Everyone knows that Mercury retrograde is a garbage period of time where you fight with your friends more, watch your plans get canceled repeatedly, and generally feel really out of it for no good reason. But it's not the only astrological event that can dramatically change your life. These star-related scenarios can impact or temporarily ruin your life just as much as Mercury retrograde does:
WHEN AN "INNER PLANET" CHANGES SIGNS
Mercury (planet of communication), Venus (planet of relationships), and Mars (planet of passion) are the "inner planets"—AKA the "personal planets." So when any of these planets move into a different sign and change up how you interact with other people (or yourself), you definitely notice it!
While none of these planets usually spend more than two months in any given sign, they can hang out for longer if they're in retrograde and make you feel like you're eternally trapped in a personal funk.
Venus is known for being the planet of relationships, but it also rules money, beauty, and pleasure. When it seems to move in reverse, those areas of life can feel disrupted or turned upside-down. Therefore, Venus retrograde is a period where your values and relationships are under review.
Financial imbalances, unusually difficult relationship problems, attractions to new people and experiences, and past relationships resurfacing are all strong themes of Venus retrograde. If you're feeling on the rocks with someone, this is the time where you might be inclined to do some soul-searching to see if the relationship is still right for you.
Venus retrograde only happens once every year and a half, and lasts around a month and a half. Because they're both ruled by Venus, Taurus and Libra should expect to feel the impact of Venus retrograde the most.
When Mars goes into retrograde, your energy, libido, and motivation all decrease while your impatience increases. Tempers are short, you feel more frantic, and random accidents are more likely. (Basically, you're restless and angry without really knowing why. Fun!)
The good news is that this cycle only occurs every two years. The bad news is that it lasts for eight to 12 weeks. Since Aries and Scorpio are ruled by Mars, they will feel the most affected and frustrated during this retrograde.
Solar eclipses occur two to four times per year and represent sudden life events that invoke specific lessons you're destined to learn at pivotal points in your ~journey~. They also mark periods where uncontrollable outside forces stir up drama that you must quickly resolve.
The result is usually a new job, relationship, project, or unexpected outlet for significant personal growth...but not before you're forced to do some serious damage control or make some hefty decisions. Leos are most affected by solar eclipses because they are ruled by the sun. Other signs will only be impacted by a solar eclipse if it lands on a planet or point in your personal chart.
Like solar eclipses, a lunar eclipse can also happen two to four times per year. Unexpected news or challenges appear out of nowhere and you're compelled to work through struggles that lead to personal growth and development.
The main difference is while solar eclipses represent new opportunities, a lunar eclipse typically marks the emotional culmination or apex of a project or relationship, and initiates a waning cycle to push the old out of your lives and make room for new changes brought by future solar eclipses. While potential breakups or job resignations don't sound fun or ideal, such changes are all for the best down the line! Lunar eclipses will effect moon-ruled Cancers the most, but will only cause a substantial impact if it occurs on a planet or point in your individual chart.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.