Mercury usually goes retrograde three times a year (although the timing is just right in 2010 for four) and each period lasts approximately three weeks. It also just so happens that the next of these periods will begin in earnest tomorrow (August 20th), although many of you could be feeling the effects already. This time around, it's all going down in the sign of Virgo and this universal trickster won't be going direct again until September 12th. It is, however, incredibly important to note that all planetary transits have an upside. While this is no doubt a bad time for some courses of action, it's an excellent one for others. Here are a few tips to help you make the best of things and come out on the other side none the worse for wear.
What To Do:
- Back up all of your important files on your computer, your phone, your PDA, or any other electronic device you may depend on to help you keep your life together. Mercury has a way of screwing with anything even remotely connected to tech stuff -- especially if it's anything you depend on to keep you in touch with others.
- Finish up old projects and tie up loose ends. While this isn't the time to begin anything new, it's the perfect time to go back and work on open projects. Edit or proofread writing you're working on, spend some time on that home improvement endeavor you've had on the back burner lately, or see what you can do at the office to put the finishing touches on an assignment you're on the verge of putting to bed.
- Catch up on correspondence. This is the perfect time to get together with old friends you haven't seen in far too long, to call your parents to say "hi", or to see which of your old school buddies are on Facebook.
What Not To Do:
- Don't travel if you can possibly help it. Mercury retrograde periods aren't the best times to take off on vacation or travel for business. However, if you absolutely can't avoid it, be sure to take precautions to minimize the risk of misfires that could throw a monkey wrench into your plans. Double check reservations, drive extra carefully, leave early to avoid unexpected traffic, and be sure to confirm any and all appointments.
- Don't sign contracts or make any monumental decisions. They're more likely than usual not to turn out the way you're hoping. If at all possible, wait until Mercury goes direct to make your final decision. Instead, use this period to review the situation and reflect upon the decision at hand.
- Don't make any major purchases. This goes triple for anything electronic or that you might rely on to communicate with others, such as a computer or a cell phone. Your equipment is more likely to turn out to have problems or to not really be what you wanted.
Overall, a Mercury retrograde period is the best time to relax, regroup, recoup, and reconsider... not to forge ahead and push against the tide. Give it try and see if it makes a difference this time around!