Kick that self-care routine into overdrive, because Mercury will enter retrograde tomorrow, November 16, and will last for the next three weeks until December 6. If you’re not cosmically inclined (or just want a refresher), here’s what it means.
Astronomically speaking, every few months (about three times a year) the planet Mercury slows down its orbit and appears to move backward (an optical illusion), which we call “turning retrograde.” It’s considered bad luck because astrology suggests that Mercury is the ruling planet of all communication, clarity in thinking, honesty and even travel and technology. When it’s retrograding, it’s going against its natural forward movement. Therefore mess and chaos ensue, in the form of broken iPhones and canceled flights that leave you stuck in the Newark airport (the weekend before Thanksgiving…God forbid).
So, if you buy into the whole “bad luck” thing, you may experience the planet wreaking havoc on your communication, as in you might needlessly argue with your beloved and/or boss. Documents and contracts that you sign at this time might be tenuous, your technology might go haywire and unwelcome people from your past might pop back into your scene. Fun times.
Here, astrology guru Susan Miller gave us a list of tips to help us survive this holiday season’s retrograde:
1. Don’t make major electronics purchases: We know, Black Friday! But Miller’s advice is to avoid expensive purchases that could malfunction or get damaged in transport…and perhaps it’ll go on even deeper discount if you wait it out.
2. Don’t make any major decisions: Contracts, leases and job agreements are a big no-no during this time. “Even if a decision is made, it will be subject to change, either just after Mercury turns to direct motion or much later,” Miller writes on her site, Astrology Zone.
3. Double-confirm travel plans: “Call ahead and ask the hotel if they have your booking,” Miller said. Because of crossed wires during this planetary phenomenon, you’re more likely to forget your passport or book the wrong date. So, yeah, opt in to that flight insurance.
4. Practice patience with loved ones: “Mercury retrograde is notorious for creating confusion,” Miller writes. “Try not to jump to conclusions, and keep striving for clarity.” Since Thanksgiving is already a testing time for some, taking a deep breath and clearing your head every so often can be a good way to lessen familial friction. And forget about trying to have a serious convo via text. Instead, send a handwritten card, like these retrograde-inspired ones from American Greetings, since technology and communication are both ruled by Mercury (and negatively affected during the planet's reversal).
Bottom line: Don’t freak out just yet. Some options to overcome this cosmic mess: You could pull a Yoko Ono and put off all of your travel plans and important decision-making until after it’s over. (Although, Gran might not appreciate you missing Thanksgiving on account of “cosmic interference.”) Or you could roll your eyes and simply curse the planets the next time you wipe out on your way to work.
Also: Be nice, as we’re all fighting a Mercury-size battle, folks. (At least until December 7, OK?)