Mercury retrograde (is coming to get you).

Mercury is in retrograde again, folks.  For those not in the astrological know, Mercury Retrograde happens several times per year when the planet Mercury appears to rotate backwards on its axis in its path around the sun.  This phenomenon is dreaded in astrological circles, because, as the planet that rules communication and transportation, the action of Mercury moving backwards means that all kinds of things get screwed up.  Technology goes haywire (it is not recommended to buy electronic equipment during these phases), misunderstandings can frequently occur, traffic accidents are more common, and in general, people just are a little (or a lot) crazier than normal.  It is especially inadvisable to sign contracts or legal documents during this period, as you can get locked into an agreement you’ll later regret.

As a skeptic among skeptics, I know what some of you are thinking:  all of this astrological stuff is just a whole lot of hogwash.  However, I challenge the non-believers out there to have your chart done by a credible astrologer once in your life.  At the very least, you’ll be impressed by the sheer amount of math involved in plotting the positions of the planets at the time of your birth, in order to determine your precise astrological profile.  It’s so much more complex than just the difference between a Taurus and an Aquarius.

Mercury, as the planet closest to the sun, has a brief orbital period and therefore retrogrades about three times a year, with each retrograde period lasting a few weeks.  With Mercury Retrograde such a frequent occurrence, clearly we can’t afford to put life on hold every time this planet moves backwards.  If you’re unemployed and desperately need a job, it’s not advisable to turn down a job offer during Mercury Retrograde just to avoid signing a contract.  If your phone dies and you need to buy a new one, you can’t wait until Mercury Retrograde is over to purchase such a vital piece of technology.  And clearly, not driving your car is not a practical solution for most people.

But you can take some steps to protect yourself during these sensitive phases.  Read (and re-read) any contracts you’re asked to sign extra carefully before affixing your John Hancock to anything binding.  Purchase a warranty before buying any electronic equipment and keep your receipt and packaging, just in case.  And practice defensive driving (if you live in L.A., hopefully you’re doing that anyway).

Lest this whole post starts sounding like a serious gloom and doom scenario, there are some positive things you can do to make the most of the dreaded Mercury Retrograde.  Reconnect with old friends.  Reach out to business contacts you’ve already established about potential new ventures.  Work on creative projects you’ve already started and continue to perfect them.  Basically, any personal or professional relationship you’ve already established, or any project you’ve already begun prior to the retrograde period, you can continue to fine tune and improve.

I realize that no matter what I say, there are some of you out there who simply won’t believe in anything related to the sun, moon and stars, and that’s your prerogative.  But as of this past Monday (March 12th) until Wednesday, April 4th, don’t be surprised if things get a little bit wacky out there.  Watch your back.

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