“Mercury has gone retrograde again! OMG!” Insert expletive.

Mercury retrograde: you’ve probably heard this term before, undoubtedly by a distraught friend trippin’ over the astrological. If not from a friend, then you may have come across this term browsing through the horoscope section of your favorite magazine or local newspaper. Regardless, when Mercury goes retrograde, it’s a time full of stress for many. Why you ask? Well, here’s everything you need to know about it.

1st, what is Mercury? A dumb question you might say. “It’s a planet! Damn!” you’re probably retorting in your head. Yes, yes it’s a planet but there’s a lot more to it than that. Mercury is a planet but also the fastest moving one in our solar system– with an orbital speed of about 48 kilometers per second. Our little blue orb A.K.A Earth manages only about 30 km/s.

Basically, it’s the Usain Bolt of our galaxy.

Speaking of runners, Mercury is the Latin name for the Greek god of messages. Don’t recall?

Hermes

It’s this dude, with the winged feet. He’s pasted all over those Goodyear tires and your favorite DC Speedsters uniform. He also rules communication, travel, commerce, trade, sports etc.

Starting to make sense?

Basically retrograde means going backwards. And when a planet is moving backwards, everything it rules seems to go backwards as well. However Mercury doesn’t actually move backward per se. If you do a bit of stargazing, you will see that Mercury appears to be spinning in reverse, just as the ancient astrologers perceived thousands of years ago. After a while – in Mercury’s case, a three-and-a-half-week period – the planet will come correct, reverse itself and move “forward” again. This is called Mercury going “direct”.

Because Mercury is the planet situated closest to our flaming center: the Sun, its orbit is much shorter than planet Earth’s. About 3 to 4 times per year, Mercury rushes past Earth—that’s when we experience the ever dreaded Mercury retrograde period.

Look at it like this: If you were in your whip and another car passed you, you could tell it’s velocity was a lot faster than yours. But if it slowed down and you then passed it, it would appear that that car was actually going backward. Then when the other whip accelerates on you and passes you again, it kicks up all of the dust and gravel on the road. As Mercury speeds by, it’s like a locomotive speeding past, creating a very strong, baleful and chaotic gust of “wind” in its wake. The turbulence and disruption Mercury creates when it retrogrades can affect what we feel on Earth in our everyday lives.

In a nutshell anything the planet rules will most likely stall, or not function well at all. Contracts? Better read that fine print and not sign anything until you’ve got all you paper work right. Mercury rules  all formal contracts and agreements, as well as important documents such like book manuscripts, term papers, deeds,  leases, wills etc. You see that cute apartment? It may have a roach problem you’re not aware of. But of course, during Mercury retrograde you may overlook that teensy bit of info at the bottom of the deed saying “not refunds, contract binding.”

This speedy planet’s domain rules code as well: including computer codes, transportation, shipping and travel. When Mercury is in its napping state these bad boys go haywire; and naturally since it’s ruler isn’t awake to regulate things. Cyber Monday not as bomb this year as you’d hoped, eh? Faulty tech come in missing something or that new phone came in from China only in Mandarin? You can thank Mercury retrograde for that. Fender bender this morning while you tried to skip that annoying YouTube ad? Slid into the wrong persons DM’s? Computer crashing or not saving those important drafts for that final paper worth 70% of your grade?

LOL.

Now  believe me, I’m not laughing at your pain, It’s just the universe doing it’s thing…or doing nothing rather since it’s sleeping and all.

So what should one do/not do during such a phase of pandemonium?

Avoid signing on the dotted line for anything substantial. This includes new leases, advertisement campaigns, new websites or contracts. If you’re the manager or running the show on anything, hold off on hiring anyone. The reason why is the environment will be quite fluid and malleable even if everything appears to be on the up and up. Problems could arise that were completely unforeseeable.

This year in particular, from November 16 until December 1, 2018, messenger planet Mercury traveled retrograde through fiery Sagittarius right before backing into super secretive and enigmatic Scorpio for the bulk of its backspin lasting until the 6. The truth will naturally and unavoidably come boiling to the surface during this phase, emphasis on boiling since it travels through fire then a water sign. Mysteries are revealed and skeletons are yanked out of that closet you thought was locked. We may also be asked to recall and review certain situations that happened a year ago (December 3-22, 2017), when Mercury was last retrograde in Sag.

Another thing that could occur is people returning from your past. Even if you thought you were good and done with that ex of yours, there’s a good chance they might text you out of nowhere during Mercury retrograde period.

Trust me.

People love to come back into your life from the past during this cycle… especially if there has been unfinished business or they/ you seek clarification or closure about something.

Now these aren’t all bad. For example: I know a work colleague whose ex-boyfriend reached out to her out of the blue. This was someone she was with for a substantial amount of time–over 5 years. Her first everything. Mind you, she in a happy relationship with a husband and a toddler currently. So one could only imagine how jarred one could feel by something like this. What can I expect? What do they want? Questions undoubted to cross one’s mind.

Enter anxiety, all 1000 volts of it. You start stressin’. Calling your friends. Pacing. Typing, then deleting, then typing that text again. But hey, what might be seen as unwelcome to some might be healing opportunities for others; reconciliation isn’t out of the question here. Sometimes someone really wants closure. But again, be careful. You might want to go fully back into a relationship but it’s recommended waiting until the retrograde cycle is over before making such a decision–you may change your mind once Mercury goes direct again. Also rash outbursts are very likely, so be mindful not to fly off the handle: you may regret it.

The good news? We made it, fam. Mercury just finished it’s retrograde period and went direct December 6th. So most of what I’m telling you applied to the last three weeks as opposed to anything occurring for the rest of 2018. Just remember, there’s always a shadow period after a planet goes retrograde. The shadow period sounds ominous but it’s simply a period of time where you must make sure to reflect after the planet’s celestial backspin. New strategies on how to approach the issues you’ve dealt with during the chaotic three weeks of everything communication and travel related going haywire. Do some introspection for the next few days. What is it that keeps happening in your life and why is it that you haven’t found a way to rectify it yet? You’ve got until the 11th of December to ponder on it, then Mercury’s shadow period ends and we’re solid until March 5th of 2019.

Ultimately, Mercury retrograde isn’t all bad. As long as you’re able to brace yourself and know what to look out for, you’re more than prepared for the speedy planet’s tri-annual backspin. And as always, you can come through to The Fresh Committee for updates on the latest galactic happenings the universe will hit us with.

I got you.