Mercury retrograde is right around the corner, and you may be feeling the impact of its “shadow period” already. Known to mess with communication, technology, relationships and more, here’s what to know ahead of this upcoming Mercury retrograde, plus how to work with it, according to astrologers.

What to know about this Mercury retrograde:

Just as a refresher, Mercury is the planet of communication, information, logic, and transportation. When it goes retrograde, it’s not actually moving backwards, but it does appear to be from our perspective on Earth—and subsequently, Mercury-related themes can get turned on their heads.

Things like communication mishaps, technological errors, and travel delays are to be expected, and that includes during the multi-week shadow period before and after each Mercury retrograde, as well.

Astrologer Jennifer Racioppi tells mbg that we’re looking at September 9 through October 2 for this retrograde. “Mercury goes retrograde on the 9th at eight degrees of Libra, and then it goes from eight degrees all the way to zero degrees of Libra, moving into Virgo, and stationing direct at 24 degrees of Virgo on the 2nd,” she explains.

For the first half of this Mercury retrograde, while it’s in Libra, astrologer Molly Pennington, Ph.D., tells mbg that Libra themes may be at the forefront: “It’s about our friends, social issues in general, communication, equity, etc.,” she says. And then, when it moves into Virgo, Virgo themes like health, service, and organization may be more prevalent.

How to work with this energy:

Mercury retrogrades are notorious for causing issues in relationships, from communication confusion, to bringing exes from the past back into your life. And since Mercury is going retrograde in Libra, which is a very relationship-oriented sign, there’s going to be extra emphasis on the relationship-front.

As Racioppi says, Libra is all about balance and justice. So during this retrograde, get clear on relationship dynamics and how you’re showing up to others, as well as your relationship to justice, truth, and your own values.

On top of that, retrograde periods are a time to reflect and go inward, and this one is no exception. Racioppi tells mbg it can be helpful to think about what this period of adjustment can mean for you as we all transition to a new season. “How can we use this period of adjustment to transition, to get our priorities right, to get our values right, to make sure we’re doing the best we can? Because on a macro level, we’re flailing, but on a micro level, we can still be activating meaning,” she explains.

This will look personal to everyone, she adds, but ultimately, the call-to-action is to, in fact, not worry so much about action, and take time to consciously reflect and regroup.

Mercury retrogrades can be disorienting, but they don’t have to be a completely bad thing. When we work with this retrograde period to go within and recalibrate, it offers us an opportunity to come out on the other side with a new sense of understanding and centeredness.