So, I was just sitting here telling my office mate all about my wife's passionate hatred for Mercury Retrograde. It's a 50/50 shot whether someone I'm talking to knows anything about it. Obviously you horoscope following types know exactly what I'm talking about, but the average Joe has no idea.

To give you the official definition, we go to The Old Farmer's Almanac:

Due to the way our own orbit interacts with those of the other planets, they might sometimes appear to be traveling backward through the night sky with respect to the zodiac. This is, in fact, an illusion, which we call apparent  retrograde motion. Several times a year, it appears as if Mercury is going backwards.

 

These times in particular were traditionally associated with confusions, delay, and frustration. Perhaps Mercury’s retrograde periods can cause our plans to go awry. However, this is an excellent time to reflect on the past. It’s said that intuition is high during these periods, and coincidences can be extraordinary.

I would say, generally, I consider myself to be part of the average Joe category. When my wife and I first started dating, she filled me in on this wacky cosmic event, and I sort of let it go in one ear and out the other, never really thinking it would have any direct effect on day to day life.

That is, until we bought our second house a few years ago. When it came time to choose a closing date, she noticed the first choice fell during Mercury Retrograde. She then informed me that we had to change the date of our closing. I asked her if the house would blow up if we didn't, and it led to a long "discussion" about how it could jeopardize the negotiation process, yadda, yadda, yadda.

The funny thing is, I took her seriously enough to start actually paying attention to see if any of these weird events actually take place. And over time, I was surprised to see some truth to the process. Especially when it comes to electronic devices. My phone always gets real slow, my laptop gets unruly. It just makes me white-knuckled angry for days. I don't play well with computers anyway, so.....

If Mercury is in Retrograde, just relax. It'll go away soon enough. The Old Farmer's Almanac suggests following these tips when it's in full effect, to try and combat the terror.

The planet Mercury rules communication, travel, contracts, automobiles, and such. So, when Mercury is retrograde, remain flexible, allow time for extra travel, and avoid signing contracts. Review projects and plans at these times, but wait until Mercury is direct again to make any final decisions.

 

About a week or two before Mercury retrogrades, finish any tasks or projects at hand. You can’t stop your life, but plan ahead, have back-up plans, and be prepared for angrier people and miscommunication.

Luckily, it only lasts about 3 weeks at a time, and only happens a few times a year. In fact, here's all of them for 2018:

  • March 23 to April 15
  • July 26 to August 19
  • November 17 to December 6

Also, your own Zodiac sign can affect how badly it impacts you as an individual. Check that out here. I'm a Libra, which means my desire for balance is in turmoil, and I have to to deal with the fact that my pants don't look as tight as they feel. Or, I'm gaining weight and in denial. Either way, I'm gonna blame the crap out of Mercury Retrograde.

Really, all you can do is just ride it out. It doesn't last forever. And, it may not affect you directly at all. You might just be a cosmic warrior that doesn't need to follow the rules. But if your life starts going haywire, or you find yourself a little more annoyed with your better half than usual, it might just be Mercury Retrograde.