In the coming days if your thinking seems fuzzy, you can’t communicate with loved ones or coworkers, you keep losing or forgetting things, or your computer or SmartPhone starts acting weird, blame it on Mercury. The little planet that causes so many problems is retrograde until March 17. In Roman mythology, Mercury was the messenger of the gods and goddesses. In astrology, the planet rules all forms of communication (including equipment such as computers, phones, and fax machines).
Every four months, this planet appears to change direction and move backward in its orbit around the sun for about three weeks. When this happens, all sorts of mix-ups can and do occur. Our thinking processes become muddled; we have trouble concentrating; we don't seem to be able to express ourselves clearly; we forget things. Stuff gets lost in the mail. Cars and computers break down. No matter how hard we try and how careful we are, shit happens.
While Mercury is retrograde, it's a good idea to check everything three times. Don't rely on verbal acknowledgments or your memory––get everything in writing, keep lists so you don't forget something important, and take copious notes in meetings. If possible, put off signing contracts, giving presentations, and purchasing big-ticket items especially electronic equipment or cars. Don’t start a new project or open a business during this Mercury cycle either––it may never get off the ground or could take longer than you expect. And don’t schedule an important event now––all kinds of problems could crop up and spoil your day.
Mercury can also have an impact on travel plans. To avoid mix-ups or delays, be sure to confirm dates, schedules, and travel reservations, and give yourself plenty of time to make connections. If you're flying, mark baggage clearly and carry what you absolutely need on the plane, just in case your luggage gets lost. If you're driving, get your car serviced before you hit the road.
Put off elective medical and dental procedures until Mercury goes direct. Miscommunication, mistakes, and complications are much more likely at this time. If you receive a confusing or upsetting lab report, get the test redone after the planet turns direct.
But even the clouds surrounding Mercury retrograde can have silver linings. During this period, long-lost objects may turn up, hidden situations might come to light, old friends often call, and business deals you'd given up on can finally materialize.
Of course, we can't all go on retreat every time this planet turns around––although that's the ideal way to utilize Mercury's retrograde energy. The next best option is to plan around the retrograde periods as much as possible. Steer clear of situations that you know will be taxing. Give yourself more time than usual to accomplish difficult tasks. And be patient––with yourself and everyone else.