How to Prevent the Mercury Retrograde From Ruining Your Holiday

Dec 13, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. ET
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Well, friends, in case you weren’t already aware: Not only are we in the midst of the holiday season, we’re also in the middle of Mercury retrograde. This cycle started around the 2nd in the U.S. and will last through the 22nd. What does that mean exactly?

“Mercury retrograde is a transit that occurs when the planet Mercury in the sky gives the illusion of orbiting the sun backwards,” Tracey Rogers, life coach and astrologer, explained. It happens to all the planets, but Mercury does it three to four times a year and tends to wreak a little havoc.

What, exactly, is Mercury disrupting? “Mercury represents transportation, technology and communication in our day-to-day,” Rogers said. “When this planet turns retrograde, our cars breakdown, we experience glitches with our cells and laptops, there are communication delays, emails stuck in our outbox, traffic delays, lost keys and everything else that would bring minor frustrations.”

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So travel delays, mail frustrations and losing things? Gee, sounds like a perfect recipe for the holidays. That’s because Mercury was known as a trickster, Ysanne Lewis, a timing adviser, author of The Time Catcher and astrologer of 39 years told me. But Mercury retrograde isn’t all bad. “Things can come back into our lives, people we haven’t seen for ages or heard from. And also we can revisit places we thought we might never visit again," she said.

Plus, there is plenty you can do to keep the more frustrating aspects of Mercury retrograde from ruining your holiday. Here are a few ideas.

1. Don’t rush holiday messages

“Give plenty of time if you're mailing correspondence or holiday cards,” Rogers said. It’s a time ripe for postal service delays and email delivery errors.

2. Give yourself extra time for travel

“I don’t want to be a doom monger; I’m not talking about planes falling out of the air or anything. I’m talking about delays, cancellations,” Lewis said. “It’s usually common sense, but apply much, much more at this time.” And they both said you should double check your plans entirely and have a backup. Mercury retrograde is notorious for best-laid plans being mis-booked.

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3. Especially avoid the 23rd for travel if you can

Lewis explained that on the 23rd, Mercury is going back into forward motion, which means things get shaken up even more. If you can steer clear of traveling on that day entirely, do it.

4. Keep your gift receipts & get the warranty

“It’s not a good time to make a purchase because you might want to take it back,” Lewis said. So keep your gift receipts and be ready to use them. Rogers added, “If you are buying any major electronics, vehicles or appliances for the holidays, get a warranty.”

5. Tap into your intuitive side

“Mercury tends to go retrograde at times when we most need it to, when we need to pace ourselves. We need to use our right hemisphere brains more: our intuition, imagination, seeing the bigger picture,” Lewis said.

More: How to Deal With a Toxic Family During the Holidays

6. Expect plans to change

The reality is, during Mercury retrograde, people’s plans are likely to change. “Maybe be a bit more kind, have a bit more latitude, be a little more flexible,” Lewis said.

7. Practice patience & know things will go back to normal

“Be patient if you run into schedule changes with holiday gatherings or vendors who fall through if planning a company party,” Rogers said. “Meanwhile, at the dinner table, try not to get too upset if someone says the wrong thing! Life will feel back to normal in the new year.”

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