On November 16th, Venus finally left it’s 40-day retrograde period, no longer wreaking havoc on our relationships, and returned direct. Hallelujah! We can all breathe a sigh of relief. But wait not fast! It’s now Mercury’s time to hurtle backwards, bringing its standard plethora of communication and technology problems. And it started the same day Venus Retrograde ended. Ugh.

If it feels like we haven’t caught a cosmic break that’s because we haven’t. Since the summer there has been up to seven planets in retrograde at once. Yikes. And while we’ve welcomed (begrudgingly at times) the shake-up to our lives and karmic life lessons they’ve brought, we need a break! Thankfully, once Mercury returns direct on December 6th, we’ll be done with cosmic chaos for a while – just in time for the holiday season.

So what does this Mercury Retrograde have in store for us?

This one is a little complicated (I mean are you surprised at this point?). This time Mercury goes retrograde in the fiery sign of Sagittarius – its near complete opposite. Sagittarius is fun-loving, impulsive, and prefers crafting a magical reality rather than sticking to just the facts – a difficult transit for analytical and detail-oriented Mercury even when direct. And with the confounding aspect of a retrograde, and you’ll need to stay on your toes. Make sure you are planning way, way, way ahead to avoid blunders and mistakes. This is not the time to throw caution into the wind – especially in the communications department. Sagittarius is known for its direct and often brutally honest communication style – add Mercury’s influence on communication and you’ll want to really make sure you pause and consider your words carefully before you tell your best friend what you really think of her new boyfriend.

This will also be a time where it may be difficult to discern dreams from reality. Before you run off to Vegas with your new lover, take a moment to kiss the frog to see if they really are a prince.

On top of that Mercury will be Square Neptune during most of this retrograde cycle, distorting your thinking in the realm of business matters. You may be more susceptible to scams and pushy salespeople during this time, so make sure you do not sign contracts without first getting a second opinion from a professional or trusted advisor. The converse is true as well – This is not the time to try to pull the wool over someone else’s eyes! Little white lies backfire in big ways this retrograde season. It’s much better to play it straight (though honestly, this should apply all of the time).

And while Mercury Retrograde begins in visionary Sagittarius, the planet finishes its backward trajectory in passionate and intuitive Scorpio. Watery Scorpio loves to bring to the surface that what has been hidden in the murky depths, so don’t be surprised when new information comes to light that will cause you to have to change your plans. However, be open to change – as Mercury turns direct you’ll be able to use this new information and sudden mental clarity to resolve once and for all the issues that arose during the retrograde. Relationships will get an extra boost as Mercury trines Chiron at this time, increasing your empathy and bestowing you the gift to heal through your words. So if you got a little brash at the Thanksgiving dinner table with your crazy uncle, you’ll be able to smooth it over before Christmas.

Finally, remember that while Mercury Retrograde seems to get the worst astrological rap of all, it always brings with it opportunity – a chance to go back and fix what may have been overlooked or is no longer serving you. So seize the opportunity, be a little patient with yourself and others, and realize that no matter craziness the universe is always unfolding as it should.

You got this.