Let’s do the Time Warp again. Mercury is turning retrograde this Halloween, tossing a cosmic curveball into your best laid plans. But that doesn’t mean your celebration has to be as disappointing as a trick-or-treat bag full of Necco wafers. With skillful advance preparation, you won’t be left shivering in your mesh e-girl costume as you wait for your Lyft… which isn’t coming for 45 minutes…
Here’s how to get ahead of this planetary meltdown (which lasts until November 20) and retrograde proof your Halloween!
Watch The Craft (again) for a teachable moment
This Mercury retrograde is going down in witchy Scorpio, which could make those spells you’re casting go awry. As we count down to Halloween, the shadow of the retrograde (or “retroshade” as we’ve dubbed it) is already churning up hidden agendas and struggles for domination. If you’ve got someone under your thumb, enjoy the attraction—but don’t get drunk on your own power. The backlash from game playing could get ugly, or worse push a good candidate away. In all interactions, play fair and keep communications honest and above board. And relax: You can break out your Book of Spells again when the Mercury corrects course on November 20.
Charge up your devices—and keep ‘em close
Mercury’s backspin is notorious for messing with digital devices, and on a night where everyone is dressing up and hooking up, it’s easier than ever to lose your crew in the crowds. (Wait…which Billie Eilish is your date?!) Bring a mobile charger with you and don’t tuck your phone into some pseudo pocket in your costume. Speaking of phones, between Halloween and November 20, drunk dialing a frenemy or toxic ex should be strictly off limits. (Sober dialing them too, in most cases.) And keep the metaphoric garlic wreath handy, because real-life energy vampires will be lurking, ready to “bond” over your woes then slowly draining the life out of you with their constant, manufactured traumas. We can’t say it enough between now and November 20: Boundariesssss!
Order your own drinks
In nocturnal Scorpio, social Mercury will have you out late—and its backspin through sex-obsessed Scorpio is sure to raise the thermometer to fire levels in the hook-up department. But this nefarious three-week cycle could also bring encounters with subterranean low-lifes, people with scary tempers, or shady characters who just don’t have your best intentions. Err on the side of “savvy and self-protective.” Order your own drinks (or watch the bartender mix yours up) and maybe find your thrills from situations that don’t arouse an air of danger?! If you get a weird feeling while you’re at a party, listen to your gut and bounce. Sure, it’s possible you may be overreacting—Mercury retro in Scorpio can give one a suspicious mind. But people who respect your limits won’t mind if you pace yourself, so being cautious can also help build lasting trust.
Go retro with your costume
Retrogrades are known for dredging up the past and you can use this phase advantageously. Be a true original in the sea of Kardashians by turning back the clock. Whether you’re reprising Hannah Montana, Jackie O. or Pam Grier, a Halloween costume that’s a historical homage will win you major points. Or follow Mercury’s directives for you sign and roll with these retrograde-approved themes!
This article first appeared on ELLE.