Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide

Has your life gone haywire in the last week? Communications amiss? People from the past randomly showing up? Feel like you might be losing your mind, as no one you know seems to make any sense to you any more? Fret not, it’s not you: It’s the universe! Yes, blame the cosmos, as Mercury, the planet of communication, halts and appears to go backwards, causing all sorts of chaos on mankind.

Frightfully, this bizarre phenomenon happens three times a year and, fortunately, this will be the last time in ’09. It officially began at 2:39 pm UT (Universal Time) on Saturday, Dec. 26 and lasts until Jan. 15, though the effects can be felt up until Feb. 4. What does this mean? In general, it means a period of pandemonium for all things regarding communication. That’s right, forget trying to make any major decisions — and definitely don’t sign any contracts (unless the deal comes from someone in the past or it is renewing), back up your software, expect problems with travel and don’t rely on any of the information you get at this time. While Mercury retrogrades affect all signs in different ways, this particular retrograde is in Capricorn, the sign of communication, loyalty, and ambition — you may have trouble sending mail, traveling (hello, delayed flights!), and securing appointments. Anything said during this time isn’t set in stone. Not to say you shouldn’t take retrograde dramas seriously, but realize nothing will be as it once was. Mercury retrograde’s main message is really just about telling everyone to slow down and rethink matters at hand. In other words, chill the eff out and remember that sometimes standing still to reexamine where you are can matter more than trying to push and shove to wherever the hell you think you should be.

Quick Mercury Retrograde Survival Tips


  • Reconnect with people you’ve lost touch with.
  • Back up all your digital data.
  • Review work you’ve done, as in editing, proofing, etc.
  • Don’ts:

  • Make any new commitments, sign contracts or launch new projects.
  • Buy electronic devices, especially anything that deals with communication.
  • Plan any trips during this period.