For people who believe in astrology, finding out Mercury is in retrograde can be a disaster. Here's a guide to what it means, and astrologers' recommendations for keeping life balanced while  Mercury is in retrograde

What does Mercury in retrograde mean? Sometimes it appears as though planets are moving backwards through the zodiac, which is called “retrograde motion,” according to Mercury does this three to four times a year. According to those who study astrology, when this happens people can experience confusion, frustration and delay.

How do you handle Mercury in retrograde? Because of the negative effects Mercury in retrograde has, it’s best to be as laid back as possible. (That's pretty good advice at any time, actually.) Since Mercury is said to be in control of travel, communication, automobile, technology breakdowns and contracts,  here’s how to handle those potential issues:

Travel and automobiles: One of the things people can do to make commuting easier is allow for extra time to travel. Don’t be surprised if you experience delays or car trouble. It’s also considered a horrible time to buy a new car or sign a lease.

Communication: Tradition says that there’s a lot of miscommunication when Mercury is in retrograde, so people should choose their words carefully. Try not to get frustrated if there is an issue understanding friends and family-- just blame Mercury!

Technology: One way to not be too affected by breakdowns is to anticipate that electronics might not work as planned -- which is also good advice in general. Double-check spelling in texts, emails and social media since people are normally accident-prone during this time, Huffington Post noted.

Contracts: Don’t sign any contracts, say those who are guided by planetary events. Instead, look over projects and plans during this time and wait until Mercury is out of retrograde to make final decisions.

Finding the positive: Mercury in retrograde is normally associated with negativity, but it can be a good time to reflect. Since it’s happening early in 2016, why not set goals for the new year?

How long will it last? Mercury will be in retrograde from Jan. 5-25. It will happen again April 28-May 22, Aug. 30 to Sept. 22 and Dec. 19 to 31.

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