This Mercury Retrograde in Aries Will Be Peak Chaos

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

Unfortunately, this year the joke is really on us. On April 1 — yes, April Fools’ Day — Mercury retrograde returns. Dun dun duuun!

For roughly the next three weeks (until April 25), Mercury will appear to be sliding in reverse, making everything extra annoying. And though Mercury does this backward flip several times every year, each Mercury retrograde has its own unique style of chaos. What should you expect from this one? Read on to uncover everything you need to know about our upcoming Mercury retrograde in Aries.

What’s the deal with Mercury retrograde?

Mercury is anything but sluggish. This celestial body zooms through space, completing a full orbit of the Sun in a mere 88 days. So it’s no coincidence (there are no coincidences) that Mercury shares its name with the Roman deity responsible for commerce, transportation, travel, and communication. Essentially, Mercury holds sway over all that we engage with in our daily lives: social media, emails, text messages, and any other types of exchanges and contracts. Usually, that’s a good thing; Mercury ensures everything is going according to plan. But every so often, Mercury goes backward, spins out of control, and veers off course.

Well, not actually.

In reality, Mercury doesn’t go backward — retrograde motion is an optical illusion based on Earth’s orbital speed syncing with the other celestial body’s rotation. In fact, all planets “go retrograde”; it’s a totally normal part of the cosmic rhythm. Mercury retrograde, however, is the most frequent and thus the most notorious. And when this planet goes through a visual distortion, we too get all twisted.

What do I need to know about this particular Mercury retrograde?

This Mercury retrograde, which begins on Monday, April 1, takes place in the sign of Aries. The first sign of the zodiac, Aries is fiery and spirited. The sign abides by a “leap before you think” approach to life and is known for its impulsive, reactive nature. On a good day, Mercury in Aries is bold, courageous, and passionate — this placement isn’t afraid to speak up for itself, call out the bullshit, and volunteer as tribute. But on a bad day, Mercury in Aries can be a bit brash. This placement sends emails without proofreading, professes big feelings without considering the consequences, and is always the first to raise its hand, even if it doesn’t have the answers.

Naturally, these challenging qualities will be amplified during Mercury retrograde. For the next three weeks, we should anticipate lots of impulsive, knee-jerk reactions. People will say things they don’t really mean. Minor inconveniences will catalyze massive meltdowns. Communication breakdowns will result in full-blown temper tantrums. And since Aries is considered the baby of the zodiac (it’s the first sign, after all), we’ll all end up feeling a bit immature during this upcoming Mercury retrograde.

Are we doomed?!

Even though Mercury retrograde can be a real headache, the calamities are always manageable — especially if you plan in advance. For the next few weeks, be sure to check your messages for embarrassing typos (and be sure they’re addressed to the correct recipients!), cushion your travel itineraries with lots of extra time (delays will be inevitable), back up your most important files to mitigate damage via technological meltdowns, and triple-check the fine print of your contracts. Oh, and block your ex (you’ll thank me later).

For this particular Mercury retrograde, the most important lesson (and the biggest challenge) is to remain calm. Avoid jumping to conclusions. Or making dramatic accusations. Or burning bridges over petty miscommunications. I know we live in a world of immediacy — in which everything needed to be done yesterday — but for the next few weeks, consider adopting the fine art of slowing down, taking your time, and sleeping on a big decision. Groundbreaking!

While you’re trying to mitigate the damage of the more difficult qualities of Mercury in Aries, this is a wonderful opportunity to lean into the positive aspects of this placement. Be brave! Take (calculated) risks! Speak up for yourself! Hone your leadership skills! Mercury in Aries invites us to celebrate our most authentic self unapologetically, so don’t be afraid to express your wants, needs, and desires. Sure, it may take a few attempts before you’re really understood, but practice makes perfect. Good luck out there!

When does this Mercury retrograde end?

Mark your calendars for Thursday, April 25. But remember: A retroshade period follows any retrograde. Find out what that means here.

More astrology news and guides

See All
This Mercury Retrograde in Aries Will Be Peak Chaos