The second out of the four Mercury retrogrades happening this year is occurring this month, and this Mercury retrograde is a reality check. Mercury was formerly in the earth sign Taurus and will be in retrograde from April 21 until May 14. To get down to the basics of what this particular Mercury retrograde is going to feel like, we examine Taurus. Taurus is a sign dedicated to groundedness, patience, and love, and enjoys all of the earthly pleasures this life has to offer. Taurus is also aligned with finances, and financial drama is more likely during this time. This Mercury retrograde is a big learning opportunity when it comes to defining where your true values and priorities are and how you could be getting in the way of not only accomplishing your goals but enjoying yourself too.
Over the next few weeks, the universe is asking you, how willing are you to remain patient for your seeds to bloom? If you knew what you wanted was going to come true for you, how would you act or move in the meantime? Would you enjoy your life more and find more gratitude, confidence, and stability today? This Mercury retrograde transit is overall a great time for some extra TLC, rest, open-mindedness, and flexibility. Mercury will be forming a conjunction with Uranus during this transit, and you can expect the unexpected. Things are shaking up during this Mercury retrograde, and once Mercury goes direct, a lot of people will find themselves on new ground and more aligned and assured with their path.
Mercury retrograde will be in your financial zone, and this is the time to put a little more precaution when it comes to finances, spending, and investments. You could be spending more than planned during this time or experiencing some unexpected financial revelations. Mercury retrograde will be showing you new avenues of wealth but also the importance of honoring your values and that you are worthy of all you want in life. Do things that make you feel confident and that align with your self-esteem, and know that the stability you are seeking right now will come from within first and foremost. You are finding new ground during this Mercury retrograde.
This Mercury retrograde is occurring in your sign during your season, and you are going to be feeling this one the most, Taurus. This Mercury retrograde overall for you is about personal growth, clarity, and re-discovering who you are. You are going through a journey of the soul during this transit and will be learning more about yourself, your needs, and your goals in the process. You could be feeling a little misunderstood at times during this retrograde, and you will be getting an opportunity to get your message clear and find your voice and way of expression that feels good for you. It’s about honoring this growth and development you have been going through and seeing yourself in a new, more favorable, and accepting light.
Your ruling planet goes retrograde, and this time for you is all about getting closure. The past may be coming up more than usual for you right now, and you are getting the opportunity to heal, accept, and let go once and for all. This Mercury retrograde for you overall is a time of unpacking. Since Mercury will be moving through your 12th house, things get deep, and your emotional world will be feeling a little more enhanced. This Mercury retrograde will be a catalyst for change for you, and you are getting more time away for yourself and your mental health.
Acknowledge what is coming up for you, but don’t let it control you.
Over the next few weeks, you will be diving deeper into your dreams and aspirations, sense of community, friendships, and happiness. Friendships are going through a growth spurt, and you are getting clarity on who your people are and who you want to surround yourself with. There may be some more conflicts with others on the horizon, but overall this transit is about defining what friendship means to you, getting re-inspired, and trusting your gut instincts. Divine intervention is coming into play, and you are getting the opportunity to see more clearly the path you are headed on, who you are headed there with, and if that’s what truly inspires and fulfills you.
Your career, public life, reputation, and professional world are being influenced by Mercury retrograde during this time, and you will be taking a look at your current goals and where you are headed with them. There could be some more bumps in the road than expected when it comes to career goals but know that this is all temporary. Life tends to feel a little more public or out in the open when Mercury is in retrograde in your 10th house, and you may be thinking more about the way you are being perceived. Know that this time for you is overall about getting a better understanding of how you want to show up and what the next steps for you are within your career or public life.
This Mercury retrograde is an awakening for you, Virgo. Your ruling planet is Mercury, so whatever it is doing in the sky is especially influential for you. During this particular Mercury retrograde, your 9th house of travel, adventure, education, and spirituality are in the spotlight, and you are overall finding your way. You could feel like the path you have planned for yourself isn’t playing out exactly how you expected, and you are learning the importance of being flexible and finding your strength and sense of purpose within. You could be feeling tested to have more faith and to believe more in yourself and what you are trying to pursue, and it’s all about gaining direction for you right now. Expect help from unexpected places, and open your mind, Virgo.
Intimacy, transformation, commitment, and shared finances are being highlighted for you during this Mercury retrograde. You are moving through a journey of seeing where your time and energy have been spent and how you are feeling about the return you are seeing in your life for the work you are putting in. Imbalances within a romantic relationship, platonic or business, will become more apparent to you right now, and you are gaining the necessary clarity to make some important changes. You are moving through a transformative time in your life, and you will feel a deep sense of renewal, freedom, and rebirth once Mercury goes direct on May 14.
With Taurus being your sister sign, this Mercury retrograde is happening exactly opposite of you, in your 7th house of love and partnership. You are taking a look at the relationship you have with yourself and how your partnerships and relationships with others are flowing for you right now. It’s all about finding the balance between the giving and receiving in your life and about allowing love to grow. You don’t have to do life alone, and although you could be feeling more distant from love or the people close to you right now, you are addressing where you’ve been holding yourself back and how to experience more love, connection, and harmony.
Let the past go, define where you want to go now.
Your work life, routine, health, and daily schedule are being addressed during this time, and you are creating some new structure here. This Mercury retrograde is about looking at your current daily plan and routine and looking for ways to improve here or develop a new system that is more effective for you. The vibes in the office could be feeling a little tense for the time being, but you are overall getting the opportunity to retrace your steps, re-do any errors, and break the ice with colleagues. This is a good time to learn a new skill, develop your skills, and work passionately on something that inspires you.
Listen to your heart, and learn more about it, Capricorn. Mercury retrograde will be pushing you to be more open, to ask for what you need emotionally, and to feel more confident taking up space and expressing yourself. You are reviewing where the happiness is in your life and if you’ve been prioritizing this enough for yourself. Any limitations you have been feeling creatively and romantically come up at this time to be reviewed, healed, and understood better. Once Mercury goes direct on May 14, you will have a better understanding of what makes you happy, making it easier to be in those spaces.
This Mercury retrograde is a journey of the heart for you.
Mercury retrograde will be bringing attention to the home. You are taking a look at your foundations, where you are feeling supported and stable in your life, and where you want to continue to grow your roots and build. Your emotional well-being is the priority, and your safe spaces are where to be to get through this time. Some misunderstandings with family or close loved ones are more likely now, and you are getting a clear view of how you’ve been feeling within when it comes to the past, family, and your environment. Your stability in life and how you feel grounded in it all are in focus right now, and overall this is a good time for you to declutter, finish that home project, and bring peace into the home.
Communication is everything right now, Pisces. Extra patience is needed when it comes to communicating with others, and be sure to think things through and watch out for impulsivity. The more grace you can give yourself and others right now, the better. Journal your thoughts, meditate, and heal the mind. Mercury retrograde will be showing you how powerful your words are and what kind of mark you want to leave on people and the world when connecting. It is about overcoming previous communication challenges and seeing what has been blocking you from feeling heard. This Mercury retrograde transit is requiring more patience than most, and travels, contracts, texts, and emails should all be looked over a few times right now.
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Tayler Barakat is a Mystic who has studied Astrology for over a decade. She does intuitive astrology and tarot readings for people all over the world, and her work focuses on healing and empowering individuals. Follow her on Instagram @taylerbarakat_ and check out her website www.listentothevirgo.com.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports