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Managing Mercury in Retrograde

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From Oct. 21 to Nov. 11, 2013, the planet Mercury is in retrograde motion. That usually strikes fear in normally-rational individuals because someone told them that we were in "mercury retrograde," and that somehow is negative.

Mercury is the planet governing communication, transportation and truth. When it is in "retrograde," its movement appears to be streaming backward in the skies, and that backward intention affects all forms of communication, whether that be via computer or person to person. Just because there are more misunderstandings and bad judgment calls made during Mercury retrograde periods than any other time does not mean that Mercury is singularly responsible. I am beginning to suspect an uncomfortable pattern. By the very virtue of the Universal Law of Attraction, many people are actually encouraging the frustration experienced during this time, rather than working with the blessings and magic of it.

We don't have negative planets; we have negative people who use the planets as a great excuse for negative thinking, and in some cases, even negative behavior. So let's clear the decks and get a better understanding of this phenomena and how best to flow with it.

• Unless it involves something already in the works, avoid signing new contracts or any other important agreement papers while Mercury is retrograde.

• Back up your computer files regularly because Mercury wreaks havoc with any form of technology, whether that is a computer or a toaster oven.

• Avoid travel, and if you can't, then give yourself a lot of extra time and confirm your itinerary several times and check all reservations.

• Be extra mindful of your words. Be clear and concise about what you are conveying and don't take things to a personal level. Even the most innocent requests can take on total miscommunication.

Some suggested activities when Mercury is in retrograde: editing, revising, reviewing, research, relaxing, and regrouping. Also, cleaning out clutter, organizing and catching up on paperwork are highly favored during this time. Above all, remember that this is a magical time to reconnect with the past while revisiting abandoned projects and renewing old relationships. Have a magical retrograde!