February 5, 2014

13 Ways to Avoid Getting “Mercury Retrograded.”

Confused couple

Retrograded (verb\re-tro-grad-ed):

1. To have an upsetting experience (during the retrograde) such as a major miscommunication, inordinate delay, lost item, bad purchase, computer crash, car breakdown, or equipment failure.

2. To frustrate oneself by taking action or making a decision during the confused mental state of the world created by the planet Mercury being Retrograde.

The planetary event that will make our lives go crazy returns.

It’s known as Mercury retrograde; and it occurs from Thursday, February 6 to Friday, February 28, 2014. It’s a time to be careful about the way we operate our lives in order to avoid a variety of problems that tend to occur during these three weeks.

Over the past few years I’ve written much about the perils of Mercury retrograde: how to navigate through it and the best things to do—or not do. In this article, here are specific instructions, so that we don’t get Mercury Retrograd-ed.

What Is This Crazy Thing Called: Mercury Retrograde?

For those skeptics in the audience, just pay attention to your life experiences over the next three weeks. Then, you may decide to put your local astrologer on “speed-dial” to find out the future dates when Mercury goes retrograde.

From an astrological point-of-view, each planet in the sky exerts its own unique influence on us, and the world we live in. The planet Mercury affects us in a special way. 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 our birth charts explains a great deal about how we formulate ideas and how we share them. It indicates how we make sense of the everyday world we live in. During these three weeks when Mercury is retrograde, our mental faculties are not functioning well; in fact they go on vacation.

When this unique event happens (three times this year), communications of all types go haywire!

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 careless, mistake-prone and forgetful.

This is why any actions we take or decisions we make 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. Here are the best ways to avoid the typical problems of Mercury retrograde.

13 Ways to Avoid Getting Mercury Retrograded

broken phone

1.  Don’t Argue with Your SpouseNo matter how well you and your spouse normally communicate, you’ll find yourself misspeaking and having disagreements you don’t normally have. There is a high propensity for mutual misunderstanding. Avoid being critical or to trying to push your own agenda. This is a time to listen to each other. Throw out ideas and agree to have an open discussion without trying to reach a final decision on any matter.

2.  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 February 28th. 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.

3.  Repeat Your Requests at Work. 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 perfectly. Consider putting your instructions in writing, if possible. Then, do plenty of follow-up on matters you’ve delegated to others to avoid mistakes.

4.  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.

5.  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. What happens is that 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.

6.  Don’t Change Accounts, Suppliers or Professional Advisers. Even though you may be unhappy with the way your bank services your account, that your supplier’s deliveries are not on time, or the fact that your tax accountant missed an important deduction on your return—now is not the time to make those changes. If you make a change now, you’ll regret your choices because they’ll end disappointing you. Instead, research all your options, consider new sources, and interview them. Then, make your final decision to change when Mercury goes direct.

7.  Avoid Unnecessary Travel. Traveling these days is stressful enough. During the retrograde you experience inordinate delays, cancellations 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.

8.  Don’t Purchase Computers or Install Software. 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. 

9.  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.

10.  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 a.m. By the time Mercury is direct, you may learn the truth or find a better place to live.

11.  Don’t Buy Clothing. No matter how much you like to shop, resist the temptation to buy anything that you don’t absolutely need. Since your thinking faculties are off, you’ll make bad decisions about what you think looks fantastic on yourself. Afterwards, you’ll find out that the color was wrong or it didn’t fit right, and you’ll need to return it. Then you discover that what you bought isn’t returnable.

12.  Don’t Make Changes to Your Appearance. During the retrograde there is a lack of clarity around your efforts to make yourself more beautiful. You’re not thinking clearly, which can lead to making unwise decisions about how to enhance your attractiveness. Therefore, the retrograde period is not an ideal time to change one’s appearance. So, don’t begin any procedures or surgeries to enhance your beauty such as plastic surgery on the face, lip implants; or breast or liposuction. This is the wrong time to change your hairstyle, hair color, do a makeover or purchase a new wardrobe. Wait until Mercury goes direct to make any of these decisions. You’ll have reflected,  researched, and objectively arrived at the best way for you to become more physically attractive.

13.  Don’t Select a Roommate or Move in With One. Aside from the fact that your judgment is not the best during Mercury retrograde, there are always facts you don’t know during this time–that you will know once Mercury goes direct. That means the person who looks like a fabulous roommate may actually be a slob that you, as an OCD “clean freak,” can’t live with. Or, the person who seems upbeat and fun to live with is actually chronically depressed. Use the retrograde to learn about prospective roommates by asking questions that reveal answers to help you make a final decision when Mercury goes direct.

The Best Advice

Wait until Mercury goes direct on February 28 to take actions and make important decisions.

When that happens, clearer communication will return, important data can again be relied on, and you’ll see matters with 20/20 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 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 your life is being affect by each transit that’s been discussed in other Elephant Journal articles by Larry Schwimmer.


Mercury Retrograde: It’s Not What We Think.

Top 10 Things Not to Do During Mercury Retrograde.


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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photos: tantrum_dan/Flickr,  B Tal/Flickr

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