10 Things You're Not Supposed To Do During Mercury Retrograde

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Perhaps you've heard: Mercury, I'm sorry to say, has turned retrograde, and is staying that way until May 3. In preparation, here are some things you're not supposed to do during Mercury retrograde. Just to be on the safe side.

The term "retrograde" can be a bit deceiving. None of the planets in our solar system actually spin backwards during their retrograde periods; they just seem to, from the perspective of the Earth's surface. But in keeping with Western Astrology's centuries-old mantra — "As above, so below" — the appearance of a shift is enough to manifest changes in our lives. Mostly really irritating changes.

Though all planets turn retrograde at some point, Mercury has a particularly bad rap. It also shifts relatively often, seemingly spinning backwards three to four times a year, for several weeks at a time. When any planet goes retrograde, its major characteristics tend to either become muted or invert themselves. Mercury, the planet of travel and communication, proves particularly problematic: Suddenly, travel delays happen, conversations become  stilted and painful, and everything feels just a little "off."

This isn't a conversation about whether astrology is "legitimate" or not. Some folks believe in it, some folks don't. What many do, though, is use something like Mercury retrograde as an excuse to avoid making decisions, committing, moving forward, or actually addressing the issues in your life. If you needed someone to tell you that's a waste of time, here I am: Don't do that.

The following is a list of many things you're supposed to be wary of doing for the next month. Depending on which astrologist you speak with, I almost certainly missed a few. Here's a fun li'l challenge: Do as many as you can anyway.

1Start Making Travel Plans

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Especially spontaneous ones that lack planning or back-up planning or double back-up planning.

2Finalize Travel Plans

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This also falls under the "make big purchases" category. An email may be missed, a flight may be overbooked, or a car accident may stop traffic for miles.

3Or Travel At All, For That Matter

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Stay! Inside!

4Sign Contracts

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With the planet of communication off doing Goddess knows what, you're almost guaranteed to misunderstand an agreement.

5Or Talk About Contracts More Generally

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People often change their minds. You may not be able to sense a fickle soul while Mercury is retrograde.

6Or Shake Hands Over A Contract

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Don't even look at a piece of paper. Don't, OK?!

7Have "That Big Talk"

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Hello, planet of communication is out to lunch! This is not going to end well!

8Make Life-Altering Decisions

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Is there every a good time for that, though? At least one planet is almost always retrograde. Just sayin'.

9Launch New Endeavors

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So many unaccounted-for problems!

10Essentially, Take A Chance On Anything

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Cue Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway."

You get what I'm saying, right?