As humans, we seem to have a fascination with change and growth; in an era flowing with social media telling us how to grow and develop, and how to have ‘glow ups’, self-improvement is omniscient. These changes bring phases of challenges, such as the 75-hard, or resolutions such as the ones made on New Year. New beginnings are all-surrounding, and April brings a new time to flourish with the Mercury retrograde, in the star sign of Aries, beginning 1st April and ending on the 25th April. Retrogrades are when a planet’s power diminishes, and we're encouraged to slow down, reflect and redefine our paths forward, making sure not to make big decisions that could affect us. But, does the universe really affect us? 

Astronomy is the section of science dealing with celestial objects, space, and the universe, not to be confused with astrology which is the study of earthly and human events that are supposedly affected by astrological changes. Astronomy is a branch of science whereas astrology has little scientific proof and is a more spiritual practice.  

In a birth chart, Mercury rules the part of us which absorbs information and relays that information. When Mercury retrogrades, the normal flow of energy is reversed. Ideas and thoughts seem to get stuck within our mind, instead of easily pouring out to others, as the flow of relaying ideas is changed. During the retrograde, we are inspired to add citrus, lavender and mint into our lives whilst being encouraged to avoid big financial decisions and changes within relationships.  

Tom Vassos, an astronomer and founder of Cosmologists Without Borders, believes "there is absolutely no connection between Mercury's retrograde orbit and your mental well-being", however - much like a placebo effect – if you believe in the changes a retrograde could bring, it is likely you will see signs of this appearing in your everyday life as you will focus on seeing signs of a retrograde to the extent that they appear. Your mind will bring your beliefs into fruition, therefore, the retrograde can both affect you and have no impact on you.  

This retrograde, be aware of the significance of the changes in your life – as much as the universe may not have as large a scientific impact on us as some may assume, our minds have the power to create the reality we focus on.