What Mistake That’s Def Your Fault Should You Blame on Mercury in Retrograde, Based on Your Sign

We are midway through Mercury in Retrograde in ARIES of all things, and listen, if you think Aries is impulsive and volatile, just wait until we get to moody yet also stubborn Taurus. Mercury went retrograde starting April 1 and won’t be stationary until April 25. Combine this with the recent eclipse season for extra chaos, and extra retrograde and returning-to-unfinished-business energy. (I’ve heard this eclipse actually mirrors the one in the second half of 2017 so that you might see echoes of whatever was going on in your life in August / September 2017 returning right about now.) And look, we are all trying to be better people. Regardless of whatever Sun sign we may have or whatever Rising sign the universe may want us to be, I know that each of us wants to work on evolving into a better person.

But that doesn’t happen overnight. Two steps forward, one step, back, right? Luckily, Mercury in Retrograde does more than churn up things we thought were in our past for good; it also makes for an absolutely exquisite, queer-friendly* excuse for our less-than-stellar behavior. So, for this month’s trashology, I asked the question: What mistake are you blaming on Mercury in Retrograde based on your zodiac sign?

*(Except for the queer people who hate astrology…beware of attempting to use Mercury in Retrograde as an excuse with them!)

Aries Sun or Rising


Not listening.

Hon, I’m sorry. You haven’t been listening. You weren’t going to listen. Mercury, whether he’s shining all his golden light on you or retrograding into the deepest most backwards path in space, is not going to help you in this endeavor. As the most childlike sign, you sometimes have trouble concentrating on what others have to say, and yes, communications can be strained during Mercury in Retrograde. But, come on. We know you could use to practice your active listening. It’s okay. At least, when you’re focused and you actually hear the other person, your friends know they can count on you to be on their side. Maybe concentrate on that part instead of trying to excuse yourself with the current arrangement of the planets.

Taurus Sun or Rising


Breaking or damaging something relatively important.

Maybe you broke your work laptop because you left it in an unsafe — ahem, totally reasonable — spot and Mercury in Retrograde came along and swept it off its perch. Maybe you — sorry, maybe Mercury in Retrograde — dropped your phone into the bathtub. Maybe communications were difficult and you banged your car up…while parallel parking.

It’s Mercury in Retrograde!

Gemini Sun or Rising

Getting the tone wrong with a text message.

This could actually be Mercury in Retrograde, though. Your zodiac sign is normally a pretty good communicator — Mercury in Retrograde or no. But if texting isn’t one of the communication arts you’ve mastered, you might find yourself responding with a “k” or “ok” to someone who’s feeling insecure (as a Gemini, you’re not super familiar with this feeling) or otherwise misinterpreting a text or typing something in an odd way in haste. I feel like a normal apology is also okay in this instance? Like, you don’t have to bring Mercury in Retrograde into it? But you know what — go wild Party Twins, go wild. Blame the planets. People will love you anyway.

Cancer Sun or Rising


Being grumpy.

Cancer, hate to break it to you, but it isn’t “Eclipse Season” or “Mercury in Retrograde” making you grumpy. You have at least one grumpy day a week, friend, all of the time. But, hey, we still love you. It’s just…you know…it’s an excuse.

Leo Sun or Rising


Texting your ex.

Why are YOU the ex who is texting? Stop that. Oh, you won’t? You’re instead going to be like “Oh, oops looks like Mercury in Retrograde brought your ex back into your life, and it’s meeee!” Wow. You might be relying on your charisma to pull this off, maybe even waiting until 11:11 to text to really sell it, and, well, someone might just buy it. But that doesn’t make it okay!

Virgo Sun or Rising


Being anal at work.

No, being “afraid” that wires might get crossed during Mercury in Retrograde or that an email or a text might not have been sent, or a call might not have been made, or that someone might not be doing things exactly as you would do them yourself does not give you an excuse to get on other peoples’ cases or to micromanage your employees or coworkers. You’re like this all the time! Take a deep breath and know that if it’s anything astrological, it has to do with your core placements…not retrogrades.

Libra Sun or Rising


“Forgetting” to invite or include a person of whom you’re jealous.

Libraaaa, this is kind of transparent, don’t you think? I know that this individual really sparks your envy, that they get you fired up when you’re around them, and that after the hang is concluded, rehashing everything sends you into an anxiety spiral. I also know that you like to keep the peace, my scale-balancing friend. However, this is not a long term solution. You’re going to have to figure something else out when Mercury in Retrograde ends on April 25. Just saying.

Scorpio Sun or Rising


Lightly stalking your ex.

Hi (said with the intention of getting you to un-tense and breathe normally). This is just Scorpio behavior. Just because Mercury and then the moon and the sun got up to some funny business does not mean that you’re in the clear to let your inner FBI shine through (ACAB OKAY). Make like the responsible keeper of a haunted doll and keep that stalker shit locked in a well-warded box!

Sagittarius Sun or Rising


“Taking a break” from your phone…while still using your phone.

You’re just really selectively checking messages and responding to people up to days or a week later? But you’re like, actively looking at Instagram and TikTok? And you never informed anyone of your new behaviors?

This is not a phone break. This is a notification and personal responsibilities break. And while I will never say that anyone ever has a right to your immediate response to a text or other missive, if you’re overwhelmed…maybe just say so? Otherwise, it sends mixed messages…so…does that actually make it a Mercury in Retrograde thing? (Now I’m spiraling.)

Capricorn Sun or Rising


Actively letting your ex know you’re watching.

Whether you’re peeking at their Insta stories (because you still totally want the best for them, of course, or feel you deserve to know what they’re up to and so maybe you even made an anonymous second account, you, uh, not at all intense earth sign, you), suddenly “liking” something they posted, or logging into a platform just to see their latest updates, you can only get away with pretending you were doing something else or Totally Not Stalking Them for so long. But, you know, Godspeed for as long as you can manage it! Maybe it’s Mercury in Retrograde that made you like their post, maybe it’s a drop of water on your phone screen, and maybe it’s Maybelline. Who can say?

Aquarius Sun or Rising



Hon-bun, this is just what you do. For all your coldness, you uh, also, are just very open. And right now, yes, your most devastating core memories may be coming back. Exes may be stalking you. You might be having flashbacks to what happened in 2017, but you also, as an Aquarius, ought to have the ability to maintain a little equipoise, to slow your roll, to chill the heck out. We have a reputation to maintain!

But, you know what, yeah, if you let a little too much slip — blame the planets.

Pisces Sun or Rising


Claiming you “saw it coming.”


We’re tired of this, Pisces! You didn’t! Or next time if you do, tell us, then!

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Nico Hall is Autostraddle's and For Them's Membership Editorial and Ops Dude, and has been working in membership and the arts for over a decade. They write nonfiction both creative and the more straightforward variety, too, as well as fiction. They are currently at work on a secret project. Nico is also haunted. You can find them on Twitter and Instagram. Here's their website, too.

Nico has written 226 articles for us.

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