Star Signs

This is how you can survive the upcoming retrograde(s)

All you want to do is chill out until school starts, but the stars have something else in mind—aka throwing a li'l chaos your way in the form of three back-to-back retrogrades.

First, there's Mercury retrograde in Virgo on Aug. 23, causing communication and organizational mishaps of all kinds. Going along with that is Uranus retrograde in Taurus (Aug. 28), leading to big shifts in values priorities, *and* Jupiter retrograde in Taurus (Sept. 4), making us reassess our gals and take our time reaching for them. Sooo yeah, kind of a lot. 

Feeling frustrated, stuck or left with unanswered questions can amp up the pressure on any sign. But there's an upside: Retrogrades are a great time to shake things up—your social circle, your hobbies, your love life. This is your moment to take stock of what's working and what's not. Retrogrades inspire you to figure out who you are, what you want and what you stand for. Ready for it?


You're used to feeling in control and letting others learn from you. So without your A(ries)-game, you experience a bit of an identity crisis—one you didn't know you needed. Use this opp to allow someone else to inspire you, be it a friend, classmate or coach. It can be something as small as receiving a helpful note to a bigger talk about your greatest strengths. Absorb it all like a sponge. 


Your typically pristine room feels cluttered, your class notes are messy and you suddenly hate everything in your closet. Retrogrades are a signal to simplify: Donate clothes you never feel confident in. Turn that jumble of biology info into bullet points. Toss papers you're never going to organize. Tempted to make cuts in bigger areas of your life? Wait until Mercury retrograde ends Sept. 15. 


Gems love to gab, but thanks to Mercury retrograde, don't be surprised if you suddenly lose the point of a story mid-sentence. Time to lean into another important skill: listening. With other signs questioning their values, goals and dreams, this is the perfect time to lend a Gemini ear. You already bring enthusiasm. Coupled with making someone really feel heard, it's a BFF superpower. 


For many signs, retrogrades represent slow, steady introspection. But since you already do that 24/7, time to stick out your neck (or, um, pincers) and take a risk. Maybe, this school year, it's debuting the version of you that speaks up more in class, joins a club or sits at a new table in the caf. Whatever it is, there's no better time to give your more extroverted personality a test run. 


A hangout with you usually means you doling out advice and cracking jokes. But all of that giving leads to an empty tank. So this retrograde season, try opening up about your own feelings and fears. When Venus, planet of love and beauty, goes direct in your sign on Sept. 3, it'll make you realize just how lucky you are to have people show up for you the way you show up for them. 


This period can be brutal—all the things you're used to excelling at are feeling like way more of a challenge. Learning to sit with this discomfort is its own lesson: What do you value about yourself when you're *not* winning? When your season begins on Aug. 23, you'll start to feel more like your usual accomplished self. It's up to you to find peace in the period of time when it seems like you're behind. 


Action-oriented Mars entering your sign Aug. 27 makes you antsy to come to conclusions. It can be anything from choosing between two after-school clubs to two friend groups. Either way, this is the time to weigh the options, then make your move. With so many other elements of your life feeling slow right now, it's only natural to take the leap forward in any way you can


Retrogrades push us to examine the past. When the full moon happens in Pisces on Aug. 30, it hits you hard, making you think about recent resentments. Once Mercury leaves its retrograde on Sept. 15, your communication skills feel restored, so use them to start a long-overdue conversation with a friend/ex/family member. It may have a happier outcome this time around. 


Step back and take a hard look at how you're spending your time and energy: What are you overcommitting to? Is it a sport that no longer interests you or a one-sided friendship that leaves you drained? If a plan comes up that isn't a hard "yes", treat it as a "no." Sometimes we just need to hit pause and give ourselves a reset to remember how we really want to devote our time.


When you have a goal in mind, you typically have no problem pursuing it. But now, you feel doubtful of your dreams. That passion for athletics or art may feel like it fizzled out overnight, but before you make any rash decisions, examine where these new emotions are coming from. Do you need to act...or simply just recharge? Once you've done some digging, you'll know how to move forward.


With Uranus retrograde shaking up your interests, your eyes have been opened to people you previously dismissed, whether they're potential friends or crushes. Even if Mercury retrograde is making communication tricky, it's time for you to branch out of your immediate circle and give someone a new shot. The weirdest part of your year might just end up being a highlight. 


Retrogrades prompt emotional exploration, helping you see important patterns in relationships. Maybe you really like your crush, but they rarely text you back. Maybe you've known a friend for years, but they leave you feeling down after every hand. You don't necessarily have to cut anyone out—but you deserve to surround yourself with people who make you feel valued and supported. 

Want to know what else the stars are saying? Check out these related stories:
🌠 What your Mercury sign actually means (and how to turn it into your super power)
🌠 The signs as Taylor Swift songs
🌠 How to host a Leo birthday party this August

Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our August/September 2023 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.


by Lily Johnson | 8/23/2023