Wondering why you've been feeling like utter crap this month?
If not, congratulations. You're in the minority. If so, it might have to do with the fact that Donald Trump is almost certainly the Republican nominee—but that's not what an astrologer would tell you. If you look at the planets, this month is a rare disaster.
Psychic, astrologer, and star of TLC's Psychic Matchmaker Deborah Graham says she's been recently bombarded with complaints about people's lives falling apart. She blames the fact that a ton of planets are in retrograde right now. (Mercury passes between our planet and the Sun today, FYI.) "My phones have been ringing off the hook this week," she told Complex, "more so than they have been in any retrograde that I've ever seen."
Between April 28 and May 9, five planets were in retrograde simultaneously, amounting to an astrological hellscape, to put it scientifically. This hasn't happened in 10 years, Elle UK resident astrologer and Surviving Saturn's Return author Stefanie Weiss told Complex. When a planet is in retrograde, it moves more slowly than usual, which makes it looks like it's moving backwards.
Jupiter, Pluto, Saturn, and Mars have all been screwing with us over these past few weeks. But if Graham had to pick one culprit for our troubles, it would be Mercury, the ruler of communication and technology. Mercury has been in retrograde since April 28 and will be until May 22, and we'll just have to get through it together. What this movement essentially does is make everything regress, just like the planet.
"Your relationships are backwards. Your life is backwards. Your emotions are backwards. Everything is going in the wrong direction," Graham explains. You just can't seem to get through to anyone, she added. "You feel like you wake up to a big puddle of shit."
Two of Graham's clients, for example, told her they were about to end their relationships for no reason other than "feeling disconnected." One even got the divorce papers ready just three days after Mercury's retrograde movement started. Another client said all her work emails were suddenly bouncing, and yet another tried to buy a house and found the money missing from her bank account. On top of that, she was set to start a new job when the company went back on the offer. "She said, 'I just feel emotionally like I want to jump out of my skin. I feel like I have no control over my life.' That's exactly how it makes you feel," Graham explained.
Getting a new job and buying a new house were both huge mistakes, according to Graham. Mercury retrograde is not the time to start anything new, whether that's a relationship, work project, or living situation. Instead, this is the time to turn inward and focus on you. Astrologer Susan Miller, creator of Astrology Zone, said you should also abstain from purchasing new electronics, getting married or engaged, or undergoing surgery during a Mercury retrograde—or shortly afterward, for that matter. In fact, she recommends waiting until June. "The longer you can give it, the better it is for your progress," she said.
Astrologer Chuck Hosford told Complex that he considers Mercury retrograde a time for "re"s, like reevaluating your choices, reuniting with people, and rejuvenating your health. Graham suggests a dietary detox, a meditation routine, and some good old-fashioned pampering. She also recommends forgiving people from your past and reflecting on your future without making any concrete plans. Soul-searching will go far right now.
While Graham and Hosford have been most aware of Mercury, Weiss said Mars has been giving people the most trouble. (According to Miller, these two affect us most because they're closest.) Graham called Mars retrograde "a blood-sucking vampire," and Weiss confirmed that it zaps your energy, even compromising your physical health. Her clients just can't seem to check anything off their to-do lists, and she's felt this sluggishness herself. "No matter how many cups of coffee I had, I couldn't wake up," she said. Mars retrograde actually leaves you more prone to injuries, she added, so you should tread carefully with exercise.
But this doesn't mean you should stop moving altogether. Indeed, Mars retrograde is a good time to start a gentle exercise routine, like walking or yoga. Since it can make you more aggressive, it's important to get that energy out. For that same reason, Weiss says it's best to avoid heated confrontations until Mars goes direct on June 29, or at least until the end of Mercury retrograde, which leaves us prone to miscommunication. According to Miller, you shouldn't enter any sort of competition during Mars retrograde because it takes extra effort to win. And as far as the energy drain goes, it's better to just go with it. "Instead of being slowed down by the planets, which will inevitably happen, intentionally slow down whatever you can manage," said Weiss.
Despite all this madness, believe it or not, astrologers view our current cosmic mayhem as a blessing in disguise. Hosford observed that although the planets' motions are out of whack, their alignment is actually fortuitous. They're currently bunched in a grand trine, or an equilateral triangle, which brings good luck.
"This is a time to tune into the unconscious drives," said Weiss, adding that journaling can help you unlock your heightened intuition. "You can access creative parts of you that you don't necessarily always tune into."
"Fearing Mercury or any other retrograde only brings more fear as delays occur," said Graham. "With this current retrograde period falling in the earth sign of Taurus, we can decide to be the bull in the china shop or we can embrace this time to find our way towards a more grounded and welcoming lifestyle."
It's cliché but true: The most trying times are the ones that teach us the most. With retrogrades bringing our problems to the forefront of our minds, we can address them now and emerge with new and improved lives as the planets travel back into place.
So when you're at your wit's end and you just can't take it anymore, Graham recommends literally reciting out loud, "I am light. I am power. I am strength."