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Beware the Mercury Retrograde

This Tuesday, I slipped up my front steps, shattering my phone and ripping my favorite pair of work khakis.

Two nights ago, my best friend realized that she lost her driver’s license. She leaves for Arizona this weekend and has no alternative ID.

My roommate went relaxing in a hot tub last night and woke up at 3 a.m. with a mild case of chlorine poisoning.

Yep, Mercury is in retrograde.

But what exactly is the Mercury retrograde and why is it synonymous with misfortune?

Scientifically speaking, the Mercury retrograde is an orbital phenomenon that causes the planet to look like it’s moving backwards across our night sky. Due to the planets’ orbital patterns, Mercury is in retrograde three times a year. The first retrograde of the year started Feb. 18 and will end on the March 10. The other two retrogrades begin in mid-June and October.

But what does that have to do with my broken phone?

According to astrology, the planet Mercury rules over all communication, travel, commerce and technology. When it retrogrades, all of these areas tend to spin out of control.

If you follow astrology or are just reading out of curiosity, there are a few things you can do to combat Murphy’s law until March 10:

1. Avoid making any big decisions.
Mercury retrograde is notorious for poisoning any opportunities found during it. Signing any contract, whether a house lease or business proposition, may prove unfruitful during this period. The internship you wanted might turn out to be indentured servitude or your dream house may end up being a living hell.

2. Plan extra time for travel.
This is just a great rule of thumb in general. For the next three weeks, give yourself a little cushion time while driving. It’s much better to be a tad early than significantly later.

3. Make a conscious effort to remember where you set down your important items.
You don’t want to be the kid locked out of their dorm in the middle of the night.

Remember, the Mercury retrograde doesn’t necessarily mean bad things will happen. Use this time to practice preparedness, and you’ll be just fine. Further information is available online if you want to see how this retrograde will specifically affect your sign.

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