The planetary cosmos has an evil plot to make your life go crazy from October 21 to November 10, 2013.
It's called Mercury Retrograde.
For the uninitiated or the skeptical, just pay attention to your life experiences over the next three weeks. You may find yourself joining the millions of believers who plan their year by calling up their local astrologer to find out the dates when Mercury goes retrograde.
Keep in mind that astrology is based on a simple understanding that all the planets in the sky exert their own unique influence on each of us, and the world we live in. Here's how the planet Mercury affects you.
Mercury rules your intelligence, mind, memory and, all types of communication ranging from talking and texting to writing. It also affects your self-expression, and communication style. In a more public sense, it rules commerce, computers, telephones, transportation and air travel. How Mercury functions in your birth chart explains a great deal about how you formulate ideas and how you share them. It indicates how you make sense of the everyday world you live in. During these three weeks called Mercury retrograde, your mental faculties are not functioning well; in fact they "go on vacation."
Under this planetary influence (which occurs three times this year), communications of all types go "haywire!" You'll experience misunderstandings and communication failures in such great abundance that you'll look up at the sky and stars and say, "What the hell is going on?" The answer is: Mercury is in Retrograde.
Here is just a sampling of some of the things that may go wrong in your life at this time: For example, no matter how well you and your spouse normally communicate, you'll find yourself misspeaking, saying the wrong thing and having disagreements you don't normally have.
At work, even though you're sure that you've explained yourself clearly to the other person, they do the opposite of what you said; and they are sure they followed your instructions. Your fail-proof computer crashes. You experience equipment and mechanical breakdowns of all types. You'll hearken back to the time you heard your car's engine make that funny noise, causing you to say: "I should have my mechanic check that out." Well, during Mercury retrograde, that's when your car will suddenly not work and you'll wish you had paid a visit to your mechanic.
The monthly check that is automatically generated by your bank and sent out doesn't arrive, and neither does that merchandise you ordered online. Since Mercury rules transportation, equipment is unreliable; so it's not an ideal time to buy a car because it may be a "lemon."
So...What's the Problem?
These sorts of problems arise during Mercury retrograde because all of sudden, 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, confused or unclear 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 careless, mistake-prone and forgetful.
This explains why your actions and decisions during the retrograde often fail or seem "sabotaged." Or, you may find that they will have to be re-done, re-structured; or adjusted in some way when the retrograde period ends and Mercury goes direct.
TOP 10 Things Not To Do During Mercury Retrograde
1. Don't Make Agreements. It's a horrible time for negotiating contracts or making decisions. Avoid entering into any agreements or signing any legal documents. Whatever you put into writing may require serious revision when Mercury goes direct. There is something in the details that you may miss. And, there may be something you don't know that you will only know when Mercury goes direct. I had a friend who got married during the Mercury retrograde; three weeks later, her new husband decided to tell her about the two children he had out of wedlock.
2. Don't Accept or Start a Job. If you do, you may regret it. I had one client disregard that advice. She accepted a new job and by the time she started the month after, when Mercury went direct, the company had changed her job so much that it no longer resembled the one that she had accepted. Her reporting relationship had also totally shifted from the great guy she was going to work for to the loudmouth, chauvinistic boss from hell! During Mercury retrograde, things are not what they seem to be.
3. Don't Try to Close the Sale. Closing a deal is often based on taking advantage of great timing. Unfortunately, you're timing couldn't be worse when Mercury is retrograde. If you're "selling" your ideas or your company's products, avoid trying to "close the sale" during Mercury retrograde because you may be "stalled" with excuses and delays. Or, somehow your customer will misunderstand your presentation. If you get the order, the customer may cancel it or change his mind.
4. Don't Initiate New Projects. Avoid launching new projects or making that "big presentation." 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.
5. Scheduling Meetings. Avoid (or minimize) scheduling meetings and events during Mercury retrograde, because you're more likely to experience confusion, mistakes and cancellations. I once had a client whose business was "offering public seminars." He had a ridiculously high number of cancellations and "no shows" for his seminars during the four times a year of Mercury retrograde. I told him to stop booking his seminars during those dates. That advice solved his problem.
6. Avoid Traveling A Lot. 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 may be more likely to be lost or stolen. Re-confirm your reservations, appointments and addresses for your meetings, as delays and cancellations can be expected.
7. Don't Purchase Computers or Begin Installations. This is when you'll discover that you bought the "computer from hell." 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.
8. Don't Repair Your Auto unless you absolutely have to. Repairs on the equipment in your car should be delayed. If you have to repair it, make sure to triple-check the work that was done. Understand that you may find out when Mercury goes direct that the repair wasn't properly done and will have to be done again.
9. Don't Buy Things. That is - unless you enjoy making purchases that you'll later regret because you discover that something was wrong with the purchase. I once bought an expensive suit during the retrograde, only to find that two weeks later (when Mercury went direct), the same suit was on sale at 40% off. In fact, it's a bad time to buy anything because you may eventually find out that it was "too big or too small," or it just didn't fit right and you'll need to return it. If you buy a gift for someone, be prepared for reactions like, "Thanks, but green is my worst color!" or "I already have one just like that."
10. Don't Select a Roommate or Move in With One. I have a very good friend who invariably finds himself looking for a roommate during the retrograde. Recently, he chose a person he was sure was the perfect roommate. Their credit checked out. They seemed nice enough and said all the right things at their "lets get to know each other" meeting. But once Mercury went direct, he found out that instead of being a "neat-nik," his new roommate was a slob, loved to play music loudly, and watched TV into the wee hours of the morning because of he was an insomniac.
The Best Advice: To avoid these problems, wait until Mercury goes direct to make important decisions. When that happens clearer communication will return and necessary information will be more positively conveyed. Once again, important data can again be relied on and you'll see matters with 20/20 vision. Also, by waiting until Mercury is direct, you will possess important information that you didn't know while Mercury was retrograde.
This new knowledge will help ensure you're making the correct decision. If you heed this cautionary advice, you'll have less frustration, fewer mistakes and disappointing failures during these three weeks. Best of all, you'll be in a better position to make your efforts successful starting November 10, 2013 when Mercury goes direct.
If you want to know where your personal transits are -- to see if they are affecting you right now, go to the Free Transit Calculator and enter your birth date. Then, read about each transit that's been discussed 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