Here comes our first Mercury retrograde in 2018, it is happening in Aries, from 5 - 17 degree, from 22 Mar to 15 Apr. However, note there are 2 shadow periods before (8 Mar - 22 Mar) and after (15 Apr - 4 May). It is the time when the retrograde period still persists.
First of all,, Mercury as a planet would not go backward, it was only a type of illusion from the perspective of human on earth. (So it re-confirm the terms that 'what we see is what we believe'?) It is like 2 cars turning to the same direction and one goes slower than the other, making people on the faster car feels that the slower car is going backward. It is all about going in different speed.
Mercury rules a lot of things in our daily life, from daily communication, such as speaking or writing a blog post, to high level signing certain kind of contracts. When it becomes retrograde, things ruled by Mercury will not go smooth. (That's why Mercury Retrograde has such a bad reputation!) However, this is when the universe steps in and ask you to review things. It maybe someone you left without a clear explanation, or there are terms that need your special attention. In general, Mercury rules our communication, thoughts, business trading, technology, etc.
Please thus avoid starting something new, e.g. new job, buying new house or something expensive. Even try to avoid moving house or going on trips because things will not go smooth, like you may lost something, encounter some kind of delay or missed out a passport, etc. Especially anything that you want to be sustainable, try to avoid starting it in this period. If you really need to proceed such things, expect some kind of re-visiting of this issue. However, it is the very time to visit old things, especially throwing out old stuff, re-consider plans, set new criteria, visit old friends, re-start something that you left incomplete.
What so special about this retrograde?
Using the spring equinox as the beginning of the year, most of the personal planets are already in Aries, including the Sun, Mercury, Venus. While Mars and Saturn are in Capricorn, we are then affected by a Mercury retrograde immediately. I would say this year we are very much required to proceed in a careful way, either in a discipline way or by referencing back to the past (this can be someone from the past or an approach used in the past). We will need to build something new (to proceed), but referencing the past, what are good to keep and what are bad to be thrown away. Especially when Mars and Saturn conjunct, it paths the way on where we should focus on in the coming two and a half years!
What's so interesting about this retrograde is that, there is no planet in air sign at all, (even Jupiter is in Scorpio, a water sign), where air element rules rational thinking and thoughts. So the communication may get very subjective or emotional. During the period around 1 - 4 April, things will be even worse (or the peak of this retrograde season?) because Mercury is so close to the Sun which is combusted; plus Mars and Saturn conjunct exactly. People will be pushed to review what is their new plan and what needs to be eliminated or cultivated.
What to do?
To cope with Mercury retrograde: Try to avoid making big decision on purchasing something expansive or be careful with the terms and contracts. Also, be careful with the way you communicate with people, try to get a balance between the way how you deliver your message and make sure your message is understood.
To plan for the year ahead, with the help of Mars and Saturn conjunct in Capricorn. Particularly where does this happen in your natal chart, different houses have different meaning and thus gives you the direction where to pay attention to. That's one of the main reasons why it is good to consult an astrologer when there is something you are serious to work on.
Good luck with the Mercury Retrograde season!