Dave Moore

What Is Mercury Retrograde And Why Does It Hate Me?

An astrologer breaks it down.

If we had to pick an official scapegoat for 2014 and all of its many mundane annoyances, we would undoubtedly choose Mercury Retrograde. Didn't get into the college of your choice? Blame MR. Didn't get a date to prom? Damn that MR. Tripped and fell in a kiddie pool full of Jell-O? Uhh, we don't want to know, but it's probably partly MR's fault. MR is a pretty universal gripe -- even Taylor Swift has cursed its existence, as she teased 1989's release during one of its most recent spells.

Oh, and guess what -- we're currently smack in the middle of another MR suck-fest, one that doesn't end until October 25. Cue a giant scream to the heavens right about here.

So what is this mysterious planetary phenom that seems to be messing up our lives seemingly every single month? Well, we hit up our trusty resident astrologer Licorice Root and asked her to break it down for us.

Read on and remember: Saturday is just mere days away -- and then we're done with this mess until 2015.

What exactly is Mercury Retrograde? How often does it happen?

Quickmeme

Three, sometimes four, times per year Mercury, from our perspective here on Earth, appears to move backward through the Zodiac. This is just an optical illusion! Mercury is not really moving backward. But, the planet does retrace the movement it’s made through the Zodiac during this time.

Is there anything I should avoid doing during this time?

The big No-Nos we hear during Mercury Retrograde are: 1). Don't sign contracts 2). Don't buy electronics. Mercury rules communication, transportation and even commerce, so it’s suggested that you hold back from starting new projects that could relate to any of these themes. The key word here is 'new' -- reworking, rethinking and renegotiating are all great things you can do to take advantage of Mercury Retrograde!

What about musicians? Should they be releasing new tunes? (Ahem, Taylor...)

Mercury Retrograde is an awesome time to release music that’s been pushed back or delayed. Otherwise, Mercury Retrograde may not be the best time for new songs to come out. The period is famous for delays, so an artist may find that people are delayed in connecting to the music.

What about new love? Should I ask out that dude/chick I've been crushing on? Or will that be one giant fail?

This particular Mercury Retrograde has gone through the sign Scorpio and is now in the sign Libra. Scorpio rules intimacy, and Libra, relationships. This is a fantastic time to ask out a crush you’ve always been too shy to talk to -- or to reconnect with an ex. Again, this is the time for re-dos. As for your new crush? Wait until October 26, when Mercury goes direct. Talking to a possible new boo may be best to do when the the ruler of communication, Mercury, is going direct.

So why has this thing happened, like, 200 times this year?

It probably just feels that way because we’ve had lots of inner planets going backwards through the Zodiac -- Venus and Mars went Retrograde earlier this year as well, so much of 2014 has been about reworking our lives, restructuring our daily routines and finding closure with the past. Astrology also seems to be popular now more than ever! So that may be another reason why Mercury Retrograde is popping up on everyone’s feed.