Unless you've been living in a cave, you've most likely heard of the cosmic event called, Mercury Retrograde. Well, get ready to buckle up your seat belt and strap yourself in because this event will happen again from June 7 to July 1. In simple terms, it's a time to be careful about the way you operate your life in order to avoid a variety of problems that tend to occur during these three weeks. During the retrograde period the world seems to go haywire with miscommunications of all types.
What causes this to happen? Astrologically, each planet in the sky exerts a unique influence on us, and the world we live in. The planet Mercury rules our intelligence, mind, memory and, all types of communication ranging from talking and texting to writing. It also affects our self-expression, and communication style. In a more public sense, it rules commerce, computers, telephones, transportation and air travel.
How Mercury functions in a person's birth chart explains a great deal about how they formulate ideas and share them. It indicates how someone makes sense of the everyday world they live in. During these three weeks when Mercury is retrograde, one's mental faculties are not functioning well; in fact they "go on vacation."
When this unique event happens (3-4 times a year), communications of all types go "bonkers!" Suddenly, normal communication becomes unreliable, filled with misinformation where important data is missing or misunderstood. The passage of information from one person to the other seems to be unintentionally cloudy or confused in some way. After all, Mercury does rule the mind, mental clarity, talking, self-expression and overall communication. During the Retrograde period, a person's intellectual, communication and mental processes are less acute. They become mistake-prone and forgetful.
This is why any action one takes or decision one makes during the retrograde often fail or seem sabotaged. As a result they will have to be re-done or restructured in some way when the Retrograde period ends and Mercury goes direct.
What If You Were Born With Mercury Retrograde?
Approximately, 15-18% of people were born with Mercury retrograde. If you belong to this unique group of people, you are different in many ways. (Use the Free Transit Calculator at the end of this article to learn if you're one of the "chosen people.")
The astrologer, Azazel, has done a good job describing the communication challenges for those born with Mercury retrograde: "People who have Mercury retrograde can sometimes be a bit slower in learning or understanding than those who are born with this planet direct. These people can get lost in detail and have trouble seeing the entire point, but can be very active and the thoughts run deep. Ideas and thoughts may repeat themselves until one feels a mental burnout."
Individuals born with Mercury retrograde can have a problem concerning one or more of the areas of life ruled by Mercury: speaking, writing, and learning. (Note: Having been born with Mercury retrograde, I find myself having to constantly repeat myself, even if I've spoken clearly. People don't seem to hear my words with the clarity they hear others. While it's maddening, it has taught me the importance of patience and speaking more clearly.)
Ironically, the good news is that those born with Mercury retrograde function much better when Mercury is retrograde, probably because they are already acclimated with the problems that occur during this period of time. To them, it's just another normal day of miscommunication. ("Welcome to my world!")
Whether you were born with Mercury retrograde or just want to live through it, here are the best ways to avoid the typical problems that occur during Mercury retrograde.
8 Ways to Survive Mercury Retrograde
1. Don't Argue with Lovers, Friends or Co-Workers - Especially the Boss. No matter how well you normally communicate with these people, you'll find yourself misspeaking, saying the wrong thing and having disagreements you don't normally have. There is a very high propensity for mutual misunderstanding. Avoid being critical or to trying to push your own agenda. This is a time to listen to those you interact with. Be willing to throw out fixed ideas and agree to have an open discussion without trying to reach a final decision on any matter.
2. Don't Start a New Project. The retrograde is for considering and evaluating new projects - not for launching them. It's a great time to discuss a new idea, but it's not a good time to make that "big presentation," that requires the support of others. During the retrograde people may either not understand it or oppose it. You may find out later that you left out a vitally important detail that you didn't think of. If your project is adopted, it may either fail or have to be totally restructured at a later date to succeed.
3. Don't Make a Commitment or Sign an Agreement. You're likely to skip over important details and regret it. There's something you don't know that you'll find out when Mercury goes direct after July 1. For these reasons, it's a horrible time for negotiating contracts or making decisions. Avoid entering into any agreements or signing any legal documents unless you're prepared to make serious revisions in the future.
4. Don't Purchase Computers or Install Software. The planet Mercury rules computers. When it goes retrograde, all kinds of equipment suddenly do not operate correctly. Your fail-proof computer crashes. Or, you end up buying the "computer from hell" - the one that was not assembled correctly. You'll regret not buying the three-year warranty the salesperson suggested. And, when you install your new software, expect glitches. Hard drives fail, so make sure to back them up ahead of time.
5. Don't Make an Offer on a New Home or Sign the Documents to Buy One. It's great to do your research and look for a new home or new apartment during the retrograde. But there is something about your new living quarters that you won't know about during the "mental fog" of the retrograde. You won't know that your new home's insulation is so thin, you'll hear your next door neighbor's constant bickering. Someone will forget to tell you there is an insomniac neighbor who plays music until 4 am. By the time Mercury is direct, you may learn the truth or find a better place to live.
6. Don't Buy a Car. Since Mercury rules transportation, any driving vehicle you buy is likely to be unreliable in some way; so it's not an ideal time to buy a car because it may be a "lemon." Instead, research your favorites, test drive them, and then go home and evaluate your choices. Be ready to make your decision when Mercury goes direct.
7. Don't Accept or Start a Job. If you do, you may regret it. Jobs that are accepted during the retrograde end up being quite different than what you originally signed on for. You may find that your responsibilities change so much that they're not what you envisioned. Reporting relationships can be affected as well. When you start a job during the retrograde, instead of impressing your new colleagues, your first encounters may be big communication mix-ups that leave people with a bad first impression of you.
8. Avoid Unnecessary Travel. Traveling these days is stressful enough. During the retrograde you experience inordinate delays, cancelations and lost luggage. If you can't put certain trips on hold, just be aware that you can expect an unusual amount of last-minute flight cancellations, meeting postponements and long transportation delays. Allow extra time when traveling; make sure your bags are very secure. Take extra precautions, because during this time they're more likely to be lost or stolen. Re-confirm your reservations. Be patient and practice acceptance of the fact that inefficiencies are part of the retrograde. Slow down.
The Best Advice
Wait until Mercury goes direct on July 1, to take action and make important decisions. When that happens, clearer communication will return, important data can again be relied on, and you'll see matters with crystal clear vision. You'll possess important information you didn't know while Mercury was retrograde. This new knowledge will help ensure you're making a correct decision. If you heed this cautionary advice, you'll have less frustration, fewer mistakes and disappointing failures during these three weeks.
You won't find yourself getting "Mercury Retrograded!"
If you want to know if you were born with Mercury Retrograde; and, where your personal transits are - to see if they are affecting you, go to the Free Transit Calculator and enter your birth date. Then, read about how each transit is affecting your life in other Huffington Post articles by Larry Schwimmer.
Read Larry Schwimmer's latest books, What the Hell is Going On in My Life? Using Your Birthdate to Find Answers About Relationships, Career, Money, Sex & Health;and How To Ask For A Raise Without Getting Fired - And 24 Other Techniques For Resolving Conflicts At Work & In Life; and Winning Your Next Promotion In One Year (Or Less!).
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Larry Schwimmer is president of Astrodecision.com, a San Francisco-based consulting company. The firm uses planetary cycles analysis to counsel individual and corporate clients on picking the "best dates" to make successful decisions of all types: personal, marketing, financial, and political. The firm currently advises a diverse client base that includes politicians, presidents of major corporations and an MLB baseball team. Schwimmer is an internationally known business consultant, life coach and astrologer (with a Fortune 500 M&A background). Visit his website: www.astrodecision.com