Turn on your email read receipts: Communication may get tricky as Mercury goes into retrograde over the next few weeks. The astrological event begins Thursday afternoon and ends May 22. And you should be prepared: As Gala Darling put it, “It’s like everyone you know has suddenly gone mad!”

During Mercury retrograde, as it’s also called, the planet closest to the sun appears to slow down in its orbit and move backward for a short period. People big on astrology make the connection that as the planet acts erratically, so too does everything it controls. This year, Mercury retrograde has already happened once, in January, and it is scheduled to occur again in late August and mid-December.

Mercury retrograde purportedly can affect several areas of your life, including education, self-expression, technology, travel and truth. The Huffington Post came up with a list of things you should avoid doing during the astrological event. Among them are making big decisions (because they’ll be based on unclear information), taking long trips (because your plane could be delayed) and buying computers (because they may unexpectedly crash).

“Adapt to the slowing pace of things, be willing to put some things on hold for a little while, and take a look at what’s been set into motion up to now with an eye to seeing what has to be done before things can again move forward in late May,” astrologer Robert Wilkinson recommended in a post on his website, Aquarius Papers

Here are a few other tips to help you survive the next month, collected from ABC News, Astrology Zone, and Spirit Science, as well as Gala Darling.


  • Make sure to have an extra map if you’re traveling.
  • Back up your hard drive.
  • Clean out your closet.
  • Spruce up your résumé.
  • Try to have face-to-face conversations over digital ones.
  • Review your priorities.
  • Treat everything with care and focus.


  • Start a blog or newspaper.
  • Schedule any important meetings.
  • Buy a house.
  • Get a tattoo.
  • Sign a lease.
  • Fight with a significant other.
  • Gossip, especially in email.