collective frenzy. Expect dropped calls, awkward encounters, lost passwords, and all the other classic signs that the messenger planet has hit the backward button, but, there’s one more thing you should watch out for this time around. Since Mercury will be in Pisces for the duration of this retrograde, we’ll have to keep a close — like, microscopic — watch on our hearts.

If you aren’t already familiar with this Zodiac sign, here’s a little Pisces 101: Ruled by water and the planet Neptune, and appearing last on the Wheel of the Zodiac, Pisces is an empathetic, highly sensitive sign with a vivid imagination. People born during Pisces season are often described as “old souls” for their emotional intelligence and depth of intuition.

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Normally, having Mercury in Pisces is pretty pleasant: We’re more likely to sense how others are feeling, and strive to express our own feelings more clearly. But, when Mercury is retrograde, this Piscean influence gets flipped on its head. Self-expression will not come easily, and emotional understanding will be hard won, if won at all. Naturally, the areas of your life in which you’re the most emotionally vulnerable will feel this effect most intensely — and that means your love life.

If you’re trying to share something big with your partner, it may come out wrong. If you offer them constructive criticism that you think is helpful, they may receive it as harsh or insulting. If you’ve been dating someone new, you might end up shutting them out when you mean to forge a deeper bond. Mercury retrograde affects clear communication, and this time it’s coming in hot for our interpersonal talk. In other words, it won’t be easy to make your true feelings known. But, as astrologer Susan Miller writes on her site Astrology Zone, your first move during a Mercury retrograde in a water sign should be to stick with your intuition. Follow what your gut tells you to do, even if you feel awkward or unsure.

Since Mercury rules communication in general, when Mercury turns retrograde, you’ll want to avoid signing contracts, double check every message you send — even on social media — and be extra careful that all systems are clear in your car, computer, phone, or any other high tech thingies you rely on from your day-to-day. 

The best way to get through this hazy period is to remember the golden rule of Mercury retrograde: Take it slow. No matter what sign happens to be hosting Mercury retrograde, these periods want us to hit pause and review our work and feelings before taking further action. So, If tempers start to rise or big topics end up getting broached too soon, step back and ask your S.O. for a rain check. Mercury will be direct by the 28th, at which point clearer, calmer heads should prevail.

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But as a heads up, there are some more Mercury retrograde dates in 2019: July 8 (in Leo) through August 1 (in Cancer), and again from October 31 to November 20 (in Scorpio). Best of luck through these difficult times.