From moon rituals to crystal healing, we've undoubtedly gone a bit woo-woo when it comes to our health and well-being, and a massive part of that is understanding exactly how the planetary calendars are affecting our balance here on Earth. I mean, let's face it: "Damn you, mercury in retrograde" has fast become our go-to scapegoat when things take a turn for the worst. In light of their new book, 2018 Planetary Planner: The Complete Annual Horoscope Guide for Every Sun Sign, we caught up with the Astro Twins to find out the dates we need to prepare for this year.
They might appear seemingly unimportant, but according to the Astro Twins, eclipses are key moments to look out for. These are the eclipse dates to add to your diary now:
31 January: Total Lunar Eclipse (Leo)
15 February: Solar Eclipse (Aquarius)
12 July: Solar Eclipse (Cancer)
27 July: Total Lunar Eclipse (Aquarius)
11 August: Solar Eclipse (Leo)
What's the problem with eclipses?
"Eclipses happen four to six times a year, bringing sudden changes and turning points to our lives," they explain. "If you've been sitting on the fence about an issue, an eclipse forces you to make a decision. Shocking as their delivery can be, eclipses help open up space for the new." Our advice: Note these dates in your diary, and when they come around, challenge yourself to make the decisions that have been bugging you.
But also note that all not all eclipses are the same. "There are two types of eclipses—solar and lunar," the twins explain. "Lunar eclipses fall at full moons. The earth passes directly between the sun and the moon, cutting off their communication and casting a shadow on the earth, which often appears in dramatic red and brown shades." So exactly the type of phenomenon that has us peering out of our windows wondering if the Armageddon is finally upon us.
The sisters go on to add, "What we discover about ourselves and others during lunar eclipses can be tough to swallow, even shocking. Still, this gives us the opportunity to embrace our wholeness and see where we have room to grow in new directions."
A solar eclipse, on the other hand, is when the new moon passes between the sun and the earth, shadowing the sun. "The effect is like a spiritual power outage—a solar eclipse either makes you feel wildly off-centre, or your mind becomes crystal-clear," they explain. So here it's important to note you might feel a bit off kilter, and retreating to spend time on self-care might not be a bad idea. If you're lucky enough to experience newfound clarity, use these moments to work out exactly what you want.
So how long have we got? "The effects of an eclipse can usually be felt for three to five days before and after the event (some astrologers say eclipses can announce themselves a month before or after, too)," they add. "Expect the unexpected, and wait for the dust to settle before you act on any eclipse-fueled impulses."
MERCURY IN RETROGRADE
Although this phenomenon doesn't occur as often, it lasts much longer than an eclipse. Put these 2018 dates in your diary now so you can plan ahead:
22 March–15 April
26 July–19 August
16 November–6 December
What's so bad about Mercury in retrograde anyway?
Good question—and the answer is quite a lot.
"The most commonly discussed retrograde is Mercury retrograde, which happens three to four times a year," explain the Astro Twins. "Mercury rules communication, travel and technology, and these transits are notorious for crashing computers, causing misunderstandings, delaying flights and even souring deals." No wonder we're always late whenever mercury is having a funny five minutes.
We've already shared our survival guide for getting through mercury in retrograde here, but the twins have some useful advice too. "Think of the prefix 're-' when planning the best use of a retrograde. Review, reunite, reconnect, research. Retrogrades aren't the best times to begin something new, but they can be stellar phases for tying up loose ends or giving a stalled mission a second chance." So if you've been sitting on a project you keep meaning to finish or been looking for a reason to connect with an old friend, this is it.
If you, like us, are desperate for more of these gems of wisdom, it might be wise to invest in the Astro Twins' new book to help you map out everything that might happen in the year ahead, according to your star sign. And lucky for you, they're offering Byrdie UK readers an exclusive 20% discount when you buy the book from their website: Enter the code 2018 at the checkout.
Opening image: Wildfox.