As of Mar. 5, the year 2019's blessed retrograde-free streak is coming to a halt, because our beloved frenemy Mercury is retrograde again and he's ready to rock n' roll our lives when it comes to all things pertaining to travel, technology, and communication. Excited? Didn't think so. That's OK — such is life.
Mercury's reputation when it comes to retrogrades is perhaps the most notorious amongst the planets and their unavoidable backspins. This is partially because of how often they happen (Mercury goes retrograde between 3-4 times a year, whereas some other planets only do so once a year or less), but it's also due to the immense effects these periods seem to have on our day-to-day lives. Because of that, it's always a stressful mess trying to figure out what we should and shouldn't do during Mercury retrograde in order to avoid complete and utter astrological disaster. Spiritual guidance, please?
Prayers answered. You got it. Bustle spoke with psychic Mark Pavlinsin, Advisor Divinus at Keen.com, who weighed in on how exactly Mercury retrograde is bound to affect all of us mortals. "Mercury Retrograde is known for roadblocking plans and scrambling rational procedures as it occurs," explains Pavlinsin. "This causes erratic or unexpected sudden changes regarding communication, travel, any activities related to intellectual comprehension and technology. [It] is notorious for creating confusion."
As a quick review, a planetary retrograde period simply means a period of time when a planet appears to be moving backward on its course from the vantage point of planet Earth. Planets don't actually suddenly move backward, of course — they simply appear to — and when that happens, it's believed that the areas of our lives ruled by the retrograding planet are affected astrologically. Mishaps are much more likely, we see things with much less clarity, and overall it's a good time to slow down and not make any major power moves.
That all said, let's jump right into some psychic guidance for Mercury retrograde. Here's what Pavlinsin had to say about the dos and don'ts of decision-making during the upcoming Mercury retrograde period. Stick to this advice and hopefully you'll come out the other side with nothin' but smooth sailing.
Don't: Start Brand New Chapters
Whether it's a new job, a new relationship, a new passion project, or even a new laptop, Mercury retrograde is not an ideal time for the birth of a fresh start. "Resist making important life-changing or possible long-term/permanent decisions or signing documents that cannot be easily reversed after Mercury Retrograde," advises Pavlinsin. "Don’t start new endeavors, new advertising or publicity campaigns and avoid ... completing employment or business contracts as well as real estate." Obviously some things fall into our laps and we have to carpe diem that sh*t, retrograde or not — but if you can help it, push any new beginnings off so they have a post-retrograde start date.
Do: Finish Up Pre-Retrograde Endeavors
While starting a brand new project during Mercury retrograde is risky, Pavlinsin says the coast is pretty clear when it comes to finishing up old business endeavors that you began before the retrograde (or its shadow period). "It is a favorable time for completing old pre-retrograde business activities, since new revelations assist thoroughness and completeness yielding greater success," explains Pavlinsin. Use your retrograde-fueled reflections and insights to guide you in tying up these loose ends effectively.
Don't: Jump To Conclusions Or Read Between The Lines
Even the most socially savvy among us are going to have Mercury Rx-drunk goggles on when it comes to reading people or making assumptions regarding communication — as this retrograde is casting a giant shadow over our ability to see clearly in the communication department. "Try not to jump to conclusions in all communications and keep striving for clarity," advises Pavlinsin. He even suggests that we "avoid simple verbal agreements," as there is a super high potential for misunderstandings. Take words at face value, and take the extra time to ask for clarity if you're feeling confused.
Do: Be Productive But Extra Flexible
While the retrograde is an ideal time to sit back and reflect, review, and reassess what's on the menu du jour of your life, that certainly doesn't mean that productivity is off the table! "Acknowledging Mercury Retrograde periods can allow you to increase your productivity," explains Pavlinsin, who advises you to "avoid some of the frustration with an intent of flexibility, fluidity and faith in the universal reordering of plans." You can get sh*t done during this retrograde — so long as you can leave your perfectionist tendencies behind, fully embrace flexibility, and practice letting go of an over-attachment to any certain outcome.
Don't: Take A Retrograde Breakup Too Seriously
Tech and communication are being turned upside down during this Mercury retrograde period, so don't be shocked if this leads to drama and misunderstands in the romance department, too. "Romantic couples tend to create confusing miscommunications that, in turn, can cause a cascading effect that spirals towards temporary breakups," shares Pavlinsin. A retrograde breakup is common, but be aware of the fact that it's not necessarily going to last. "Arguments leading to ... breakups may get reversed after Mercury Retrograde." Once the dust of this transit settles, take some time to reassess the situation and sort out whether the break should be for good.
Do: Reassess, Research, & Review
Retrograde: Emphasis on the prefix re, ya'll. Now's the time to check your work — meaning reviewing and reassessing what's been happening in your life leading up to the retrograde, as well as being extra cautious in reviewing and researching decisions you make during the retrograde. "Reassess and redesign present plans and projects, focusing on improving quality and innovative solutions," advises Pavlinsin. "Conduct background research and review communications, plans, procedures, and due diligence activities."
Don't: Rely Too Heavily On Technology
Mercury rules tech, so expect the unexpected when it comes to your devices acting up. "Unusual technology problems appear involving computer hardware and software, electronic devices, and machine malfunctions," says Pavlinsin. "Make extra records and backups of documents and software." As tech-reliant as us cyborgs have become, now is not the time to put all our faith in electronics. Back up your crap, obsessively hit "save," and prepare for possible crashes.
Do: Reschedule Anything Major If You Can
Some things simply cannot wait, 'tis true. But if you can buy yourself some time and wiggle room with a major decision, trip, or commitment, you should absolutely do so. "If you have a choice whether to sign papers or initiate an action prior to or after retrograding, wait and act afterward," advises Pavlinsin. And don't forget: After Mercury stations direct, we'll still have an approximately two-week post-shadow period to deal with, so try to wait that out, too. "Rather than trying to beat the Mercury Retrograde reversal day deadline, waiting until a week or two after Mercury moves forward again is always the wiser option."